Welcome to MavBlog!

Welcome to MavBlog • Providing Insite & Information on the Mavericks Since 1985Mankato, Minn.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mavericks in the Minors

Several former Mavericks are working their way through the farm systems of major league clubs these days.

Outfielder Mark Dolenc, who was drafted by the Twins in the 15th round in 2006, spent last year with Ft. Myers in Class A and is expected to land at AA with New Britain this summer.  Dolenc has seen action in three games with the big club during spring training and his stats with the Twins appear here.

Righthanded pitcher Chris Odegaard, who was selected by Arizona in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft, spent last summer in class A with Yakima of the Northwest League.

Picked by Tampa in the 43rd round of the 2009 draft, infielder Geno Glynn played rookie ball with Princeton of the Appalachian League last summer.

All three players should find out early next week what team they will be assigned for this summer. 

Other former Mavericks still playing pro ball include a trio that will play with independent professional teams in pitchers Nick Fellman and Nathan Kafka, along with outfielder/infielder Rich Austin.

Drafted by the Braves in 2007, Fellman is slated to suit up for Fargo-Moorhead of the Northern League this summer, while Kafka will play for the Midwest Sliders of the Frontier League.  Austin, who played for the Mavericks in 1999-2000 and epitomizes the term career minor leaguer as evidenced by this story which ran last spring, will be a player-coach for Rockford Riverhawks of the Northern League this year.

A complete list of Mavericks who have been drafted and/or played pro baseball appears here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Couple of Good Reads

A couple of stories written recently pertaining to Minnesota State Athletics.

First, the Chronicle of Higher Education sent a writer our way back near the end of February and Libby Sanders's piece entitled College Sports, How the Other Half Lives, appears here.

Then, found this posting on former Minnesota State men's hockey forward Travis Morin, who skates for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. After spending a couple of years with the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League, T-Mo has worked hard in establishing himself as a top-six forward with the Stars, who are affiliated with the NHL's Dallas Stars.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Six Degrees of Separation....

The NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are now upon us and there are a couple of story lines in each tournament that can be directly related to Minnesota State athletics.

In the men’s tournament, Wake Forest earned the #9 in the East Region and play #8 seed, Texas tonight (Thursday) at 8:35. Former Maverick athletic director Ron Wellman is the current AD at Wake Forest.

The University of Northern Iowa men’s program is the #9 seed in the Midwest Bracket and opens the tournament against the #8 seed UNLV, tonight (Thursday) at 6:10. The Panther’s point guard, Kwadzo Ahelegbe is the younger brother of former Maverick player and current Maverick assistant coach Gameli.

On the women’s side, there are also two connections to the Mavericks. Minnesota State head men’s basketball coach Matt Margenthaler’s younger brother, Ty, serves as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers – who are in the tournament for the first time since the 2002 season – are the #7 seed in the Kansas City Regional and take on the #10 seed, Vermont Sunday at 11 a.m., in South Bend, Ind.

Minnesota State assistant women’s basketball coach Megan Vogel was a four-year standout and an assistant coach for former North Central Conference member South Dakota State who won the Summit League and advanced to the tournament for the second straight year. The Jackrabbits, are the #14 seed and will play 3rd-seeded Oklahoma Sunday in the Norman, Okla.

Are there more connections that I am forgetting? If so, post them in the comments.

Thursday Grab Bag

Quicker then you can say "Bob's your uncle," the Minnesota State winter sports season came to a crashing halt last weekend.

Just to recap, All-American performances by senior Brady Wilson (2nd, heavyweight), junior Andy Forstner (4th, 125), senior Travis Elg (5th, 149) and sophomore Aaron Norgren (7th, 184) paced the MSU wrestlers to a sixth-place at the national championship tournament in Omaha.

Led by the national championship performance of junior Denise Mokaya in the 800m, the MSU men's track & field team finished eighth in the final team standings of the national indoor track & field championships in Albuquerque.  Junior pole vaulter Lauren Stelten finished second as the Maverick women's indoor track & field team turned in a 16th-place finish at the national meet. And the MSU men's and women's swimming & diving teams both placed 26th at the national meet held in Akron, Ohio.

Throw in a NCAA regional semi-final appearance by the MSU men's basketball team and a first-round WCHA play-off loss in a best-of-three series to St. Cloud State absorbed by the men's hockey team and you can put a bow on things.

Not counting the sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason by Matt Margenthaler's men's hoops squad, the performances by the MSU winter sports teams have boosted the Mavericks up the Directors' Cup standings from 54th to sixth place.

