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Taylor Kraenzel is the type of player any coach would love to have on the team. He's willing to play any position on the field if it means helping his team win. Kraenzel and the Dickinson Roughriders American Legion baseball team enter the Central Plains Regional Tournament today at Astoria Field at Southside Ballpark. "It's really doesn't matter," Kraenzel said. "I'm just doing whatever I can to help the team. Over the years I've played a lot more infield, but the outfield is really easy to adapt to.
Omaha Pi Midwest and Eden Prairie know the talent level and what to expect as they step foot on Astoria Field today. The two teams are returning to the Central Plains Regional seemingly going down different paths -- one the 2011 American Legion World Series champion and the other looking to make it to the national tournament. "They're not coming in stunned and meeting the other state champions from all over," Omaha head coach Pat Mooney said.
Finding a tundra swan in the Dickinson area is tough. Finding a tundra swan hunter might be tougher. And when it comes to how a swan tastes -- some say they can be the toughest meat. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department released 2,200 tundra swan licenses for the hunting season starting Sept. 29 and ending Dec. 30. The deadline for applicants is Wednesday. "There are two populations of tundra swans in North America," said Mike Johnson, North Dakota Game Management section leader and Migratory Game Bird Management supervisor. "There's a western population and an eastern population.
I wasn't born into hockey, but over time it's grown to be my favorite sport. That's why I was immediately intrigued when I heard another rink could be added to the existing Dickinson Recreation Center. "The ice could go possibly eight to 10 months out of the year," West River Expansion Committee chairman Scott Karsky said.
The talk of expansion to the Dickinson Recreation Center began being tossed around in 2006, two years after the West River Community Center opened. Those talks are being put to rest and transformed to action. As part of a proposed $15 million effort by the West River Expansion Committee, another arena could be added to the existing Dickinson Recreation Center. The Dickinson Recreation Center is home to the Dickinson Hockey Club.
Michael Fischer and Brian Mortensen found their way to first place at the Dakota Walleye Classic for the third time. The duo from Dickinson took home a first place prize of $14,000 and now has the most wins after the 17th annual Dakota Walleye Classic this past weekend on Beulah Bay. "It means that we are successful," Fischer said. "We put our time in on the water. We have cabins up on that end of the lake and we fish pretty much every weekend." Fischer and Mortensen's two prior wins were in 2003 and 2006.
Korey Kallenbach knew from a young age what sport he wanted to play and to extend the position he wanted to play too. He spent a majority of his childhood at the ballpark watching his four older brothers -- three of them played in the Dickinson Roughriders program. Kallenbach is the youngest son in his family and steps on the field for his final Class A state American Legion baseball tournament starting at 10 a.m. today when the No. 9 seed Dickinson Roughriders play No. 8 seed Jamestown in Mandan at Veteran's Memorial Ballpark. "It started with my brother, Pat," Kallenbach said.
From right to left, Dickinson Trap Club president Blaine Dukart, grandchildren Shane Roberts, Scott Roberts, Patty Kuntz, Kris Hastings, Craig Hastings and longtime shooting friend Lyle Hecker fire off a 21-gun salute before the start of the inaugural Al Lundgren Memorial Shoot on Saturday at the Dickinson Trap Club. There were 35 members in attendance for the shoot, including Al Lundgren's wife, Estelle, and two daughters, Shelby and Sharon Hutton. The two-day shoot continues today and Dukart said everyone is welcome to compete during the second day.
Dickinson didn't have to pride itself just on pitching and defense in the regular season finale. The bats were rumbling and the Roughriders' second baseman Mason Schiff accounted for three hits and four RBIs in opening game 8-2 win, but dropped the nightcap 5-2 against Williston in a non-divisional American Legion doubleheader game on Friday at the Southside Municipal Ballpark. "It was a good step in the right direction coming into state," Schiff said.
Dickinson has always been able to hang its hat on being a team that never gave up. Korey Kallenbach and Luke Herauf answered their team's need for big hits late, but the Roughriders weren't able to come up the final clutch hit. Despite late inning heroics, Mandan edged the Roughriders 7-6 in a non-divisional, nine-inning American Legion game on Thursday at the Southside Municipal Ballpark. "I even noticed tonight guys stepping up, and we just feel like we are due," Dickinson assistant coach Andy Tomanek said. "It's almost like we are owed something already by the baseball gods.