Midgets host state-like meet FridayThe Dickinson High gymnastics team has an early season checklist.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High gymnastics team has an early season checklist.
Win the first meet? Check.
Get jitters out of the way? Check.
See the top teams in North Dakota? To be determined on Friday.
The Midgets host the top four teams from the North Dakota Class A state meet last year and South Dakota state champion Rapid City Central during the Milo Dullum Meet at 5:30 p.m. Friday at DHS gymnasium.
“It makes for very tough competition, knowing that they are the top teams in the state,” Dickinson sophomore Jill Mueller said. “It’s going to be an interesting meet to see if we stick all of our routines.”
The teams in attendance from North Dakota are four-time defending state champion Minot, Bismarck High, Bismarck Century and Jamestown. The two teams from South Dakota are Central and Rapid City Stevens.
Midgets’ head coach Kent Van Ells, in his 30th season, said having some of the top gymnasts from around the state and South Dakota should heighten everyone’s abilities.
“It’s also individual,” Van Ells said. “There’s never a relaxed, ‘Hey, we’re going to win.’ Individually there are a lot of good gymnasts out there. That really helps keep them involved in continuing to improve.”
Dickinson, who finished runner-up to Minot the last four years at the state meet, are excited for the chance to see its top competitor this early in the season. Last year, the Midgets didn’t see the Majettes until early February.
“We’re all kind of nervous for it, but I’m pretty confident we can win this meet,” Dickinson senior Mckenzie Kostelecky said.
The Midgets won the Dickinson Triangular on Saturday with 144.925 points, but more importantly the team is now in season mode. Van Ells said the Monday after the first meet is always the toughest.
“They came in on Monday kind of sore,” he said. “It’s different once the meets starts taking up the weekend. Instead of coming in Monday refreshed, they are coming in a little more sore.”
One gymnast battling a sore leg muscle is two-time all-around state champion Acacia Fossum. She will be a meet-time decision to compete in all four events. Van Ells doesn’t want Fossum to aggravate her leg more than it already is.
“We do have some aches and pains,” Van Ells said. “We’re just going to have to see how they come out.”
Jenna Mueller, who didn’t compete in the first meet of the season due to a sore knee and ankle, could compete on Friday.
“Jenna is seemingly getting some recovery in,” Van Ells said. “We’ll see if she can do bars.”
Jill Mueller didn’t compete last year as a freshman and she didn’t really have any reservations returning. The sophomore is glad to have the first meet out of the way.
“I wasn’t really nervous, because I was in it during my seventh- and eighth-grader year,” Mueller said. “I competed in state both those years. The first meet is always nerve-wracking.”
Mueller is ready to get back out and face the toughest competition in the state. She said it will give the team a nice glimpse of a possible state tournament lineup.
“We are able to see where they are and where we are at,” she said. “We just want to see where we are at in the competition.”
Points are points no matter who the Midgets are playing
After the first three games of the season, the Dickinson boys hockey team has a perfect 3-0 record and are 2-0 in the West Region.
The Midgets now look ahead to a big Friday and Saturday hosting two West Region opponents at the Dickinson Recreation Center.
“We’re going in looking for all six points,” Dickinson head coach Tom Folske said. “We just want to continue to get better period by period and game by game. We’re three games in a 21-game season. We’ve got more in front of us than we do behind us right now.”
Dickinson hosts Bismarck Century JV at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Hazen-Beulah at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Midgets aren’t quite sure if varsity players from Century are coming. Nonetheless, the three points they can earn from that game is all that’s on Dickinson senior Brendin Steiner’s mind.
“Three points are on the line,” he said. “Either way, we should still come out and play our game.”
The Midgets have received contributions from all four lines. Freshman Mike McChesney leads the team with four goals and two assists, while sophomores Andrew Heckaman and Mickey Folske each have five points.
“We’ve got points spread around pretty well,” Steiner said. “All of our lines are clicking. We know whatever line is out there, we can depend on them putting the puck in the net.”
Dickinson has 40 points, including 16 goals in three games (an average of 5.3 goals per games).
In comparison, the Midgets’ two goalies senior Jamison Gray and junior Brett Schweitzer have allowed 1.7 goals per game. The goalies started out the season with back-to-back shutouts against Williston and Sidney, Mont.
“Those two shutouts in the first two games of the season were definitely confidence booster for them,” Steiner said.
Century comes in with a 4-0 record and is 2-0 in the West. Hazen-Beulah is 0-5 and 0-4 in the West.
Tom Folske said it’s nice to start the season with three straight wins, but it’s only the beginning of a long season.
“This is a young season. This is a young team,” he said. “We’re all learning and continuing to get better every practice and every game.”
Glen Ullin-Hebron snaps 23-game losing streak
Since late in the 2010-11 season, the Glen Ullin-Hebron boys basketball team had walked off the court without a win.
The Bearcats’ snapped a 23-game losing streak in their first game of the 2012-2013 season, beating Beach 58-57 in overtime on Monday.
“The way our kids played on Monday night, I’ll take that effort every time,” Bearcats head coach Paul Sayler said. “Whatever happens, happens.”
Despite a 15-point deficit after the first quarter, GU-H battled back for the win at the Beach High School gymnasium.
“In the opening tipoff, we had a wide-open layup and we missed it,” Sayler said. “I said, ‘Oh boy.’ We got down 8-2. I called timeout and said, ‘Come on boys, we can’t do this.’
“We got it within six at halftime and I told the kids, ‘Let’s keep it within 10. A lot of times when you are down by a bunch, you make a run and come back. You don’t have enough energy left. My kids were spent.”
Adam Gietzen, a junior guard/forward, had 22 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Steve Weidmer added 14 points. Sayler said the two captains led the way and everyone else followed.
The Bearcats continue their season, traveling to Mott-Regent at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I think the win helped our confidence a lot,” Sayler said. “Their practice on Tuesday night was what I expected. Everybody was in a good mood, everybody was happy. It’s nice to cherish that victory, but on Friday night we have Mott. The one thing that the guys showed me was they had a lot of heart and desire. I was proud of them.”