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The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta girls track and field team is back on track for the 2017 season after an injury-prone 2016 season. "We have a good core back in our eight senior leaders. All great kids, good athletes, very goal-driven," head coach Mark Ekren said. "It's nice to see the seniors helping the younger kids. It's leadership, that's the biggest thing. I hope that trickles down the the younger kids when they get older." The Tigers have roughly 35 out for the girls program in grades 7-12. "About the same as last year," Ekren said.
All-conference and team awards for the 2016-2017 girls basketball season have been announced. For the Hancock Owls, Sabrina Mattson was the lone all-conference recipient. Kassandra Algarate, Ashlyn Mattson, and Tess Steiner all earned honorable mention. Algarate and S. Mattson earned Team MVP. The two combined for 500 points this season. Algarate led the duo attack with 283 points, an average 11.8 points per game. She also grabbed a team high 144 rebounds on the season, a six per game average.
The Hancock Owl boys basketball team finished the season with an 18-7 record with a 9-2 Pheasant Conference record. The Owls held a season-end banquet Tuesday, March 21 to hand out year-end awards. The Owls had five honored by the Pheasant Conference, including junior Noah Kannegiesser, who was named MVP of the conference this year and the team this year. He led the Owls in points (630), assists (105), steals (66), free throw percentage (85.2) and three-point percentage (38.2) this season. Hancock had two other all-conference selections in Chandler Gramm and Tyler Reese.
The Hancock Owl boys basketball team was named the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Class A State Academic Team Champions on Monday, March 13. The Owls earned the Section 6A Academic Champions in the 2015-2016 season. This season, the Owls boasted a 3.63 GPA as a team this year to earn the honor. "This is one of the biggest awards that we feel the team has received," head coach Cory Bedel said. "We are really honored and proud of the team to accomplish this."
There are few athletes on track for the Hancock Owls this spring. Hancock has four participants in varsity boys track and field and none for the varsity girls. The Owls lost their girl runners to the new softball program that Hancock started this season. "Girls can be in both. We worked very hard to develop a schedule that works for both teams, however, the high school girls decided they wanted to focus on softball this year," said Casey Skalbeck, who starts in on his second year as head coach of the program. "We do have a few junior high girls who are doing both."
No experience, no problem. Hancock began its softball program this year after being in a cooperative sponsorship with Benson for more than two decades. The Owls haven't had their own program since the 1992 season. Ryan Snyder was hired to start the program after coaching the Hancock junior high softball team last season. Hancock has 11 varsity girls out for softball, most have no experience. However, some players did play on the junior high team that Snyder coached last year.
The junior varsity girls basketball team posted a record of 11-11 in the 2016-2017 season. After a 1-4 start, the Owls turned things around to go 10-7 to finish out the season. The JV had nearly the same lineup as last season and that benefitted the team, coach Tony Thielke said.
After going 2-2 in 2016, the Hancock C squad boys basketball team finished up the season 8-6. The 2017 portion of the season started off with two losses, a 31-23 loss at Ortonville on Jan. 20 and a 54-25 loss at West Central Area on Jan. 24. Against Ortonville, Preston Rohloff led Hancock with eight points. Sakdhithouch "Guy" Paradeesatanun had five and Gus Schacht finished with four. Against the Knights, Daniel Milander led with nine points. Tyler Timmerman added seven.
After a 5-2 start in 2016, the Hancock JV boys basketball team closed out the season at 16-2 in 2017 to finish with a 21-4 overall record. The Owls added two wins to open 2017, a 38-26 win over Battle Lake on Jan. 5 and a win over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 53-36 on Jan. 6. Nienhaus had a team high 12 points against Battle Lake and added 13 against KMS. Connor Reese led the Owls against KMS with 15 points.
Four Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Tigers were named All Area honorable mention by the West Central Tribune. RELATED: Two Owls named WCT All Area, Morris/C-A takes second in 3AA , Morris/C-A athletics