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Sportsline: Stephen/Argyle football coach Kroulk steps down

One of the state's most successful football coaches has called it quits after winning another state title this fall.

Mike Kroulik of Stephen/Argyle has taken the Storm to seven state championships in his 15 years at the helm and a state record 76 straight wins that ended in 2008.

The 58-year-old Kroulik won his first state crown at Stephen at the past six at the combined Stephen/Argyle. He retires with a 168-12 overall record.

He will remain as school principal.

His sons Casey and Matt coach at Clearbrook-Gonvick and RLCC, respectively, Casey as head coach.

Curling notes

A field of 10 women's teams will compete at the 2010 National Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich. Mar. 6-13.

The men's teams will be announced following qualifying events in January.

Leading the women's field is four-time champion and 2009 runner-up Patty Lank Others include 2009 bronze medalist and three-time national champ Amy Wright and Erika Brown, a two-time Olympian and five-time national champion.

Among the absent is the 2010 Olympic Deb McCormick rink which will skip the nationals after winning the past four titles.

The world championships will be held in Saskatchewan March., 20-28. No women's qualifying tournaments were required since only 10 teams registered for the national meet.

There are 30 men's team registered who will battle for the 10 spots in the championships.

All-State gridders

A number of northern stars were named to the All-State 9-man grid squad chosen by the 9-Man State Coaches Association.

On offense are quarterback Trevor Justin of KCC, running backs Amos Schmidt of Verndale and Dakota Kendall of Remer, wide receiver Jordan Smith of Cromwell and linemen Clayton Cottrell of Verndale, Matt Haverkamp of Waubun, and Robbie Pietruszewski of Stephen/Argyle.

On defense are linemen Steve Widner of Stephen/Argyle and Nolan Wester of Cromwell, linebackers Alex Borowicz of Tri-County and John Safranski of Stephen/Argyle and punter Craig Lindegaard of KCC.

Bartz farewell

A retirement party for BHS coach Dennis Bartz will be held Friday at the Keg & Cork from 6-9 p.m.

Bartz will officially retire from teaching next week as will his wife from her post at Cass Lake

Bartz has coached cross country, girls track and swimming during his three decades in Bemidji.

The pair plans to retain their home in Bemidji but spend more time traveling to visit their children.

All former athletes and friends are invited to attend Friday's session.

Final banquet

The final fall BHS sports banquet will be held tonight when the girls swim team is honored at its Awards Night in the Crying Wolf Room of Hobson Memorial Union on the BSU campus.

Special guests will be the members of the swim team that ended 7-2-1, sending three individuals and two relays to the state meet and scoring seven points.

Curling signup

Registration is now open for the annual Junior Curling program for Grades 1-8. It will run from Jan 10-March 7 at the Curling Club.

Cost is $45 which include a T-shirt and photo.

The program is limited to the first 50 registrants with a maximum of 20 first and second graders in each session.

Practices will be Sundays from 4:45-6:15 and 6:30-8:00 with curlers limited to one session each day.

All curlers must be registered before the first day of curling

Call 333-3100-ext 305 or 310 or mail or drop off the registration form at the Community Ed office, 3200 Gillett Drive N.W.

Anyone wishing to become a volunteer instructor should call John Buckanaga at the above number.

Big Bear mat meet

The BCLB Bears will host their 33-team Big Bear Invitational wrestling tournament this weekend .

Coaches for the three-school mat team are Jay Reiplinger and Cody Nord at Blackduck, Keenan Goodfellow and Bill Foster at Cass Lake and Mike Feininger at Indus which has joined the coop.

Zutz retires

Shane Zutz has stepped down as Thief River Falls baseball coach after 10 years.

The one time Bemidji High assistant has become principal of Lincoln High School after serving as Middle School assistant principal. He leaves with a 100-105 record, going 19-8 in 2008 and guiding the Prowlers to the state for the third time in school history. They were 9-10 last spring.

Schultz misses cut

Birchmont champion Dave Schultz of Fargo again failed to gain his PGA card after completing the six-day qualifying trials in 72nd place despite a two under par 430. Only the top 25 and ties qualify for the regular PGA circuit

It was his best finish in his three years at Q-School.