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Region 12C Baseball: Loretto takes on Hutchinson tonight

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

MAPLE LAKE — Loretto takes to the the field at Irish Stadium in Maple Lake tonight to take on Hutchinson in the first round of the Region 12C playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

The Loretto/Hutchinson game is the second this evening. Maple Lake and Howard Lake lead off the night at 6 p.m.

Two games are already in the books. Buffalo defeated Dassel-Cokato 8-0 Wednesday night, and, Thursday, Delano edged Maple Plain 2-1.

It is a double-elimination tournament.

The tournament continues Saturday and Sunday of this weekend.

AMATEUR BASEBALL: Region 12C Preview

(Courtesy of Ryan Hayes)

Wednesday, August 5 – 7:30pm
#1-Buffalo Bulldgos (10-0) v. #8-Dassel-Cokato Saints (6-6)
Buffalo ran away with the league going 10-0 and won their only non-league game last week against the always
talented Cold Spring Springers. The top of the order for the Bulldogs has been deadly! The combination of
Haight, Duske, O’Donnell, and Renshaw gives opposing pitchers minimal room for error. Just saw some news
today that Ramon Vega Jr will be headed to the Northwoods League and looks like he will miss region playoffs,
he’s been hot as of late and could be a blow to that solid lineup. Buffalo has a couple of options on the mound
for their game 1 starter as Eric Newman (4-0 2.95 ERA) led the league in wins, yet Mr. Bulldog Jon Euerle
went 2-0 with an ERA of 1.50. D-C on the other hand got back to the regions by pitching well, and playing very
solid defense. They will either go with Tyler Zweibohmer (1-1 1.88 ERA) on 3 days rest, or Jordan Flick (2-1
2.67 ERA) on 2 days. He’s done this before folks. Win or lose versus the Bulldogs, they are going to be a
tough team to beat twice with two of the top pitchers in the league; as well as the addition of Dylan Weber and
Jim Althoff, both have been consistent additions to the Saints lineup to go along with Tyler Brandel, and John
Hohenstein. The Saints may also have history on their side, as the 2015, 2016, and 2019 #1 seeds in the
Region 12C playoffs have gone 0-2.

Thursday, August 6 – 7:30pm
#2-Delano Athletics (8-2) v. #7-Maple Plain Diamond Devils (4-6)
Maple Plain was able to fend of Dassel-Cokato 4-3 last week to lock itself in to regions without playing in
league playoffs. The Diamond Devils won their last three games in big part of because of the hitting display
Billy Soule and Mike Frericks put on during the final week of season. Max Marshall, and Kyle Bode have been
the go to arms for the Diamond Devils in 2020, but don’t be surprised if they roll with the always tough Judd
McKown in game 1. Delano has relied on their strong lineup through most of the season, Hanson, Paulson,
and Hart all finished in the top 10 in the NSL in hitting in 2020, which has helped them overcome some early
season lack luster pitching performances. Max Otto went 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA this season, yet Jake Gleason,
Matt Arens, Cade Lommel, and Jeremy Maschino have all picked up wins for the Athletics this season. We’ll
see who they give the ball to game 1.
Friday, August 7 – 6:00pm
#4-Howard Lake Orphans (6-4) v. #5-Maple Lake Lakers (5-5)
A 6pm start time doesn’t give the Maple Lake faithful much time to get good and loosened up for a ballgame,
but being that they are the host, that gives them all a good excuse to get out of work early on a Friday to get
primed for this rivalry game. Howard Lake will no doubt give the ball to Mike Dockendorf (3-1 2.05 ERA) who
has looked like himself after some early arm issues. The Orphans also have some guys swinging the bat well
in 2020. Stud centerfielder Steve Boger at .438, Brad Bickmann .385, and Jake Gruenhagen .333 give the
Orphans some much needed pop in the lineup this year. Maple Lake is an interesting one in this most unique
of years. Often times we’ll find a couple of their pitchers dominating, and a few hitters in or near the top 10 in
batting, but some injuries, and changeover has the Lakers looking much younger this year without those
recognizable names. They had rolled out several different pitchers, Grant Mergan being their most consistent
in the league going 2-1 4.05 might get the ball in game 1, but we could also see Mitch Wurm who has a few
appearances this year get the ball in front of the home crowd on Friday night. Either way, don’t count out the
Lakers playing at Irish Stadium.
Friday, August 7 – 8:30pm
#3-Hutchinson Huskies (8-2) v. #6 Loretto Larks (5-5)
Once we get to Friday night of the first weekend of regions, the games seem to be tight matchups. Though the
Huskies and Larks are separated by 3 games, Loretto has played very well down the stretch. They have gotten
some good innings out of Donny Schroeder and Colton Petron. Michael Bohlke may be their wildcard on the
hill potentially starting their first or second game. The Larks will need to get some more production out of their
young lineup in order to keep pace with Husky bats, but as we have seen in years past, anything can happen
in August. Hutchinson will most likely go with VanDeSteeg. Which one? That we don’t know. Jeremiah went 3-
1 with a 0.90 ERA, however younger brother Dan has been throwing in some big spots for the Huskies
enabling them to finish 8-2. Dan along with Matt Piechowski have led the offense this year for Hutchinson
hitting .396, and .425 respectively, not to mention Jayden Fleck has been heating up as of late. The Larks will
need a good outing to knock off the defending Region 12C Champions.

MSHSL moves football, volleyball to spring

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has reached a decision to move football and volleyball from the fall season to spring, effective this school year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to affect the world and specifically Minnesotans.

