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Sports from the week of August 20, 2003

If experience is best teacher, gridders will be better team

By Dick Donaldson

The Panther football team continues to prepare for its upcoming season.

Tracy/Milroy/Balaton will take part in a four-team scrimmage Saturday morning at Sleepy Eye. Participating teams are T/M/B, Wabasso, St. Mary's and Windom.

The Panthers' first game this season will be against Redwood Valley at Tracy on Thursday, August 28 at Tracy.

Last season, the Panthers fielded extremely young team with only six seniors and eight juniors on the squad. This season the Panthers have 19 players in the top two grades and are looking to avoid the mistakes caused by inexperience last year.

Last season, the team played their best football at the end of the season. The Panthers lost to Yellow Medicine East, one of the better teams in the 212 Conference, 6-0, and held the undefeated West Central Knights to a 14-6 win in the first game of the playoffs.

The defense, in particular, played well at the end of last season holding YME to a total of 222 yards of offense and West Central to a total of 248 yards. This compared well to the average of 328 yards by the other seven opponents.

Runners travel to Mt. Lake

The Panther cross-country team was sixth in the Section 3A Meet last fall behind Canby/Minneota, Luverne, Martin County West, Windom and Jackson County Central.

Kristin Sweetman and Kelly Laleman—two of the team's top runners last season—have graduated. Most of the rest of the squad returns.

Underclassmen who completed at last year's section meet are Jillian Tholen, 20th, Rebecca Gervais, 21st;; Julia Olson, 43rd; Steph Kaup, 43rd; and Megan Pool, 55th.

First-year Coach Steve Jones, who is also the Panther boys and girls track coach, is very familiar with the capabilities of the athletes.

This year marks the beginning of boys' cross-country for Tracy/Milroy/Balaton. Only three boys—both seven graders—have gone out for the sport. Five runners are necessary for a team, meaning Alex Jones and Ryan Tholen will compete as individuals.

Dave Engesser repeats as club champ

David Engesser repeated as the Tracy Country Club champion by firing a 34-35-34-37-39=179 Saturday and Sunday.

Engesser went into the final nine with a comfortable seven-stroke lead and scored a birdie three on the first hole. From that point on he put it on cruise control and coasted to the win. Engesser bogied three of the last four holes en route to his score of 39.

Jeff Blegen posted a 37 on the last nine to close to within five strokes of the lead to finish second at 184.

Bruce Lerohl was third overall at 192. Lerohl also won the senior championship with the best score over the first 36 holes (152) of the tournament for those 50 years of age or older.

Charles Goerisch topped the President's Flight with a 45-hole score of 192. Dick Rys was second at 204 and Jeff Lau third at 207.