Monthly Archives: May 2016

THE NEXT LEVEL: Kassidy Przymus shows promise in first year at UMM

MARSHALL – Winning a conference championship is a great accomplishment. Winning a championship while also snapping an opponent’s 11-year championship streak is even greater.

That feat was accomplished on May 7 by the University of Minnesota Morris women’s track and field team, which includes former Tracy-Milroy-Balaton athlete Kassidy Przymus. The College of St. Scholastica women’s track and field program had won 11 straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference titles, which is a streak that began in 2005.

“They’ve been extremely strong in the UMAC for years,” UMM coach Jessica Devine said of the CSS streak. “Over the past few years, we’ve chipped away at the point difference and knew we had a shot this year, but also knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

“It was really a great team effort and we couldn’t be more proud of our women,” Devine added. “To have a group so young be able to step up to the plate in a big competition like that is really special and something to show a lot of promise with in the future.”

Przymus typically competes in three events for the Cougars – discus, hammer and javelin. At the UMAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, she scored a pair of second place finishes in discus (112-5) and hammer (127-0).

The hammer and javelin are two new events for Przymus this year, but she has embraced the challenge. One of the things that has helped with the adjustment is her experience in the discus.

“I put in countless repetitions in my discus event and I have a good understanding of how to break down skills to improve my ability,” Przymus said. “Coming into track my first year at UMM, I had to compete in two events that I had never even tried. Luckily for me, I am a very fast learner and developed solid skills necessary to be competitive.”

Despite her inexperience in the event, Przymus made just shy of a 22-foot improvement on her hammer distances over the course of the outdoor season. She opened the year with a hammer throw of 105-8 at the Hamline Invitational on April 3. That distance would’ve placed her 10th at the UMAC Championships.

Her second place finish didn’t come easy, as she began the day with two out-of-bounds throws.

“The first day was very nerve-wracking,” Przymus said. “I knew I was better than how I was throwing. I knew that if I had a solid throw, it would get me into the finals and I’d get three more throws. That’s just what I did.”

Przymus made it to finals and finished second, only trailing teammate Sammi Brinkmann. Brinkmann broke the UMM school record with a throw of 163-0.

That second-place finish helped Przymus earn UMAC all-conference honors.

In addition to her second-place finishes at the conference meet, Przymus finds herself in the UMM top-10 record books in discus, hammer and javelin.

Looking back, Przymus attributes her first-year success to her time away from the game. She did not participate in track and field in her senior season at TMB to take post-secondary education option classes at Southwest Minnesota State.

“This sparked my inner drive,” Przymus said of her year off. “I did not end where I wanted to my junior year and I believed that I could reach higher highs and improve on my skills.”

Przymus was one of five freshmen throwers for UMM this season, along with one junior and one sophomore.

With three years of eligibility remaining, her coach sees a lot of upside in the former TMB athlete.

“I don’t think she fully realizes what she’s capable of yet,” Devine said. “I see big things in Kassidy’s future as a thrower for UMM. She’s an athlete, so competition comes natural to her. I think with some good work in the off-season and a little more studying and learning of her events, she could become pretty dominant in the UMAC, as well as work her way up in the rankings nationally.”


A typical Thursday night

Here is the result of a typical Thursday night at the Independent sports desk. At final count, I typed 1,437 words in 3 hours:


GRANITE FALLS — Yellow Medicine East defeated Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 4-2 on Thursday.

Ethan Beckler and Will Jeseritz each recorded a pair of hits in the win.

Jordan Odegard struck out fie batters over 5 2/3 innings to notch the victory on the mound.

YME (2-10) returns to action on Saturday with games against Clinton Graceville-Beardsley and Lac qui Parle Valley.

KMS 000 002 0 — 2 8 1

YME 000 040 x — 4 7 2

HITTING: YME (Odegard 1-3, RBI; Friese 1-3, RBI; Schmidt 1-1, run; Beckler 2-2, run;Jeseritz 2-2, RBI, run).

PITCHING: YME (Odegard 5.2-6-2-0-6-5; Lindstrom 1.1-2-0-0-0-0).

LAMBERTON — Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove split a doubleheader against Mountain Lake Area on Thursday, defeating the Wolverines 2-0 in Game 1 before a 2-1 loss in nine innings.

