Notes from all over

by GDA gda@accessmn.com

3-21-2019

The Grizzlies did it again. They are on their way to State with their THIRD Section 7A title in three years. They have two runners-up at State titles and hope that this year will take them all the way.
The Romano Gym on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus probably should have been renamed for the Grizzlies last Friday night in the Section Championship game against Lakeview Christian Academy. Grizzly fans dominated the place and they were in good voice. LCA came in and played their heart out, showing good sportsman-ship as the Grizzlies, as always, did. LCA's top player was out having injured his knee in the game the night before. You have to admire this team. The Lions of LCA don't even have their own gym. They play a lot of games in the old Cotton school gym.
The Grizzlies are something else. They remind me of the Minneapolis North team that beat them their first time at State for the championship. They run, run, run and pass quickly. Their rebounding with Chase Kleppe, who seems to think that every loose rebound is his, is awesome. Of course, Cade Goggleye makes everything look effortless. One game he will score 30 and the next be in single figures, but when not scoring, he is passing off assists to everyone. He seems to just glide around the floor.
What makes this team so great is they have eight players who would be stars on most other teams up here. That, plus having a coach and his three assistants who know how to make changes. You will see Coach Will Kleppe in the Minnesota Coaches Hall of Fame some day. That is unless he gets tired, but I doubt he will.
Now it is on to State. The Grizzlies were ranked third in the state, with BOLD, a team who gave them one of their two losses, ahead of them. The top rated team and BOLD both were knocked out of the state tourney with losses in the post season, so the Grizzlies should be favored.
Of course, anything can happen down in the Barn. The team who wants it the most usually prevails.
Cook, Orr, Nett Lake and most of the townships up here will see their population decrease dramatically this week as Grizzly fans stream south. The Grizz have some loyal fans.
Thanks to these players who practice nearly every night, played two games most of the time each week during the season, plus traveled to other tourna-ments, and then they had to keep their grades up. Can you believe it? Bus drivers tell me that most players are doing homework on the bus rides. Check the Honor Roll and you will find most of these players on it.
There are a lot of good players playing their final games for the Grizzlies this week, which should mean they won't be as dominant next year. Don't worry, Kleppe seems to have a never-ending supply of players coming up.
The Cook News-Herald, the Grizzlies newspaper, will have a reporter and photographer at the game as they have had most of the year. Next week's News-Herald will have some great stories and, hopefully, a picture of the Minnesota Class 7A Champion. If they don't happen to take it all, they will always be remembered for their "Three-peat" in taking Section 7A.
Good luck to the Grizzlies and their fans. You have already made us proud. You have definitely put this area on the map.


 


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