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Paynesville Press - January 5, 2005

Sports in Review 2004

By Michael Jacobson

(Editor's Note: The following are some of the top sports stories, from the Paynesville Press, for the first six months of 2004 (January-June). The second part of Sports in Review 2004: July to December 2004.)

The West Central Conference continued to look at adding a 16th schoool, after ACGC (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City), BOLD (Bird Island-Olivia-Danube), and YME (Yellow Medicine East) agreed to join the conference in 2005-06. These three schools agreed to leave the 212 Conference for the West Central Conference, joining the south division. Paynesville, which competes in the south for football and in the north for all other sports, will face these new schools in football and will face Minnewaska and NL-S (New London-Spicer), which will move to the north division, in other sports starting in 2005-06.

coaches Wrestling coaches Virg Vagle and Steve Fuchs announced their intention to retire at the end of the 2003-04 season. Vagle had compiled over 600 victories in 38 years with the Dogs, including 17 trips to the state tournament. Fuchs, an individual state champ for Paynesville in 1979, had helped Vagle lead the Dogs to four state titles - 1987, 1990, 1991, and 2000 - in 18 years as assistant coach.

Wrestling coaches Virg Vagle (38 years) and Steve Fuchs (18 years) - celebrating Sean Glenz's individual section title - retired after the 2003-04 season. They led the Bulldogs wrestling team to four state titles.

The Bulldogs girls' basketball team ran their winning streak to nine games, improving to 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the West Central Conference North, by beating St. Cloud Cathedral 64-59.

The Koronis Hills Snowmobile Club made its first run with a new $118,000 snow groomer after the Paynesville area got 10 inches of snow. The club maintains approximately 35 miles of trails in the area. The Bullettes - PAHS's varsity danceline - took fourth place, out of seven teams, in the West Central Conference meet at Lac Qui Parle Valley High School.

LPGE rallied to beat the Bulldogs boys' basketball team, scoring the winning hoop with 4.5 seconds to play and winning 59-56 to take a half game lead over the Dogs in the West Central Conference North. LPGE (3-1 in the WCC North) outscored the Dogs (3-2) 27-15 in the final quarter to erase the Dogs' game-long lead.

Cousins Amanda and Sean Glenz accomplished athletic milestones for the Bulldogs. Amanda, a senior on the girls' basketball team, became the eighth PAHS basketball player to score 1,000 career points. Sean, a sophomore wrestler, won his 100th career match, becoming the earliest of the 26 wrestlers in PAHS history to notch 100 career wins.

The Bulldogs girls' basketball team beat Cathedral 52-42 to secure second place in the WCC North. The Dogs finished 7-3 in conference action and took second behind state-rated Albany.

The River Lakes Stars girls' hockey team lost 14-1 to Elk River, rated #1 in Class AA, in the section quarterfinals. Senior goalie Trish Wendlandt made 49 saves in the loss for the Stars, who finished 10-11-2.

The PAHS gymnastics team hosted the conference meet - with ninth grader Kacy Nehowig earning All Conference honors and seventh grader Anna Kotten earning honorable mention - and finished sixth in Section 6A at Long Prairie.

The River Lakes Stars boys' hockey team set a team record with a season record of 12-12. Their 12 wins were a record for the Stars.

Pierz beat the Bulldogs wrestling team 54-11 for the Section 6A team title in Royalton. The Pioneers, rated #1 in Class A, proceeded to win their first state title. This was the last team match for retiring coaches Virg Vagle and Steve Fuchs. The Bulldogs (17-15) reached the section final in wrestling for the ninth straight year.

Senior Matt Kerzman placed sixth at 152 in Class A at the state meet. Kerzman (40-7) won four matches and lost two at state, becoming the only Paynesville wrestler to place at state. Other Bulldogs who qualified for state were: sophomore Joe Sheridan (119), junior Todd Thielen (125), sophomore Sean Glenz (145), senior Pat Utsch (215), and senior Derek Burris (275).

kampsen Todd and Lois Johnson of Paynesville celebrated golfing in their 50th state together. The couple had started their quest ten years earlier and had golfed in most states during meandering driving trips. They saved Hawaii for their 50th state of golfing together.

