Monthly Archives: June 2015

MUSA indoor tournament comes to Marshall

Originally published: April 10, 2015

MARSHALL – The Marshall United Soccer Association is hosting a seven-on-seven indoor soccer tournament this weekend.

Games will be played today through Sunday at Lockwoods Motors Arena on the Lyon County Fairgrounds, with 15 teams participating in two age divisions.

“We have six youth teams registered and nine adult teams registered,” said MUSA president Eric Luther.

Some local youth teams will scrimmage between games, as well.

According to Luther, the arena is the perfect site for the tournament.

“Spring weather is so unpredictable, having an indoor facility is perfect for this time of year,” Luther said.

Teams are coming from across southwest Minnesota to participate, including a pair of teams from both Willmar and Fairmont.

Luther is hopeful that the tournament will appeal to the Hispanic community in Marshall and surrounding communities.

“Soccer is big in most of the Hispanic communities. It’s an event to bring the entire family to the games,” Luther said.

MUSA hopes the tournament helps improve Marshall’s reputation as a soccer town.

“The MUSA board wanted to have an indoor tournament, seven on seven, at the ice arena. Since we’re getting soccer fields, the city is encouraging them to get soccer going here. That’s part of it,” said Sam Duran, a tournament participant and a member of the Marshall High School soccer team.

There is no gate fee for attendance at the games and concessions will be available.

The youth division will play its games tonight, starting at 5 p.m. Teams in the 13 to 18 and adult divisions will play Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to offsetting costs and covering expenses for MUSA, Luther hopes that the tournament can be a springboard for the sport in the area. The goal is to hold separate weekend tournaments for the different age divisions, and added that there is interest from area teams.

“We want to promote and excite growth,” Luther said. “Hopefully we can get our first year under our belt and continue to grow.”

Participants hope that the trophy stays in town.

“First tournament here, a Marshall team has got to take it.We want the championship to say here in Marshall, said Duran.

Tyler Golf Club hosts Golf Kickoff

Originally published: March 17, 2015

TYLER – As part of an effort to promote the sport of golf, The Tyler Golf Club will host the first annual Golf Kickoff Event on Saturday.

Clubhouse doors will open at 6 p.m., followed by a meal, auction and presentations at 7 p.m. The cost for the event is 20 dollars.

The kickoff is intended for adults to enjoy a night out in support of youth golf.

“Families have a limited amount of discretionary funds that they are going to spend on leisure and sports,” said Jeff Hansen, who serves on the club’s board of directors. “We look at free youth memberships, free youth lessons, youth tee boxes and family tee boxes as a way to help promote the sport and gain the interest of young people in the sport.”

Youth memberships at Tyler Golf Club have grown from 23 in 2011 to 108 in 2014 thanks to financial contributions from John and Margie Bornhoft.

According to Brandon Novak, president of the Tyler Golf Club board of directors, the Bornhofts have been instrumental in the promotion of youth golf in the area.

Not only have the Bornhofts aided in youth sponsorships, but they also have served on various committees at the golf club.

“John and Margie approached us a few years ago about sponsoring the youth membership costs, which led to working with them on the setup of the U.S. Kids Golf Family Course in Tyler,” said Novak. “Now, they are working on the Golf Kickoff Event committee to help raise money and subsidize youth lessons and equipment.

“They realize the importance of the promoting the sport among youth golfers and young families and have been a great asset to the course.”

As a progressive approach in engaging young families and kids in the sport of golf, the Tyler Golf Club is designating Sunday nights as family nights, meaning all golfers can play from the forward tees.

The board of directors recognizes that the success of the sport at a local level depends on the club members and course patrons.

“The best way to grow that interest is to involve the youth and broaden the current and future customer base,” Hansen said.

“Every year, there are increased costs in operating a golf course, yet we pride ourselves on keeping our membership costs affordable and competitive so that anyone can enjoy the game.”

End of an era for the Lancers

Originally published: March 4, 2015

CANBY – For years, Canby has been known for its successful wrestling program.

However, thanks to a guy called “Farmer,” the school’s basketball program has forced people to take notice.

Canby coach Jon Hanson has been ingrained in the Canby basketball culture for decades as a coach since the 1970s.

Over the years, he made his mark on the junior high, C- squad and B-squad levels in both boys and girls basketball before becoming boys coach at the varsity level.

At Canby’s final home game of the season on Feb. 13 against Wheaton, Coach Hanson announced that this would be his final season as head coach.

What’s in a name?
Many people outside of Canby are unaware of how Coach Hanson got his nickname “Farmer.”

In Canby, there are two Jon Hansons. Even though both first and last names have identical spellings, they are not related.

To avoid confusion, one was called “Banker Jon” and the other “Farmer Jon.” The nicknames stuck.

Taking over a program
He got his first crack as varsity coach in 2007-08, when previous coach Mike Munson stepped down to take a job as principal in the George-Little Rock school district in Iowa.

