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Tom Mix, Published August 07 2012

Hotel damage was reason for D-G-F's disqualification

FARGO – Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton’s American Legion baseball season came to an end Sunday due to a disqualification that stemmed from an incident at the team hotel.

D-G-F stayed at the Prairies Edge Resort and Casino, located in Granite Falls, Minn., while participating in the Minnesota Division II state tournament in nearby Sacred Heart, Minn.

Minnesota Division II state baseball director Al Davis said Tuesday that he ejected D-G-F from the tournament before Sunday’s games due to confirmed reports that a hotel room that was occupied by members of the D-G-F team had been damaged.

D-G-F, who qualified for the state tournament when New York Mills forfeited the Division II, District 9 championship game the week before, had gone 2-0 to start the state tournament.

D-G-F was set to play in the championship game on Sunday, and had already qualified for the Central Plains Division II Regional, which starts Thursday in Wahpeton, N.D.

Davis did not detail the extent of the hotel damages, but said they were significant enough to merit the team’s expulsion from the event.

“It was because of incidents that occurred at the hotel,” Davis said of the disqualification. “It rose to the degree that we did not want them playing in the remainder of the tournament and we also did not want to send them to the regional tournament representing Minnesota.

“I can’t remember a time when something like this has happened … I don’t know of a team that has ever been ejected from a state tournament.”

The incident regarding the damaged hotel property occurred Thursday evening, prior to the team’s first game on Friday.

Poor on-field conduct also may have contributed to D-G-F’s ejection.

Davis confirmed one instance in which D-G-F was reprimanded when tournament officials warned both D-G-F and Ely for disruptive chanting during a game on Saturday.

Lou Kuno of KDMA 1460-AM in Montevideo, Minn., said that umpires also warned D-G-F for disruptive in-game chanting during its 11-3 win over Sacred Heart on Friday.

Kuno, the tournament’s public address announcer, said he was made aware of reports that the Upper Sioux Community Tribal Police were called to Prairies Edge several times on Saturday evening due to what was described as “raucous” and “disruptive” behavior by D-G-F team members.

The players’ parents were staying in motels in Willmar, Minn. – about 40 minutes away – due to a shortage of lodging in Granite Falls.

Davis said D-G-F head coach Al Krueger didn’t seem too concerned about his team’s conduct throughout the weekend.

“For the most part, he dismissed everything,” Davis said. “He dismissed it saying, ‘we’ll pay for it, not a problem, we’ll pay for all the damages.’ I don’t know that he even grasped the ramifications what could happen.”

Davis said the state’s board of directors plans to meet in October and could hand down more penalties.

The Forum attempted to contact Krueger, but phone messages were not returned.

Steve Agre, head coach of host team Sacred Heart, said he has yet to receive a bill from Prairies Edge, but spoke with the hotel representatives who informed him the damages are not likely to exceed $500. Each team paid Sacred Heart a $500 damage deposit prior to the tournament.

“We are responsible for paying for the damages,” Agre said. “I don’t think it will be greater than $500, and whatever amount ends up being the remainder will be refunded to D-G-F.”

Agre said Krueger contacted him after the tournament and apologized.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562