Archive for Kip Kovar

AMATEUR BASEBALL: Watertown spoils Saints’ home opener

DASSEL – The home opener for the Dassel-Cokato Saints was an exciting one. Hosting the Watertown Red Devils, the Saints nearly rallied back but the comeback attempt came up short as Watertown held on for an 8-7 win April 30 to open the amateur baseball season.

Watertown grabbed the lead with three runs in the top of third only to see D-C answer back in the bottom half. The Saints cut into that deficit with two runs in the bottom of the third to get back within one.

The back and forth matchup would continue in the seventh. After Watertown scored two runs in the top half to extend their lead to 5-2, D-C had the answer once again. The Saints scored four runs in the bottom half to take a 6-5 lead.

Down for the first time in the game, there was no panic for the Red Devils. They answered the call with three runs in the top of the eighth to take back to the lead. Despite one run from the Saints in the bottom half, Watertown held on for the win to spoil the Saints’ home opener.

For Watertown, Ben Smith and Ryan Hangartner led the way with two hits apiece. Smith also had two RBI while Pat Tschida went 1-for-3 with a triple, run scored, and an RBI.

D-C was led at the plate by Michael Leffler. He went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Paul Jacobson scored two runs in the leadoff spot, while Ben Lindquist added two RBI.

PREP BOYS GOLF: Clark leads Chargers in pair of meets

SPICER – A chance to get away from conference play allowed the Chargers to play 18 holes at Little Crow Country Club May 6. D-C finished in fourth place as a team out of 10 teams with a score of 364. New London-Spicer Black won the meet with a team score of 323.

The Chargers also had two golfers finish in the top-15 as individuals. Nathan Clark cracked the top-10 with a seventh palce finish, while Dylan Johnson took 12th place.

New London-Spicer Invite

at Little Crow Country Club

1. New London-Spicer Black, 323

2. Minnewaska, 332

3. Benson, 363

4. Dassel-Cokato, 364

5. Willmar, 371

6. Morris, 375

7. New London-Spicer Gold, 389

8. Melrose, 399

9. LQPV, 426

10. Minnewaska JV, 433

Top 10 Individual Results

1. Cole Harste (Minnewaska), 72

2. Noah Dietz (NL-S), 73

3. Peyton Coahran (NL-S), 74

4. Zach Gugisberg (Minnewaska), 82

5. Charlie Hanson (Morris), 83

6. Ben Peterson (Benson), 84

7. Nathan Clark (D-C), 85

8. Jake Rooney (NL-S), 86

9. Riley Larson (Minnewaska), 88

10. Brady DeHaan (Benson), 89

Individual Results


Cole Harste (Minnewaska), 72

Dassel-Cokato Team Finishers

• Nathan Clark, 85

• Dylan Johnson, 90

• Logan Benson, 93

• Travis Olson, 96

• Kaden Johnson, 96

• Paul Ylitalo, 98

WCC West Meet

ANNANDALE – With another 18 holes in the book when it comes to conference play, the Chargers continue to put up some good scores as the end of the regular season approaches. Playing at Southbrook Golf course, D-C turned in a team score of 349 which was good enough for third place.

“In much better conditions than last week, the boys returned to Southbrook,” Chargers coach Todd Goudy said. “In arguably their best performance of the season, the team took third place out of eight. On a course that demands accuracy, the boys were able to keep their ball in play and minimize big numbers”

Glencoe-Silver Lake took second place, while New London-Spicer finished in first.

Peyton Coahran of NL-S was the medalist with a round of 75.

D-C was led by Clark who once again turned in a solid performance. After shooting a 42 on the front, he finished things off with a 40 on the back for a total of 82.

Kaden Johnson (86) and Paul Ylitalo (87) also posted sub-90 rounds for the Chargers.

Wright County Conference

at Southbrook Golf Course

Team Results

1. New London-Spicer, 322

2. Glencoe-Silver Lake, 339

3. Dassel-Cokato, 349

4. Litchfield, 352

5. Annandale, 368

6. Rockford, 380

7. HLWW/Maple Lak,e 382

8. Watertown-Mayer, 387

Individual Results


Peyton Coahran (New London-Spicer), 75

Dassel-Cokato Team Finishers

• Nathan Clark, 82

• Kaden Johnson, 86

• Paul Ylitalo, 87

• Logan Benson, 94

• Travis Olson, 94

• Dylan Johnson, 95

PREP GIRLS GOLF: Chargers keep improvement coming

The Dassel-Cokato girls golf team is on the home stretch of conference play. With just one match left to play, the Chargers find themselves sitting in sixth place in the conference standings after competing at Little Crow Country Club and Albion Ridges Golf Course this past week.

