Area notebook: Helmer to play for national titleBen Helmer and the Minnesota Duluth football team will play Delta State for the NCAA Division II national title Saturday in Florence, Ala.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
Ben Helmer and the Minnesota Duluth football team will play Delta State for the NCAA Division II national title Saturday in Florence, Ala. Helmer, a sophomore tight end from Ellsworth, has played in 13 of 14 games.
He also has caught four passes totaling 46 yards for the top-ranked Bulldogs.
Helmer played in Saturday’s 17-13 semifinal victory over Northwest Missouri State. He was targeted one time, but the first-quarter pass fell incomplete.
Fellow tight end Ryan Hayes recorded six catches and 65 receiving yards for Minnesota Duluth this season, but the senior from Red Wing is no longer with the team, according to Minnesota Duluth communications director Bob Nygaard. Hayes was suspended indefinitely prior to the Division II quarterfinals.
Joe Ellis, a sophomore from Red Wing, also is on the Bulldogs’ roster, but he is redshirting this season.
• Red Wing graduate Blake Schammel said he’s happy with his decision to join the Fairbanks (Alaska) Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League after parting with the Owatonna Express midseason.
From Schammel’s perspective, there’s a lot to like. Fairbanks drew 2,242 fans at its home game Saturday.
“There are a lot of rowdy military fans,” said Schammel, noting there’s a Air Force base nearby. “It’s pretty fun playing home games.”
He also said that playing on the team brings with it a sort of celebrity status. The Ice Dogs sign autographs after games.
Owatonna had 468 fans at its last home game.
Another big draw was the pipeline. Schammel’s stated goal is to play Division I hockey and Fairbanks boasts 10 Division I commitments in the 2009-10 class.
“The coach and general manager have a lot of connections with Division I coaches,” Schammel said, adding, “They work really hard to move their players on. It’s a good situation.”
Fairbanks also is an advantageous destination because the team has an offensive-minded approach that suits Schammel’s strengths — speed and skating.
Schammel played 14 games with Owatonna this season, scoring seven points. Before leaving for Alaska, Schammel assisted at Red Wing girls hockey practices and skated with the Red Wing boys. He chose the Ice Dogs over the University of St. Thomas and the Alexandria Blizzard, a fellow NAHL team.
In eight games with Fairbanks, Schammel has scored two points on a line with fellow Minnesotans Tyler Voigt and Zach Vierling.
• For the third time in as many years, Morgan Place earned All-American honors in the NCAA Division II cross-country championships. She finished in fifth place at the 6K race (21 minutes, 13.9 seconds) Dec. 4 in Louisville, Ky.
Place, an Ellsworth native, has now won All-American honors seven times in her college career in track and cross-country, the most of any University of Minnesota Duluth athlete.
Augustana sophomore and Cannon Falls native Kyle Blakeslee finished the race in 45th place with a time of 22:30.2. She competed in the same race as Place.
• Travis Beniak, a junior at Augustana, took 65th in the men’s 10K at the NCAA Division II cross-country championships. The Zumbrota-Mazeppa graduate finished the race in 32:03.6.
• Nicole Anderson is averaging 7.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during her sophomore season on the St. Cloud State women’s basketball team. She’s also tallied 18 steals, 15 assists and four steals for the Huskies (5-3 overall, 2-2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference).
Anderson, a Cannon Falls graduate, leads the team in steals and ranks second in assists. The 5-foot-6 Anderson is tied for the team lead in blocks.
Anderson has started all eight games this season and all but one in her time at St. Cloud.
• Former Lake City basketball standout Joe Beck has made an instant impact in his first year at Rochester Community and Technical College. He averages 8.2 points per game and has scored in every Yellowjackets game but one. RCTC is 11-0 on the year.
• Red Wing graduate Megan Fleming is averaging 5.5 points in eight games played for the women’s basketball team at RCTC. Fleming, in her first year with the team, has helped the Yellowjackets win six of its first nine games.
• Red Wing graduate Caleb Rosenow is the third leading scorer through six games for the Carleton College basketball team. He is averaging nine points. The junior is shooting 56 percent from the field and averages four rebounds per game.
• Maranda Dohrn, a Lake City graduate, averaging 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls basketball team. Dohrn ranks third in scoring and first in rebounds for the Falcons.
Dohrn has had a productive last two games. She hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play to seal UW-River Falls’ 65-64 victory at UW-Eau Claire on Dec. 8. Dohrn registered five points and five rebounds in the game.
She followed that up with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 61-52 loss Saturday at UW-Oshkosh.
The Falcons dropped to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UW-River Falls is receiving votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll.
• Cannon Falls graduate Alex Montgomery has played in two games and scored two points for the Drake women’s basketball team (5-4). Montgomery is a junior.
• Amanda Daleiden, a Plum City graduate, is averaging 3.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game on the UW-Stout basketball team.
Daleiden has started two games and played in seven more for the Blue Devils (3-6 overall, 2-4 WIAC) during her sophomore season.
• Red Wing native Trevor Doden notched a goal and an assist in Augsburg’s second to last game before the holiday break to help the Auggies beat St. John’s 6-3 on Dec. 3. Augsburg (6-3-1 overall, 2-2 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) swept the Johnnies the following day.
Doden, a junior forward, has tallied two goals and three assists in 10 games.
• In 24 games with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, Andy Bohmbach has scored 11 goals and netted six assists. Bohmbach is the son of Red Wing baseball coach Jim Bohmbach. The Walleye are affiliated with the Grand Rapid Griffins and Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
• Jackie Friedrich of Red Wing is tied for the best plus/minus rating on the Lake Forest College hockey team. The freshman defenseman is a plus-3.
• Friedrich’s former teammate Rose Alleva has seen significant minutes for the Princeton hockey team. She has played in all 17 games and tallied three assists.
• St. John’s freshman and Red Wing graduate Patrick Noesen has played in 10 games for the Johnnies hockey team (3-10 overall, 2-4 MIAC). Noesen, a forward, has not scored a point and is a minus-2.
• Mark Giorgi finished the fall portion of the St. John’s University golf schedule with a scoring average of 75.6. The former Winger played in all five events (11 rounds) and twice finished in the top five. Giorgi has a career average of 74.8 for the Johnnies.
• Kathleen Ritter finished in the top five three of the six tournaments she played in for the Minnesota State Mankato golf team.
Her season-low of 72 was tied for the best round on the team.