Chris Murphy, Published June 21 2013
Top 10 Minnesota High School sports stories from 2012-13
Forum sports reporter Chris Murphy lists the state’s top moments in high school sports this year.
Perham dominates the high school sports season
Perham won section championships in boys basketball, football, baseball, boys and girls cross country, boys track and field, wrestling and gymnastics and finished second in the state in baseball. The Yellowjackets won a state title in boys cross country and the 3,200-meter relay team of Brady Speicher, Dalton Dahms, Cole Carignan and Billy Beseman took home a state title as well. Throw this together with quarterback Jordan Hein signing with the University of Northern Iowa to play football, and the Yellowjackets were everywhere in 2012-13.
Moorhead’s Morlock signs with NDSU after eventful football and wrestling seasons
Moorhead’s Chase Morlock ran for 1,820 yards in his senior season, averaging 11.8 yards per carry for the Spuds, and was a top-10 finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Football. Morlock capped his wrestling career with a 42-2 season and a runner-up finish at 195 pounds at the Class 3A state tournament. Morlock committed to play football at North Dakota State, where he could see time at running back and linebacker during his career.
Lien becomes all-time leading scorer in Moorhead basketball history
Aaron Lien’s 53-point game versus Brainerd broke a 46-year-old school record for single-game scoring in Moorhead history. Lien became the all-time leading scorer in Spuds history, passing Jordan Driscoll’s 1,651 points from 2004-08, with six games left in the regular season. Lien finished with 1,899 points and will play basketball at Minnesota State Moorhead next season.
Mahnomen football and Mahnomen-Waubun wrestler hit perfection
Mahnomen capped a 14-0 season with a 20-14 win over Bethlehem Academy and a Class 1A state championship. The Indians defense had eight shutouts on the season and gave up on average 5.5 points a game. Garret Hoffner was a cornerback on that defense and a running back on that offense and took that perfection to wrestling. He went 45-0 and won a state title at 152 pounds in his sixth and final trip to the state tournament.
Prep bowl headed to TCF Bank Stadium for 2014 and 2015
For the first time in the Prep Bowl’s 33-year history, it will be outside in 2014 and 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium. The 2015 Prep Bowl could run into scheduling problems with the University of Minnesota playing games at TCF Bank Stadium Nov. 21 and 28. Decisions on how the Minnesota High School League will handle those problems are expected to be made this fall or early next year.
Longtime Spuds coach Quenette dies at age 79
Bill Quenette played for and coached with many of the big names to walk the football fields and basketball courts in Moorhead. He died Feb. 28. He coached 46 years, but is best remembered as the head coach of the Moorhead High School boys basketball coach from 1967-82. In addition to boys basketball, he also coached at one time or another baseball, girls basketball, golf and was an assistant football coach for nearly 25 years. In 1948, he was a high school quarterback, helping to lead West Fargo to an undefeated season in 6-man football. He was on baseball, football and basketball teams at Concordia College in the mid-1950s.
Moorhead wrestling heads to state for the first time in 32 years
Under second-year coach Skip Toops, Moorhead’s wrestling team won a section title for the first time since 1981. AJ Wheeler wrestled with a torn MCL and meniscus in the section championship to help lift Moorhead over Little Falls 37-28. Wheeler was unable to wrestle in the individual section tournament because of it, and missed out on a chance to qualify individually for the third time. Wheeler wrestled at the state team tournament, eight days after surgery, to help lead the Spuds to a fifth-place finish. Seniors like Wheeler, Joe Carpenter, Chase Morlock and Tom Wychor may have begun a new tradition for Spuds wrestling.
Park Christian hires former NDSU coach Erv Inniger to coach basketball
Moorhead Park Christian hired 68-year-old Erv Inniger to coach basketball after he had gone 21 years without coaching. Inniger played basketball at the University of Indiana and is the all-time winningest men’s coach at North Dakota State where he went 244-150.
NCE-U-H softball coach gives area teams a place to play in a frigid spring
During a spring that never seemed to show up, Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal softball coach Steve Radniecki cleared off the softball field in Twin Valley, Minn., three times, surrounding it with banks of snow more than 10 feet off the ground. Thanks to Radniecki, area teams traveled to Twin Valley to get softball games in as cancellations kept piling up.
Detroit Lakes building a golf dynasty
The Detroit Lakes girls golf team made it back-to-back state championships in dominating fashion. The Lakers capped an undefeated season, winning the Class 2A state golf meet by 31 strokes and had Natalie Roh and Kate Smith tie for the individual title, three strokes ahead of everyone. It was back-to-back championships for Smith. The DL boys team were unable to make it three championships in a row, but finished second, seven strokes behind Staples-Motley.