NISSWA—New University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle and eight Gopher coaches met with fans on the third leg of the Gopher Road Trip Chalk Talk Thursday with a stop at Grand View Lodge, and talked about the successful 2015-2016 season. Coming out of the winter season Minnesota held a fourth-place ranking in the Learfield Director's Cup joining Ohio State (2), Michigan (3), and Penn State (5). It was Coyle's second full day on the job. It was important to him to meet Gopher fans.
BARROWS—A year ago, Mark Prueser was getting the top cut off of his car and getting medical assistance after a frightening crash left him with a badly injured shoulder. That's now a distant memory for Prueser as he won the 15 lap Modified feature event on Saturday night at North Central Speedway. It took six and a half hours to get the racing in as a result of rains in the area, which produced a very muddy track. Drivers and track staff pulled together to make it a raceable track that set up very fast and tacky for the drivers.
The Central Lakes College Raiders softball team will begin its journey toward a national title as they compete in the NJCAA Division III Softball Championships Thursday through Saturday at Rochester Community College. Seeded No. 7, CLC will face No. 2 Herkimer in the opening round at noon Thursday. Win or lose, the Raiders will play a second game at 4 p.m. Thursday.
CLC 5, Rainy River 1 Key: Raiders produce a 4-run fifth inning Overall: CLC 24-5 Next: Central Lakes in NJCAA Div. III National Tournament at McQuillan Softball Complex, Rochester May 19-21 Autumn Roberts pitched seven strong innings and collected three hits to earn Region 13B MVP honors and help the Central Lakes College Raiders advance to the NJCAA National tournament with Saturday's 5-1 victory over Rainy River in Brainerd. Mickey Guenther hit a bases loaded double to score three runs in the top of the fifth inning to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
BARROWS—Derek Stenoch won the 12-lap Sport Compact feature event Saturday at North Central Speedway. Tom Anderson, Mitchell Hribar, David Siercks, Seth Kramer, and Josh Beaulieu were also feature winners on the second full night of racing. IMCA Sport Compacts Feature: 1-Derek Stenoch, 2-Grady Shearer, 3-Brendon Yamry Heat 1: 1-Brendon Yamry, 2-Zach Jackson, 3-Brittany Smith Heat 2: 1-Grady Shearer, 2-Derek Stenoch, 3-Lexy Kastner IMCA Hobby Stocks Feature: 1-Tom Anderson, 2-David Dosh, 3-Timothy Gonska
For the Central Lakes College Raiders, a successful 2016 campaign jumps to the next level as they host the Region 13B tournament Friday and Saturday at the Findorff Athletic Complex. The tournament starts at noon Friday with top-seeded CLC going up against No. 4 Itasca in the opening round of the double-elimination event. That game will be followed by No. 2 Rainy River playing No. 3 Mesabi Range. Championship game is scheduled 2 p.m. Saturday with a berth to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament May 19-21 in Rochester awarded to the winner.
BARROWS—Mark Martini and Jerry Esler finished 2015 as track champions and Saturday night they started the journey toward repeating in the season opener at North Central Speedway. A 71-car field, racing in six classes, raced on a slick track in chilly conditions with few caution flags.
When the University of Minnesota plays Oregon State in its season opener Sept. 1, two former Central Lakes College Raiders players hope to be wearing Golden Gophers uniforms at TCF Bank Stadium. Carlton Djam and Kieran Johnson will be preferred walk-ons for the maroon and gold this fall. Djam played just one year for the Raiders, but made an impact as he rushed for 1,087 yards. He finished eighth nationally in rushing yards, and scored three touchdowns in each of two games the Raiders played against Itasca Community College, and also scored three TDs against Northland.
Last Saturday, with a 120-84 win over Hibbing, the Central Lakes College Raiders (25-2) celebrated their second straight Northern Division title. The Raiders shared the title with Vermilion. Sunday a coin flip determined the Northern Division's No. 1 seed for the MCAC State Tournament. The Raiders suffered the same result as 2015, losing the coin flip and being seeded No. 2.
In a battle to keep a share of the division lead, and facing a desperate opponent, the Central Lakes Raiders came through with a 97-90 double-overtime victory over Northland Saturday in Brainerd. Radamus Jones scored 11 points in 26 minutes of play, including a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Raiders a 94-90 lead. DeShun Patterson scored 21 points and also slammed down three highlight-reel dunks, and N'Gai Dixon accumulated 13 points for the Raiders, who entered the game ranked sixth in the nation.