Bill Bentson: Very long road trip includes couple stops in area

Bill Bentson
Wheelin' with WEB

Does the number 2,007.9 have a familiar ring to you?  It does to me!  That’s what my trip odometer showed when I pulled up to my house this past Monday night (9:30 p.m.), 2,007.9 miles on this latest road trip, which began Tuesday, Sept. 24.

            I’m going to be the host for Jim Robinson when he’s inducted into the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 5, 2020.  The most recent class will be announced in its entirety real soon, and I’ll have it right here when that announcement is made.  I have the list, but can’t announce it until the official announcement comes out from our headquarters.  I met with Mr. Robinson, Tuesday afternoon, on my way to Fountain.

            Tuesday night I got to my daughter’s place in Fountain, and listened to the Lewiston-Altura at Fillmore Central volleyball match on KFIL radio (Luke Lonien broadcasting).  I knew I was going to be late for the match, so I didn’t try to get to Harmony.  As it turned out, the match went five sets, and I would have seen the majority of the event, but I didn’t want to take the chance of missing anything.  Wednesday, I had a dentist appointment; the main reason for my trip to the southeast part of the state.

            Thursday, I went to St. Charles for a cross country meet and then headed to Wabasha for a volleyball match between Chatfield and W-K (another five-setter). 

            Because I was going to be out of the state on Sunday, I wrote four sports articles (Chatfield volleyball and cross-country and Ada-Borup West volleyball and cross-country) Friday morning.

            Got done with those articles just in time to make it to the Branding Iron for a “farewell to Melissa” luncheon (1 p.m.).  You already know that Melissa Vander Plas has left the newspaper business and will be in charge of the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce.  Lucky them! It was a great gathering at the Branding Iron for Melissa.  Many well-wishers, present and past.

            Friday night I went up to Zumbrota and watched Chatfield beat Z-M in football.  Saturday morning, I wrote my football articles for Chatfield and ABW. 

            My nephew’s (Darren) son (Michael) was getting married, so son Jim, and I, were off to Yorkville, Illinois, at noon on Saturday. There was a golf outing scheduled for Sunday morning.  With all the rain, there were more ducks, than birdies, but I decided that sloshing through puddles was not for me, so I drove back to the motel for breakfast.

            Following the Sunday afternoon wedding, we were off to Fountain and a good night’s sleep.  Monday morning was another dental appointment, and the rest is history, 2,007.9 miles later. 

            Living up in Halstad now, I’m sure there will be more road trips, but hopefully no more 2,000-mile excursions.

Road to the World Series

            Who’s going to win this year’s World Series?  Do you still follow.  Remember back when we were in school, the games used to be put over the intercom system at school.  Doesn’t seem like there’s that much interest these days. 

            In the Wild Card games, the Washington Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 and the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Oakland Athletics 5-1.

            So now we have these match-ups.  National League: LA Dodgers (106-56) vs. Washington Nationals (93-69) and the Atlanta Braves (97-65) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (91-71).  In the American League: Minnesota Twins (101-61) vs. NY Yankees (103-59) and the Houston Astros (107-55) vs. the Tampa Bay Rays (96-66).  These series are best of five games.  Then we have the league championships and then the World Series.  The last two series are best of seven games.  But I bet you knew all that.

            Don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little sick of all this rain.  I can’t imagine how the farmers are feeling.  The silver lining, if there is one, at least it’s not the s-word (snow)!




Volleyball state rankings

            I got an interesting note from Lee Epps when he sent me this week’s Southeast Conference standings.  “Mabel-Canton won the Decorah Tournament last weekend.  In the finals, a split-set (2-1) victory over Wapsie Valley (ranked No. 4 in Iowa Class A).  Last nights (Tuesday) win over Spring Grove clinched at least a share of a 22nd straight conference championship.  Tomorrow (tonight, Thursday) night, a win at Lanesboro, assures them an outright crown.”  Thanks Lee, great information.

            In the state Class A rankings, the Lady Cougars are at No. 5, Kenyon-Wanamingo is at No. 6, Caledonia is ranked No. 8 and Medford is No. 9; all are Section 1A teams.  The top four remain the same in Class A; Mayer Lutheran, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown, Minneota and Carlton.  Kittson County Central is No. 7 and Canby moved up to the No. 10 spot.  BOLD (were No. 10) is at No. 11, Pine River-Backus is No. 12 and MACCRAY is at No. 13.

