Sports

Mon
03
May

BEST’s Mathson sets state home run mark

Josh Mathson swung his way into the Minnesota baseball record book last week.<BR><BR>The senior at Babbitt-Embarrass has more home runs than any high school baseball player in state history.

Mon
26
Apr

Wolves step up against stiff competition

A move up to Class AA will force Ely’s high school baseball team to play tougher competition in postseason play.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves beefed up their regular season schedule to coincide with the move, and they experienced the rigors of Class AA ball last week.<BR><BR>Ely won two of three games against AA foes, losing to Hinckley and beating East Central in an April 17 road doubleheader, and outlasting Proctor in nine innings Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Field.<BR><BR>The East Central game was a laugher with Ely rolling to a 19-4 win, but the other two contests were hard-fought affairs.<BR><BR>Hinckley scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to secure a 6-3 victory, while the Wolves needed a Cory Lassi single in the bottom of the ninth to prevail 4-3.<BR><BR>Ely ran its record to 3-1 on the year and is quickly becoming a battle-tested club.<BR><BR>“We’re seeing what Class AA baseball is all about,” said

Mon
26
Apr

Spangler wins, Richards second at first meets

Top performances by Katie Spangler and Jordan Richards marked the start of Ely’s high school golf season last week.<BR><BR>Both the boys and girls teams opened East Range Conference play at Eveleth, and Spangler earned medalist honors at Wednesday’s girls competition.<BR><BR>Spangler, a ninth-grader, carded a nine-hole 47, tying Virginia’s Shanelle Pfutzenreuter atop the field.<BR><BR>Also participating for the Ely girls were Jaymie Stocks (72) and April Levar (76).<BR><BR>On the boys’ side, Richards helped Ely to a third-place team standing by finishing in a three-way tie for second place.<BR><BR>A section qualifier a year ago, the sophomore shot a 40, just one stroke behind medalist Jake Chamberlin (39) of Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower.<BR><BR>Ely sophomore Richie Milovich also cracked the top-10, placing sixth with a 42.<BR><BR>Kyle Kratt (49) and Steven Markwardt (50) formed the rest of Ely’s te

Mon
26
Apr

Hot start for Ely’s softball team

Other than a little bump in the road Tuesday afternoon, the start of the high school season couldn’t be much better for the Ely Timberwolves.<BR><BR>Thursday, Ely won for the third time in four games, dominating Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower and cruising to an 8-2 win behind the pitching of Jackie Lekatz.<BR><BR>The junior fired a two-hitter, struck out 11 and showed much better control than in Tuesday’s 16-3 loss to Mt. Iron-Buhl, when she and reliever Kelsey Ivancich combined to issue 11 free passes.<BR><BR>The wins have head coach Steve Smrekar optimistic about the 2004 campaign.<BR><BR>“Things are going good,” said Smrekar.

Mon
19
Apr

Ironmen land first victory

Two standout pitching performances got the Vermilion Ironmen in the win column last week<BR><BR>After 10 straight losses, Vermilion relied on the efforts of Brandon Stahl to end the skid as the Ironmen beat Hibbing 5-1 in the first game of Tuesday’s Northern Division twinbill.<BR><BR>The following day, lefty Eric Niebuhr was on the hill and scattered eight hits in a 5-4 VCC victory over Northland.<BR><BR>The Ironmen were swept by Mesabi Thursday and wound up splitting both the Hibbing and Northland double-dips to fall to 2-14 for the spring.<BR><BR>But the Ironmen, who are trying to cram 22 games into a three-week window, found a few rays of hope as the sun peaked past the clouds and on to local baseball fields.<BR><BR>Stahl was dominant against Hibbing, retiring the first 11 batters and taking a shutout into the seventh, when the Cardinals scratched out an unearned run.

Sun
18
Apr

Scott, Wolves start with win

Junior lefthander Tim Scott kept Eveleth-Gilbert in check Tuesday afternoon with a solid opening effort on the mound.<BR><BR>And at the plate, Scott did some damage as well, stroking a three-run triple in a five-run third inning as the Timberwolves hammered the Golden Bears 9-1 in Arrowhead Conference action.<BR><BR>Scott, Ely’s most dominating pitcher a year ago, picked up where he left off. He fanned four batters in four innings of work and gave up just three hits.<BR><BR>Senior Josh Weckman, the other half of one of the best one-two pitching combinations in Section 7AA, worked the last three frames and held the opponents scoreless to finish an impressive opener for the Wolves.<BR><BR>“It was a good way to come out of the blocks,” said Ely Head Coach Frank Ivancich. “I kind of had the feeling our bats would struggle.

Mon
12
Apr

Experience gives softball team a boost

When Steve Smrekar fills out his lineup card this spring, he’ll probably have a smile on his face.<BR><BR>The veteran Ely softball coach has veterans up and down his lineup, and the Timberwolves appear to be in good position to build on their 10-win season in 2003.<BR><BR>With junior Jackie Lekatz and sophomore Kelsey Ivancich anchoring the pitching staff and several seniors boasting varsity experience, Ely is pumped up for a banner 2004 campaign.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves open the season at 4:30 Tuesday, hosting Eveleth-Gilbert in the first of 20 regular season games.<BR><BR>Ely advanced into the Section 7A quarterfinals last season, and the return of much of the starting lineup could put the Wolves in position for an even longer playoff run.<BR><BR>“We’re going to have lots of experience in many main positions,” said Smrekar. “We have some very good athletes.

Mon
12
Apr

Wolves move up a class, but pitching staff makes it easier

With eight returning starters and a pair of ace pitchers, Ely’s high school baseball team is well stocked for the rigors of the 2004 season.<BR><BR>That’s good for the Timberwolves, who’ll face tougher competition this spring, thanks to realignment that moves Ely out of Class A - Minnesota’s smallest enrollment division - and into the AA division.<BR><BR>But a step up in class hasn’t shaken the optimism of the Wolves, who are primed to improve on a 13-10 season a year ago and make a run at the Section 7AA title.<BR><BR>With pitchers Josh Weckman and Tim Scott leading the way, Ely opens the season Tuesday at Eveleth-Gilbert.<BR><BR>Weckman and Scott combined to win eight games last spring and helped Ely’s American Legion team to a third-place finish in the Division II state tournament during the summer.<BR><BR>Their presence on the mound, along with the return of several senior starters, has third-year head coach Frank Ivanc

Mon
05
Apr

Despite graduation hit, boys have track talent

They graduated several top seniors from a team that finished second in subsection competition a year ago, but Ely’s high school boys track team still has some returning talent.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves put that talent to the test Thursday, when they open the regular season with a meet at Virginia.<BR><BR>Ely won several individual subsection titles and was second-best in the team standings last spring behind a deep senior nucelus.<BR><BR>The Wolves have just three returning seniors this year - with 2003 section meet qualifier Shaun Hall leading the way.<BR><BR>But a host of underclassmen, some of whom got valuable varsity experience last spring, may be ready to step up.<BR><BR>First-year head coach Darren Visser said the Wolves figure to be strong in the mid-distance events.<BR><BR>Hall was part of a section-qualifying relay crew last year, and he’ll likely anchor the Wolves’ relays this time around.<BR><

Mon
05
Apr

Girls track team hopes to build on success

The return of several section qualifiers and plenty of depth are two of the strengths of Ely’s high school girls track team.<BR><BR>Ely placed third in subsection competition a year ago. Most of that team is back, and many of the Timberwolves’ key athletes were either on the school’s section championship cross country running or Nordic ski teams.

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