Cook County athletes preparing for fall sports

Brian Larsen


Far left: Ali Iverson (left) and Jessica Berg–Collman go up for a block in a recent volleyball practice. With 34 kids out, the team should once again do well in conference play. Above: Last year’s boys' cross country team returns most letter winners and should finish in the top third of the Section 7A competition. Pictured in the pack above are Ben Seaton, Joey Chmelik and Nate Carlson. The girls' team is even more loaded and should contend for a state berth. Left: Head Coach Mitch Dorr has been conducting rigorous football practices. With a lot of returning starters, the team should once again contend for a conference championship. The first game is Friday, August 31 at home against Two Harbors. The game starts at 7 p.m. 
Staff photos/Brian Larsen Far left: Ali Iverson (left) and Jessica Berg–Collman go up for a block in a recent volleyball practice. With 34 kids out, the team should once again do well in conference play. Above: Last year’s boys' cross country team returns most letter winners and should finish in the top third of the Section 7A competition. Pictured in the pack above are Ben Seaton, Joey Chmelik and Nate Carlson. The girls' team is even more loaded and should contend for a state berth. Left: Head Coach Mitch Dorr has been conducting rigorous football practices. With a lot of returning starters, the team should once again contend for a conference championship. The first game is Friday, August 31 at home against Two Harbors. The game starts at 7 p.m. Staff photos/Brian Larsen As Cook County students prepare to hit the books, they are also hitting the fields and courts. The Cook County News-Herald talked to coaches this week about their expectations for the upcoming season.

Cross country runners ready

With a nice mix of veterans and new runners, Head Coach April Wahlstrom said the Cook County boys' and girls' cross country teams should fare well this fall.

The girls are led be Senior Sarissa Falk, who had a strong summer of running. If all goes well and she remains healthy, she could vie for a berth in the state meet as an individual. But, with just a little improvement by a couple of girls, the entire team could qualify for state.

Right behind Sarissa is ninth-grader Matea Acero. The next four girls—Sara Shied, Shelly Ahrendt, Audrey Summer and Mara MacDonell— are also closely bunched. With some help from some younger runners, the team could well be a factor at Sections.

Joey Chmelik and Ben Seaton lead the boys. Others expected to contribute are Levi Axtell, Nathan Carlson, Pete Summers and Will Seaton, who are also running well.

A top third in the section would be a reasonable finish for them, said Assistant Coach Chris Hegg.

Good turnout for volleyball

There are 34 girls in 9th - 12th grades out for volleyball and Head Coach Pam Taylor likes what she sees so far. But it might be too much to expect them to repeat their 21-3 record they recorded last year. The past two years their combined won-loss record is 41-7.

“Our big hitters should be seniors Theresa Morrin and Ali Iverson. We have Taylor Ryden and Abbey Sutton who will be our setters. Anna Carmen will perform Libero duties and Rachel Wieben, Linden Sutton, KatieVander Heiden, Lexie Palmer and Stephanie Lashinski will also contribute a lot,” said Taylor.

Last year the team finished second behind Cherry, which is again loaded with talent. Taylor, in her 29th year of coaching, said this year’s squad has a nice mix of youth to go along with seven seniors and could surprise some people along the way.

Strong players returning for football

Head Football Coach Mitch Dorr returns several key players from last year’s conference championship team including senior starting quarterback Kale Boomer, running backs Colin Everson and Peter Warren, wide receiver Mark Marxen, offensive tackles Clay Johnson and Dakota Sorlie and center Justin Goldstein.

All seven seniors are also key starters on defense and will shoulder a large part of the load this year.

As with every football team, the offensive and defensive lines will have to perform well for the team to be successful. Key contributors will be Jacob Schroeder, Jonny Jacobsen, Breyer McQuatters, Jake Carlson and Parker Slanga. The offense will also need fine play from junior wide receiver Joe Borud and running back Thomas Anderson.

Several sophomores will also see considerable playing time.

But, said Coach Dorr, the entire team is going to have to play well to weather the tough schedule. The team opens with 7AA Two Harbors on Aug. 31 at home, 7 p.m., followed by Ogilvie, Barnum at home Sept. 14, 7 p.m., East Central, 7AA Deer River, then the team meets 7AA Braham at home on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and finishes with Mesabi East on the road.

If the team remains healthy, it could make a nice run far into the play-offs this year. Cross your fingers. They are talented, hard working, and football smart, but not especially deep.

Tennis looking at JV team

Due to a lack of older players coming out for tennis this fall, Head Coach John Muus announced “There will be no girls’ varsity tennis this fall.”

Muus said that once school starts he will recruit some younger players to play junior high or junior varsity tennis, but, he added, “We don’t have girls who can compete on a varsity level right now, so I don’t want to send younger players out there against older, more experienced players.”

Girls’ tennis is only in its third year and Muus hopes to build the program from the bottom up. Any girl in junior high or older interested in competing in tennis should talk with Coach Muus when school begins.


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