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home : columns : joel alvstad
August 17, 2019

7/3/2019 3:18:00 PM
Quirks with fall schedules

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

Years ago, the school athletic schedules for the upcoming school year were mailed to the newspaper office.
I would get several large envelopes, stuffed with all of the athletic schedules for the coming year. And, as fate would have it, I often received most of the schedules on or around the same time.
Today, the days of sending out hard copies of the schedule are long gone. The Big South and Red Rock conferences have websites where people can call up the athletic schedules for their teams.
As of Monday, the fall and winter sports schedules had been updated and were complete on both conference websites. The schedules for next spring have not been punched in yet.
A couple of little things jumped out at me right away when I glanced through the fall sports schedules.
• The Windom football schedule is noticeable for who isn't on the schedule. With the change to four sub-districts within the South Central district, the Eagles will have just five sub-district opponents: JCC, Pipestone, Redwood Valley, Blue Earth and St. James.
Luverne is not on the Eagles' schedule this year, as the Cardinals were assigned to the Silver Sub-District.
To be blunt, the Cardinals were hosed in the sub-district placement process. Its closest sub-district opponent is Fairmont. Other foes include Tri-City United in Montgomery, Belle Plaine, Norwood-Young America and Sibley East.
• Red Rock Central will again have a Friday afternoon volleyball match during homecoming week. RRC will host Westbrook-Walnut Grove in Lamberton on Sept. 20.
The catch is that the RRC football team will not have a Friday night football game that week. Instead, the Falcons will play their homecoming game on a Saturday afternoon.
That is because RRC's assigned opponent for the week is Southland, which is located in Adams - a three-hour bus ride from Lamberton.
After the volleyball match concludes, the WWG football team will load the bus and travel for its game that night at Nicollet.
• The homecoming Friday afternoon volleyball match is actually the first of three straight Friday afternoons the RRC squad will play.
The homecoming Friday afternoon volleyball match hosted by RRC last year was such a hit that Wabasso decided to play its home match against RRC on its homecoming Friday this year, on Sept. 27. For those who are curious, the RRC football team hosts Renville County West later that night.
The Falcon volleyball team also plays on a Friday on Oct. 4 as part of a tournament in Marshall.
• The Nine-Man South District has 22 teams, but, geographically, there was a distinct cutoff. There are naturally 13 teams in the west and nine in the east.
As a result, some teams will have to play cross-divisional games, which means some serious travel.
In addition to RRC's previously-mentioned home game against Southland, Mt. Lake Area has a major roadtrip on the horizon. On Sept. 13, the Wolverines head to the southeast corner of the state, taking on Kingsland. The game will be played at Spring Valley. That's close to a three-hour trip from Mt. Lake by bus.
• A recent change to the schedule has the Big South Conference cross country meet being run Oct. 15 at the Mt. Lake Golf Club.
St. James Area is listed as the host school for the meet and Mt. Lake Area is not a member of the Big South Conference. In the past, St. James has run its regular season home meet at Voss Park in Butterfield.
St. James Area Activities Director Les Zellman stated that Voss Park is not large enough for a 13-team meet and the St. James golf course asked to not host cross country meets. Voss Park is also too flat to present a significant challenge for teams getting ready for their respective section meets.
He added that an agreement was negotiated with MLGC to host meets when golf traffic at the course would be minimal. Mid-October certainly qualifies -  hence, the decision to run the meet in Mt. Lake.
For comparison's sake, MLGC hosts a meet early in the season that has 15 teams. Fans attending the meet will need to be aware that parking on site is limited and there is a good chance they will need to park along Golf Course Road and walk a ways to the course.
• After seeing the Section 3A cross country meet in Adrian for over a decade, the meet has alternated between Madison in the north and Luverne in the south the past five years. This year, the section meet will be back in Madison.

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