Football joins volleyball for summer season

ABOVE LEFT: Chandler Bergrud spent most of the afternoon throwing passes, but he also caught one - this interception against Class AAAAA Rochester Century during a 7-on-7 football tournament at Elgin last Saturday. ABOVE RIGHT: Maggie Lile attacks from the left side against Lewiston-Altura. BELOW LEFT: Caden Grinde goes up against Plainview-Elgin-Millville for one of his 11 receptions last Saturday. The Lion junior caught two touchdown passes and also returned an interception for another TD. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

The four-week summer league high school volleyball season reached the halfway mark last week in Winona while the 7-on-7 football boys played in a Saturday tournament before their summer league season begins this week. The high school basketball girls and boys also launch their summer league campaigns in La Crosse this week.

Summer recreation baseball continued with only one rain-out.


The Lions were shorthanded with about half of the roster away on the school music trip. Spring Grove played with one junior, two sophomores and four freshmen along with another sophomore standing in.

This young group defeated the younger of two Lewiston-Altura teams but could not stay with Fillmore Central.

SG 2, Lewiston-Altura 1

25-23, 25-20, 10-15

The Lions trailed by narrow margins most of set one, caught up at 18-all and again at 22 and 23 before finally pulling ahead late 24-23. It ended with a Lydia Solum ace serve.

SG scored with 9 kills, 4 ace serves and an ace block along with 11 Cardinal errors.

Fillmore Central 3, SG 0

25-14, 25-11, 15-6

The Falcons, in set one, broke away from an 11-11 tie with a 14-3 run. In set two, Fillmore Central served eight aces and had seven kills to only three kills for the Lions.

The Falcons had another 7-to-3 margin in kills in the final set.


There were 13 teams at a 7-on-7, passing-only tournament at Elgin on Saturday, June 14. The Lions (enrollment 101) began in a very challenging three-team pool with Class AAAAA Rochester Century (enrollment 1,307) and Class AAAA Kasson-Mantorville (585). 

The teams were then re-grouped for the final two matchups with the Lions facing Class AAA Plainview-Elgin-Millville (433) and new 9-man rival Fillmore Central (165).

Spring Grove came up short against all three much larger schools before defeating the 9-man rival in a rain-shortened finale. Each game had a running 25-minute time limit. 

Senior Chandler Bergrud was at quarterback all afternoon for Spring Grove. The go-to receiver was Caden Grinde, who caught two touchdown tosses while collecting 11 of the team’s 19 completions. 

The rangy junior also caught two enemy passes, returning one for his third TD of the afternoon. Bergrud also caught a pass, picking off a Century toss.

Junior Isaac Griffin had the other offensive TD among his four receptions. 

Rochester Century 12, SG 6

Bergrud completed his first two passes, including a long touchdown to Griffin. The Panthers quickly tied it at 6-6 and then scored again before the defenses began to control play, including interceptions by Bergrud and Grinde along with one pick-off by Century.

Kasson-Mantorville 30, SG 0

Kasson-Mantorville scored on each of four possessions and returned one of two interceptions for a touchdown. The Komets completed 13 of 16 passes for four TDs with no interceptions.

Plainview-Elgin-Millville 18, SG 6

Two of the six Bulldog completions (6-13-0) went for touchdowns, and P-E-M also returned an interception for a score.

Grinde caught all three Lion passes (3-10-1), including a TD reception.

SG 12, Fillmore Central 6

The difference was a Grinde interception TD to give the Lions a 12-0 cushion in a game that ended early with heavy rain arriving.

Bergrud completed 4 of 6 passes for one a touchdown.



The summer league game at Shelby was not played due to wet field conditions.


New Albin 14, SG 13

The Little League season opener was a high-scoring bout with the Lions taking a two-run lead into the bottom of the final fifth inning. But the Indians scored three to win it with a walk-off hit. New Albin also won the second non-league game, 14-2.

SG 6, M-C 5

The Lions led 3-1 until the Cougars scored four runs to go up 5-3 in the top of the final fifth inning. Bode Weidemann had a two-out, bases-loaded, 3-RBI single. 

But Spring Grove came back with a walk to Asher Liptack and an RBI-single by Ezra Griffin, who then scored the equalizer on a pair of wild pitches.

Then with one out, Brandon Jahnke (1 for 1) tripled and soon scampered home on a wild pitch with the winning run. 

Those two last-inning base hits were the only two for Spring Grove while M-C came up with five hits, including a solo home run from Cayden Tollefsrud (2 for 3).

Spring Grove starter Ben Udstuen struck out 13 and walked only two, but Gavin Ostern (2 strikeouts, no walks) picked up the win with two-thirds of an inning of relief.

Spring Grove's 7th Grade & Under Little League team is all sixth graders.

Mabel-Canton won the non-league second game 19-5. Bryce Berns batted 2 for 3 for SG while Mark Tuomi (1 for 2) had the other Lion base hit.


Houston 14, SG 7

The visiting Lions scored two runs in the top of the first frame, but the Hurricanes replied with three in the bottom of the inning and added runs in each of their four innings at bat, leaving the bases loaded each time 

Bangor 16, SG 5

Spring Grove was on the road again and came up short against the Cardinals.