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ESPN Reports Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett named Denver Broncos next head coach

ESPN reports Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has been named the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.  Hackett was scheduled to interview with the Jacksonville Jaguras Thursday, but reportedly Denver got a deal done before letting Hackett get to said interview.  He will replace Vic Fangio and be Denver's foruth head coach since 2016.  

 

Hackett was the first candidate interviewed by the Minnesota Vikings for its current vacant head coaching position.  

Vikings offensive lineman Brian O'Neill named to Pro Bowl

Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Brian O’Neill has been named to the 2022 pro bowl.  O’Neill will replace Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs who is unable to play due to injury.  O’Neill is 26 years old and this is his first Pro Bowl selection.  This is the first Viking offensive lineman named to the Pro Bowl since Matt Kalil in 2012. 

ESPN reports Minnesota Vikings hire Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as next general manager

ESPN reports the Minnesota Vikings have hired Kwesi Adofo Mensah as the team’s next general manager.  Adofo Mensah most recently served as the Cleveland Browns Vice President of Football Operations.  He will take over for Rick Spielman who served in the job for over 10 years and was let go following the conclusion of the 2021 season.  Adofo Mensah is the first general manager in league history to make his way through the ranks of management via the analytics route.  The team has not made an official announcement. 

Former Minnesota Twins slugger David Ortiz named to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame

One time Minnesota Twin and longtime Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been nominated to the major league baseball hall of fame.  Ortiz was the only qualifier for the hall this year clearing the require 75 percent of the vote. 

 

He is the 58th player in history to be elected to the hall in his first year of eligibility.  He will also be the youngest of the 75 living members of the Hall of Fame at 46.  Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens all failed to make the Hall of fame in their 10th and final year of eligibility.    

Northern State baseball picked to finish ninth in pre-season coach's poll

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference released the 2022 Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll this morning, with the Northern State Wolves picked ninth. Northern earned a total of 89 points in the poll from the league's coaches.
 
The Northern State baseball team looks to lean on experience this season following a year where the Wolves went 15-22 (14-19 NSIC) and just missed the conference tournament with a ninth place finish. They return seven of nine starters and three key pitchers from their starting rotation. The two top returners and NSIC Players to Watch for NSU are Spencer Sarringar and Seth Brewer. In 2021 Sarringar earned a spot on the NSIC All-Defensive team and Brewer earned first team all-conference honors. Other players to watch for Northern State are Ramon Vega Jr.Karson Hesser, and Reece Ragatz. The trio had a combined hitting percentage of .301 in 2021, including 86 hits, 23 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. Northern's top three returning pitchers are Brian BakerMax Otto, and Seth Brewer. The three pitchers combined for a record of 9-8 in 35 appearances and 23 games started last year. Last season the NSU pitching staff recorded four shutouts, which ranked third in the NSIC and 16th nationally. The Wolves pitchers also ranked fourth in the NSIC and 42nd nationally with 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Dean Berry enters his 12th season as the head coach at Northern State in 2022, holding a record of 208-254 (144-175 NSIC) during his time with the Wolves. Northern will open the 2022 season at the Edmond First Pitch Classic on February 4th in Edmond, Oklahoma, as they will face off against Emporia State, Central Oklahoma, and Pittsburg State.

NSIC PLAYERS TO WATCH
Spencer Sarringar

  • Was named to the 2021 NSIC All-Defensive Team
  • Last season he recorded 31 hits, five doubles, two triples, four home runs, and 24 RBI's
  • Led the conference in pickoffs in conference play last season, catching 19 base runners trying to steal (seven more than any other catcher)
  • Had a .973 fielding percentage in conference play last year and was fifth in the conference with 230 putouts

Seth Brewer

  • Was named to the 2021 All-Conference First Team
  • Led the NSIC in strike outs in league games with 71 last season
  • Ended the 2021 season ranked 67th nationally and ninth in the NSIC with a 2.97 ERA
  • His 82 strikeouts and 2.97 ERA ranks third and tenth best in a single season in school history
  • Pitched a seven inning no hitter with nine strikeouts against Minot State last season

2022 NSIC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL

  1. Minnesota State (9)
190
  1. Augustana (6)
188
  1. St. Cloud State
162
  1. Minot State
159
  1. Minnesota Crookston
130
  1. University of Mary
122
  1. Winona State
116
  1. Wayne State
108
  1. Northern State
89
  1. Sioux Falls
73
  1. Concordia-St. Paul
69
  1. Upper Iowa
61
  1. Minnesota Duluth
58
  1. Bemidji State
26
  1. Southwest Minnesota State
24

Wolves sign Fargo prospect to women's basketball team

Northern State University head women’s basketball coach Paula Krueger announced today the signing of Grace Miller of Fargo to a national letter of intent. Miller joins Madelyn Bragg (Aberdeen, S.D.) and Morgan Fielder (Aberdeen, S.D.) as a member of the 2022 signing class.

