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Sportsline: LaRoque keeps hockey coaching job at Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids boys' hockey coach Bruce LaRoque will be back on the sidelines next season after the school administration rejected a move by several parents and former skaters to oust him.

School administrators announced the decision following an investigation into the charges.

Six parents and one former player presented letters or spoke at the last school board meeting citing the coaching staff with "lack of communication with parents and players and intimidation plus a lack of involvement in the youth program."

LaRoque, who coached the Thunderhawks to state runner-up finishes in 2006 and 07, refused to comment on the case, stating only "the matter is closed."

Silko said board members listened to the complaints and decided not to act on their own but allow LaRoque's supervisors to deal with the situation.

Curling action

The 2010 U.S. national champion Pete Fenson and Erika Brown rinks will lead their teams at the 2011 Continental Cup of Curling in Canada.

The event returns after a one-year hiatus.

It is set for Jan. 13-16 in St. Alberta, Alba. It is the seventh edition of this Ryder Cup-like event and features Team North America composed of four Canadian and two U.S. teams against the top European and Asian teams representing Team World.

Fenson and Brown will team with Canadian rinks skipped by Olympians Kevin Martin and Cheryl Bernard and 2010 Canadian champions Jennifer Jones and Kevin Koe.

The event play includes skins, mixed skins, singles, mixed doubles and team events.

Team World will include skips Thomas Unsrud of Norway, Bingyu Wang of China, Niklas Edin of Sweden and Andrea Schapp of Germany.

The series stands 3-3.

Fogelson wins

Bemidji lefthander Scott Fogelson was the winning pitcher as the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks took their opening game of the Northern League playoffs 5-3 over Gary, Ind. Fogelson worked 6Zc innings allowing one run and five hits.

The Red Hawks scored four runs in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead.

Fargo won the second game 4-3 and completed a three-game sweep with a 5-3 decision at Gary Friday.

Joliet, Ill. and Kansas City are playing the other semifinal best-of-three series in the independent professional league. Kansas City took the first two at Joliet and returned home for Game 3.

Fargo-Moorhead won the regular season title.

The rich get richer

Eden Prairie, the state's second largest high school, achieved a famous first this weekend, traveling to Winnipeg to play a doubleheader.

Coach Mike Grant split his huge squad down the middle for the two games beating Vincent Masse 49-0 in the afternoon and Oak Park 33-0 in a night game on the home field of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, a team once guided for many seasons by Grant's father Bud.

The games were played under Canadian rules which did little to hamper the state 5A power.

Cost of the overnight journey included $9,000 in hotel expenses and $6,000 for bus costs underwritten by the Eden Prairie Booster Fund.

It is believed the first time in modern history that a high school team has played a doubleheader.

Gulsvig enters Hall

Long-time Moorhead High boys' basketball coach Chuck Gulsvig will be inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame next month.

He coached the Spuds for 27 seasons taking the team to the section final 15 times and the state on seven occasions. He retired with a 445-221 record to enter private business.

He is the son of Concordia College coaching legend Sonny Gulsvig.

Others entering the Hall this year are Bill Baumann of North Branch, Bruce Kugath of Skakopee, Jeff Liftin of Delano and Roger "Shorty" Schroeder of Willmar.

Truedson debut

Bemidji's Eric Truedson made his debut for the Minnesota University cross country team last weekend, placing 15th in a field of 63 runners at the Brigham Young University Autumn Classic at Provo, Utah.

The race was run in 4,600 feet altitude in 90-degree temperatures.

Truedson was fifth on the Gopher team which placed second behind host BYU at the meet finishing 4-6-23-24-25.

He competed as a red shirt freshman last year.

Whither UND?

The future of the North Dakota football program took another blow this week when two of the five remaining members of the five-team Big West Conference, Cal Poly and UC-Davis, defected to the Big Sky Conference.

The move ends the Big West as a viable league.

UND has sought entrance into the Big Sky but as yet has not been accepted.

The two additions swell the Big Sky to 11 teams, one short of the goal of 12 it seeks to reach. The Sioux fields teams in all required league sports except men's tennis.

The Sioux have also applied for membership in the Summit Conference where they would rejoin former North Central mates NDSU and South Dakota in all sports but football.

First night game

The Nevis Tigers played their first home football game in history under the lights Friday when they hosted Silver Bay.

Nevis own 53-6.

Nevis was one of the few remaining teams in the area still playing afternoon football.

State polls

Northern Minnesota continued to fare poorly in the state high school polls.

In football, no northern teams appear in 5A with Sartell in sixth place in 4A.

Pequot Lakes is fourth and Thief River sixth in 3A with DGF and Pelican Rapids 8-9 in 2A and Fosston second and Mahnomen fourth in A.

The nine man poll finds Stephen/Argyle first, KCC fifth, Goodridge-Grygla seventh and Cherry ninth.

In volleyball, no teams made the top 10 in 3A. Wadena and Hibbing were 4-5 in 2A and Nevis and Win-E-Mac 8-10 in Class A.

In tennis, Hibbing is ninth in 2A with Bemidji drawing honorable mention.

In Class A, Virginia is fourth and Roseau 10. Armanda Arbogast of Virginia is fourth and Jessamy Jones of EGF seventh individually.

In cross country, Moorhead is ninth in the AA boys' ranks with Lukas Gemar of the Spuds eighth individually.

In the girls ranks, Moorhead is 11 with Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria second and Haylie Zenner of Fergus Falls 11. No Class A listings were available.

Fall baseball

The BSU fall baseball leagues will both be in action this week with the wood bats league playing Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and the metal bats league Sunday at 2 p.m.

Both circuits will continue through the end of the month to give area players 14-18 an additional five weeks to further develop their skills under the coaching of the BSU staff and team members.

Cass Lake cage

The fall Cass Lake basketball league begins play tomorrow at the Cass Lake High School gymnasium with an eight-game schedule and playoffs. The entry fee is $70.

Call Don Bellanger at 368-6528 or Henry Harper at 308-0865 for further information.