[Editor’s note:  Volleyball moms have subsequently provided the information missing in the original publication (see bottom).  Corrections have been made throughout.]

The high school sports season has begun!  And already I’m only batting .333 on coverage.  The blog needs more staff (and as we’ll see at the end, we did get some much appreciated help).  I had every intention of covering the volleyball season opener against Marshall last Tuesday – afterall, Marshall is the defending state champion and are ranked No. 1 in the state in our class this year.  But as noted in the preceding story, a senior steak fry and putting contest (the abbreviated name) got in the way.

[This, and the top photo, are of the JV and frosh games.  Because they were playing when I unleashed my camera.]

Things I have forgotten (or at least didn’t think of at the time) . . . well, the list is obviously too great to be comprehensive here, but:  The gym at this time of the year is like walking into a steam bath, the players were constantly fanning themselves for relief (“I can hardly wait for the new high school”);  I didn’t understand a single word that came out of the PA system (“I can hardly wait for the new high school”); the progam did not include all the players and had some numbers wrong (“It’s a good thing I still recognize many of the players”); what am I going to do next year when Shanee’ has finally graduated and I won’t have Marnee’ to help guide me; and don’t you just love it when an old guy grouses?  Anyway, Roger Riley was the only other Super Fan (as far as we know) and he left after the 2nd game for an ice bath.

[In the JV game, I recognized Wensia Johnson (14) from the track team.  She’s a freshman this year and went up with a double block below.]

We were playing Rocori.  We were the more experienced team, but they had a height advantage.  In fact, for lo my several years of following the sport, this is the shortest team I can recall.  We usually have at least a front line of 6-footers, but this year, according the following roster, we don’t have any players that tall.  It happens – I’ve been a 6-footer all my life.  Now the measuring device in the doctor’s office says I’m only 5’11,” but I am requesting a recount.]

[Little known fact.  A Central Lakes Conference home game cannot begin until Bob Cunniff and Wayne Elton have met a center court.]

Let the warm-ups begin – a chance to identify players, scout the hitters, and marvel at their elevation.

[I can’t tell who this is – seems likely I could never have blocked her shot.]

[Senior setters Nicole Canavati (2) and Allie Noetzelman (1) are at the net.]

[Jessica Burns, senior OH]

[Allie shows setters can spike too!  🙂 ]

[Natalie Watkins (7)]

[Amanda Christianson  (5), junior RH.  We know Amanda can get in the air – she jumps center for the basketball team.]

[We’ll be seeing her all year – she plays softball in the spring.]

[Liz Schultz (9)]

[Looks like Jenni Wild (3), senior OH.]

[Amanda Haack (11)]

[Could it be No. 8?  Tara LeBrassuer, senior MH]

[Emily Kuennen (13), junior MH]

[Liz Schultz (9)?]

[Adrianne Wensman (4), senior MH.]

[There’s our Shanee’ (6), senior libero.  Will have her 6th year of varsity hockey this year!]

[C’mon Spartans, show me what you got!]

[Did I mention it was parents’ night?]

[Coach Becky Schlichting introduces the team, who are overcome with excitement.]

[One time coach who has moved on to a stellar career as a spectator.]

[Coverage from the MSM.]

[Allie had something to say but as noted earlier I have no idea what?]

[Hooray for mom and dad!!]

[Team introductions.]

[Coming soon to a theatre near you!]

[The brain trust.]

[Player introductions.  Amanda Haack (11).  Each player does a quick step out and wave as they are introduced.  Sitting miles away in the stands sometimes their move is even too quick for my ultra hi-tech camera and they blur.  I will include those that come out pretty good and try catch everybody in later games.]

[Allie, No. 1]

[Jenni, No. 3]

[Natalie (7)]

[Jenni and Shanee’ ready for the opening serve.]

[Amanda (5) and Adrianne (4) ready at the net.]

[The libero gives instructions.]

[Shanee’s ready.]

[Allie’s ready.]

[Adrianne’s ready.]

[Jenni belts one.]

[Amanda causes great harm to the ball.]

[I’ve often wondered – why do people think it’s a good idea to try to block one of these blasts?]

[Speaking of blocking . . .]

So Roger and I were just sitting together in the stands, minding our own business, when the thought occurred to us.  We were playing so good at the beginning we were afraid of the possible golf syndrome – if you birdie the first hole, you’ll have a bad round.  The team was blocking, setting, and killing about as well as could be done as they raced out to a big early lead.

[Another hit by Amanda.]

[A blocking wall is forming.]

[Looks like a stuff!]

[It’s Amanda.  But if numbers were license plates, the police would pull them over for improper non-display (yeah, it’s the same for all the sports).]

[Looks like a dink by Jenni.]


[Good job!]

[Adrianne serves.  All-in-all I thought we did a good job here – not too many faults.]

[Oy, this floor is hard!]


[Taking her “cue” from Michael Jordan!  😉  ]

[OK, let’s close this out!]