 

“We are excited to add Grace to our Wolves family next season,” explained Krueger. “Grace is a very good athlete with a high basketball ceiling. We look forward to growing her game and building on her quickness and jumping ability.”

 

Miller is a 5-foot-10, forward out of Fargo North High School. She is a 3-year starter and senior team captain for the Spartans under the direction of head coach Brian Kaluza. Miller averaged 11.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game a season ago for FNHS. She was honored as the team’s offensive MVP in 2018-19 and 2019-20. In addition, Miller is a member of the ND Flight, averaging 15.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. She is the daughter of Jim and Allison Miller. Jim is a former Wolves football student-athlete.

 

Vikings interview four more head coaching candidates

Over the weekend the Minnesota Vikings interviewed four more candidates for the team's currently vacant head coaching position. On Friday the Vikings interviewed Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and LA Rams head coach Kevin O'Connell. On Sunday the Vikings interviewed San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. So far, the Vikings have interviewed eight candidates for the vacant head coaching position.

Three former Twins to be enshrined in team hall of fame

Three former Minnesota Twins have been elected to the team’s Hall of Fame.  They will be inducted during Hall of Fame weekend at Target Field August 20th and 21st.  The three include Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, former outfielder and radio broadcaster Dan Gladden and former utility player Cesar Tovar.  This is the first class since the Twin’s inaugural class of six back in 2000. 

Vikings conclude initial interviews with eight requested GM candidates

The Minnesota Vikings Thursday conducted more interviews for both the vacant head coach and general manager position.  On the coaching side, the Vikings interviewed Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. 

 

Gannon has served as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings from 2014 to 2017.  He is the fourth person to officially interview for the job.  For GM The Vikings officially interviewed New England Patriots senior consultant Eliot Wolf and Cleveland Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook.   

 

According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, the Vikings have now finished interviewing the eight General manger candidates they requested interviews with when this search initially began. 

Wild announce schedule changes to make up postponed games

The Minnesota Wild has announced a schedule update to make-up for missed games late last year due to COVID-19.  The makeup game against Carolina from December 14th will be played at home February 12th at 7:00 p.m.  the game against Detroit missed on December 23rd will be played Monday Feb. 14th  at home at 7:00 p.m.  and finally the game against Florida missed on December 18th will be made up Friday Feb. 18th at home at 7:00 p.m.

Three former Wings finalists for "Hobey Baker" award

Three former Aberdeen Wings have been named finalists for the Hobey Baker award.  The Hobey Baker is awarded annual to the person considered to top college hockey player in the United States.  The three include Forwards Kevin Fitzgerald, Nathan Smith and Nathan Burke.  Fitzgerald currently plays for St. Cloud State and played for the Wings from 2015 to 2017.  Smith currently plays for Minnesota State Mankato.  He played four games for Aberdeen back in 2016-17 before advancing to the USHL.  Finally Burke joined the Wings during the 2016-17 NAHL season and played the entire 17-18 with Aberdeen.  He currently plays for Bowling Green University. 

Vikings interview two more head coaching candidates, others scheduled

The Minnesota Vikings have officially announced the team has finished two more interviews for its vacant head coaching position.  The team finished its interview with current Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and current Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.  Quinn has also served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 to 2020.  Moore is 33 years old and was promoted to Dallas offensive coordinator after serving one year as quarterbacks coach in 2018.  The Vikings have also interviewed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.  The team is scheduled to interview former New York Jets head coach and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowels today.   

Jacks wrestling third in the nation in inaugural mid-major poll

The South Dakota State wrestling team is ranked third in the inaugural Division I Mid-Major Top 20 poll conducted by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Formulated in 2017, the Mid-Major Top 20 is based on dual meet results and is voted on by coaches representing teams from non-Power Five conferences.

Members of the EIWA and Big 12 Conference dominated the upper half of the poll, with a combined seven teams in the top 10. Lehigh ranked first, with five first-place votes, followed by fellow EIWA program Cornell right behind the Mountain Hawks in the second position. 

South Dakota State, which improved to 7-1 in duals after wins over Chattanooga and Marlyand last weekend at the Virginia Duals, earned the third spot. Big 12 rival North Dakota State is in fourth, followed by league members Wyoming (sixth) and Northern Iowa (eighth) in the top 10. Southern Conference member Campbell rounded out the top five in the fifth spot.

SDSU also is one of five mid-major teams to be ranked in the NWCA Coaches Poll, with four other programs currently receiving votes.

The Jackrabbits face a busy weekend as they are scheduled to wrestle Saturday at Missouri, followed by duals Sunday versus SIU-Edwardsville and Central Michigan in Edwardsville, Illinois.

