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Sports from the week of September 3, 2003

Blown away

Cardinals blitz to 45-0 lead, win 53-13

The Redwood Valley Cardinals rolled over the T/M/B Panthers in the season football opener for both teams 51-13 at Tracy Thursday night.

The only mistake the Cardinals made in the first period was missing their conversion attempt on the third touchdown of the period. They quickly made up for that by sacking Panther Quarterback Donald Strand in the end zone for a safety and bringing the first period score to 31-0 when Scott Leopold broke loose for a 70 yard touchdown with 2.3 seconds remaining.

With that 31 point avalanche over, and the first game jitters out of the way, the Panthers settled down and held the Cardinals to a 20-13 margin in the last three quarters of play.

"Their offensive and defensive line play dominated us," said Panther Coach Randy McIntire. "They graduated most of their fastest players ( who won a state relay title last spring), but they still have good speed."

TMB beats MCC

Home match set Thursday

The Panther volleyball team captured its first match victory of the season with a 3-2 win over Murray County Central Tuesday. Game scores were 26-24; 22-25; 25-15; 14-25, and 15-13.

"We accomplished our ultimate goal-to win," said Coach Katie Gervais. "This win will give the girls more confidence in our upcoming match with KMS and our Columbia Heights tournament.

The Panthers host KMS Thursday night to open 212 Conference play. ?Saturday, the squad participtaes in a Columbia Heights tournament.

Besides winning, Gervais also wants her athletes to maintain and improve the quality of their play. "We did that tonight and need to continue to do it in order to compete," the Panther mentor said of the victory at Slayton. She also feels though, that Tracy/Milroy/Balaton players must improve on how they handle the ups and downs that occur during a match.

Cross country squad looks for steady improvement

The Panther girls' cross-country team is preparing for the Tracy Invitational, which will be run at the Tracy Country Club Thursday afternoon.

"It will be the last home meet for our four seniors," said Panther Coach Steve Jones.

Stephanie Kaup, Dani Jones, Johanna Schmidt, and Erin McCoy are the seniors on this year's team.

Jones and the Panthers hope to use early meets and practices as a springboard for competition later in the season. Tracy/Milroy/Balaton runners opened their season last week at Mt. Lake where the girls finished eighth in a field of tough competition.

"The girls felt that they peaked a little early last year and did not have their best performance in the section meet with a 6th place finish," said Jones. "This year we have set a goal of making steady improvement from meet to meet and to turn in our best performances at the end of the season. With that in mind we approached the Wolverine Invite as just another practice rather than going all out to make a good impression."

The Panthers' home meet Thursday begins at 4:30 p.m.