Archive for Brad Salmen

Going to the Bank: DC Football advances to state semifinals with 26-22 win over Cannon Falls

BURNSVILLE – The DC Charger football team advanced to the Class AAA state semifinals with a thrilling, come-from-behind 26-22 victory over Cannon Falls Saturday.

At the half, Cannon Falls led by a score of 15-13. The Bombers took a 22-13 lead early in the third quarter, which at that point seemed insurmountable. Until that point,  the Chargers defense had little answer for the Cannon Falls double-tight T-formation, particularly running back Trenton Matthies, who finished with 223 yards rushing.

However, the Chargers got a 44-yard touchdown run from Sanders Asplin to pull to within 22-19, and the defense got their first four-down stops of the game, holding the Bombers on downs on the next two possessions.

On 4th-and-4 at the Cannon Falls 44, Matthies punted the ball down to the Chargers 2-yard line with 6:28 left to go in the game.

DC responded with a 13-play, 98-yard drive, capped off by an Asplin 18-yard run up the middle, to give the Chargers the lead 26-22 with 2:48 to play.

The Bombers drove down to the DC 20-yard line with 1:08 to play. However, the Chargers held Cannon Falls to four straight incomplete passes to end the game.

Eli Gillman led the Chargers with 128 yards on 20 carries. Sanders Asplin added 94 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns.

DC will now face Annandale in the Class AAA semifinals Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Game time is 2 p.m.

The Chargers will look to avenge a 28-20 road loss to the Cardinals on Oct. 16.

Look for a full recap in Friday’s Enterprise Dispatch.

Britanie Borg advances to State Meet in diving

By BRAD SALMEN

Sports Editor

WILLMAR – The DC girls swimming & diving team participated in the Section 3A meet, held over two days at Willmar.

Britanie Borg was the lone Charger to advance to the Class A state tournament, taking fourth in diving.

Section 3A is, without any semblance of doubt, the toughest section in the state. Five of the top-10 teams in Class A – Hutchinson, Delano, Mound Westonka/HF, Orono, and Waconia – are in the section.

Thus, even though the Chargers had a number of season-best times, they were unable to advance any individual or relay teams in swim events.

Check out Friday’s Enterprise Dispatch for a full recap.

DC/L wrestling to hold Turkey Bingo, Turkey Trot

The Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield wrestling team will hold two “Turkey”-themed upcoming events.

The first is Turkey Bingo, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 14 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at DCHS. “It is exactly what we say, we play Bingo, and if you get a Bingo, your prize is a turkey,” said DCL co-head coach Bryan Clemen.

The cost is $10 per person or a $25 family cap. This will get you a Bingo card and some snacks/refreshments. Wrestlers will be walking around exchanging cards for people.

If your business is interested in being a sponsor, connect with Paul Halonen and bandpdrywall@yahoo.com.

The DCL wrestling team will also be holding their annual “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving morning.

The event, which begins at the DC high School, is a 4.2 mile walk / run.  This is a no cost event, but folks are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the local food shelves.

Participants are asked to park on the north side of the DC High School (by the home construction house) and enter the old (West) gym.  Those walking the course will take off at 6:30 AM.  Those running the course will take off at 7 AM.

After the event the program recognizes the top runners in the Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Wrestling Alumni, and Senior (50+) division.  There is also a door prize drawing that all walkers and runners are eligible for.  The whole event is usually complete by 9 a.m.

Cross Country Season Roundup

The future looks bright for the boys and girls cross country teams.

For one, the teams graduated just one senior from both teams this year.

For another, the teams will get a big boost at the beginning of the 2021 season, when the MSHSL will divide the cross country classes into three, instead of its current two-class iteration.

This means that instead of racing against some of the largest schools in the state in the section tournament – some with 3 or 4x the class size like Chanhassen, Shakopee, and Chaska – the Chargers will race against schools much closer to their size.

The disparity could be seen in this year’s section tournament, in which the girls finished 15th out of 17 teams, the boys 16th.

DC was the second-smallest school in terms of enrollment in the entire section.

However, in the Wright County Conference, against teams more similarly matched in enrollment, the boys finished 4th of 8 teams, the girls 5th.

