Summer Rumbles VII
It was a busy week of signings this week for Minnesota as they got deals done with all 14 of their remaining draft picks ahead of reporting day. Then, not to spoil their own momentum, the team finalized a long-awaited deal with Mike Zimmer. I'm still not over the approach he took with Case Keenum but his ability to maintain a professional operation that has been more good than bad merited him getting 3 more years on the job. Now he & his staff will have to do their best coaching job if they want to have another, and hopefully their most successful, season in his era.
The Herd's week started with some academic excellence getting recognized. With a very respectable 11.5% of the Summit's total Academic Honor Roll, NDSU's athletes showed that they are just as good with the book as they in their main forms of competition!
The good news kept rolling as Derrek Tuszka put pen to paper on a 4 year, 3.37 million dollar contract.
Senior thrower Shelby Gunnels brought more esteem for her academics as she was named Scholar Athlete of the Year in the league with a 4.0 GPA. She is the fourth female to earn the title & seventh overall for the university.
Rounding out the podium, NDSU received the Institutional Academic Achievement Award, the first such distinction for the university.
As for on-court action, two more 🏀 games were announced this week. The women will host Northern Iowa on Dec 2 while the men will head to Youngstown just ahead of Thanksgiving. Even as the dates keep getting announced it's more likely than not at this point that some, most, maybe all of the non-con games won't take place.
It may not be the worst news that Moorhead State gets as Summer wanes but head 🎾 coach Oliver Summers stepped down this week after leading the team to a 9-0 record until the shutdown.
He has been replaced by Jason Thiner, who had previously been an assistant coach with the team.
As the sands of the sports world continue to shift, multiple sources reported that several Fall sports will be switched to the Spring but nothing concrete has been announced by the conference or any of the schools yet.
It was also widely reported that the Wolves long-time owner Glen Taylor has moved toward sale of the franchise. There's no amount of criticism of the organization that is overboard but it's tough timing because they just had another reset, for like the 27th time and I'd really rather not have number 28 for like a decade.
And for what it's worth, the organization has never been as bad as the Washington 🏈 team has been revealed to be, so there's that.
After all the waiting, wishing & wondering, ⚾️ returned this week. As they are the team with the best chance to bring a championship to the Twin Cities since the 09 Purple, Minnie & Paul's squad carry the weight of the expectation. Through three games they showed that they can manage the hype & may even exceed it, at times. To wit, on Sunday afternoon Nelson Cruz became the first player in the 119-year history of the franchise to record 12 total bases & 7 RBIs in a single game. In an era of overblown stats, that can't be overstated!
The first headline from the high school level this week came from Davies, as girls head 🏀 coach Tim Jacobson resigned after four years.
Joe Hurlburt's hot Summer continued as 247 sports ranked him as the 7th best Center in the country and 47th over all in the 2022 class. It's like the frosting on the edge of the cake but that still tastes good and the ranking means that his power conference recruitment has only just begun.
And now for the elephant in the world. As another step toward Fall competition, the ND HS AA released Return to Competition guidelines this week. It's a meaty doc but as with last week's declaration, leaves the next couple of months still up for determining.
The local club went six straight against Winnipeg but could only muster one win, in game two. Had the ball bounced a little differently, the six-pack may have gone more their way but with the five losses, the birds have sunk to the bottom of the standings. It's a far cry from last season but the season isn't over just yet.
The local Legion teams continued their strong collective Summer. For 400 that started with a doubleheader sweep over GF which included a homer in each game by Kobe Senn. Post 2 returned to the diamond against Moorhead and it took all of 10 innings to conclude but the five-loss machine finished with the 6-5 advantage. P2 returned to action in a doubleheader against Mandan which they took 10-0 in game 1 and 5-4 in the cap. Zach Sandy went the distance in the shutout with 8K's.
West Fargo hooked Dickinson in yet another DH and by the end of the night had pushed their winning streak to 12 games. After a 3-0 win in the first, the Pats surrendered their first run in 44 innings but still finished ahead 9-3 so there's not much to gripe about. They closed the book on the week with 2 more against Minot. The opener went their way 2-0 and they pushed their streak to 14 with a 9-5 victory in the rematch.
Post 2 concluded the week with one more double-go, also against Grand Forks. They pushed 6 runs through in the first game, while giving up 0 then edged the Royals 3-2 with a 2-run, 7th inning comeback.