The College Sports Report

March Madness is upon us.
For many college basketball teams, the regular season has turned into the postseason.
Here is an update of some Daily Globe-area athletes who have competed on the hardwood this winter.
Women’s Basketball
Worthington graduate MARTHA ALWAL, a 6-foot-4 sophomore center at Mississippi State, has earned recognition from the Southeastern Conference this season.
Alwal, who was named as an All-SEC second-team performer overall, landed on the All-SEC Defensive first team.
In 29 games, Alwal led the Bulldogs during a 13-17 campaign this season by averaging MSU highs in points (12.3) and rebounds (9.9) per game. She has posted 358 points, 286 rebounds, 74 blocked shots, 28 assists and 22 steals.
Alwal has converted 46 percent (130 of 284) of her shots from the field and 79 percent (97 of 123) of her shots from the free-throw line.
Mississippi State’s season ended Wednesday it dropped a 63-36 decision to Alabama in the first round of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
Alwal was limited to six points on 3 of 8 shooting and six rebounds against the Crimson Tide.
Men’s Basketball
Ellsworth graduate CASEY SCHILLING and Southwest Christian graduate ZACH HUISKEN have combined their skills to help Augustana reach the semifinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament.
In 18 games, Schilling, a 6-6 freshman forward, has averaged 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. He has scored 142 points on 48 percent (50 of 104) shooting from the field, 42 percent (13 of 31) shooting from 3-point range and 67 percent (29 of 43) shooting from the free-throw line. Schilling also has 95 rebounds, 21 assists, 19 steals and three blocked shots.
In 28 games, Huisken, a 6-9 freshman forward, has averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds. He has scored 194 points on 48 percent (72 of 148) shooting from the field, 27 percent (7 of 26) shooting from 3-point range and 61 percent (43 of 71) shooting from the free-throw line. Huisken also has 116 rebounds, 29 assists, 17 blocked shots and 14 steals.
The Vikings, who 21-7 overall, play Minnesota State-Mankato in the semifinal round at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Rochester.
Worthington graduate JALEN VOSS, a 6-7 sophomore forward, led Dakota Wesleyan by averaging 14.2 points and 9.9 rebounds a game during the Tigers’ 14-17 season.
In 31 games, Voss made 56 percent (174 of 309) of his shots from the field and converted 66 percent (93 of 140) of his shots at the free-throw line this year. He had 308 rebounds, 44 blocked shots, 28 steals and 441 points.
The Great Plains Athletic Conference named Voss as an All-GPAC first team selection this season.
DWU’s year ended with a 77-63 loss to Northwestern College in the quarterfinals of the GPAC Tournament on Feb. 20.
Fulda graduate MATT APPEL, a 6-3 freshman forward, is also a part of the Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball program, but did not see any varsity action this season.
Mountain Lake Area graduate BEAU HERRIG, a 6-4 freshman center, helped Ridgewater College during the Warriors’ 13-15 season.
In 26 games, Herrig averaged 9.1 rebounds and 8.4 points per game for Ridgewater.
The Warriors did not qualify for the NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Region 13 Tournament this season after losing a Minnesota College Athletic Conference Southern Division tiebreaker against Minnesota West.
NOTE: If you know of an athlete, originally from the Daily Globe’s coverage area, who is currently away competing in sports at the collegiate level, contact Sports Editor Jeff Arenz by phone at (507) 376-7328 or by email at jarenz@dglobe.com, to have them featured in Sideline Scenes: The College Sports Report.

The College Sports Report

The collegiate track and field season is underway despite cold and snowy weather conditions.
Before the dawn of spring, the indoor season runs from January until early March.
A pair of former Daily Globe-area athletes competed for Morningside College during the Great Plains Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 16 in Lincoln, Neb.
Sheldon native KACE GROFF combined with Monte Larsen, Eric Koithan and Brad Wright to win the 3,200-meter relay for the Mustangs in 7 minutes, 50.40 seconds.
Adrian native HAILEE HEITKAMP teamed with Jennifer Petsche, Neeia Cooperwood and Breanna Mathes as Morningside placed second in the 1,600 relay with a school-record time of 3:57.84.
Heitkamp was the runner-up in the mile run (5:38.34) as the Mustangs competed Feb. 9 at the Dordt Invitational in Sioux Center, Iowa.
She was the champion in the 1,000-meters (3:09.00) as Morningside participated during the Dennis Young Classic on Feb. 2 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Heitkamp combined with Petsche, Cooperwood and Shelby Hall to place second in the 1,600 relay (4:06.53).
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Edgerton native ALYSON DROOGER posted some impressive statistics at Dakota State University this season.
Drooger, a 6-foot-1 forward, played in 22 games this season, making 53 percent (82 of 156) of her field goals and 75 percent (27 of 36) of her free throws as the Trojans went 6-20 overall.
She was Dakota State’s third-leading scorer (217 points, 9.9 per game), the Trojans’ top rebounder (132 rebounds, 6.0 per game) this season, while adding 46 assists.
Drooger had the seventh-most blocked shots among NAIA Division II players with 77. Her 3.5 blocks per game ranked second in the nation. Drooger had a school-record 11 blocked shots against Mount Marty on Dec. 5. She added 16 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing a triple-double.
Drooger eclipsed a record once held by Adrian native MARIA GENGLER, who blocked 10 shots in a game in 2006. Gengler is still Dakota State’s single-season blocked shots champion with 102. Drooger is second with 77.

