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Sports from the week of March 21, 2002

Winter athletes honored

The Panther winter sports banquet was held Monday night at the high school gymnasium.

Girls Basketball

The girls basketball team posted a 17-8 season record. Despite losing three of their first four games the team came back to win the 212 Conference Championship, and won the 3AA South Section title.

"We won the conference and the sub-section when, at one time, that seemed unattainable," said Coach Paul Soupir. "The girls put the team ahead of themselves. They deserve all the credit. The younger players did a wonderful job accepting their roles and the more experienced players stepped up and contributed the way we expected them to."

Laura Zwach, Jenny Otto and Rhonda Bitker were chosen to the 212 All-Conference team and Jenna Tholen was given honorable mention.

Otto was selected as the most valuable player in the conference.

Dance team

The Panther dance team, under the coaching of Pam Marsh and Vicki Vandendriessche competed in 5 events during the season.

"It was an awesome season," said Vandendriessche.

The team placed second in the section and fifth in state jazz funk competition.

Senior plaques were awarded to Lisa Buysse, Elizabeth Malmberg, Shannon Vylasek, Elisabeth Fox and Jackie Rathje.

Boys Basketball

Coach Jon Ruoff began the boys' basketball portion of the program by thanking his assistant coaches for their efforts. When he came to Chris Miller he said, "After the experience we have had the last two years I thank God Chris is a psychologist."

He went on to thank the players for never giving up and said, "You are better persons for your experiences."

Jake Peterreins was selected as the Panther's defensive player of the year and was always assigned to the task of guarding the best player on the opponent's team. Scott LaVoy was chosen as the offensive player of the year.

“What a joy to watch an athlete like Scott give everything he had every time out,” Ruoff said. I could not ask for a harder worker."

Joe Brockway won the Panther Award.

"He stuck with the program through thick and thin and will be successful at whatever he does," said Ruoff. "

LaVoy was the lone Panther chosen to the 212 All-Conference team.


The Panther wrestling team, under first year Head Coach Travis Christensen compiled a 4-14 dual meet record.

"The team had a good attitude and a great work ethic," said Christensen.

Senior Erik Kathman led the award winners. He was selected as the most valuable wrestler and had the most take-downs (56).

"Erik has been wrestling varsity since 7th grade," said Christensen. "He reached the 75 wins plateau and came about as close to going to the state tournament as you can without making it. He just didn't have the needed luck to make it when he lost in the finals to the defending state champion and then lost in overtime for true second."

Youth wrestlers win trophy at Dawson-Boyd meet

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton youth wrestlers took first place in a team tournament held on Saturday, Mar. 16 at Dawson-Boyd with a team score of 114.5. Teams participating were TMB, Dawson-Boyd, Minneota, Bellingham, Marshall, Canby, Wabasso, River Valley and Lac qui Parle Valley.

First place finishers were: Josh Coyle, Brandon Engelkes, Brian Hagberg, Raymond Hagberg, Erik Cooreman, Jordy Rolling, Colton Evans, Chad Cooreman, Drew Hebig and Paul Carlson.

Finishing with a second place were: Ian Mariner, Brandon Schroeder, Kody Kirsh, Zach Campbell, Jared Towne, Andrew Dieter, Cody Schons, Cole Cooreman, Andy Nelson and Cody Arnold.

Third place finishers were: J.C. DeWitte, Alex Soupir, Chris Hansen, Derek Evans, Dan Dieter and James Prairie.

The Tracy-Milroy-Balaton youth wrestlers now have all 32 of their youth wrestlers advancing to NYWA Regional Tournament on Saturday in Windom. The first two places from Saturday's tournament will advance to the State Tournament to be held in Rochester.

Council favorable to school softball request

Tracy City Council members want to “play ball” with Tracy Public Schools over the continued use of the industrial park softball fields by the high school softball team.

Council members agreed to a school request allowing the softball team to build a batting cage at the facility, with one caveat. The council also wants an agreement with the school district covering any liability exposure to the city from the softball games. The city does not charge the school district for the use of the softball fields.

Audrey Koopman asked council members whether the school should also be asked to share expenses when agri-lime is added to softball infields. The council rejected the idea.

Councilman Robert Caron said the agri-lime expense wasn't large. “I was thinking that the city could just help them (the school) out. They haven't got any money the way it is.”

Russ Stobb, another councilman, observed that school softball personnel help maintain the softball fields.

Koopman said that the school softball program is now the major user of the fields. The local men's softball organization, she said, is pretty much inactive except for the Box Car Days Weekend tournament that is put on Labor Day weekend.