Cole Pankonin went 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI.

Taylor Bunting struck out nine batters to get the Game 1 win.

In Game 2, Pankonin went 3 for 5 with an RBI.

RRC/WWG (5-9) hosts Comfrey/Cedar Mountain on Tuesday.

Game 1

MLA 000 000 0 — 0 3

R/W 100 010 x — 2 5

HITTING: RRC/WWG (Bunting 1-3, 2B, run; Irlbeck 2-3, run; Pankonin 2-3, 3B, RBI).

PITCHING: RRC/WWG (Bunting 7-3-0-0-3-9).

Game 2

R/W 100 000 000 — 1 7

MLA 010 000 001 — 2 5

HITTING: RRC/WWG (Bunting 1-5, 2B, run; Irlbeck 1-4; Pankonin 3-5, RBI; Blomgren 1-4; Reddemann 1-3).

PITCHING: RRC/WWG (Bierl 7.1-3-1-0-3-5; Willhite 1.1-2-1-1-1-1).

COTTONWOOD — Lakeview defeated MACCRAY 3-1 on Thursday.

Josh Stevens got the win on the mound, striking out seven Wolverines over seven innings of work. He also recorded the lone RBI in the game.

Laleview (7-7) travels to Canby on Saturday for the Wooden Bat Tournament. The Lakers will face Legacy Christian Academy at noon.

MACCRAY 000 100 0 — 1 2 5

Lakeview 200 010 x — 3 3 1

HITTING: Lakeview (Rausch 1-3; Stevens 1-3, RBI; Berg 1-3).

PITCHING: Lakeview (Stevens 7-2-1-1-2-7).

CANBY — Adam Durfee delivered a walk-off single to score Jordan Kack in the bottom of the seventh, giving Canby a 1-0 victory over Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Thursday.

Sawyer Kraus pitched a one-hit shutout on the mound to get the victory. He struck out seven batters and also went 2 for 3 at the plate in the win, while Adam Durfee went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Hunter Vanlerberghe recorded the lone hit for the Knights.

Canby (9-5) hosts the Wood Bat Tournament on Saturday, while RTR (3-6) travels to Adrian on Saturday.

RTR 000 000 0 — 0 1 1

Canby 000 000 1 — 1 10 0

HITTING: RTR (Vanlerberghe 1-2); Canby (Merritt 2-4; Full 1-3; Durfee 1-4, RBI; Schmitz 1-3; Hunt 2-3; Kraus 2-3; Kack 1-3, run).

PITCHING: RTR (Hurst 6.1-10-1-1-1-5); Canby (Kraus 7-1-0-0-0-7).

SLAYTON — Four area teams competed at the Davidson Invitational in Slayton on Thursday.

The Murray County Central boys took first place with 135 points. Wabasso finished third (82), followed by Russell-Tyler Ruthton in fifth (47) and Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central in seventh.

Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton won the girls meet with 151 points. MCC finished third with 74 points, followed by Wabasso in fifth (55), WWG/RRC in seventh (39) and RTR in ninth (4).


Jack Erickson took first in the boys 1,600, finishing at 4:39.60. Erickson added a win in the  boys 800, with a time of 2:04.48.

Dakota ThunderHawk won the boys 400 at 55.21.

Grant Rohrer won the boys high jump with a leap of 5-10.

Nicole Thovson took first in the girls long jump with a distance of 15-7.


Mitchell Fulton won the boys 100 in 11.91. Colton Taylor had the best long jump at 18-8.5.

Myles Zeug won the shot put with a distance of 45-0.

The Rabbits won the 400 relay, finishing in 46.44.

Angie Salfer took first place in the girls 100, finishing at 13.48. Lindsey Bernardy won the girls 1,600 with a time of 5:49.90.


Mariah Hicks won the girls pole vault with a throw of 8-6.

WWG/RRC also represented in the boys pole vault, as Koua Vang won at 12-6.


Jayden Strand won the boys 200, finishing at 24.13.

The RTR girls finished fifth in the 1,600 relay with a time of 4:53.61.

SLEEPY EYE — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s defeated Wabasso 7-0 on Thursday.

