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|Paynesville Press - December 31, 2003|
Sports: The Year in Review 2003
After losing their first five games, the PAHS girls' basketball team reeled off six straight wins, beating BBE, Howard Lake-Waverly, Dassel-Cokato, Pine River, Sauk Centre, and St. Cloud Cathedral. Their winning streak ended with a loss to state-ranked New London-Spicer.
Koronis Hills Golf Club hired Cindy Fuchs as its new manager, replacing golf professional Ron Rebrovich, who had resigned in the fall of 2002 to take a new job at the Alexandria Country Club. Fuchs, who had worked for the golf course for ten years, was selected from a field of 20 candidates, including 15 golf professionals.
The Bulldogs wrestling team concluded an undefeated conference dual record and clinched the overall conference title by winning the West Central Conference Meet. Nine players earned All Conference honors and 13 of 14 placed in the top three at the conference meet.
Litchfield beat Paynesville 48-18 in the Section 5AA wrestling final, advancing to state for the second straight year by beating the Bulldogs in the section final. Paynesville had wrestled Litchfield to a 30-30 tie earlier in the month, but the Dragons dominated the playoff match and proceeded to win their first state championship as a team. Four Paynesville wrestlers advanced to state individually - seniors Adam Christian, Marty Engen (pictured at left/above), and Ryan Glenz and ninth grader Sean Glenz - but no one placed for the Dogs.
The Minnesota State High School League announced new athletic section assignments for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years. Big changes for PAHS sports were wrestling dropping back to Class A and football dropping to Class AA.
Senior Morgan Martinson broke the girls' school record in the discus, throwing it 119' 1".
Junior Adam Kampsen threw a one-hitter, allowing only one unearned run, as the Bulldogs beat state-rated St. Cloud Cathedral 3-1 in a West Central Conference game. Later in the season, Kampsen threw a string of 21 shutout innings. Cathedral and Paynesville tied for second in the conference, and the Crusaders went on to win the Class AA state title.
Elda Mae Krupke - who has 22 grandchildren, including ten who have played or do play for PAHS - was selected as the 2003 Fan of the Year by the Bulldog Booster Club.
The 1,600-meter relay team of sophomore Kendra Johnson, senior Mandy Mayer, ninth grader Tara Schmidt, and ninth grader Brooke Schmitz set a new girls' school record, running the mile in 4:16.77 at the conference meet, winning the race by ten seconds and breaking the school record by two seconds.
The Lake Henry Lakers retired Lynn Hemmesch's #6, unveiling a sign in leftcenter field at the ballpark in Lake Henry. Randy and Nick Hemmesch unveil Lynn Hemmesch's #6 uniform on the fence at the ballpark in Lake Henry. Hemmesch, a longtime amateur player and manager, died in a farm accident in August 2002. His #6 jersey was worn for the last time competitively by Lake Henry catcher Jon Lieser, who was drafted to play in the 2002 amateur state tournament.
Sophomore Kendra Johnson (center in picture below) broke the girls' school record in the 300-meter hurdles for the second time, running the event in 47.9 seconds at the Section 5A meet at St. John's University. Johnson placed third in the event, missing a trip to state by 0.64 seconds. She had broken the school record earlier at a home meet in April.
Senior Josh Kampsen hit four homers in two games as the Bulldogs baseball team repeated as subsection champs, winning their fifth subsection title in 12 years. He added another homer in a section game, tying the school record with ten homers in a season, but the Dogs lost twice at sections and missed a repeat trip to state. Kampsen and coach Brad Skoglund were picked to play and manage in the 2003 Lions All Star Series later in the month.
Former PAHS standouts Clayton Lang and Jen Hess won the mens' and womens' 10k road races around Lake Koronis for Town and Country Days. Lang runs collegiately at South Dakota State University, and Hess runs for the University of Minnesota.
The St. Martin Martins won ten straight games in the Stearns County League and won the South Division title with a record of 11-2.
The boys' and girls' golf teams from Koronis Hills Golf Club advanced to state in Junior MGA competition. Team members were Heather Fuchs and Amber Jensen for the girls and Ross Barten, Justin Bork, Zach Fuchs, and Mitchell Mackedanz for the boys.
Paynesville's 15-year-old baseball team placed second in the state at an 18-team tournament sponsored by the Minnesota Sports Federation. The team - which had qualified for state as 13-year-olds and taken fourth as 14-year-olds - went 4-2 in the three-day tournament in Eagan, beating teams from Burnsville, Mankato, Plymouth, and Shoreview and losing to teams from Apple Valley and Brainerd, the eventual state champ.
Four holes-in-one were recorded in July at Koronis Hills, setting a new record for most holes in one month at the local golf course. Ryan Wall aced #17 on July 3, lake resident Ron Regan aced #10 on July 9, 12-year-old Jesse Caldwell aced #4 on July 30, and Randy Beier aced #4 on July 31, recording the record-setting hole-in-one in near darkness on the last day of the month.
Paynesville, who won three games at districts and four at regions to advance to state for the fourth time in seven years, advanced to play in a national tournament in Viroqua, Wis. At this eight-team tournament - featuring teams from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin - Paynesville went 1-2 despite having the youngest team at the tournament.
Randy Beier and Heather Fuchs won their first club championships at the Koronis Hills Golf Club. During the club tournament, Brian Weiss holed his tee shot on #13, recording the sixth hole-in-one at KHGC in 2003.
Clayton Lang, a junior at South Dakota State University, helped the Jackrabbits win their fourth consecutive North Central Conference title. Lang was 11th overall and the fourth runner for SDSU, which has won 29 NCC titles and six national titles in men's cross country.
The Paynesville girls' cross country team just missed a third straight trip to state, finishing third in Section 5A behind St. Cloud Cathedral and Rockford. Ninth graders Kacy Nehowig and Tanis Beireis earned individual trips to state by placing in the top ten.
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