Gopher Coaches Caravan

May 24

I believe this is the “something-somethingth” annual Golden Gopher Coaches Caravan, junkets to geographical parts of the state where the tallest structures are grain elevators, to sell the local denizens on the joys and pride in supporting the state’s flagship university.  Kudos to the members of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association West Central Chapter (OK, UMAA) who set up and coordinated this event:  Kevin Mahoney, and the dynamic father and son team of Dave and Marty Schultz.  Marty, such as your cub reporter, had the good sense to get a geography degree from the ‘U’!

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[Prepping for the onslaught – 250 fans and guests were expected, and I believe we got there.  Thanks to the Legacy of the Lakes Museum for hosting the event.  Ski-U-Mah!]

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[The Super and I arrived a bit early to stake out a claim to an upfront table.  This one seemed fine.]

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[Entertainment was provided by past Alexandria wunderkinds, Jack Anderson (yes, son of the Regent) on sax and Adam Aastrup on guitar.]

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[Fan arrival frenzy begins . . . ]

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[Movies of epic proportion were shown here . . . ]

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[The aforementioned Kevin Mahoney (maroon Gopher shirt) offers greetings . . . ]

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[A bite to drink and heavy hors d’oeuvres (yes, I still have to look it up every time) to sip thanks to Raaper’s.]

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[Beginning to look like a full house – I  believe we set up 60 tables and 360 chairs.]

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[And here’s Marty . . . ]

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[And here’s Marty’s reaction to the bill, knowing our UMAA chapter had about $5.82 in the bank.]

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[Goldy makes his entrance – father Dave on the far right keeps an eye on him!]

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[Her Honor, Alexandria mayor Sara Carlson, welcomed the ‘U’ to Alex.  She left shortly after I advised her the Super and I would be moving into her jurisdiction at the end of next month.]

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[Goldy performed the spin-his-head trick.  He (she?) is a 3-time national champion mascot.]

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[The U’s athletic director, Mark Coyle, led off the activities . . . ]

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[Acknowledging recent Alexandria contributions to the U: Regent Tom Anderson and cross country runners, Bethany and Megan Hasz . . . ]

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[Then the gentleman at the head of our table . . . ]

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[He thinks he’ll have his most talented team this year . . . ]

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[And he recruited 3 Minnesota kids this year, hoping it would keep the locals off his back – a little tongue in cheek there.]

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[Bob Motzko was hired this year as the men’s hockey coach (from St. Cloud State) . . . ]

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[This is good as the Gopher should reclaim their spot at the top of the sport, as their geography mandates . . . ]

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[Motzko said he felt like a real celebrity for about one week – then the U hired Lindsay Whalen!]

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[Rowing coach Wendy Davis . . . ]

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[She built the program from scratch, and as I recall . . . ]

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[She would walk the campus and any co-ed she saw taller than 5’10”, she’d try to recruit her on the spot.]

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[Gopher associate head swimming coach, Terry Ganley . . . ]

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[She helped lead the Gopher women to five Big Ten titles (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). And “the swimming and diving team became the first Minnesota women’s program to capture four consecutive conference championships” (gophersports.com).

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[P. J. Fleck, football coach . . . ]

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[After watching him, you get the idea that the J. may stand for Jumping Jack Flash!]

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[The guy is enthusiastic and touting the best Gopher recruiting class since people started rating such things . . . ]

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[Mike Grimm, Gopher broadcaster, emceed the event.  Here he asked for a show of hands of anyone who wanted to meet Lindsay Whalen . . . ]

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[Actually, a photo op for his Twitter account (whatever that is?)]

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[It was bound to happen.  They were seated next to each other!  Hoosier meets Gopher. This is oft the equivalent of matter meeting anti-matter!]

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[All three photos were good of both of them.  I was incapable of making a decision on one.  So, here are all three.]

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[It was hot inside, and we were inside because of possible storms.  It just stayed hot and sunny.  But I stayed to help the crack clean-up crew round up all the tables and chairs.  A good time was had by all.]

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I heard Tonya Harding is calling herself the Charles Barkley of figure skating. I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.  ~ Charles Barkley

Up Next:  Someplace far, far away . . .

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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