D-C has a six-stroke lead over Rockford heading into the final conference match of the season.

Litchfield Invite

LITCHFIELD – With two girls playing the first varsity rounds of their careers, the Dassel-Cokato Chargers had their work cut out from them. D-C finished in sixth place overall as a team with a total of 227 at the Litchfield Invite May 6. New London-Spicer won the meet with a score of 198.

Mackenzie Kohls had a round to remember for the Chargers. She broke 60 for the first time in her career with a score of 58.

Brooke Harmala led the way for D-C with a score of 55, while Rachel Gram finished with a round of 56. Payton Amundson also shot a 58 for D-C.

Litchfield Invite

at Litchfield Golf Course

Team Results

1. New London-Spicer, 198

2. Montevideo, 198

3. Litchfield, 198

4. Waconia, 199

5. Litchfield JV, 207

6. Dassel-Cokato, 227

7. Watertown-Mayer, 228

8. St. Anthony Village, 233

Individual Results


Ava Hanson (NL-S), 43

Dassel-Cokato Team Finishers

• Brooke Harmala,  55

• Rachel Gram,  56

• Payton Amundson, 58

• Mackenzie Kohls,  58

• Daralyn Goldsberry, 72

• Allie Marx, 86

WCC West Meet No. 6

SPICER – Back in conference play, the Chargers took on Little Crow Country Club. D-C finished in third place as a team with a score of 229. NL-S won the meet with a score of 211.

AnnaMarie Witt led the way for the Chargers by posting a score of 52. That was good enough to tie for second place as an individual.

Kaisa Harmala was in second place for D-C with a score of 56, while Brooke Harmala turned in a round of 58.

Wright County Conference

at Little Crow Country Club

Team Results

1. New London-Spicer, 211

2. Litchfield, 221

3. Dassel-Cokato, 229

4. Annandale, 232

5. HLWW/Maple Lake, 233

6. Watertown-Mayer, 241

7. Rockford, 342

Individual Results


Ava Hanson (New London-Spicer), 43

Dassel-Cokato Team Finishers

• AnnaMarie Witt, 52

• Kaisa Harmala, 56

• Brooke Harmala, 58

• Lora Mayfield, 63

• Mackenzie Kohls, 63

• Payton Amundson, 66

WCC West Meet No. 7

ANNANDALE – In the second to last conference meet of the season, D-C kept the improvement rolling with a third-place finish at Albion Ridges Golf Course May 11. The Chargers finished in fourth place as a team with a total score of 208. NL-S claimed the top spot, turning in a team score of 181.

Senior Brooke Harmala led the way for the Chargers with a round of 47. That was good enough for eighth place overall as an individual. Payton Amundson shot a 50, while Kaisa Haramala carded a 53 to round out the top three for D-C.

The Chargers will close out conference play Friday afternoon at Timber Creek Golf Course.

Wright County Conference

at Albion Ridges Golf Course

Team Results

1. New London-Spicer, 181

2. Litchfield, 198

3. Annandale, 207

4. Dassel-Cokato, 208

5. Watertown-Mayer, 213

6. Rockford, 219

7. HLWW/Maple Lake, 221

Individual Results


Alex Peterson (Dassel-Cokato), 77

D-C Team Finishers

• Payton Amundson, 50

• Lora Mayfield, 63

• Kaisa Harmala, 53

• Mackenzie Kohls, 58

• Brooke Harmala, 47

• AnnMarie Witt, 64

Overall Team Standings

1. New London-Spicer, 1,576

2. Litchfield, 1,628

3. Annandale, 1,701

4. Watertown-Mayer, 1,731

5. HLWW/Maple Lake, 1,752

6. Dassel-Cokato, 1,837

7. Rockford, 1,843

CONFERENCE CHAMPS: Tigers claim conference title at Island View Golf Club

WACONIA – There’s a first for everything.

The one thing missing for the Delano boys golf team the past few seasons has been a conference title. Not anymore. After dominating conference play for the majority of the season, the Tigers put the finishing touches on the conference title at Island View Golf Club Tuesday afternoon.

Delano finished the final round with a team-best score of 315. That was more than enough to have them lock up the conference title as they finished 93 strokes ahead of Mound Westonka to win their first conference title in program history.

