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Sportsline: Hillier becomes oldest golfer to win Pine to Palm

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sports Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Sportsline: Hillier becomes oldest golfer to win Pine to Palm
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Todd Hillier, 51-year-old Hoople, N.D. farmer, became the oldest golfer ever to win the Pine to Palm golf title when he defeated Minnesota State Amateur champ Todd Hoge of Fargo 2-1 in the title match.


Hillier, who operates an 1.800 acre farm, is three years older than George Lee was when he took the 1968 title at48 and only the sixth player over 40 in the 78-year history of the event to claim the title.

Mike Podokak was the last of that group when he won the1993 championship.

Hillier owns a lake cabin in the Detroit Lakes area and plays the DL Country Club course on weekends.

Wadena rebuilds

Wadena will have hockey again this winter.

The Wadena Hockey Association made good on its pledge to rebuild the Community Center destroyed in the June 17 tornado.

Work will begin in September with completion expected by December.

The board has $1.5 million in insurance funds to refinance the new building.

The new structure will be built over the old arena surface with the Zamboni and compressor equipment still operational.

There are 120 skaters involved in Wadena Youth Hockey and both the high school boys and girls teams use the facility for their home games.

Eden Prairie falls

Eden Prairie, which won its first four starts at the National American Legion baseball tournament, dropped its final two to Midwest City, Okla. 11-6 and 10-1 to finish second.

The Minnesota champs had beaten Midwest City 9-6 in the second round only to see the Oklahoma team win five straight games in the losers' bracket to take the crown.

It denied Eden Prairie from becoming the sixth Minnesota national champion, the first since Rochester in 2003.

Eden Prairie won the state Class 3A High School title this spring and led the state weekly poll all season.

Surprise choice

St. Cloud's announcement that it is considering dropping its football program in a cost cutting move caught the NSIC by surprise.

The Huskies will petition the league to allow it to continue in the circuit in all other sports should it slice the gridiron sport.

It is the largest school in the league with 11, 847 enrollment, slightly larger than Mankato.

It must slice $500,000 from its athletic budget before next year.

Football is one of three league sports that are mandatory, joined by basketball and either baseball or track.

Its options are dropping football only, dropping football and three other sports, or keeping football and slicing eight sports.

A number of schools have dropped football in the past two decades. Most are small, private schools where the grid budget often exceeds the remainder of its programs.

Few ever have touched the major expense sports of football, basketball or hockey while making token cuts of many of the low budget sports such as Mankato is doing.

St. Cloud's grid budget is $817,000 operating at a slight deficit as are most of the St. Cloud sports. Only men's hockey ($656,000) shows a major profit.

Mankato seeks cuts

MSU-Mankato is considering cutting four sports in an economy move.

As is usually the case, the four are low budget sports. They include men's and women's tennis, men's swimming and women's bowling.

The cuts would take effect in the 2011-12 season.

The school is seeking to reduce its athletic budget from $225,000-$275,000 and the four would cuts make up $193,000 of that amount. .

Overall, the Mavericks are seeking to help reduce a projected state budget deficit of $5.8 billion in 2012.

BYL Fall Ball

The BYL will sponsor a two week fall ball session for 12 and 13 year olds.

It will be played Sundays on Aug. 29 and Sept. 12 at the BY North field from 3-5 p.m.

Purpose of the sessions is to acquaint the 12 year olds with the larger field where they will begin play next year and to give the 13's added experience.

More players are still needed.

Contact Moe Webb at 444-9322 by tomorrow to register.

Middle School meet

The annual Middle School Parent-Athlete meeting will be held tomorrow night at 6 at the Middle School cafeteria.

All athletes and their parents are invited to attend and meet the coaches for this year's athletic program.

For any questions, contact activities director Amy Aalgaard at 333-3212.

Bison grid slate

NDSU has completed its 2011 football schedule with the addition of Lafayette College of the east coast Patriot League.

One of the better teams in that league, the Leopards, 8-3 last fall, will receive a standard $100,000 guarantee for the game.

It will be followed by games against Georgia Southern at home and Minnesota at Minneapolis.

With the 2113 schedule also filled, it would leave only 2012 and 2014 as possibilities for the resumption of the series with North Dakota.

High school drops

St. John's Prep is close to a co-op with St. Cloud Tech for this year's football team.

The Johnnies abandoned their program when only 14 players signed up to play.

Several smaller schools declined to add St. John's whose 225 student enrollment would have forced them up one class.

Tech, already a 5A school, would not be affected.

By MSHSL rules, the co-op must be for two years.

St. John's 7-8 graders will play at South Junior High.

Tech already has a co-op with St. Cloud Cathedral for gymnastics.

Fargo Shanley made it official when it formally dropped its boy's hockey program this winter, also due to lack of interest.

Only 10 skaters and one goalie indicated a desire to play.

Those 11 will have the option of playing with the Fargo Junior Gold which currently uses players from Fargo Oak Grove and Moorhead's Park Christian.

Shanley relaunched its program in 2002 after 13 seasons in a co-op with West Fargo. It had previously played with Wahpeton before that but considered the distance too great to reconsider that option.

Shanley made 11 state appearances between 1976-1989.

Youth baseball

Waite Park advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series in the 14-U division, taking the regional title at Williston, N.D. 11-1 over Kansas. National play started yesterday at London Co. Va.

It is Waite Park's first trip to the nationals.

It advanced through the state meet at Moorhead, bowing to Baxter 4-3 in the championship game. When Baxter declined to go to the regional, Waite Park took its place. Bemidji went 0-2 at the state, bowing to Moorhead and Minnetonka.

Also reaching the nationals was the Waite Park 15-U team beating Santa Fe, N.M. in the title game at Minot, N.D.

Its World Series is at Monticello, Ark.

It claimed the Minnesota title over Minnetonka at the state meet at Cold Spring.

Bemidji had to 15-U traveling team this summer with its top 15's all members of the state champion VFW.

Little League

Minnesota sends its first entrant to the national Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa. when Plymouth won its regional final over Rapid City, S.D. 8-3 at Indianapolis.

It is only the sixth Minnesota team in 74 years to reach the national meet.

It opened pool play Friday against Perland, Tx.

Coon Rapids was the last state team to gain then nationals in 2007.

The Grand Forks Warriors fell out of contention in the Cal Ripken World Series at Wilson Co. N.C. ,losing to Visalia, Cal. 15-4 and Springfield, Pa. 12-9 after a first round win.

They closed with a 10-4 extra inning victory over Nassau, Bahamas and finished 2-2, tying for first in their pool but losing on run differential.

The Warriors gained the nationals by beating Bemidji's Northern Heat in the regional final in Iowa.

Five of the Heat's 12 losses this summer came to Grand Forks.

Visalia scored 11 runs in the third inning to break open its game.

Springfield scored 11 runs in the third, fourth and fifth to overcome a 4-1 deficit

Pioneer staff reports