Senior Matt Kampsen (40-7) took fifth place at 152 in the Class A state tournament last March at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The girls' basketball team lost to Eden Valley-Watkins in the subsection semifinals, 44-39, ending their 2003-04 season with a record of 15-8. Senior Amanda Glenz finished her three-year varsity career with 1,070 points, third all-time among PAHS girls, trailing Angie Deegan (1990-94) with 1,249 points and JoAnn Kraemer (1978-82) with 1,108 points.

The Bulldogs boys' basketball team lost 79-68 to New London-Spicer in the first round of subsections, ending their season with a record of 6-16 following a 4-0 start.

Steve Fuchs was named the Assistant Coach of the Year for 2004 by the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association. Earlier, Fuchs had been honored as the Section 6A Assistant Coach of the Year.

Junior Kendra Johnson lowered her school record in the 300-meter hurdles in the first outdoor girls' track meet. Johnson lowered her school record by 0.11 seconds to 47.59 seconds.

adam Senior Adam Kampsen hit three homers and pitched a no-hitter as the Bulldogs defeated Kimball 10-0 in their home baseball opener. The Bulldogs boys' golf team won the four-team Melrose Invite, their first victory in more than a decade. Junior Mitchell Mackedanz and sophomore Justin Bork tied for medalist honors with two-over-par rounds of 38.

Senior Adam Kampsen set a school record with 12 homeruns in 2004, leading the Bulldogs baseball team to a 19-6 record, to the #1 ranking in Class AA, and to their third straight subsection title.

The Bulldogs softball team defeated NL-S 8-3 and ACGC 5-2 to win their home tournament.

The PAHS girls' track team won the Section 5A true team meet and qualified for state. The Dogs, who had finished as section runner-up for three straight years, qualified for state for the third time in ten years. They finished ninth.

The Bulldogs baseball team won their 14th straight game and climbed to #1 in the Class A state rankings. The Dogs' win streak included a sweep of St. Cloud Cathedral, the defending Class A state champion. The Dogs, who would drop their final three conference games, tied for the WCC North title with Melrose and Sauk Centre.

Donna and Lew Ahrens were named the "Fans of the Year" by the Bulldog Booster Club. The Ahrens are both PHS graduates who have been attending PHS athletic events together for nearly 40 years.

The PAHS girls' track team won the WCC North title, upsetting favored St. Cloud Cathedral in Long Prairie 155-146.

The Bulldogs softball team nearly upset Rockford in the opening round of the subsection playoffs, losing 2-1 in eight innings. The Dogs ended their season with a record of 7-13.

Senior Heather Fuchs and junior Mitchell Mackedanz qualified for the Class A state golf meet. Each finished second in the Section 5A golf meet at the Rich-Spring Golf Course, Fuchs shooting 81 and Mackedanz firing 74. Mackedanz tied for the first-day lead at state, shooting a three-over-par 75, and finished fourth in Class A after a second-day 78. Fuchs finished 27th in the Class A girls' competition.

tara Sophomore Tara Schmidt and ninth grader Kacy Nehowig qualified for state individually in track. Schmidt was second in Section 5A in the 200-meter dash, and Nehowig was second in the 1,600-meter run. At state, Schmidt finished 15th, and Nehowig finished 16th.

Sophomore Tara Schmidt helped the girls' track team qualify for state true team and then qualified individually in the 200-meter dash by taking second in Region 5A. Ninth grader Kacy Nehowig also qualified for state individually in track in the 1,600-meter run.

The Bulldogs baseball team won their third straight subsection title, beating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 13-6 in the final. The Dogs (19-6) lost two straight games at the Section 5AA tournament, to Delano and Glencoe-Silver Lake, and were eliminated.

Senior Adam Kampsen was chosen the most valuable player in the West Central Conference North. Kampsen set a school record with 12 homers and hit .398 with 32 RBIs. Junior Chris Beier, junior Justin Butkofski, and sophomore John Hemingson also earned All Confer-ence honors, with sophomore Jamie Paul getting honorable mention.

Fifty-six runners competed in the annual road race around Lake Koronis for Town and Country Days with SDSU runner Clayton Lang repeating as the 10K champ.

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