Oh, the score.  This was the 1st game.  The 2nd game was similar.  We were well ahead at the beginning of the 3rd.  I was heartened – I had an “appointment” to meet the supervisor at 8:30, it was date night afterall, and it was looking good.  Then the team entered a different dimension.  Total confusion reigned the rest of the game, and we lost 25-20.  Uffda is the only appropriate response I can think of.  I had to leave . . . with a promise from the on-site stringer that she would let me know.  We won the 3rd game handily!

[Preparing for game 2.]

[Adrianne and Amanda discuss strategy . . . or their book reports for English?]

[Shanee’ and Jenni play patty-cake.]

[Is it out?]

[I think I’ll go over here.]

[Allie sets . . .]

[Jenni ties . . .]

I think we’ll be fun to watch this year.  It’s an experienced team.  The lack of size will probably hurt us in the long run.  But . . . as long as we all have fun!

The team was in a tournament over the weekend, and here’s the report:

The girls played well today [Saturday].  They ended 2-2.  The beat Hill Murray (hail Mary) and Holy Family but lost to Waconia and North St Paul.  Always nice to beat the privates!  🙂  ~ Marnee’

Football began Friday night.  We were hosting St. Cloud Tech.  I had every intention to be there.  I forgot we had a big event in Wendell . . . yes, Wendell (downtown below).

Thanks for the delightful photo tour.  There is a lot of memory, knowledge and wisdom in that home.  ~ Jamie

Yikes, I hope they have fire insurance. ~ Gretchen

Thanks for sending me this.  What an inspiration. ~ Cousin Barb

I Love this guy!  We need to get a visit to him on one of our visits north. Someone who actually has more books than Danny and me!   And a popcorn machine in his library?  My hero. ~  Jami

We did not make it back in time for the game.  We lost, 28-13.  Probably my fault.  But we did receive a stringer report about the freshmen game on Thursday (Thanks, Jim!):

Drove past the football field yesterday shortly before 5, noticed some activity, and thought I’d check it out.  Turned out to be a frosh football game with St. Cloud Tech.  Left after the 1st half with the Cardinals leading 42 to 8.  Kind of hard to tell at that level if Alec was that good or Tech was that bad.  Not a lot of apparent speed on either team, but Alec had pretty good size.  Couple of the hometown boys really stood out with their size and athletic ability.  If the roster they handed out was correct, one was Jeremiah Burnham, a running back and really good linebacker and the other was a tall, well-built quarterback named Tyler Thompson, who had a really strong and fairly accurate arm.  They reminded me of Mike Steidl and Norty Blanchard when they were freshman. (Mike probably played for the U when you were still there, and Norty went on to play wide-out for North Dakota State) One other fairly tall, skinny-legged kid scored on 3 long runs and had another called back. I think he was a Noetzelman.  Kind of brought me back to my old days as a junior high coach here in the late ’60s.  As a super fan of all things bright and Cardinal, I thought you might be interested.  ~ Jim Pohl

Volleyball correctionsHi Tom,  You were so nice to take these photos and email them to me!  Thank you!!!  🙂  We actually bought a nice camera a year and a half ago with the intention of buying a long lens, so that we could take great pictures of our daughter playing volleyball and our son playing hockey.  We haven’t purchased the long lens yet, and I think that I only brought the camera once last fall.  We need to get to work on that before the volleyball season is over! Thanks again,  ~ Amy W.

Hi Tom,  I very much enjoyed reading your blog!  You have such a great sense of humor!  🙂  Not only are the roster numbers incorrect, but we really do have a shorter team than what the roster shows, Allie, Jenni and Natalie’s heights are a bit off, but I’m sure Jenni is going to get taller before the season is over.  The jersey numbers are correct from #1 through #6, after that the varsity roster sheet is incorrect.  You may have already been updated by Marnee’, but if not, here are the correct player numbers: 5 Amanda Christianson; 7  Natalie Watkins; 8 Tara LeBrasseur; 12 Jessica Burns; 13 Emily Kuennen; 14 Danielle Strater; JV1 and dressing for Varsity are: 9 Elizabeth (Liz) Schultz; 11 Amanda Haack  ~ Amy

#9 is Liz Schutz not #10 as I stated and yes Jessica Burns is #12,  Liz and Amanda are JV players that dress Varsity.  Emily Kuenen is a Junior.  ~ Marnee’

We played in the Eden Prairie tourney this weekend and finished 7th.   We won 2 games which is the most in Shanee’s 3 years on varsity.  We beat Hill Murray and Holy Family.  It’s always nice to beat the privates! J  We lost to Waconia and North St Paul.  We played our best game of the season against Hill Murray.  Oh, #7 is Natalie Watkins,  #8 is Tara,  #11 is Amanda Haack,  #10 is Liz Schultz.  We got new uniforms and the numbers were wrong.  ~ Marnee’

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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