There’s more left over from 2005

As 2005 fades into the distant past, I’ll make another stab at recalling the events of the year just past.
I began a couple of weeks ago, sharing the results of a few quiet hours of going through the sports pages.
This week, we’ll continue in somewhat chronological order through more events of a year ago . . .
Oakdale’s Tony Barilla teamed with Bernie Montero to sidestep archaic District IV rules and bring American Legion baseball to Oakdale with the formation of the Oakdale Mavericks . . . It was announced that former North boys hockey coach, turned AD (before moving to coach women’s hockey at Augsburg College), Bill Halbrehder, would return to North to take over as head coach of girls hockey . . . North grad, Ruth (Opatz) Sinn, who went on to become head girls basketball coach at Hill-Murray (then Apple Valley) was named head women’s basketball coach at the University of St. Thomas . . . The newly formed American Legion baseball nine, the Oakdale Mavericks, propelled by a grand slam off the bat of Bryan Jost, gained an 11-1 victory over Mahtomedi . . . The North St. Paul Post 39ers baseball nine was off to a slow 2-7 start in District IV action . . . A new scoreboard at Kuenkel Field in North St. Paul - the result of donations from several benefactors - was dedicated prior to a 39ers 12-6 triumph over the Oakdale Mavericks . . . The North St. Paul 39ers popped the White Bear Lakers twice as they moved their season record to the plus side of .500 . . .
Baseball action continued and perennial District IV power, Tri-City Red, topped the 39ers 4-2 in a well-played contest to claim the league championship with a 12-3 mark . . . A 12-and-under softball nine from the Tartan area, the Oakdale Twins, after winning the annual Summerfest Tournament and the Year End League Championship, went on to gain the number two spot in State Tournament play . . . B. J. “Cookie” Thompson went 4-for-4 and Brian Cotroneo hit 3-for-5 to lead the 39ers past Rosetown 15-8 in a game at Kuenkel Field in which no less than six 39ers were “thumped” by opposing pitchers . . .
Larry Fronczak’s retirement ended a 32-year tenure as a Tartan teacher/coach and mentor of kids . . . North’s oldest graduate, (now 104) Olga Bowman was a member of the first girls basketball team at North High. Bowman became a part of a recently published book, “Daughter’s of the Game” by Marian Johnson and Dorothy McIntyre, about the early years (1891-1942) of girls basketball in Minnesota . . . Tartan senior Johnny Lyons soared 162 feet - one foot short of the hill record held by North grad Kip Sundgaard - in a Special Long Standing ski jumping competition held at the St. Paul Ski Club’s Maplewood-based Carver Lake Nordic Area . . . Hill-Murray grads B. J. “Cookie” Thompson (39ers) and Derek McClellan (Tri-City) were named to the American Legion All-District IV baseball squad . . . There was a huge turnout, spearheaded by Bob Engwer, Sr., at North High for the dedication and naming of the Hall Norgard Gym (as well as the unveiling of a designating plaque) . . . The North High Centennial 5K race was won by “Ironman” Caleb Olsen . . . The Dey kids - Nate, “Mr. Hockey of 2003”, and Stacy - both North grads, were noted for an unusual brother/sister combination of Division I hockey players at St. Cloud State University . . .
Tartan boys soccer club kicked off its sports season with a 3-2 triumph over School District 622 rival North . . . Tartan girls soccer forces outlasted the Polars 7-2 . . . North posted a 3-1 volleyball win over Hill-Murray . . . The Oakdale City Council was chided for dragging its collective feet on naming the athletic complex at Walton Park in honor of long-standing Oakdale softball guru Hughie Russell. The council later, on a close 3-2 vote (Laurie Pulkrabek and Paul Reinke dissenting) voted to approve the proposal . . . In an exciting Classic Suburban Conference opener at North, South St. Paul handed the Polars a 29-27 setback . . . A Tartan volleyball win pushed the career mark of Laura “Jake” Klingsporn, who announced early she would step down at the end of the season, past the 400-win mark . . . Dave “Stats” Wright stepped into a vacancy left when Tom Cody retired as sports columnist for the popular “Highland Villager” newspaper . . .
Hill-Murray won 5-2 in a girls conference tennis triumph over North . . . The North 44-27 football win over Hill-Murray was the Polars’ first football triumph since 2003 . . . North rebounded to score a 5-2 girls tennis victory over arch-rival Tartan . . . The Titans turned the tables with a 3-0 volleyball win over the Polars . . . In CSC football action, Tartan 13-South St. Paul 14 and Hill-Murray 33-Simley 24 . . . Hill-Murray visited North and scored a 7-2 girls soccer triumph over the Polars . . . The Pioneers’ boys soccer squad completed the sweep with a 3-2 win over North . . . North topped Hill-Murray 3-2 in a tight volleyball match at Polarville . . . Tartan Titans made it two for the season with a 4-2 girls soccer win over the Polars . . . Tartan, on their way to the Classic Suburban Conference volleyball title, toppled the Polars 3-0 . . . The L & L Golf Tournament, hosted by Lori and Lenny Valento at Oak Glen Country Club, raised tons of money to aid the U of M’s fight against Children’s Cancer . . . The Tartan Titans visited Hill-Murray and “froze out” the Pioneers 25-14 in conference football action . . . The North St. Paul American Legion Post 39 was named Minnesota American Legion Baseball Post of the Year . . . There was a H-U-G-E turnout at Post 39 as former players, parents and 39ers fans showed up to celebrate Minnesota American Legion Baseball Coach of the Year Ron Adams - along with his coaching staff of Bob Horner and Jeff “Motor” Motz - as he was congratulated for his many years of devoted service to the youth of the community . . . Tartan football coach Tim Hickey mentored the Titans to a school record 50 victories before announcing that he will step down as head coach . . .
And if you are still with me - and up for more of the same - I will attempt to wrap up 2005 memories the next time we visit this in this space.