NWCA DIVISION I MID-MAJOR TOP 20

Rank Name Points Wrestling Conference All-Sports Conference
1 Lehigh 100 (5) EIWA Patriot League
2 Cornell 95 EIWA Ivy League
3 South Dakota State 76 Big 12 Summit
4 North Dakota State 73 Big 12 Summit
5 Campbell 65 SoCon Big South
6 Wyoming 60 Big 12 Mountain West
7 Princeton 58 EIWA Ivy League
8 Northern Iowa 53 Big 12 Missouri Valley
9 Buffalo 46 MAC MAC
10 Central Michigan 45 MAC MAC
11 Clarion 42 MAC PSAC
11 Ohio 42 MAC MAC
13 Penn 36 EIWA Ivy League
14 Utah Valley 35 Big 12 WAC
15 Northern Colorado 34 Big 12 Big Sky
16 Appalachian State 32 SoCon Sun Belt
17 Northern Illinois 31 MAC MAC
18 Cal Poly 29 PAC 12 Big West
19 Bucknell 21 EIWA Patriot League
20 Lock Haven 16 MAC PSAC

Vikings officially interview two more general manager candidates

The Minnesota Vikings officially confirmed two more interviews for the vacant general manager position Tuesday.  The two include Brandon Brown, and Ryan Poles.  Brown currently serves as the director of player personnel with the Philadelphia Eagles while poles currently serves as the executive director of player personnel with the Kansa City Chiefs.  So far six candidates have officially interviewed for the job. 

Boston Bruins retire #22 in honor of NHL's first black player Willie O'Ree

The Boston Bruins held a ceremony last night during its game with the Carolina Hurricanes, retiring #22 in honor of Willie O’Ree.  O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier on January 18th 1958 playing for the Bruins in a game against the Montreal Canadians.  He would play 45 NHL games all with the bruins over the course of two seasons.  The Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada native attended the ceremony via video.  He was inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 2018. 

Former Minnesota Twin pitcher Francisco Liriano announces retirement

Former Minnesota Twins starter Francisco Liriano announced Monday he has decided to retire following a 14-year MLB career. He is 38 years old. The Dominican Republic native made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins September 5th 2005 He played six seasons for Minnesota before moving onto the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He went on to pitch for Pittsburg, Toronto, Houston, and Detroit. He was an All-Star selection in 2006, won a world series with the Houston Astros in 2017 and was twice named Comeback player of the year in 2010 and 2013.

 

Two Wolves named NSIC north division players of the week

Two Northern State Wolves have been named the NSIC North Division player of the week, the league annonced Monday.

 

For the men Wolves junior Sam Masten was named player of the week for his performance in the Wolves two home victories over the weekend. The Highlands Ranch Colorado native averaged 29.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in both wins.

 

For the women Aberdeen native and Warner high school alum Laurie Rogers was named player of the week. She averaged a double-double with 18.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in two wins at home this past weekend.

Vikings interview three more general manager candidates

The Minnesota Vikings officially announced the team had conducted more three initial interviews for the vacant general manager position. The three interviewed include Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of Player Personnell Catherine Raiche. Raiche is the highest ranking female personnel staffer in the NFL. The Team also interviewed Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who currenlty serves as the vice president of football operations with the Cleveland Browns and finally John Spytek who currently serves as the vice president of player personnel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

SD Media prep basketball poll released the week of 1/17/22

Boys basketball

Class AA

1. Roosevelt (19) 7-0 95 1

2. O’Gorman 8-1 76 2

3. Mitchell 7-2 54 5

4. Aberdeen Central 7-3 23 4

5. Harrisburg 4-3 17 3

Receiving votes: Yankton 10, Sioux Falls Washington 9, Sioux Falls Lincoln 1. 
 

Class A

1. Dakota Valley (15) 8-0 91 1

2. St. Thomas More (4) 9-0 75 2

3. Winner 9-0 56 3

4. Tea Area 6-2 24 T-5

5. Sioux Valley 6-2 21 4

Receiving votes: Flandreau 17, Groton Area 1. 
 

Class B

1. De Smet (19) 9-1 95 1

2. White River 7-1 71 2

3. Lower Brule 7-1 61 3

4. Aberdeen Christian 6-2 36 4

5. Platte-Geddes 4-1 11 RV

Receiving votes: Faulkton Area 6, Timber Lake 3, Viborg-Hurley 2.
 

Girls basketball

Class AA

1. O’Gorman (19) 6-1 95 2

2. Washington 8-1 75 1

3. Brandon Valley 7-1 54 3

4. RC Stevens 8-1 38 4

5. RC Central 7-1 22 5

Receiving votes: Watertown 1. 
 

