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Sports from the week of November 13, 2002

Girls return back court starters, but have shoes to fill inside

The Tracy/Milroy/Balaton girls' basketball team began practicing for the 2002-03 season Monday under the direction of Coach Paul Soupir.

The Panthers are coming off a 17-8 season in which they won the 212 Conference championship and the 3AA South Section title. The squad lost three of their first four games before winning 16 of their last 21 contests.

Lost by graduation from last year's team are: Rhonda Bitker, Jenny Otto and Jenna Tholen. Bitker, Otto and Laura Zwach (a senior this season) were chosen to the All-Conference team and Jenna Tholen gained honorable mention status.

Last year's undergraduate letter winners were: Zwach, Jenna Schaar, Tessa Nelson, Melissa Luckhardt, Kasey Loeslie, Jessica Lenertz, Alyssa Kirk, Steph Kaup, Lindsay Erickson, Stef Hebig.

The girls travel to Worthington Tuesday, Nov. 26. Their home opener is Tuesday, Dec. 3 when they host 212 Conference rival MACCRAY.

Seniors honored at TMB football banquet

By Dick Donaldson

The 2002 Panther football team held their annual fall sports banquet at the Mediterranean last Thursday evening.

The banquet culminated a season in which the Panthers posted a 1-8 record. They were out-scored 231-113 by some very good teams. Possibly the most important stat of the season was that the Panthers turned the ball over 32 times to 20 for the opponents.

A look at the makeup of the Panther squad reveals there were only six seniors and 9 juniors, compared to 17 sophomores and 1 freshman. Because the Panthers had only 15 upper classmen they had to call on a good number of sophomores and freshmen. It made it difficult to win this season but those underclassmen got valuable playing experience which will help them in the future.

The six seniors dominated the awards made at the banquet. Jake Peterreins was selected to the All-Conference team. The senior receiver caught 45 passes good for 652 yards, was fourth in the conference in kickoff returns with an 18.2 yard average and second in receptions and yards with 23 catches for 326 yards in conference games. He was voted, by his team mates, as the best back/receiver and has been nominated as an All-Area tight end.

Bryan Jackson averaged 26.5 yards per catch and scored 1 touchdown for every 2 catches. He tied for 6th in the conference for TD receptions.

Austin Skoblik, running back, was the conference leader in kickoff returns with an average of 23.3 yards. He had 13 interceptions over the last two seasons and has been nominated as an All-Area defensive back.

Matt Schreier lead the conference in tackles and was an All-Conference selection. He was voted as TMB's best defensive back and was nominated as an All-Area line backer.

Tim Byrne was the only Panther to have recovered a fumble, register a sack and grab an interception. He was nominated as an All-Area offensive lineman and was voted the best in that category by his team mates.

Senior Greg Carlson was fourth in the conference in tackles as a defensive end. He recorded 8 sacks for the season and was end. He was voted by his teammates as the best defensive lineman.

Jason Morin, Anders Davidson, Ryan Tutt, Ron Vylasek and Matt Persons have been selected as next year's captains.

Freshman center David Schiller won the Panther award.

Special Olympics sponsors games

Three Tracy youth participated in a “Motor Activities Training Program Challenge Day” at Southwest State University Friday.

Lisa Lavoie, Hope Reese, and Emily Coulter took part in both individual and group games. Individual activities were golf, bowling, tennis, and “race car” driving. Bocce ball, floor hockey, curling, and the parachute games were among the group games.

Special Olympics Minnesota sponsored the event, with help from the SSU physical education department. Jennifer Kainz and Heidi Miller were among the students who assisted.

Opening and closing ceremonies were held. Coulter recited the Special Olympics oath during the opening ceremony. Each participant received a T-shirt.