“It’s been fun being part of a team deep with talent,” Tigers coach Tory Spanier said. “Island View is a nice course and is always in good condition with some challenging holes. The weather was finally great. The boys continue to fight through some tough holes and scored well.”

Delano’s depth has been a big key for them all season and it showed in a big way. In the final round of conference play, the Tigers had all six golfers post sub-90 rounds to claim the title.

James Ylitalo led the way carding a round of 76. He was one of four All-Conference award winners for the Tigers as he finished in first place as an individual. He edged New Prague’s Henry Geiger who finished in second place just three shots behind.

“Seeing James take the individual title was great,” Spanier said. “He’s put in a ton of time and work over the years.”

Trevor Oja, Jake Oja, and Jack Horsch also earned All-Conference honors for the Tigers. Trevor Oja finished in fourth place as an individual, while Jake Oka (7th) and Horsch (10th) also cracked the top-12 for Delano.

“It’s awesome seeing Trevor in the top 4 as well,” Spanier said. “H’s been solid in our No. 2 spot for years now, and he’s stepped up, even more, this year with his play. After not having the season he wanted as a sophomore, Jack Horsch has been our most improved this season, and to see him place in the top 10 was great for his confidence moving forward.”

While a conference title is nice, the Tigers have their sights set on bigger goals. They’ll have a few rounds to get ready for the postseason, and they’re looking to make some more noise going forward.

“The boys had a good conference season,” Spanier said. “It’s a great start to the season, but the team has goals of playing well at sections and hopefully advance to state.”

Wright County Conference

at Island View Golf Club

Team Results

1. Delano, 315

2. Orono, 325

3. Holy Family, 327

4. Waconia, 328

5. Mound Westonka, 329

6. New Prague, 341

7. Hutchinson, 343

8. Jordan, 352

Individual Results


Henry Geiger (New Prague), 72

Delano Team Finishers

• James Ylitalo, 76

• Trevor Oja, 78

• Jake Oja, 80

• Jack Horsch, 81

• Will Scheck, 84

• Joe Scheck, 85

WCC East Team Final Standings

1. Delano, 1,881

2. Mound Westonka, 1,974

3. Orono, 1,986

4. Holy Family, 1,990

5. Waconia, 2,031

6. Hutchinson, 2,048

7. New Prague, 2,049

8. Jordan, 2,159

WCC East Individual Final Standings

1. James Ylitalo (Delano), 378

2. Henry Geiger (New Prague), 381

3. Mitch Kresbach (Mound Westonka), 386

4. Trevor Oja (Delano), 387

5. Gus Leivermann (Waconia), 388

6. Devin Verhasselt (Hutchinson), 393

7. Jake Oja (Delano), 393

8. Matthew Uhas (Mound Westonka), 402

9. Cam Longie (Hutchinson), 404

10. Jack Horsch (Delano), 405

11. Wesley Carlsen (Orono), 406

12. Franz Jevne (Orono), 409

PREP SOFTBALL: Langenfeld leads Bulldogs past United Christian to snap five-game skid

LESTER PRAIRIE – Lester Prairie’s Lexie Langenfeld is just one of three seniors on the roster this season for the Bulldogs. Along with leadership, she’s also the workhorse for her team in the circle and she turned in one of her best performances of the season when her team needed it most.

Amid a five-game losing streak, Langenfeld brought her best as the Bulldogs got back into the win column with an 11-0 win over United Christian Academy in four innings Monday.

“It’s good to see her pitch well,” Lester Prairie coach Andrew Weber said. “She was throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count.”

Langenfeld got the start as usual for the Bulldogs. She wasted no time in getting off to a strong start, having faith in the defense behind her.

“Just do the best I can,” Langenfeld said about her mindsets coming into the game. “All I can do is as good as I can do. I just have to rely on my defense a little bit.”

Relying on the defense was much easier for her after her team spotted her five runs in the first inning.

“It lets me rely on my defense,” Langenfeld said about getting off to a quick start. “I just have to throw it down the middle and let them hit.”

With a 5-0 lead heading out for her second inning of work, that’s when she brought her best. After an error and base hit gave the Thunder a pair of baserunners to open the inning, Langenfeld struck out the next three she faced to get out of the jam.

She was on cruise control after that, retiring 12 of the final 14 batters she faced to help get her team back into the win column.

“It was very nice,” Langenfeld said about putting an end to the losing streak. “We didn’t have the enthusiasm in those games that we had today. It was a good win.”

