Bill Bentson: Sports friends found in common places

Bill Bentson
Wheelin' with WEB

Had a great acquaintance at the Fargodome last week. Following the Osakis/Pillager football game, I went up into the bleachers to watch a bit of the Perham/Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton game.

I was visiting with some Ada people and one of them introduced me to another gentleman that was visiting with us. My friend said this guy drove a long way to watch the games and that he was from Kennedy.

Kennedy is about "a spit" from the Canadian border, so he was right, he did come a long way. I said, I know a guy from Kennedy – Karl Urbaniak, the football coach at Mabel-Canton.

My new friend responded, "Yep, that’s my brother." So I met Ken Urbaniak, brother of Karl. Small world isn’t it? I emailed Karl and related the story to him.

Karl said Ken goes to a lot of sports stuff, and he knows what’s going on. Sounds like I found a great contact in the "great northwest."

This coming Monday, Nov. 11, is Veteran’s Day. Some of the greatest people I know are veterans including my son, Jim (Army/National Guard), my daughter, Jacquie (National Guard) and her husband, Patrick (National Guard), my dad, Elmer (Navy), my brother, Bob (Navy), my sister, Janet (Navy) and her husband, Bob (Navy) and my "adopted" son, "Snake" (National Guard).

We owe our lives and all our freedoms to them. Without their service and sacrifice, we wouldn’t be who we are! Thank you to all our veterans.


State volleyball tournament was this weekend. My plans were to go down for Thursday's matches. I have football back in Moorhead on Saturday, so I will only spend a day at the state volleyball tournament this year.

Mayer Lutheran was the No. 1 ranked team in the final poll, but got beat in the Section finals by Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (No. 2 ranked team), but Minneota (No. 3 ranked team) got the No. 1 seed at the state tournament.

Of the top 12 teams in the final poll, only three of them are playing in the state tournament: Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Minneota and Medford.

Of course four of the top 10 were in Section 1A (Mabel-Canton, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Medford and Caledonia), so we knew going in that three of them weren’t going to be in the big dance.

Three of the top 12 were in Section 3 (Minneota, Canby and Lakeview), so there goes two more. Sections four and six weren’t represented in the final poll and only one team each from Section’s 5, 7 and 8. And none of them made it!

Class A pairings at the state tournament: Minneota (No. 1 seed) vs. Greenway (not seeded), Mounds Park (No. 4) vs. Fosston (No. 5), Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (No. 2) vs. Henning and Medford (No. 3) vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

No real big surprises with any of the entrants. All of them were seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in their sections or sub-sections.

I took an informal survey of the Class A schools in the Three Rivers Conference. Only one picked Medford as the top team; good job, Michelle!

In Class AA, seven of the schools that will be competing in the state tournament were ranked in the top 12, including Stewartville (No. 1) vs. Annandale (No. 11), Watertown-Mayer (No. 7) vs. Concordia Academy-Roseville (No. 5), Marshall (No. 2) vs. Belle Plaine (No. 10) and North Branch (No. 3) vs. Pequot Lakes (not ranked). Seven of the eight were seeded No. 1 in their sub-sections. Only Belle Plaine was a No. 2.

Seeded at the state tournament were Stewartville (No. 1), Marshall (No. 2), North Branch (No. 3), WatertownMayer (No. 3) and Concordia Academy (No. 5).

Five of the eight AAA teams were in the final poll: Eagan (No. 1) vs. St. Louis Park, Minnetonka (No. 6) vs. Moorhead (No. 11), Wayzata (No. 2) vs. Elk River and Lakeville North (No. 7) vs. North St. Paul.

I was really hoping that Northfield was going to get out of Section 1AAA, but Lakeville North has such a rich tradition, tough to compete with them. It’s going to be interesting in Section 1, when they go to four classes in volleyball.

Maybe the suburb teams will move out of Section One and some of the Rochester schools will have a chance.

I got the All-conference teams for the Three Rivers Conference and the Southeast Conference.

2019 Three Rivers All-Conference and Honorable Mention volleyball teams


Caledonia: Haley Jennings, senior, setter 2018 AC; Lydia Lange, senior, middle hitter 2018 AC; 2017 AC; 2016 HM; Alexis Simpson, senior, outside hitter 2018 AC.

Chatfield: Peyton Berg, sophomore, libero; Paige Erickson, junior, middle hitter 2018 HM.

Cotter: Alison French, sophomore, libero; Kelli Hadaway, junior, setter 2018 AC; Ellie Macal, junior, outside hitter 2018 HM.

Fillmore Central: KJ Corson, junior, libero 2018 HM; 2017 HM; Maddie Krage, junior, middle hitter; Kandace Sikkink, senior, outside hitter/setter.

Lewiston-Altura: Amanda Kauten, senior, defensive specialist 2018 HM; Ciarra McNally, senior, outside hitter 2018 AC; 2017 AC; 2016 HM; Myia Ruzek, senior, middle hitter 2018 AC.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville; Abby Hinrichs, junior, setter; Alyx Doughty, junior, middle hitter.

Rushford-Peterson: Alyvia Eide, junior, libero… 2018 AC; Kaleah Davis, senior, right hitter.

St. Charles: Lindsey Root, junior, outside hitter 2018 AC; Triniti Gbala, junior, middle hitter; Ashley Paul, junior, setter 2018 HM.

Wabasha-Kellogg: Sophie Graner, sophomore, setter; Savannah LaRocque, senior, libero; Morgan LaVigne, senior, outside hitter/middle hitter…2018 AC; 2017 HM.

Three Rivers Conference Honorable Mention

Caledonia: Lyza Hoscheit, junior right-side hitter.

