Without any Dassel-Cokato sporting events to attend, it was a slow week of work before Christmas for the Enterprise Dispatch sports editor.
Since there weren’t any new games for me to report on, I figured I would just do a little recap of the winter season so far.
Also, I take so many pictures when I’m out at events, there just isn’t enough room to print them all in the paper.
So, as a small gift from me to you, please enjoy the DC winter season photo recaps on pages 2B and 3B, and have a happy holiday season.
A day of many firsts
As I said, my week was pretty slow without any DC sporting events, but I was able to keep busy with the story about Josh Grangroth and his charter ice fishing service.
I went to visit him Tuesday, which ended up being the perfect time to go because of how new everyone was to the whole experience.
The two guys he was taking out fishing were cousins, Brian Moore and Nick DeBaum.
Moore is a 19-year-old college student at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and DeBaum is a 15-year-old from Arlington, Texas. Both were visiting their grandmother, Katherine Brouwer, who lives in Cokato.
For DeBaum, who was born in Minnesota, but moved to Texas at the age of three, being out on the ice was a new experience in itself.
It was Brouwer who called to set up the ice trip as a Christmas gift to her grandson.
“I was born in Minnesota, and I like the snow and everything,” DeBaum said. “Fishing in Texas is fun, but I’ve always wanted to try ice fishing.”
DeBaum wasn’t the only rookie. It was also his cousin’s first time in a fish house, and, I must admit, it was also my first time in a fish house.
It’s strange to imagine that I have lived in Minnesota most of my life and have never been in a fish house.
Perhaps the most unsettling part of ice fishing to us rookies was the sound of ice cracking as it froze.
Grangroth says he doesn’t even hear it anymore because it has become so common to him, but we all definitely noticed.
While he may be used to fishing, this was Grangroth’s first time taking customers out since he started advertising his services.
I thought he did a pretty good job. He was extremely helpful with baiting the hooks and teaching us how to ice fish, and he was willing to answer any questions we had.
Unfortunately for the first-time fishers, though, this trip was also their first time going home empty handed.
As disappointed as they were, Grangroth was probably the most dissapointed.
Although he told me he can’t guarantee people will catch fish, he does offer a 20 percent discount on the next trip to anyone who goes home empty handed.
That seems like a pretty good business model to me.
Besides, being closed up in small hut on 15 inches of ice in the middle of a frozen lake isn’t just about what you catch, as Moore told me. It’s also about the bonding.
“It isn’t only the fishing part that I like, but I also like just hanging with people,” he said. “Just ‘chill-axing’ with friends. I like that part of it.”
Schultz takes big lead in NFL pick-a-winner
A dismal 5-11 record by Stephen Wiblemo in week 16 of NFL games gave Aaron Schultz a comfortable four-game lead going in to the final week of the regular season.
Schultz’s 8-8 record wasn’t much better, but it put his first-place total at 157-82, while Wiblemo dropped to 153-86 overall.
Matt Kane had the best score of the week with an 11-5 mark that puts his total at 145-94. Although he is still in last place, he has a chance to catch the fifth-place Herald Journal guest picker score of 147-92. HJ guest Chad Gagnon helped Kane with a 7-9 record in week 16.
Delano Herald Journal guest Kerri Penke scored a 10-6 to put the DHJ guest total at 152-87. That is tied with the Enterprise Dispatch guest total for third place. Nate Youngs, the ED guest for week 16, scored an 8-8 record.