HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
May 7, 2007

Spring sports going good, so far

By Aaron Schultz

The high school spring sports season here in Minnesota is always a little different than its predecessors.

Don’t blink, or you might just miss it.

Shorter than the fall and winter seasons, the spring season is also hampered because of its reliance on good weather.

Well, the season got off to a slow start, with a number of teams having to either postpone or cancel games due to a spring snowstorm.

Fortunately, over the past three weeks, we have been blessed with really nice weather, and the local squads have not disappointed.

Many of the local teams have been playing very well, are among the top teams in their conferences, and even the state in some cases.

Starting with softball, the Lester Prairie Bulldogs are enjoying an outstanding season.

The Bulldogs entered the weekend with an 11-2 overall record, and are 9-1 in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association.

Ranked fifth in the state, the Bulldogs will be playing the state’s fourth-ranked team, New Life Academy, Tuesday, May 8 in Lester Prairie for a share of the MCAA title.

Looking just a couple spots down in the standings of the MCAA, the Holy Trinity Trojans of Winsted are also doing very well at 7-3 overall, and 7-3 in the MCAA.

Wrapping up softball, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers are 7-5 overall, but are 6-2 in the Central Minnesota Conference, which puts them in second place.

Yep, not in all the time that I can remember have all three softball teams been doing so well in the same season.

This now brings us to the local baseball teams, with two of them having a great deal of success.

The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers dropped a pair of tough games in the Central Minnesota Conference this past week, but still hold the inside track for a conference title.

Entering this past weekend, the Lakers were 7-4 overall, and 6-2 in the CMC.

Next up are the Lester Prairie Bulldogs, which are 12-1 overall, and are 8-1 in the MCAA.

The Bulldogs trail West Lutheran by one game in the conference standings, the same team that handed Lester Prairie their only defeat on the season.

In the latest state rankings, the Bulldogs sat at second in Class 1A, right behind Wheaton/Norcross.

The Bulldogs and Lakers played each other April 30 at Memorial Park in Howard Lake, and it was one of the better played high school baseball games I have watched in a while.

In a tightly contested game, that was tied at two entering the seventh inning, the Bulldogs snuck out a 6-4 win.

The final baseball team are the Trojans from Holy Trinity.

The Trojans are very young this year, but have been battling hard all year, and came up with a nice 6-2 win over New Life Academy Thursday.

Yep, it has been a pretty good spring for those local squads, to date, but let us not forget about the other spring sports.

The Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity of Winsted track and field team has been making some news thanks to the sprinting of senior Alex Williams.

Williams has broken the Lester Prairie school record in the 100 meters, and sits among the state leaders in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and long jump.

Look for Williams to battle for the top spot on the podium in those events at the state meet later this spring.

Also doing well in track and field has been HLWW senior Jolene Smith, who has been to several state tournaments, holds a number of school records, and is looking to bring home some hardware from the state meet again this year.

Lastly, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted/Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity of Winsted boys’ golf team has also been doing very well.

HLWW/LP/HT finished second at the McLeod West Invite earlier this spring, and just shot a 169 at a Central Minnesota Conference meet Thursday.

That 169 was good enough for third in the conference meet.

While all of these teams may have had to wait a little longer than they would have liked to start competing, they all got off to great starts.

Of course, May and early June is where the real money is made, as all of these teams will look to do damage in their section tournaments.

And who knows, maybe there will be a team or two battling it out in a state baseball or softball tournament.

Wouldn’t that be great!