            In the AA rankings, Stewartville is # No. 1, North Branch is No. 2 and Kasson-Mantorville is No. 3.  No other schools from southeast Minnesota are ranked in the top 10, or even mentioned in the honorable mention class.  It sure is nice that K-M and Stewie are in different sub-sections now.  How convenient!

            Eagan, Northfield and Wayzata remain as the top three teams in Class AAA.

Cross Country

            Perham, West Central Area and St. James are the top three teams in Class A boys.  Lake City is at No. 10.  No area boys are in the individual top 12.

            Perham, Staples-Motley and Albany are the top three girls’ teams.  Lake City is at No. 6 and Stewartville is at No. 11.  Natasha Sortland, Zumbrota-Mazeppa/Kenyon-Wanamingo freshman, is the top ranked girl in Class A.  Jacey Majerus, another freshman, Lake City, is ranked No. 12.  Majerus is a real familiar name in the St. Charles area. 

            The Chatfield girls have been running really well, and usually don’t run their best until the championship season (conference and section meets).  Keep an eye on the Lady Gophers.  Besides, the Lady Gophers coach, Jayna Tangen Harstad, is very familiar to section meets and state tournament meets.

Football state rankings

            In the state rankings, Blooming Prairie is at No. 2 and Randolph is at No. 14.  When it comes to winning playoffs, don’t ever count out the Rushford-Peterson Trojans.  Playoffs start on Oct. 22, only a little more than two weeks away, and R-P could be there.

            BOLD is the top team in Class A, Minneota is three, Springfield is at No. 4 and United South Central is at No. 5.  I’ve seen No. 6 Ada-Borup West several times and they have wins over Mahnomen/Waubun (No. 8) and Underwood (No. 9).  Upsala/Swanville is ranked at No. 7 and Braham rounds out the top 10, at No. 10.  Ada-Borup West’s only loss is to Barnesville (No. 2, Class AA, 35-22).

Section 1, 9-man: LeRoy-Ostrander 4-0,          5-0; Spring Grove 3-1, 4-1; Grand Meadow 2-1,          4-1; Southland 2-1, 4-1; Houston 2-2, 3-2; Lanesboro 2-2, 2-3; Kingsland 0-4, 0-5; Mabel-Canton 0-4, 0-5.

            LeRoy-Ostrander (No. 2) and Southland (No. 7) remain in the top 10, nine-man rankings.  Grand Meadow is a tournament-tested program and knows how to win Section tournaments. 

            Mountain Lake Area is the top team in Nine-man, Brandon-Evansville is at No. 3, Renville County West is No. 4 and Hancock is at No. 5.  Some of the teams in the top 10 haven’t been there before and may falter when the playoffs come around.

Section 1, Class AA: Caledonia           2-0, 5-0; Lewiston-Altura 1-0, 5-0; Triton 2-1, 3-2; St. Charles 1-1, 3-2; Kenyon-Wanamingo 1-1, 2-3; Chatfield        1-2, 3-2; Cotter       0-1, 0-5; Dover-Eyota 0-2, 0-5.

            Caledonia remains at the No. 1 team in Class AA, Barnesville is No. 2, Mpls. North No. 3, Paynesville Area is at No. 4 and Lewiston-Altura is at No. 5.  St. Charles is at No. 15 and Triton is tied for No. 16.  There are some real salty programs in the top 10, Class AA, including our Warriors.

            Pierz is No. 1 in AAA, St. Paul Academy/Minnehaha Academy/Blake is tops in AAAA, Owatonna remains as No. 1 in AAAAA and Lakeville North is at No. 1 in AAAAAA.  Eden Prairie got beat by Wayzata last week.

            Max Preps also has weekly rankings, for every team, in each class.  Rankings are pretty close to the Associated Press rankings.

            That is going to do it for me, this week.  Thanks to my new editor, Dave Phillips, hey to the Great 8 (you are the greatest), my fab 4, to my lovely wife Carol and the greatest Readers (in my mind, anyway) in the world.  Have a great week, one day at a time.  Hasta luego my friends.  WEB