• Let us give a thumbs down to the Ogilvie football coaching staff for what they pulled on the Onamia Panthers during their first meeting this past fall. Up 46-0 on the Panthers with running time in progress during the final quarter and the ball on Onamia’s 5-yard line with under 20 seconds left, the Lions decided to call time out (which stopped the clock) in order to get a chance to score one final touchdown. Ogilvie made the touchdown, making the final score 54-0.
Onamia had lost five of their starters to injury during the game and were down to playing 9th-graders when Ogilvie decided to rub it in, and by all accounts, beating Onamia by one more touchdown did nothing to enhance the Lions’ state rankings.
So instead of doing the sportsmanlike move of taking a knee, getting up and shaking hands with their opponent, a bitter taste was on every Onamia coach, player and fan’s lips as they left town.
• Speaking of the sporting relationship between Isle, Onamia and Ogilvie, digest these statistics between those schools in boys basketball and football throughout the past four seasons. In basketball, Isle and Onamia are a combined 19-1 against the Lions since 2016 – Isle was 8-0 and Onamia 11-1. In football, Ogilvie is 9-0 against the two Mille Lacs opponents, including outscoring Onamia 280-0 and Isle 152-46 during the past four seasons.
• Speaking of fall sports, kudos to the young men of the Onamia football squad who stuck it out during this long, cold fall. They finished the season 1-8 and were down to the walking wounded near the end. And special praise ought to go to three of Onamia’s top basketball starters, senior Josh Parrow, junior Brandy Husom and sophomore Cayden Eagle who risked injury during the football season that might have cost them their hoops careers. By the final game, both Parrow and Husom were seen bent over on the side-line with back and leg injuries, and somehow Eagle managed to stay on the field after taking a constant beating. So it remains to be seen what impact their football maladies will have on their performance on the court in the coming months.
• Speaking of Onamia High football, consider this for dedication to the program: The day before he was to be married, Onamia head coach Austin Hackett could be seen on the sideline with his Panther troops in a Friday night game on the road against Ogilvie. Less than 24 hours later, he was saying “I do” to his new bride at a ceremony in Royalton. Don’t know what the future Mrs. Hackett thought of that arrangement, but in this case, she certainly must be someone special.
• Pitchforks to the Minnesota State High School League for allowing this to happen: A few weeks before the football season was to kick off, Carlton and Wrenshall Highs, located just four miles apart, found themselves without enough bodies to individually field two teams, so they petitioned the MSHSL to allow them to pair their programs just for this season.
The league said they could compete as a 9-man team during the regular season, and when post-season play came, they would have to compete in the 11-man format.
As it turned out, the Carlton-Wrenshall Raptors went 8-0 in regular-season play and were 1-1 in postseason. To put it politely, there were a number of schools who did not quite agree with the special treatment given those two schools by the MSHSL.
• Speaking of Onamia High grads, Shan Donovan did not take long to get his feet wet in extra-curricular activities as a freshman at North Dakota State University this fall. He signed up for and has marched with the university band at football games and took part in a marching band concert on Nov. 10.
• In the “I goofed” department: it seems my article on the Isle volleyball team which appeared in the fall sports tab had some glaring errors. Jill Thompson has never played front row on varsity. She is a setter and only plays the back rotation and sub out when she rotates to the front and is replaced with a right side hitter for the front rotation. Secondly, Isabelle Krawiecki is not a libero. Carly Gallion has been a libero all season. Izzy has been a strong outside hitter since game one.
We regret the errors.
• Jerry Brandt, Sr., one of the iconic men in the fishing business around Mille Lacs for the past four-plus decades, passed away recently at age 67.
Many who frequented the big lake over the years had made use of Brandt’s Landing, a sliver of land on Mille Lacs’ south shore leading to the lake, especially during winter fishing season. Prior to his untimely death, Jerry would have been just a week or so away from getting his landing ready for vehicles to enter the big lake for winter fishing. And a hard job it was for Brandt most every season. His landing was one of the most precarious on the lake not solely because of how steep the grade was leading to the shore, but more due to the frequent piles of ice near shore that routinely made it difficult to construct a road for his customers.
When asked last summer how many years he has had good ice to deal with in the past 44 years, Brandt said you could count them on one hand.