Below are comments from head coach Brian Bessingpas.

Seniors: The Chargers will only graduate Madeline Pokornowski.  Madeline has been a long-time varsity runner for the Chargers.  She is from a running family which brought added benefits to the team.  She has done multiple 1/2 marathons and is not intimidated by distance.  This brought a certain toughness to our squad that made her a great lead-by-example kind of a person.

MVP (Boys): Benny Seefeldt, who was the #1 runner for the Chargers in every single race this year.  Benny is the second-fastest freshman that we have had behind Troy Koivisto, and is already #12 on DC’s All-Time Honor Roll.  Benny is a tremendous competitor who is serious about achieving big goals.  We look forward to another three years of watching him compete.  He should do nothing but improve as he continues to grow and develop.

MVP (Girls): Carlie Tormanen. Carlie is a very consistent performer both in meets and at practice.  She is a high achiever who works very hard.  Carlie is very coachable, and I really like the energy and enthusiasm that she brings every day.  She was wisely elected captain by her teammates for next season.  She will do a great job of leading the girls next year.

Most Improved (Girls): Kate Jenkins. Kate dropped over 8 minutes from her first 5k at Waconia to the Section 2AA Championships.  She went from the back of our JV pack to the #4 runner on varsity.  Kate is just starting to discover what she can do in cross-country.  It was fun to watch her confidence grow throughout the season.  It is unbelievable to think how far she came over the last 5-6 weeks of the season.  Kate was hands down the most improved kid in our program (boy or girl) this season…maybe ever.

Most Improved (Boys): Emmanuel Johnson. Compared to last season, Emmanuel had a very nice progression.  He was consistently in the 18’s for 5k, where as last season, he never broke 20:00 except on the very fast Litchfield course.  Emmanuel really just completed his first year as a varsity athlete, he was dependable and elevated his game very nicely this season.  Hopefully Emmanuel will consistently be in the 17’s next year.

Captains: Lydia Niemela, Madeline Pokornowksi, Haydn Veith, Emmanuel Johnson.

This captain mix was a good one.  We entered the season a little discombobulated, not anticipating that the boys would be without a captain.  This squad did a good job of learning quickly and working together well.  It will be a unique situation for us next season in that we will have three of these kids that will return.  They did a nice job of organizing some team practices at Collinwood Park, and doing a laser light run on the bike path.  They keep it fun, but held the bar high for working hard.

Mark Forsman wins Mike Downes Award

Longtime DC Saints manager and Minnesota Baseball Association (MBA) board member Mark Forsman was awarded the Mike Downes Award at the MBA’s 96th Annual meeting held September 19.

The award is given to a person who has done outstanding service to amateur baseball.

Previous North Star League recipients of the award include: Dick Traen of Delano, Brian Larson of Dassel, Herb Koch of Loretto, and Daryl Hennen of Maple Lake.

Forsman was also re-elected to another 3-year term on the MBA state board.

DC football to face Cannon Falls in state tournament

By BRAD SALMEN

Sports Editor

After advancing to their first state tournament game in 46 years, the Chargers will face a team that looks very similar in makeup in the Class AAA state quarterinals.

Cannon Falls, the winner of the Section 4AAA playoffs, features a team that:

• is disciplined on both sides of the ball

• features a run-heavy offense, with a quarterback that is capable of making plays both with his legs and his feet

• has a defense that is not huge, but is very, strong, fast, and explosive.

If those three features seem familiar, it’s because they also describe the Chargers.

“They are a very disciplined and strong team,” said DC head coach Ryan Weinandt. “We will need to be very disciplined on defense. They are not huge, but are very strong, fast, and explosive.

“We will need to continue to focus on doing what we do well, and minimizing mistakes,” he said.

Cannon Falls finished the regular season with a 7-1 record.

Their only loss in the regular season was to Stewartville in their final game, a 45-24 defeat.

(For comparison, Providence Academy – whom DC defeated 26-13 in the section final – lost to Stewartville 62-27).

Full season statistics were not available for Cannon Falls. However, it is readily apparent that their offense is heavily run-oriented.