If you know of an athlete,originally from the Daily Globe’s coverage area, who is currently away competing at the collegiate level, contact Sports Editor Jeff Arenz by phone at 376-7328 or by email at jarenz@dglobe.com, to have them featured in Sideline Scenes: The College Sports Report.

The College Sports Report

I have decided to bring a new idea to Sideline Scenes.
During 16 years of sports journalism, I have worked at different newspapers that had columnists who provided updates of former area high school athletes, currently competing at colleges outside of the newspaper’s coverage area.
With that in mind, I present to you, the reader, the Daily Globe’s newest feature, “The College Sports Report.”
Worthington native MARTHA ALWAL, a 6-foot-4 sophomore center at Mississippi State University, had a monster game at home Sunday in a 72-57 win over Ole Miss.
Alwal scored 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field and 3 of 4 shooting from the free-throw line. She added 12 rebounds for a double-double and swatted five blocked shots.
Alwal is averaging 12.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game this season.
The Bulldogs are 9-11 overall and 1-6 versus the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State travels to play eight-time NCAA champion Tennessee at Knoxville, Tenn., today.
Worthington native GABBY BOEVER, a 5-9 sophomore point guard at South Dakota State University, has had a scoring surge of late.
Averaging 5.5 points per game, Boever has produced 25 points during the Jackrabbits’ last two games. She posted 10 points at Omaha on Saturday after recording 15 points in an SDSU home game against Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis on Jan. 19.
South Dakota State is 17-6 overall and 7-1 versus the Summit League this season. The Jackrabbits, who played at South Dakota on Wednesday, travel to play Kansas City on Saturday.
Worthington native HOLLI AGGEN, a 5-9 senior guard at the University of Sioux Falls, has started 10 games for the Cougars this season.
On Saturday, Aggen scored 14 points as Sioux Falls defeated Upper Iowa 66-63 at home. She is averaging 5.5 points per game.
The Cougars are 10-8 overall and 7-7 versus the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference this season. Sioux Falls plays at Minnesota-Crookston on Friday and at Bemidji State on Saturday.
The following area athletes were names to the 2012 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Fall All-Academic Team: SIERRA HARDER, Sioux Falls, cross country, junior, Mountain Lake; SHANE ERICKSON, Northern State, football, sophomore, Tracy; SAM DOOYEMA, Sioux Falls, football, junior, Luverne; NICK PULSCHER, Wayne State, football, senior, Sheldon, Iowa; MEGAN BEZDICEK, Augustana, volleyball, senior, Jackson.
NOTE: If you know of an athlete, originally from the Daily Globe’s coverage area, who is currently away competing at the collegiate level, contact Sports Editor Jeff Arenz by phone at (507) 376-7328 or by email at jarenz@dglobe.com, to have them featured in Sideline Scenes: The College Sports Report.