In his first season, Hanson improved the Lancers’ win/loss record from 13-12 to 19-8, but Canby was eliminated in the Section 3A North quarterfinals.

After advancing to the 3A North semifinals in 2008-09, the Lancers had back-to-back losing seasons – Hanson’s only losing seasons in his tenure.

STATEment made
The highlight season for the Canby program under Hanson came in 2013-14.

It didn’t come easy, however.

In the Section 3A North Championship, the No. 2-seed Lancers trailed arch rival and No. 1-seed Dawson-Boyd 58-51 before a 11-0 run gave them a 62-58 win.

Then in the section championship, Canby overcame losing one of its top players to appendicitis to upset the defending section and state champs Southwest Minnesota Christian.

It was the Lancers’ first state tournament since 1951, and only the third trip to state in program history.

Canby came home from state without a win, but the team’s three-overtime loss forced people to take notice.

This team will be etched in Canby’s history forever.

Memories made
Advancing to the state tournament is just one of many memories that players have of Hanson.

“During a game, Farmer yelled my name onto the court because he was angry with me,” Canby senior forward Zach Nuy said. “I was sitting on the bench right next to him. This has happened to a few other players also.”

One game sticks out for senior forward Kristian Leppke.

Canby was on the road at rival Dawson-Boyd, who was ranked sixth in the state.

With the game tied, senior guard Nate Stafki drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Canby a 62-59 win.

“Coach jumped out of his chair and was yelling and dancing more than most of us players,” Leppke said.

Legacy left
While Coach Hanson will no longer be coaching on the sideline for Canby, his legacy will live on in the program for years to come.

His career ended with a 141-72 (.662) record, finishing with the third-most wins and fifth-best winning percentage in program history.

Hanson’s eight-year tenure ranks as the third-longest in Canby basketball, and he is only the second boys basketball coach to lead the Lancers to the state tournament.

If you look at the Canby career record book, Hanson has coached some of the best players in program history, including three of the top 10 in career points, seven of the top 10 in career rebounds and eight of the top 10 in career assists.

The final chapter
Canby went 23-4 this season, including a 12-0 start to the season.

It’s first loss came on Jan. 6 in a 55-52 overtime loss to Central Minnesota Christian.

The Lancers followed the loss with another six-game winning streak to open the season 18-1.

Back-to-back losses dropped Canby to 18-3 before the team got three wins to close the regular season.

The Lancers won their first two games in Section 3A Tournament play before losing 60-48 to CMCS on Friday.

It was the second time CMCS defeated Canby this season. The Bluejays are responsible for three of Canby’s last six losses, dating back to Jan. 25, 2014.

Despite the loss, Hanson looks back fondly at the season. He recognizes only one team in the state finishes the season with a win.

“It was a good run,” Hanson said.

SECTION 3A BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: CMCS tops Canby

Originally published: February 28, 2015

MARSHALL – A season ago, Canby avenged a midseason loss to Central Minnesota Christian by defeating the Bluejays in the Section 3A Tournament.

This season, the Lancers once again lost to CMCS in regular season action. However, this time they were not able to even the score in section play, as No. 1 CMCS defeated No. 2 Canby 60-48 to clinch the Section 3A North Championship.

The win moves CMCS (22-3) one win away from a berth in the Class A State Tournament. Standing in its way is Southwest Minnesota Christian, who defeated Murray County Central 47-45 in the Section 3A South final.

Canby ended its season with a 23-4 record.

The Bluejays closed the game on a 17-9 run to seal the win. Leading CMCS was Austin Bulthuis, who scored 19 points in the win.

The Bluejays showcased their lockdown defense throughout the game, not allowing Canby to utilize its size advantage in the post.

“That was a big problem. They were pushing us out so much and we couldn’t get underneath,” Canby coach Jon Hanson said. “They’re pressure was relentless. It was hard to get a shot off against those guys.”

That pressure was evident beginning late in the first half and extending after the break.

After Canby’s Zach Nuy picked up his second foul with 3:53 remaining in the half, CMCS went on an 8-2 run to close the half.

The run gave the Bluejays a 27-23 lead, only its second lead of the game to that point

The Bluejays would not surrender the lead again as the defensive intensity continued for CMCS in the second half, and.

Nick Prokop and Nathan Cooper scored the half’s opening two baskets for the Lancers to tie the game at 27, but CMCS responded with seven unanswered points.

Leading the Lancers was Kristian Leppke, who finished with 19 points. He also recorded three rebounds and three steals in the loss.

Zach Nuy added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Canby.

The loss was the final game for Leppke and Nuy, as well as seven other seniors on Canby’s roster.

“They’ve had a great career. They’ve got nothing to hang their heads about,” Hanson said. “What they’ve done the past three years is pretty incredible and probably won’t be matched again.”

It was also the last game in the eight-year coaching career of Canby coach Jon Hanson.

Hanson and the seniors amassed a 48-9 record over the past two seasons, including the program’s first state tournament berth since 1951.