Jenna Frank was 1 for 2 with a walk and Megan Rothmeier added a hit.

Wabasso hosts Comfrey/Cedar Mountain on Monday.

TRACY — Tracy-Milroy-Balaton defeated Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove 16-6 in six innings on Thursday.

Sydney Lanoue went 2 for 4 with an inside-the-park grand slam in the second inning. Sidney Karbo and Evy Dolan added home runs in the win.

Dani Wacker went 1 for 2 at the plate with a home run for RRC/WWG.

TMB (12-4) hosts Dawson-Boyd today while RRC/WWG (6-8) travels to Adrian Area on Monday.

R/W 024 000 0 — 6 10 3

TMB 1(10)1 002 2 — 16 22 1

HITTING: RRC/WWG (Kedl 2-3, 2B, 3B; Wacker 1-2, 3-run HR); TMB (Tauer 4-4, RBI; Karbo 3-3, HR; Dolan 3-3, 2B, HR; Stoneberg 3-5; Radke 3-4; Paczkowski 2-5; Lanoue 2-4 HR, 4 RBI).

PITCHING: RRC/WWG (Stevenson 7-22-16-3-1); TMB (Tauer 1.2-2-2-0-3-2; Lanoue 4.1-8-4-4-1-4).

SLAYTON — Murray County Central defeated Adrian Area 10-0 on Thursday.

Amanda Muecke pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out seven batters over five innings.

Muecke went 2 for 2 with an RBI in the win. Tori Wieneke and MacKenzie DeLong each added a pair of hits for the Rebels, while Brooklyne Miller hit her third home run of the season.

MCC (8-8) plays in Jackson on Saturday.

AA 000 00 — 0 2 4

MCC 132 4x — 10 9 1

HITTING: MCC (Miller 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Muecke 2-2, RBI; DeLong 2-3, 2B, 2 runs; Knakmuhs 1-3, RBI, run; Beckmann 1-3, 2 RBI; Wieneke 2-2, 2 RBI, run).

PITCHING: MCC (Muecke 5-2-0-0-2-7).

TYLER — Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and Lakeview split a Camden Conference doubleheader on Thursday. RTR took Game 1 11-9 while Lakeview won the second game 9-8.

Kylea Baartman led the Knights in Game 1, going 3 for 5 with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored. Ashlynn Wabeke added three hits and scored twice in the win.

Brooklin Peltier went 3 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored in the loss.

In Lakeview’s Game 2 win, Sadie Stelter went 4 for 6 and drove in three runs. Peltier added three hits and an RBI for the Lakers.

Wabeke went 2 for 3 with two RBI to lead the Knights.

Lakeview (13-6) hosts Adrian today.

Game 1

Lake 004 203 0 — 9 14 6

RTR 004 133 x — 11 14 1

HITTING: RTR (Baartman 3-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Buchert 2-5, 2 RBI, run; Reyes 1-4, RBI, run; Wendland 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Wabeke 3-4, 2 runs; Nielsen 1-4, RBI, 2 runs; Johnson 1-4, 2 RBI, run; Snyder 1-4); Lakeview (Brusven 2-5, run; Peltier 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Stelter 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Stevens 1-3, 2 RBI; Stapleton 1-3, RBI; VanNostrand 1-4, RBI, run; Schwarz 1-2, RBI; Baune 1-2, run; Maxwell 2-4, 2 runs).

PITCHING: RTR (Baartman 7-14-9-8-1-2); Lakeview (Stelter 14-11-5-0-12).

Game 2

RTR 011 400 200 0 — 8 7 3

Lake 002 113 100 1 — 9 17 3

HITTING: RTR (Baartman 1-5; Buchert 1-6, run; Wendland 1-5, run; Wabeke 2-3, 2 RBI, run; Nielsen 1-4, RBI, run; Snyder 1-5, run); Lakeview (Brusven 1-6, RBI; Peltier 3-6, RBI, 2 runs; Stelter 4-6, 3 RBI, 2 runs; Hay 2-5, 2 RBI; Geistfeld 1-4, run; Stevens 2-5, RBI; Stapleton 1-5; VanNostrand 2-5, 3 runs; Maxwell 1-4, RBI, run).