Chatfield: Zayda Priebe, sophomore, middle hitter; Teagan Allen, senior, setter; Kielan LaPlante, senior, outside hitter…2018 AC.

Cotter: Anna Morgan, senior middle hitter…2018 AC.

Dover-Eyota: Sophie Andring, sophomore, libero; Lexy Williams, junior, setter/outside hitter…2018 HM.

Fillmore Central: Lauren Mensink, sophomore, outside hitter/setter.

LaCrescent-Hokah: Piper Walton, junior, libero.

Lewiston-Altura: Georgia Blair, junior, libero; Anna Hennessy, sophomore, middle hitter; Christa Sauer, junior, setter; Ella Miller, junior, middle hitter…2018 HM.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville: Teagan Hansen, sophomore, outside hitter; Rylee Nelson, junior, libero; Malia Becker, junior, right-hitter.

Rushford-Peterson: Kaylee Ruberg, freshman, middle hitter; Isabelle Kahoun, freshman, setter; Elly Malone, sophomore, outside hitter; Lakyn Rasmussen, junior, outside hitter.

St. Charles: Kaitlyn Dailey, junior, right-side hitter 2018 HM; Lauryn Delger, freshman, outside hitter; Kiara Perez, senior, libero.

Southland: Larissa Goslee, junior, setter; Kelsey Mensink, junior, middle hitter; Kayla Nelsen, junior, defensive specialist; Lexi Smith, senior, middle hitter.

Wabasha-Kellogg: Julia Schmoker, junior, middle hitter; Chloe Evers, sophomore, outside hitter.

I also got the All-conference/honorable mention teams for the Southeast Conference.

Before I list the players, I would like to congratulate Lonnie Morken, Mabel-Canton coach. He was selected as the Section 1A Coach of the Year. Great job, Lonnie!

All-Southeast Conference Volleyball

2019 Player of the Year – Kenidi McCabe, Mabel-Canton

First Team All-Conference

MABEL-CANTON: Kenidi McCabe, junior S/OH, 3rd year; Payton Danielson, senior OH, 2nd year (H.M.'17); Sarina Stortz, senior MH, (H.M. '18); Jordyn Newgard, junior MH.

GRAND MEADOW: Riley Queensland, senior OH, 4th year year; Isabelle Olson, senior Lib, 2nd year (H.M. '17, '16); Hailey Hindt, junior MH Madison Hindt, junior S/RS.

LANESBORO: Sydney Taylor, junior RS; Ella Cambern, sophomore S; Malia Tessum, sophomore Lib.

SPRING GROVE: Amelia Solum, senior OH; Addyson McHugh, freshman MH.

RANDOLPH: Megan Erickson, junior MH, 2nd year; Meredith Taylor, junior Lib.

KINGSLAND: Ellie Buchholtz, junior OH, 3rd year (All-TRC '17).

HOUSTON: Jennifer Albrecht, senior MH, 2nd year.

LYLE/PACELLI: Olivia Christianson, senior MH, 4th year.

Honorable Mention: Meghan Eastlee, senior S Grand Meadow, 2nd year; Molly Lee, sophomore OH Mabel-Canton; Maggie Lile, freshman OH Spring Grove; Morgyn Otte, junior S Randolph; Payton Benson, senior OH Lanesboro; Becca Rostad, junior Lib Houston; Caitlin Miner, senior MH Kingsland; Sam Volkhart, sophomore MH LeRoy-Ostrander; Abby Neve, senior S Lyle/Pacelli; Audrey Park, senior Lib Schaeffer Academy.


Not much room for football this week. Quarterfinals were played this past weekend.

Nine-man. Grand Meadow has quite a challenge ahead taking on No. 1 ranked Mt. Lake Area. The SuperLarks have 2,000 lbs. worth of experience, that’s a ton, in big games. I won’t bet against them.

Renville County West goes up against Hancock. I saw the Owls play last week in their Section finals. Not a bad looking team.

The Win-E-Mac vs. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo game is a re-match from the regular season. The Patriots won the first game. Can they do it again?

And the fourth game is between South Ridge and Mt. Iron-Buhl. I’ll pick the Rangers. Six of the teams in the state tournament were ranked in the final poll.

Did you have to go to your "nickname" notebook to see who the Owls are, or the Patriots? Hope not, you should be getting enough "school" in the WEB.

Class A. Blooming Prairie went up against Springfield, in Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton. That’s No. 2 vs. No. 3, wow! Flip a coin! No. 4 Ada-Borup West vs. No. 7 Underwood is a re-match from the regular season. Should be a great game.

ABW really surprised Underwood in the first meeting. I don’t think it will happen this round.

BOLD (No. 1) goes up against Deer River (No. 12). BOLD has been there before!

Browerville/Eagle Valley No. 11 takes on Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. I’m going with Browerville.

Class AA. Caledonia goes to Rochester Mayo to take on Pipestone Area. Pipestone has always had good athletes, but they’re going against the "king" of football.

Pipestone has to travel across the entire state! How did the Warriors ‘swing’ that? Barnesville (No. 2) vs. Osakis (No. 13); Osakis is good, but Barnesville is better. Mpls North (No. 3) vs. Blue Earth Area (No. 8); let’s ask Molly how this one is going to come out. And Paynesville Area (No. 5) vs. Moose Lake/Willow River (No. 9).

Some really good games, all over. Can’t wait for the games at the Bank.

That’s it for this week. I’m getting up early, so better get some sleep. Hey to the Great 8, my fab 4, my wife Carol and all of you; you are the GREATEST! Hasta luego, my friends. Have a good week, one day at a time.