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Long-time Thief River Falls coach Charlie Cornell has been selected to receive the prestigious Butch Nash Outstanding Assistant Coach Award from the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association.

The Grand Rapids native has served as the Prowlers head baseball and girls golf coach. But hits longest tenure has been as grid assistant, a position he retained following his retirement from teaching.

He will receive the award during the 42nd annual Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame banquet at Minneapolis April 1.

Eight state coaches are honored each year for the Award named in memory of the long-time Minnesota University grid assistant Butch Nash.

Pearson bows out

Fergus Falls Community College boys basketball coach Dave Retzlaff bowed out in style and his team captured the consolation trophy at the state tournament with a 79-66 win over Central Lakes of Brainerd.

Retzlaff has retired after 38 seasons at the Fergus Falls school, surrendering the coaching post to his son Jason, a longtime assistant.

During his career, all at the same school, he won 657 games, seven conference championships and one national title.

He was elected to the National Junior College Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

He cited coaching for all 38 years at the same school as his greatest pleasure. Another was coaching his three sons in their first two college years.

In the fifth place game, Cass Lake's Byron Ninham scored 15 points including three treys.

Haviland top diver

Thief River Falls' Chelsea Haviland won the one meter springboard event and secured the Diver of the Meet honor as Army's swimming team finished fifth at the Patriot League championships.

Haviland scored 291.85 to capture her eighth career crown. She is the league's only four-time winner of the Diver of the Meet Award.

She was a three-time state champion in her high school days.

Spring practice

Spring practice dates have been announced by Bemidji High School.

Track, golf and softball will open March 13 with baseball starting March 20 and tennis March 27.

All athletes must have physical forms (if needed) and eligibility forms filed with the activities office and all fees paid before being permitted to practice.

All seven head coaches will be back to head their units this season.

Birkebeiner leaders

Karen Manske and Elspeth Ronnander of Bemidji were among the top ten in their age divisions at the 33rd annual Birkebeiner cross country ski race in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Manske finished fourth in the women's 50-54 age group in 3:08.29 and was 751 overall.

Ronnander was 21st in the 18-24 age group in 3:20.12 and was 1,048 overall.

Lumberjacks Assistant Coach Ryan Aylesworth nosed out head coach Mark Walters in the men's division, Aylesworth ending 327 at 2:49.27 and Walters 368 in 2:51.32.

All State hockey

The annual All-State girls hockey teams, selected by the Girl's Hockey Coaches Association, were announced at the state tournament again heavily weighted toward Twin Cities area performers.

The 2A all-stars include only Michelle Maunu of CEC on the squad.

The single-A team had Holly Roberts of Warroad and Allie Pullar and Brittany Krause of Hibbing.

Bemidji's Lauren Bradel earned second team while teammate Sarah Erickson and Emily Erickson of Grand Rapids drew honorable mention in 2A. Jamie Fenstermacher of Hibbing, Brittany Dunkel of Warroad and Ashley Holmes of Alexandria were named honorable mention in Class A.

Scott Knutson of Warroad was 1A Coach of the Year. Crookston won the single-A Academic Award. Dunkel was named winner of the Herb Brooks Award.


The Dakota Hoopfest, a college recruiting event for boys and girls who will be juniors and seniors next fall, will be held at Wahpeton, N.D., June 16-17.

It has room for a few more teams from the Upper Midwest. Contact or call 701-640-4142.

Miller All-American

Bemidji heavyweight Chris Miller is one of two Itasca CC wrestlers earning national Junior College All-American status.

Sophomore Chris Thoreson repeated as a national place winner taking sixth at 197.

Miller ended a great freshman season taking fifth.

He had five pins during the national meet to win the tournament's pin award.

Itasca finished sixth at the meet, one spot behind Ridgewater of Willmar.

Bemidji's Brent Mason is expected to rejoin the Ridgewater team next year after recovering from his second major knee operation. Greg Skerik of this year's Lumberjacks may join him there in 2007.

First women's title

The Itasca women's basketball team made history by capturing its first state title in history, beating top ranked Minneapolis Community College in the title game 76-58.

The Vikings will meet Madison (Wis.) Area Tech in a one game playoff for a berth in the national tournament.

Dry spells end

Two long dry spells in area boys hockey ended this week.

Thief River Falls won a marathon four-overtime test at Warroad 3-2 on Mike Forney's game winning tally.

Forney, who bypassed Junior Hockey this year to compete for his senior season with his hometown team, is headed to North Dakota next year on a hockey scholarship.

The Prowlers overcame a 2-0 deficit with two third-period goals. Tyler Potts kept the Warriors in contention with 51 stops in the game.

Thief River's last state trip was in 1965 when it gained the state by winning the annual match up of the Section 7 and 8 runners-up for a state berth. Its last section title came in 1960.

Meanwhile at the DECC, Zach Walsh scored his second goal of the night with less than five minutes to play to give Grand Rapids a 4-3 win over CEC in the 7A title game.

It sends the Thunderhawks to the state for the first time since 1991. Duluth East has won the 7AA title nine of the intervening 15 years.

Roseau scored three first period goals and blanked Moorhead 4-0 in the 8AA final Saturday. Alex Bjerk kicked aside 31 shots in posting the shutout.

The win sent Roseau to the state for the first time since 2000 and ended Moorhead's five-year reign as section champions.

Scanlan retires

East Grand Forks boys hockey coach Jim Scanlan is calling it quits after 10 seasons at the helm to spend more time with his three children in winter sports.

He won four Section 8A titles and finished second at the state tournament in1999.

He will remain as EGF Athletic Director. He recommended his assistant Cory Chukka to be his successor.

Golden Gloves

A 12-bout Golden Gloves card will be held at Wadena Saturday beginning at 7:30.

A double main event matches Wadena's Dewayne Steward with Jon Schmidt of Minneapolis at 165 and Brainerd veteran Ricky Aulie with Tyler Hultin of Fergus Falls at 158.

Two super heavyweight bouts are also on the card.

Matmen sidelined

Two of the top area wrestlers were sidelined at the state tournament when they failed to pass the mandatory skin tests.

They were Moorhead's unbeaten Jay Thoreson at 160 and 130 pounder Kyle Bednar of Pierz, the state's top ranked 1A grappler at the weight.