“It was good to win because we were on a five-game losing streak,” Weber added. “It was nice to get the bats going again and have some fun while we’re playing.”

At just over the half-point mark of the season, the Bulldogs sit just one game back of being .500. With a record of 5-6, Weber likes where his team is headed.

“We’re progressing,” Weber said. “We had a little lull. You get those midseason lulls a little bit. We’re batting through that and keep progressing as we get to sections.”

“We had a very young team coming in,” Langenfeld added. “We didn’t really have that high of expectations. Now, I think we’re progressing really well. I think we’re doing better than expected.”

With eight games left in the regular season, the Bulldogs will be looking to keep their bats going and play with confidence heading into the postseason.

“Just keep believing that we’re good hitters,” Weber said about what he wants to see from his team going forward. “We need to keep going up there and being aggressive. Just keep continuing to be confident.”

For the complete story and more Herald Journal sports coverage, check out the May 14 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.  Subscribers have full access to this article and more by clicking here. Subscriptions start as low as $1.50 for a two-day subscription, the same price as a newspaper on a newsstand.

Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports 

PREP SOFTBALL: Tigers ride Peterson, defense to complete sweep of Waconia

WACONIA – The Delano softball team’s calling card has been their offense this season so far. Despite that, the Tigers know there will be times this season when they will need their pitching and defense to step up.

Delano got just that when they needed it as they complete the season sweep of the Waconia Wildcats Friday afternoon with an 8-2 win on the road.

“I don’t think today was our best game we’ve had,” Tigers coach Jim VanCura said. “Defensively it probably was, but offensively we left some runners on base. We’ve given up a lot of runs. It was nice to see us make plays and limit that. We’re making progress defensively. That’s nice to see.”

A team that’s scored double-digit runs in almost every game this season, Delano knows how important it is to have their defense playing at a high level, as well.

“It was one of our better defensive games,” senior Sydney Stansberry said. “Just to see that improvement on the defensive end is nice to know that it’s coming together as a team. If we end up not having the best offensive game, we still have our defense behind us.”

Delano used their offense to gain the edge early on. Carly Stuckmayer drove in a pair with a single in the first inning, and in the top of the second, Louisa Stowman blasted her seventh home run of the season as Delano took a 7-0 lead.

The Tigers would score just one more run the rest of the way as they leaned on their defense to pick up the win.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” VanCura said. “It would be nice if we could keep scoring 17-20 runs a game. If we do that, we’re in good shape. There’s going to be games where that’s not going to happen.”

Delano’s defense took a big step forward in the win thanks to the pitching of Tanna Peterson. Peterson went all seven innings, allowing just two runs off of seven hits while striking out eight.

“She’s always a joy to have on the mound,” Stansberry said. “She’s always just having fun. She can be serious when she needs to be, but she always knows how to lighten the mood on the field. It’s super nice to have someone like that out there.”

Peterson found herself in a jam in the bottom of the fifth but came up big for the Tigers. After giving up a pair of singles to start the inning, she picked up back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the inning without allowing a run.

“Tanna’s feisty,” VanCura said. “As a pitcher, you like to see that. She’s focused. She’s just a competitor Kaylie called a nice game behind the plate. Those two are really working together. They’re two peas in a pod.”

With the win, Delano improved to 12-1 on the season. With seven games left in the regular season, the Tigers are having one while the wins keep coming.

“I’m super excited to see us grow as a team,” Stansberry said. “As a senior, it’s super exciting to see all the young girls improve every single day.”

During a busy stretch, the Tigers will get a good look at where they are at Saturday when they take on Centennial in their third game in three days. After wins over Jordan and Waconia, Stansberry and the Tigers are looking to go 3-for-3.

“Really bad,” Stansberry said about wanting to finish the week with another win. “Tomorrow is going to be a super important game for us. They’re a tough team. If we can pull out this win, it will be a big confidence boost for us. It would be super nice to go 3-for-3.”

“We’ll just keep trying to win one game at a time,” VanCura added. “One of the nice things is that these kids just get out to play. The last couple of years they haven’t had that. That’s the wonderful part of this. Every day you just do your best and enjoy it. If we win, great. We’re just glad to be out there competing.”

For the complete story and more Herald Journal sports coverage, check out the May 14 edition of the Delano Herald Journal. Click here for subscription information.  Subscribers have full access to this article and more by clicking here. Subscriptions start as low as $1.50 for a two-day subscription, the same price as a newspaper on a newsstand.

Follow Kip Kovar on Twitter: @Kovar_HJSports