PITCHING: RTR (Baartman 9.1-17-9-9-1-4); Lakeview (Stevens 10-7-8-7-7-3).

SANBORN — Red Rock Central picked up a pair of wins Thursday in a nonconference dual against Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. The RRC boys won 226-262, while the RRC girls scored 249 to top an incomplete TMB team.

Max Miller led the Falcons with a 54, followed one stroke behind by Jaden Prechel at 55.

Alex Thillen added a 58, while Brandon VanMeveren added a 59.

Maria Johnson was named girls medalist after her round of 56. Finishing second for the Falcons was Carley Baumann at 58. Abby Meier added a 64, while Courtney Teveldal carded a 71.

Megan Schmitt was the lone TMB girls golfer. She carded a 63.

Derek Larson of TMB carded a 52 to finish as the boys medalist. Hayden Sanders added a 56. Riley Kirk carded a 72, while Austin Axford finished at 82.

RRC will compete in the Red Rock Conference Tournament on Tuesday in Worthington, while TMB hosts Yellow Medicine East and Hendricks today.

COLUMN: GFL not just a Vikings connection

The German Football League was brought into a national spotlight here in America last Saturday during the NFL Draft. German-born Moritz Boehringer became the first player drafted straight to the NFL from Europe when the Minnesota Vikings selected him in the sixth round of the draft.

Many questions have been asked about the GFL since the draft, both by Minnesota’s local media and nationally.

I went directly to a source with first-hand knowledge, corresponding via email with former Southwest Minnesota State football player Andrew McReynolds. McReynolds is in his first season with the Hildesheim Invaders of the GFL.

We spoke about life in the GFL, the excitement surrounding Boehringer, his adjustment going from SMSU to the GFL and what he wants to get out of the experience.

Josh VanKlompenburg: First off, tell me a little bit about the landscape of the GFL. What’s the level of competition like? How are the team facilities? How much fan support is there for your team and the league as a whole?

Andrew McReynolds: The competition is great in the GFL first division, very much similar to Division II or Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level of competition in the states. Facilities may not be as much considering the number one sport in Germany is soccer, but we have what we need to get work done — a practice field, a stadium and a training facility. Our team is actually the only team in Germany whose town voted as the number one favorite team in town over the local soccer team. As for the rest of the GFL, fandom is rising every year, giving us around three to four thousand in attendance at most games.

JV: How does your game and practice schedule compare to what it was at SMSU?

AM: The game schedule is way more intense at 15 games in the season, but practice-wise we only get three a week on top of the game. It makes it a little lighter amount-wise, but we work longer at around three hours for every practice.

JV: Is the league filled with mostly German-born players? How many other Americans are in the league or on your team?

AM: The league’s base is German-born, but many imports from around Europe and other countries also make up the teams.  The Americans in the league are kind of like a band of brothers until you meet on game day, and most teams have around three or four americans. My team is lucky enough to carry depth and has six Americans this year.

JV: How much have you heard about Moritz Boehringer? Is the name extremely well-known like top players in American leagues are known? What is the level of excitement in Germany around the league after he was drafted?

AM: Moritz is nationwide since his combine in the states. The level of excitement is great as many Germans as well as players are seeing that it is becoming more and more possible to gain a shot at the NFL through the GFL-1.

JV: How have you adjusted to life over in Germany? Do you have any family/friends with you to ease the transition?

AM: The transition has been pretty smooth, having five other Americans on my team as well as an American head coach. We get taken care of. The hardest part would be not having family or my girlfriend out here with me. Living in a new world and not having a familiar face can be difficult at times.

JV: How did your time at SMSU prepare you for this experience, both on and off the football field?

AM: My time at SMSU helped me a lot. Being from Denver, I had to make a move similar to this one when I went to college. This is the same, only halfway around the globe.  On the field, my experience is really showing, both playing and coaching the youth team in Hildesheim.

JV: How long do you want to continue to play for? What do you hope to get out of the experience?

AM: I hope to play this game as long as my body and abilities allow me to compete at a high level. I would love to get some good professional film to show scouts back home and gain a shot at the next level, whether that be in the CFL or NFL. Just having an opportunity to gain more exposure through professional football while traveling Germany and other parts of Europe is a blessing, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity the Hildesheim Invaders have presented me.