Only football and volleyball will move seasons. Cross country, girls tennis, boys and girls soccer and girls swimming/diving will begin practices Monday, Aug. 17, with a 30% reduction in competitions. The process to alter schedules to accommodate fewer competitions is currently underway.

The MSHSL does not govern middle school sports and activities, so the district is currently checking with other schools to see if there will be enough competition to hold seasons for seventh- and eighth-grade programs.

Details for the fall
Practices will begin as scheduled on Aug. 17 for the outdoor sports mentioned above. The DHS Activities Office will be sending out a link via email to register athletes later this week.

Practices will proceed with the same guidelines that have been in place for summer events, with social distancing and sanitizing, to the extent possible. No scrimmages against other schools will be held prior to the start of official competition to limit exposure. Tennis will be limited to dual meets, and cross country meets will not include more than three teams. Spectators will be allowed at these outdoor venues but are asked to keep physical distancing guidelines in mind.

Athletes will not need to wear masks during competition, but should wear them on the bus on the way to competitions.

It has not yet been decided whether year-end section and state tournaments will be held.

School activities officials are looking at state guidelines for other activities, such as the fall play, but at this point no spectators are allowed for indoor events, so how and if additional activities proceed is still under review.

Two spring seasons
There will essentially be two spring seasons, running from approximately March 15-May 14 and from May 15-July 15. This may result in a shortened winter season. The first of those spring seasons will be for football and volleyball, if possible, and traditional spring sports will play during the later date range. Exact dates for these seasons have not yet been determined.

The Delano High School Activities Office will be sharing additional information in the future. Questions can be directed to Activities Administrator Ryan Tool at

Wishart heading to UC Santa Barbara

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

“At the end of the day, you are on the beach. That is a cherry on top, but that was not at the top of why I made my decision.”

That decision Calvin Wishart speaks of was about where he would finish his college basketball career. The beach he was referring to sits on the coast of California on the campus at UC Santa Barbara.

“It’s gorgeous there, but that was near the bottom of my list of reasons,” Wishart reiterated.

Wishart literally had a list of reasons, in the form of a spreadsheet created by his dad, Phil. At the top of the list in most categories was UC Santa Barbara, a mid-major basketball school that annually resides near the top of the Big West Conference standings.

“UCSB blew the other schools away, and, to be honest, it just felt right,” said Wishart, who will be a junior next season.

That feeling is what Wishart and his family were looking for in their recruitment of schools and basketball programs.

“It clicked,” he said. “My parents said, ‘If it feels right and it clicks, do it.’”

Wishart is headed to the west coach after spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Georgia Southern in Statesboro, GA. “The ‘Boro to the beach” is how Wishart’s father, Phil, describes the move.

Wishart wanted to make his decision soon, and he did just that, choosing to become a Gaucho at UC Santa Barbara just a week after he announced he put his name in the transfer portal. Finding a landing spot quickly avoided any uncertainty, he said.

“The portal is just as competitive as coming out of high school. You have to go for it,” said Wishart.

Wishart spoke for this story from his home in Buffalo just two days after returning home from Georgia Southern, where he is finishing up three more weeks of classes through distance learning.

In a normal year, Wishart would report to college and the basketball team for the first session in early June, and then for the second session in late July or early August. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 leaves any dates for social gathering up in the air.

Whenever he arrives in Santa Barbara and becomes a Gaucho, Wishart will join a program that has won 21 games the past three seasons under coach Joe Pasternack, including the current season, which was cut short. They finished with a 21-10 record.

The Gauchos were two wins into the Big West Conference tournament, and preparing to play UC Riverside in the quarterfinals March 12 when the season was shut down.

UC Santa Barbara has played in the NCAA Tournament nine times, going 3-6. The Gauchos’ last appearance was in 2011. They lost to Florida in the first round.

Twenty-three Gauchos made their way to the NBA. Brian Shaw (’88) is the most notable alumni.

Knowledge and experience in the NBA is something the coaches and staff at UC Santa Barbara have.

Assistant coach Larry Lewis was an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers after a long professional playing career internationally. And Director of Sports Performance Luke Storey used to be the head strength and conditioning coach for the Orlando Magic.

“There are pro athletes and pro staff at UCSB I will be working with for a year, just to get better,” said Wishart, who expects to red shirt his first season. ”I will be working with one of the best trainers in the country for a whole year. He will be working with me, getting my body stronger.”

Wishart has spoken remotely with the coaches, and received a virtual tour of the campus. He was impressed.

“That Zoom call gave us a good feeling about UCSB,” Wishart said.
The coaches promoted the school and what it offers as much as what basketball will give Wishart.
“I will be getting my degree from one of the best colleges in the country,” he said. “They weren’t just talking about what I can get in three years of basketball, they were talking about what the school can do for me for 50 years.”
Pasternack was an assistant at Arizona for six seasons before taking the head coaching position at UC Santa Barbara. He cut his teeth in college basketball as a four-year manager under Bobby Knight at Indiana.
“Coach Pasternak face-timed me just like he would another player,” Wishart said. “I feel comfortable with him.”
As for red-shirting his first season at Santa Barbara, Wishart is fine with that, as the Gauchos’ top returning guards — JaQuori McLaughlin and Devearl Ramsey — will both be seniors. By the time Wishart is out of his red-shirt situation, those spots will be open for the taking.
“I will have a chance at a big role,” Wishart said.