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Sports from the week of November 14, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Joanna Olson, Greg Carlson are Tracy ExCEL nominees

Joanna Olson and Greg Carlson are Tracy Area High School's ExCEL Award nominees.

The Minnesota State High School League award program honors high school juniors for community and school leadership, participation in extra-curricular activities, and academics. The students are now eligible for further ExCEL competition among Section 3 schools.

Olson is the daughter of Pastor Steve and Vickie Olson of Tracy. School activities include choir, band, cross country, and speech. Last spring, she was a state alternate in extemporaneous reading. A Spotlight on Scholarship selection for the past three years, Olson is a piano student of Jane Roots. She has also participated in community theater and a church youth choir.

She has served as a class officer, volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, and been the recipient of the ninth grade Excellence in Art, Presidential Academic, and Citizenship awards.

Carlson is the son of Mike and Darcy Carlson of rural Tracy. Carlson's school activities include football, basketball, baseball, band, Peer Counseling, and Spanish Club. A first-chair saxophone player in the high school band, Carlson was selected for a regional honor band.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Carlson has assisted at Tracy Lutheran with Bible school, radio broadcasts, Lenten suppers, altar preparations and youth activities. He was also selected for Spotlight on Scholarship.

Championship tradition grows

The Panther volleyball team opened its quest for the 2001 state championship with a convincing 3-0 win over Lake of the Woods High School (Baudette). The game scores, in a match played at the new Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, were 15-0, 15-9 and 15-4.

"We played a good match," said Panther coach Katie Gervais. "We played exceptionally well in that first game."

"TMB is a well run team," said Lady Bear coach Laurie Bitter. "They play good defense and they can hit."

There was no nonsense in Tracy/Milroy/Balaton's approach to the match as Kristen Rokke got them off to a great start by serving for 8 straight points to set the tone of the match. Middle hitter Rhonda Bitker came up with 2 ace blocks and a kill in that run of points.

The Panther volleyball team advanced to the state championship match with a 3-0 win over Sauk Centre at the Xcel Energy Center Friday. The MainStreeters (26-4-1) came into the match off a 3-0 win over Delano. TMB won 15-7, 15-2 and 15-8 win.

"We didn't play our best but our serving and defense got the job done," said Panther coach Katie Gervais. "I have been surprised by our comparatively easy successes."

"We didn't play our best but our serving and defense got the job done," said Panther coach Katie Gervais. "I have been surprised by our comparatively easy successes."

The Panthers came into the championship match on a mission to prove they belonged to be put in a class with former Panther state champions. The Panther legacy included five volleyball titles in 1990, `92, `94, `95 and 96) this year's team was after the sixth.

"The kids have been telling us all year that we need to find a space on the wall for another state championship banner," said Paul Soupir, volunteer assistant coach.

Area deer warning system shut down

Testing of a system to alert drivers to the presence of deer or other large animals along the roadside is suspended for the winter months, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The system was installed this spring along a one-mile stretch of Highway 23 at Camden State Park southwest of Marshall.

Problems with the batteries which power the motion sensors and flashing warning lights led to the decision to shut down the system until spring. Plans are underway to convert the system to solar power.

The deer alert system consists of traditional deer warning signs with an amber beacon mounted on top. Motion sensors are placed at the far edge of the ditch to create a sensory perimeter. When a deer or other large animal crosses the path of the sensor, a transmitter activates the amber warning lights for about one minute. This serves as a visual caution to drivers to slow down to avoid animals approaching the roadway. The system is installed along both sides of the roadway to detect deer approaching from either direction. Advisory signs notify drivers when they are entering a test area and that deer or other animals may be present when lights are flashing.

MN/DOT plans to install advisory signs to inform motorists that the system is not operational at this time. Even when the system is working next spring, drivers are still urged to drive carefully through the area, sine the system will not always detect deer if they wander into the area from another location or are grazing inside the perimeter.