banner.gif (15051 bytes)

Sports from the week of July 24, 2002

Better days seen ahead for Tracy VFW baseball

Play-offs end with loss to Granite Falls

After struggling to a 3-17 record this season, Tracy VFW baseball has only one direction to go.


But Coach Brady Schmidt sees reason for optimism next year. We had a real young team this year. They have a good chance to go further in the play-offs next year."

All but four players from this year's team will be eligible to play VFW ball next summer. Eric Fraser, Matt Persons, Pat Spielmann, and Anders Davidson will advance to the Legion team in 2003. But Donald Strand, Brett Jackson, Ted Nilius, Matt Schons, Sean Kirk, Dane Block, Derek Radke, Derek Daniels, Sean Fox, Lucas Walling, and Eric Frisvold are all eligible to play VFW ball again next summer.

"We have a good corps of players returning. But they need to play more ball, get more experience and get stronger," Schmidt said. The team closed out their season Sturday, in a disappointing 11-1 loss to Granite Falls. Two days earlier, Tracy had played one of its best games of the season in beating Canby 6-1.

Johns named “best rider' on Lake Benton trail ride

A rural Tracy horseman was honored as the best-looking rider in the 56th annual Saddle Horse Holiday at Lake Benton.

Gary Johns won the trail ride's senior division. A similar award was presented in a junior division for boys and girls. About 400 horses were ridden on the two-hour ride.

“I wasn't trying to win. I was trying to dress down,” said Johns, who explained that he was wearing a used hat he'd bought for $12.

Johns credited his horse, a 13-year-old quarterhorse named “Gus.” Like most horses, “Gus” has a story or two connected to him.

The horse was born in Texas, where he was raised by a 75-year-old rancher. Johns bought him as a two-year-old at a 4-H auction in South Dakota. Later, he learned that the unregistered horse's grandfather and great-grandfather were each winners of the world's richest quarterhorse race.

“I only paid $460 for him,” said Johns, who figures that Gus was probably one of the lowest-priced horses on the trail ride.

Judging for the Lake Benton ride is done at several points. Horses and riders each have a number, and judges jot down the numbers of riders that they like.

This is the “fourth or fifth time” Johns has received the best senior rider award at Lake Benton. He has been in the top five for at least eight years.

Parents Night set for girls softball team

The Tracy girls softball team lost both ends of a double header at Wabasso last Wednesday evening. The scores were 10-9 and 3-2.

This Wednesday the Tracy girls will play in Tracy against Morgan at 7 p.m. It will be Parents' Night. Tracy plays a make-up game against Clements Thursday also at 7 p.m.

"The game ended with a very controversial call at first base," said Coach Paul Skoglund. "Our girls played well."