Dumb mistakes by me – they happen

March 23, 2009

by Aaron Schultz

’It’s been a whirlwind of a past week and a half, not just for me but for everybody who is a Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted basketball fan.

First, not only did the Laker girls defeat Eden Valley-Watkins, but they then topped Watertown-Mayer in the Section 5AA championship game to advance to the Class 2A state tournament for the second consecutive year.

That was followed up by the Laker boys’ team beating Foley to reach the Section 5AA, Sub-section 20 championship game March 14.

This set up what was sure to be busy week ahead for me. How busy? Well, probably the busiest week I have ever experienced at the Herald Journal as a sports editor.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to be busy at this time of year because that usually means that the teams I am covering are advancing on in the playoffs.

But I have never had a situation when both a girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball team, from the same school, have gone so far in the same season.

I’d like to say that this is the first time I have ever had both a girls and boys team make it to state, but I am writing this column prior to the Laker boys’ Section 5AA championship game Friday night, so I don’t know if they advanced to state just yet.

Win or lose, it has been a heck of a run by first-year head coach Chad Gagnon and the Laker boys.

Meanwhile, what the Laker girls are doing is even more impressive, right now, as they opened state tournament action with a win.

I could write about those two teams all day, as I’m sure you will find out by looking at the rest of the sports section this week, but that is not the point of this column.

The point of this column is to apologize for a few errors I made in last week’s paper.

Well, one wasn’t really an error, and the other was, but neither was intentional.

The error I did make was in last week’s HLWW girls’ basketball story on it making the state tournament.

It stated in the fourth paragraph of the story – “The Lakers, which made their first-ever trip to the girls’ state basketball tournament a season ago, are back again, and . . .”

That was clearly wrong by me, and believe me I have heard about it this week via calls, letters, and e-mails.

The Laker girls actually were in the state tournament in 1982 – what a brain fart.

In my defense, I did actually take a quick look back into the Minnesota State High School League yearbook, which lists when teams had made state tournaments, and that book only listed the 2008 Laker girls team as making state.

Of course, the book was wrong, and now I am writing this column.

If I had just looked back at last year’s story, I mentioned that the Laker girls had made state in the early 1980s.

But I didn’t, and now I’ve been paying the price.

I would like to clearly say that by no means did I purposely ignore the accomplishments of that 1982 state tournament team, as was suggested by a letter I received.

Also, an e-mail I received said that I mistakenly reported last year that 2008 was the Lakers’ first-ever trip to the state girls’ basketball tournament.

I checked that out, and I did have it in the story that the Lakers had gone to state once before.

I know this sounds like I am making excuses, but I am really not.

I screwed up, and should be held accountable.

This week, I am trying to make it right with some information on that 1982 team included next to this column.

With that all said, I would really hope my little mistake doesn’t take anything away from the accomplishments of the current Laker girls basketball team, which will end up anywhere from fourth to state champions, depending on how this past weekend turned out.

To those women, fans, and relatives of the 1982 team, I again apologize for my mistake.

But, in closing, I would like to make it clear that I, by no means, left you out of the paper intentionally.

It was a mistake, it happens, and I usually find just the wrong time to make them.

One more whoops

Also in last week’s Herald Journal, I had a pair of photos with the headline that read “Tough week for Laker opponents.”

In that cutline, I was unable to identify one of the Watertown-Mayer girls’ basketball players standing together after the Lakers defeated the Royals in the Section 5AA championship game.

The reason? Well, it was Sunday when I was finally able to finish up the paper that week, and I had no real way of finding out the girl’s name.

The other three had their jerseys on, so they were easy.

That unidentified girl was Kayle Weinmann, a senior for the Royals. Kayle did not play due to a knee injury, and was in street clothes.

Well, Kayle’s mother was nice enough to give me a call and let me know who she was, and I agreed to re-run the photo, with Kayle’s name in the cutline, which you’ll find on this page.

This mistake was, again, on me. Sorry, Kayle, for not getting your name in – my bad!

Now, I hope I won’t be receiving any calls this week, but knowing me, you never can tell.