Quick takeoffs
It’s hard to get rid of an old hockey puck. One surfaced the other night at POLAR Arena in the person of a lifetime Eastsider. It was good to chat with GENE “Weaver” LOWE, who toted his talents for HARDING back in the mid-40’s where he earned his nickname for the smooth skating talents he displayed . . . Unknown to most at the OAKDALE-based TARTAN High, senior ski jumper JOHNNY LYONS - who recorded a personal best leap of 124 meters (that’s 407 feet!) earlier this year in ZAKOPANE, POLAND - has earned a spot on the U.S. Junior Worlds Ski Jumping Team. LYONS will depart Feb. 25, for SLOVENIA to compete in the World Junior Ski Jumping Championships. Hey JOHNNY, best wishes! Make it Long-and-60! . . . At the next COEWA (Coaches, Officials, Educators, Writers, Athletes) get-together, Feb. 1 at DEGIDIO’s bistro on West 7th Street, former MINNESOTA Twins player, coach, manager, radio announcer (he had a 25-year tenure) FRANK QUILICI will be the main speaker. If you hurry, you can still get reservations. Call RON CAUSTON at 633-5702 . . . In a disappointing 62-70 loss to UW-WHITEWATER, the UW-EAU CLAIRE men’s basketball team the Blugolds committed 27 turnovers but got a game-high 19 points from TARTAN grad ZACK RYAN . . . The UW-EAU CLAIRE women’s hockey team moved to three straight wins. The latest, a 5-3 victory over the College of ST. BENEDICT, featured TARTAN grad LAURA BRACKEY scoring her second goal of the season . . . And speaking of ST. BEN’s, HILL-MURRAY grad PATTI CLINTSMAN was named MVP for the second consecutive year for her outstanding play on the Blazers women’s soccer squad last fall . . . Since the TARTAN Ice Arena opened in 1996, the guy with the friendly smile waiting to take your ticket has been DICK CARLE . . . It’s still in the planning stages, but things are beginning to happen in the movement to establish a U.S. National Ski Jumping Hall of Fame in the City of RED WING, MN. Look for an announcement in the not-too-distant future . . . Hey RUTH, you hang in there!

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