Local teams, individuals getting state recognition

We have reached the winter break of the high school sports season with several southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa teams finding their way into the state rankings.
In Minnesota boys basketball, Southwest Conference member Marshall, which defeated Mankato West 70-50 at home Saturday, is 4-1 overall and rated No. 10 in Class 3A.
Three Class 1A teams — Southwest Christian (5-1), Dawson-Boyd (5-1) and Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (7-0) — are among the top 10. The Eagles are ranked fifth, while the Blackjacks and Knights are rated ninth and 10th, respectively.
In Iowa boys basketball, a trio of teams from area conferences are listed in the rankings.
MOC-Floyd Valley is 8-1 overall and rated No. 8 in Class 3A. Sheldon, which is an undefeated 10-0 overall, is ranked sixth in Class 2A. Harris-Lake Park, which is rated seventh in Class 1A, has won nine of its first 10 games.
In Minnesota girls basketball, Marshall is 7-1 overall and ranked eighth in Class 3A.
The only other team from an area conference to appear in the state polls is Minneota (9-0), which is No. 5 in Class 1A.
In Iowa girls basketball, Central Lyon is the only team from the Daily Globe area to be rated. The Lyons are 9-1 overall and check in at No. 5 in Class 1A.
Just outside the DG area, Spirit Lake (5-2) slipped from fourth to sixth in the latest Class 2A poll.
Siouxland Conference leader MOC-Floyd Valley, 11-0 overall, is ranked second in Class 3A.
In Minnesota wrestling, Adrian Area, a cooperative agreement with Ellsworth, has won its first eight duals this season to grab the No. 12 spot in Class 2A, according to The Guillotine.
Six Dragons — Jayden Bullerman (No. 3 at 120), Tony Lynn (No. 9 at 126), Nate Loosbrock (No. 9 at 132), Ben Mulder (No. 10 at 138), Jesse Slater (No. 8 at 152), Adam Garms (No. 8 at 195) —appear in the individual polls.
Other ranked wrestlers in Class 2A include Worthington’s Anthony Luft (No. 5 at 113) and Fulda/Murray County Central’s Ben Loosbrock (No. 7 at 170).
Jackson County is the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A, while Wabasso/Red Rock Central has the No. 4 spot. Windom/Mountain Lake has also received honorable mention.
The Huskies, Bobcats and Cobras have a combined total of 17 rated wrestlers.
Half of the JCC lineup is ranked. They include Jordan Biehn (No. 7 at 120), Cameron Henning (No. 10 at 126), Eliot Jurries (No. 1 at 132), Paden Moore (No. 2 at 145), Luke Norland (No. 1 at 152), Keegan Moore (No. 5 at 160) and Darick Vancura (No. 1 at 170).
Six Bobcats have made their way into the polls. They are Spencer Jenniges (No. 5 at 120), Derek Christians (No. 7 at 132), T.J. Fulton (No. 4 at 138), Tanner Rohlik (No. 2 at 152), Blake Altermatt (No. 6 at 170) and Alex Schroepfer (No. 2 at 285).
Four Cobras —Wyatt Stevens (No. 3 at 106), Jared Wilaby (No. 3 at 132), Vince Johnson (No. 4 at 195) and Neil Liftin (No. 8 at 285) are rated wrestlers.
Pipestone Area’s Brady Boss has secured the No. 12 spot at 145.
In Iowa wrestling, Spirit Lake Park, which is ranked 10th in Class 2A, has three wrestlers among the state polls.
Doug Miner is top-rated grappler at 120, while Zach Skopec (No. 4 at 138) and David Trucksess (No. 6 at 152) also hold down spots.
Colby McIntire, a Central Lyon wrestler, is ranked seventh at 126.
In Minnesota girls hockey, Luverne has received votes in the latest statewide Class A poll.

Cox pressing his way to the top

Imagine lying down, flat on your back, inside a cage at the zoo. Then, a 330-pound panda bear walks up to you and sits down on your chest?
What do you do?
If you’re former Adrian resident Ron Cox, you lift the panda bear off of yourself, get up and walk away.
Cox, 51, who now resides in Houston, Texas, competed in the International Powerlifting League’s World Powerlifting, Benchpress and Deadlifting Championships from Nov. 9-12 at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.
He placed first among the 242-pound Master Weight Class for men 50-years and older by benchpressing 330.69 pounds. Among all benchpressing weight classes, Cox finished third.
An average panda bear weighs about 330 pounds.
Cox — a 1979 graduate of Adrian High School and the captain of the 1980 Worthington Community College football team —qualified for the 2012 IPL World Championships last year. He won his age and weight classes at the U.S.A. Powerlifting League’s events at the state (Texas) and national levels before placing second at the IPL World Championships.
Cox said he became interested in powerlifting through two former WCC football coaches, the late Don Varpness and Ty Wacker.
“It was because of my experiences at Worthington Community College and Huron, S.D., College,” Cox said. “It’s all about what you put in to something. I also feel Don and Ty were two of the best football coaches Minnesota has ever seen.”
Cox explained the format for benchpressing at high-level events.
“In those tournaments, they used paused lifts (the weight must stay down to your chest for 3 to 5 seconds),” Cox said. “I like to lift raw, which means that I don’t like to use a shirt, which can increase your ability to benchpress about 30 to 40 percent.”
Cox, who retired in 2002 after serving 22 years in the U.S. Army, has spent the last 33 years grinding and pounding a variety of weight machines, usually out in his garage.
“In the Army, especially as an officer, everyone takes an oath to never lie, cheat or steal,” Cox said. “That’s why I never had any interest to become associated with the guys who took steroids to get ahead. Plus, I could always see which guys were taking them.”
Along the way, he has made strong friendships with world champion powerlifter Brad Gillingham, of Marshall, and now retired world champion armwrestler Richard Lupkes, of Rushmore, who Cox said he has known his whole life.
“Those guys are in a different tier. They are super heavyweights. I’m more of a 242 (weight class) kind of guy,” Cox said.
Cox is proud to be a Minnesota strongman.
“They say that most of the strongest men come from the coasts,” Cox said. “I beg to differ with those people. I think some of the strongest guys in the world come from Minnesota.”
Today, Ron Cox is a car salesman for a Chrysler dealership in the Houston area owned by former Houston Oilers wide receiver Mac Haik.
Ron, the son of Marie and the late William Cox, is the brother of Bill and Jeff Cox. Marie currently resides in Worthington.