So, moving on, as we must do, the focus turns to Minnesota State's spring sports.  Currently rated 23rd in the NCBWA poll, the baseball team stands 11-5 on the year and is expected to open NSIC action this weekend with four games against Northern State.  The two doubleheaders are/were supposed to take place in Aberdeen, S.D., but stay tuned.  There's a good possibility MSU could have its home opener this weekend.  The Mavericks, which just returned from a spring break trip to Florida, have played eight games in the Metrodome this year.  Check out this interesting story from the N.Y. Times regarding the goings-on that take place in the Homer Dome during the winter months.  The Mavericks went 6-2 in games played there this year.

The Maverick softball team, which stands 10-4 for the year and is receiving votes in the NFCA poll, is scheduled to host Waldorf March 25th in a nonconference doubleheader in its home opener.

The MSU women's golf team claimed a tournament title in Arizona when they finished first at the Poston Butte Invite last week and a schedule change has the men's golf team participating in the UC-San Diego SoCal Intercollegiate tournament March 22-23.  The Maverick men's and women's tennis teams were the first teams to get going with their schedules starting in late February.

So there you go.  As Scott Nelsen loves to say...."No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."  

Mozeltoff, everyone.  Mozeltoff.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Madness

Wow, it's time for the March Madness here around Minnesota State as many of our winter sports seasons are entering the playoff run. 

The Minnesota State men's basketball team opens the 2010 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament tonight as the #1 seed and entertains Southwest Minnesota State, the #8 seed.

Chad Courrier of the Mankato Free Press wrote a great piece in today's paper about Minnesota State senior guard Jesse Clark and former Maverick great Gene Glynn (1976-80), which can be found here.  Clark currently sits second on the school's all-time assists list with 520, while Glynn holds the school record for assists with 760.  Both are the only two players in school history to surpass the 500-assist barrier.

To get a different perspective of the game, click here, as the Marshall Independent looks into this do-or-die game for the Mustangs.

The Maverick's women's team is traveling to St. Paul today for its opening round game of the NSIC/Sanford Health tournament.  This is a rematch of last year's opening round game, only the roles are reversed.  Concordia owns the #1 seed in this year's tournament, while MSU is #8.  Last year, the Mavericks - who were the #1 seed - fell to Concordia - who was the #8 seed - 86-77.

To view either game tonight, log onto www.pennatlantic.com and you can view it for free.  For those who wish to follow the livestats, they can follow the men's game here and the women's game here.

As some tournaments are beginning, two tournaments which recently completed found a former Maverick and a current Maverick with medals around their necks.  Former Maverick David Backes - now of the St. Louis Blues - and his American teammates came home with a silver medal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in men's ice hockey.  As most know by now, Canada bested the USA in what some are calling one of the best hockey games ever, Sunday afternoon, 3-2 in overtime. 

Current Maverick forward, junior Nina Tikkinen earned the Bronze Medal as Norway beat Sweden, 3-2 last Thursday in women's ice hockey.  The following day, Tikkinen rejoined the Mavericks as they played Minnesota in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. 

Tuesday, MSU hosted a press conference with Tikkinen and head women's hockey coach Eric Means and the bronze medal was on display.  To read Shane Frederick's story on the press conference, click here and here.

I got a chance to hold the medal and I didn't really realize how big it was till I put it in my paw:

In the words of Porky the Pig from Loney Tunes....

Monday, March 1, 2010

This Week in MSU Athletics

If you follow Maverick Athletics, then you just might also find something relative to what Thoreau was thinking when he said "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

A quick gander at the MSU Athletics Calendar shows a lot going on this week with no fewer then 21 events listed between Tuesday and Sunday.  And this doesn't include a press conference scheduled for Nina Tikkinen, who will showcase her newly-minted bronze medal from the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Tuesday at All Seasons Arena.

The MSU basketball teams begin NSIC play-off action Wednesday with first-round games.  The Maverick women are the eighth seed and play at Concordia, while the men are seeded first and host Southwest Minnesota State. Both games are slated for 7:00 p.m. starts.   As the top seed, the Maverick men would host the four-team, two-day NSIC Tournament at Taylor Center Saturday and Sunday should they get past the eighth-seeded Mustangs Wednesday.

The MSU men's hockey team closes out the 2009-10 regular season schedule with a home-and-home series vs. St. Cloud State Friday (in Mankato) and Saturday (in St. Cloud).  The baseball team plays Bemidji State in a pair of nonconference double headers in the Metrodome Tuesday and Wednesday, then along with the MSU tennis and softball teams, begin action in Florida Sunday.

And, of course, a big shout out to the MSU men's track and field team which captured the 2010 NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championship which was held in Myers Field House this past weekend.  And another incredible weekend for MSU senior heavyweight Brady Wilson, who became not only MSU's first four-time wrestling regional champion over the weekend, but also MSU's career wins leader.

As always, it's great to be a Maverick.