Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Winter sports teams praised at MLWR Liasion meeting


The winter sports coaches presented their reports at the Moose Lake-Willow River Liaison meeting on Wednesday, March 27, at Willow River School.

“It was a very nice season,” said Padrick Judd, the girls basketball coach. “We changed the culture of the program and the girls understood what we were trying to teach. The team chemistry was very good.”

Judd reported that there were 15 wins, and the team finished in the top three teams in the conference. The team came in second in the Eden Valley-Watkins Tournament.

“We beat Barnum twice,” he added. “That’s the first time that has been done in 30 years. We have a great fan base. The boys team came to the game and cheered. We also won in overtime on Senior Night. It was fun to see those girls have a memorable game.”

Judd said that the sky was the limit for those girls, and that they were very coachable.

Wes Cummins reported that the boys basketball players preformed phenomenally.

“A lot of it is the kids,” he said. “We have the right kids, all down to the third graders. There are phenomenal kids coming up.”

Cummins said he thinks that the team is one of the top-level teams, even down to the ninth and tenth grades.

Two of the players made the first team in all-conference, and two sophomores made the all-conference team. All of the 15 players on the varsity roster lettered, he added, and 11 athletes achieved a grade point average over 3.0. A couple had a GPA of 3.7 or higher.

“I think that our best season is still to come,” he told the group. “We are going to go down to St. Cloud and play the top AA teams next year. Hopefully, the team will get stronger and we will be better coaches.”

Moose Lake Superintendent Robert Indihar praised the team when they played at the Rushford-Peterson School District.

“I was most proud of the way that you talked to our kids,” he said. “You could tell that the kids reacted positively to you both. Kudos to you both.”

Chris Gamst reported that the Moose Lake Area Lady Rebels hockey team had quite a few girls come out for hockey. That resulted in having a junior varsity team as well as a varsity team. The majority of the girls came from Moose Lake but other students from Barnum, Willow River and Hinckley were on the teams.

“We had fun as we developed as a team,” he said. “We beat the team that went to the state during the regular season.”

Gamst said that he is going to get together with the previous coaches and work with the players on a physical fitness program over the summer.

Indihar said that he gets the most complaints from parents of players in the hockey program.

“I did not get one complaint this year,” he said.

“They were a really good group of parents,” Gamst said.

There was discussion about the 12U girls hockey team that won the championship in the state tournament in Proctor.

“That tournament can be held anywhere in the state,” Willow River Board Member Bruce Bohaty pointed out. “It just happened to be in Proctor this year. It couldn’t have worked out better.”

Tony Andres, the Moose Lake Athletic Director, reported about the boys hockey team.

He said that the team won a few games, including a game against Cambridge-Isanti. There were four or five more skaters this year as compared to last year.

“I think that things are trending in a better direction,” he said. “We almost lost the team twice in the last five years.”

The liaison group passed a motion to renew the contracts for Wes Cummins and Padrick Judd for basketball. The hockey coaches are not hired by the school district, it was said.

Indihar reported about the upcoming referendum that the Moose Lake School District residents will vote on May 14.

“There will be two questions on the ballot,” he told the group. “Question One is about enhancing the athletic facilities with stands for the track and baseball field and a parking lot for events. The big deal is the locker room-concessions stand building. I hope that it does pass.”

Moose Lake Board Chair Steve Blondo explained that Question Two on the ballot is about a fourplex of fields behind the school.

“There will be a softball field, and the city is looking at developing one of the fields. There will be multi-use fields for other sports. I think that it would be good for our kids.”

Indihar told the group that the students are using the new track this year.

“It takes two seasons to grow the grass for the football practice field in the center of the track,” he said. “We were advised not to use that field this year. We are still using the outfield of the old baseball field by the old school for football practices.”

He also spoke about the cross-country trail.

“We are going to get a cross-country running trail,” he explained. “A lot of it will be aggregate. Part of it will be in the school forest. That will keep the kids from running on County Road 10 and Highway 73. But it will cost some money. I think that it would be a really nice thing to have a cross-country meet at our school. We’ve never had one that I know of.”

The next meeting of the liaison to hear reports about spring sports was set for Wednesday, June 19, at 6 p.m. at the Moose Lake school.


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