Submitted Photo
Brad Gillingham (left) with Ron Cox in Las Vegas.

The Daily Globe has new sports editor

For those of you who have seen a new byline above sports stories in The Daily Globe, your eyes have perfect 20/20 vision.
That byline belongs to me, Jeff Arenz, the new sports editor here in Worthington.
I have come to southwest Minnesota to work and live among you, the readers of The Daily Globe. Even though this is only my second week in Worthington, I have 16 years of sports journalism experience.
I have covered sports at the recreational, middle school, high school, collegiate and professional levels. The topics that I have written about include auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, bowling, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball and wrestling.
Originally from the north central Illinois town of Streator, I moved to Worthington from a city very similar in population. Living here is not any different than the type of environment that I had growing up.
Through the course of my career, I have been fortunate to learn the skills necessary to not only creating sports stories, but also I have picked up a thing or two about producing a quality sports section.
Three times in the last six years, the Illinois Press Association (2006 and 2007) and the Michigan Press Association (2010), have honored my sports sections with first- and second-place awards for daily newspapers (located generally in small towns) with circulation of less than 10,000 subscribers.
I could not have done this all by myself.
Since this is a week of Thanksgiving, I am thankful to some people in my life who have always loved and supported me, no matter how much anxiety I have caused them.
To my dad, Leonard Arenz, who is responsible for my common sense approach to life, even though I didn’t follow in your footsteps, I know that we both will be successful by applying hard work and passion in both of our chosen fields.
To my mom, Judy (Sarosinski) Arenz, who has the strongest will of anyone I’ve ever met, I know that, by applying the lessons you have taught me in life, there is no way I will ever fail.
To my grandmother, Ann (Treshak) Arenz, who babysat me when I was a toddler, I know thunder will never harm me because, “the angels are bowling up in heaven.”
To my grandfather, Leonard Arenz, who died of cancer in 1977, you were taken away from all of us way too soon.
To my grandmother, Frances (Rizzo) Sarosinski, the greatest Italian cook who has ever lived, I will carry on your feisty spirit forever.
To my grandfather, Edward Sarosinski, the man who could build and fix everything, I miss not being able to curse at our favorite sports teams any more while telling jokes, often dirty, in the same breath.
Be sure to thank people who matter in your life this week.
DG Sports Editor Jeff Arenz may be reached at 376-7328.

What’s in a name? Just ask these high schools…

Nicknames in the realm of high school sports can often be entertaining.
Since living in Minnesota for only a little more than two weeks, I haven’t noticed too many monikers that have been outrageous, with the only exceptions being the Southwest Star Concepts’ Quasars and the Sheldon, Iowa, Orabs.
According to Dictionary.com, a quasar is one of more than one thousand known extragalactic objects, starlike in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.
The Orabs are formed from Sheldon’s school colors, which are orange and black.
In my native Illinois, Canton has its Little Giants; Cobden is the home of the Appleknockers; Freeport has its Pretzels and Lincoln, a town in which our 16th president once lived, is the home of the Railsplitters, a pastime of “Honest Abe.”
Other Illinois nicknames include the Commandoes of Abingdon, the Dukes of Dixon, no, not Hazzard; the Maple Leafs of Geneseo; the Marcos of Polo; the E-Rabs of Rockford East and the Whip-Purs of Hampshire.
Of course, the girls teams in Dixon are called the Duchesses. Just like in Princeville, where they have the Princes and Princesses; in Prophetstown, where they cheer for the Prophets; and in Farmington, where they root for the Farmers.
Like the Orabs of Sheldon, E-Rabs is an acronym referring to the Rockford school district’s East High School red and black. The Whip-Purs is formed from a combination of Hampshire’s school colors, white and purple.
Another Illinois nickname that is derived from an acronym is the Cogs of Genoa-Kingston, referring to City of Genoa Schools.
However, one Illinois nickname that should not strike fear into the heart of any football player would be that of Fisher. The high school teams there are known as the Bunnies.
Certainly, a cute, cuddly bunny is a non-threatening mascot. It’s similar to the Hot Dogs of Frankfort, Ind., where the mascot there is a wiener dog.
Who would want to beat a bunny or a wiener dog?
So the next time you’re favorite high school team, take a moment to think about where some of these entertaining nicknames originated.
NOTE: For more information about Daily Globe Sports Editor Jeff Arenz, see his blog post above.