Midgets ready for Minot-less invitationalRight before practice Tuesday afternoon, Dickinson gymnastics coach Kent Van Ells broke the news that Minot High wasn’t going to be at Saturday’s Dickinson Invitational.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Right before practice Tuesday afternoon, Dickinson gymnastics coach Kent Van Ells broke the news that Minot High wasn’t going to be at Saturday’s Dickinson Invitational.
The gymnasts’ voices expressed disappointment. The No. 1-ranked Midgets will just have to wait a little longer to face No. 2-ranked Minot High. The meet begins 11 a.m. Saturday.
“It was something that we were looking forward to,” Van Ells said. “We’re ranked No. 1 and they’re ranked No. 2. It would be nice to have that competition.”
Though Minot has defeated Dickinson for the past three state championships at the state meet, sophomore Mikaela Kessel said Saturday’s competition just won’t be the same without the Majettes there.
“In the state, it’s usually them and Bismarck that are our biggest competition,” Kessel said. “We always work hard and do our best, but to know that we have go 100 percent for sure. It was disappointing that’s for sure.”
The Midgets will instead host Fargo Davies, Valley City and the co-op of Fargo South and Fargo North.
Minot was unable to attend the meet due to injuries and other illnesses experienced by the team.
Dickinson was prepared to use this event as a gauge to see how the team would fair against its biggest competitor during the state meet. Now the goals are just to improve scores and increase averages.
“The goals become more qualifying scores,” Van Ells said. “They need a certain number of scores and a certain average to qualify for the state meet.”
Dickinson has also had its fair share of injuries this season, most importantly Mckenzie Kostelecky. She hyper-extended her knee, but Van Ells believes she might be able to compete with a modified routine.
“She’s moving around a little bit and she might even do bars without a dismount at the meet,” he said.
To win the state meet, the gymnasts know everyone is going to have to be healthy. Eighth-grader Acacia Fossum, the Midgets’ top gymnast, knows it’s a team effort.
“We have a couple big injuries,” she said. “They will get better, but we’re focusing on staying strong and competing the best that we can.”
Another pair of injuries had Keana Kudrna and Jenna Mueller sitting out last week’s trip to Rapid City, S.D., but Van Ells is hopeful they can make a full return this weekend.
“She (Kudrna) did a couple events last week that were modified,” Van Ells said. “We’re hopeful that she can do everything this weekend.”
Despite the season not being over yet, the Midgets continually have their top goal in mind — winning the state meet.
“I think we’ve been doing really well,” Kessel said. “This year we’ve all been working really hard and we have that goal to win state in our head. That’s what we’ve been competing for.”
DHS girls basketball team using added momentum
The Dickinson High girls basketball team is inching its way out of potentially being forced into a play-in game for the West Region tournament.
The Midgets (2-8, 1-7 West) are feeling confident after scoring their first West Region win over Belcourt, 69-58, Friday.
“I think our confidence is pretty high,” Dickinson head coach Dan Pender said. “They know they can go out and play against anybody. We have some tough tasks, every game is going to be tough, but I think they have the confidence now that if they go out and play hard, good things will happen.”
Dickinson saw a strong performance in the scoring column. However, turnovers are still one aspect that’s continually a work in progress.
“You look at our offense, it was a great output,” Pender said. “Offensively still we have to limit our turnovers. Overall we are starting to get better looks and starting to run our offense. That’s a positive sign.”
The Midgets also put up one of its best defensive performances. The key on defense has been sophomore Mackee Hoffman.
“I think our defense is getting better game by game,” Pender said. “Belcourt struggled getting into the flow of their offensive and I think we had a lot to do with that.”
What does it mean for Pender’s team to potentially not have to play a play-in game? The coach wants to continue winning, but he’s knows its going to be tough.
“I don’t see anyone in the WDA that’s down very much,” Pender said. “I think any team could win that night. You’ve to look at (Bismarck) Century and Mandan, they are very good, but the other games are a battle.”
The Midgets face one of those top opponents in the West by traveling to Century at 5 p.m. today.
The one player the Midgets are glad to have back is senior Leslie Beaudoin. She’s averaging 11 points in her first two games back.
“Leslie can play any position we ask her to,” Pender said. “She can play our post, she can play our guard position and, if we have to, we can throw her at the point. She brings a lot of different styles of play for us.”
However, one player isn’t going to change the fortune of team. Pender has seen the rest of players learn specific roles.
“Everybody’s seeing what we all need to do and we are progressing very well,” he said.
Midgets boys hockey
team improving from game to game
The Dickinson boys hockey team have a tough road ahead to make the West Region tournament.
The Midgets’ scenario has them on course to play Williston in a play-in game for the final spot in the tournament.
The only way Dickinson (3-14, 0-12 West) has a chance to get out of the play-in game is to win its final four games of the regular season. So, does Dickinson head coach Tom Folske feel any kind of urgency with that type of pressure?
“No, we don’t,” he said. “We just need to work on improving and getting better every game.”
Dickinson plays Minot High, Bismarck High, Hazen-Beulah and Williston in its final four games. The Midgets’ record this season against those four teams is 0-4 and they’ve been outscored 18-4.
“That’s a lot of pressure to put on the kids,” Folske said. “I think we just need to focus on the positives and keep building.”
Despite Folske not putting pressure on his team to win, he knows his team will have to play better than in the first meeting of the season.
“We have to go in with the knowledge that we have to be better than we were the first time that we played them,” he said.
Folske believes the progression his team has made is huge and they are better than where they were at the beginning of the season.
“I think we’ve come a long ways,” Folske said. “I think the kids understand the game more than they did at the beginning.”
The biggest thing the Midgets have learned is to play a sound defensive game.
“We’ve had to learn that we need to be a very defensive hockey team,” Folske said. “We learned that offense is generated from playing a sound defensive game.”