Class A

1. Wagner (16) 9-0 92 4

2. West Central (2) 10-1 73 3

3. Flandreau (1) 6-1 55 1

4. Dakota Valley 9-1 25 5

5. St. Thomas More 8-3 23 2

Receiving votes: Lakota Tech 11, Parkston 5, Red Cloud 1. 
 

Class B

1. Roncalli (18) 7-0 94 1

2. Corsica-Stickney (1) 9-2 77 2

3. Aberdeen Christian 8-0 52 3

4. White River 6-2 32 4

5. De Smet 10-0 28 5

Receiving votes: Colman-Egan 1, Viborg-Hurley 1.

 

Northern football announces two staff resignations

 Northern State University head football coach Mike Schmidt announced today the resignations of Donnell Kirkwood and Isaac Fruechte. Kirkwood will join the staff at Western Illinois University, while Fruechte was named the offensive coordinator at Winona State earlier today. The pair joined the Northern State staff in December of 2019.

 

“I would like to thank Coach Fruechte for his dedication to Northern State football over the past two years,” noted Schmidt. “He led an offense that had one of the best statistical and most exciting seasons in history of Wolves football. He’s a great coach and a dear friend. I am happy for Isaac and Kenzie to get back to their home area and be able to raise their kids with their families nearby. This is a tough loss for Northern State Football but it is also an opportunity to bring in someone new to help elevate our program to a championship level.”

 

Prior to NSU Fruechte made coaching stops at the University of Northern Iowa and University of Wisconsin LaCrosse.

 

“Coach Kirkwood brought tremendous energy to our program,” explained Schmidt. “He had deep, strong relationships with our players and worked tirelessly with many of them on their academics. He deserves an opportunity to Coach Division I football and he has an incredible future ahead of him in this business. I want to thank Coach Kirkwood for all that he has done for the program, the players, and the campus community.”

 

Prior to NSU Kirkwood was an assistant coach at Southwest High School, Andover High School, and DeLaSalle High School.

 

The football program will immediately begin searches to fill both positions.

Vikings confirm interview with head coach and GM candidate

The Minnesota Vikings officially confirmed the team has interviewed Green Bay Packers offensive coordintor Nathaniel Hackett for the vacant head coaching job. Hackett has been in his current role with Green Bay for three seasons and has been an NFL coach for the past 13 seasons. The team also confirmed it has interviewed Tennessee Titans director of Player Personnell Monti Ossenfort for the vacant general manager position. Ossenfort at one point served as an intern for the Minnesota Vikings, is a Luverne Minnesota native and graduate from the University of Minnesota Morris. More head coaching and general manager interviews will continue this week.

Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson named second team All-Pro

Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been named to the All-Pro Second team by the Associated Press. This is the second straight season Jefferson has been named to the 2nd team All-pro. Jefferson this seasons caught 108 passes, good enough for fourth in the league, for 1,616 receiving yards which puts him second-most in the NFL. He finished just shy of Randy Moss' franchise record of most receiving yards in a single season.

Twins to retire Jim Kaat's #36

The Minnesota Twins have announced the organization will retire former left handed picher Jim Kaat's #36 at a ceremony this coming summer.  Kaat has been nominated to the baseball hall of fame and will be enshrined this year.

 

He spent 14 seasons with the Washington Senators who became the Minneota Twins from 1959 to 1973.  During that time he was a two-time all star, won several gold glove awards and led teh American League in wins in 1966.  

Kaprizov and Talbot named to NHL All-Star game

The NHL has announced both forward Kirill Kaprizov and goaltender Cam Talbot will represent Minnesota in the upcoming NHL all-star game in Las Vegas.  Kaprizov is the Wild’s sixth forward in team history named to the all-star game.  So far this season he has 40 points, 14 goals and 26 assists and a +12 rating in 32 games played this season.  Talbot is the Wild’s fourth goaltender in team history to make the all-star game.  So far this year he is 15-8-1 with a 3.00 goals against average and .909 save percentage.  He is tied for 8th in the NHL in wins and became the first goalie in franchise history to start a season 5-0-0.   

Vikings part owner Mark Wilf addresses the media following the dismissal of head coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Speilman

Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf addressed the media Monday following the news the team had fired head coach Mike Zimmer and General Manager Rick Speilman.


According to Wilf both searches for the next GM and head coach will begin immedately.  They will be conducted in house as well without the use of a search firm.  However, it is the ownership group's goal to hire a general manager first so he or she can have a say in the next head coach...

 

 

 

 

Despite what appears to be hitting the reset button by management, Wilf says this should not be seen as a traditional rebuild and he expects the team to be competitive next season...

 

 

 

Wilf says the search will be thurough.  The NFL as a league has failed to elevate candidates of color to prominent front office jobs.  Though this does not guarantee the next GM or head coach will be a candidate of color, the Wilfs hope a diverse pool of candidates will lead to the best possible hire...

 

 

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