Louie St. George
- Member for
- 2 years 11 months
Gene Bondeson is spending his golden years at outdoor hockey rinks. For that, he has Pat Daly to blame. Call 'em the odd couple. Daly, 57, is the hockey lifer, the guy who first picked up a stick at the age of 7. His version of a nightcap is helping to flood a rink. The 66-year-old Bondeson, a "semi-retired" truck driver who still picks up a few routes for Superior-based Halvor Lines, knows more about power steering than power plays. "I know nothing about hockey," he says unapologetically.
A trio of Northlanders are among the 10 finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey award. Hermantown’s Ryan Sandelin and Dylan Samberg, plus Grand Rapids’ Micah Miller, will vie for the coveted honor, which recognizes the state’s top senior skater as selected by a panel of NHL scouts, junior scouts and coaches and college coaches.
PREP NEWSMAKER — WRESTLING Talk to Devin Reynolds for any length of time, and a couple things stand out. First, the Cloquet senior is a big dude. Second, his hair is yellow. Or maybe it's orange. Either way, it catches your attention atop Reynolds' 5-foot-11, 278-pound frame. It's been there since early November, when Reynolds and his Cloquet football teammates celebrated a Class AAAA state tournament bid by making the tops of their heads resemble sunflowers.
PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL — MIB 65, CROMWELL-WRIGHT 57 CROMWELL — After Mountain Iron-Buhl staved off Cromwell-Wright in a back-and-forth girls basketball tussle in late December, it set the stage for Monday's rematch between two of Minnesota's best Class A teams — and two of the best in the Northland, regardless of classification.
CLOQUET — Coming off Saturday's letdown against Elk River in a game that all but decided the top seed for the upcoming Section 7AA playoffs, the Duluth East boys hockey team had little time to feel sorry for itself. A quick turnaround awaited the Greyhounds, whose six-game winning streak ended in a 4-1 loss to the Elks. East needed to turn the page ahead of Monday's date with Cloquet-Esko-Carlton. Fortunately for the Greyhounds, few opponents stoke their fire quite like the Lumberjacks.
Duluth East senior Avery Plude can thank her father for an early introduction to skiing that has sparked an almost insatiable appetite for the sport. David Plude is an ardent skier. His daughters were predisposed to the slopes. Avery Plude was a natural, which helps explain her Alpine skiing success, of course. But she pairs talent with the kind of mental toughness that has allowed Plude to flourish despite breaking her right ankle three times, just as many concussions and a knee injury. For that, credit likely goes to her entire family.
It's not all doom and gloom for girls basketball in Duluth. While East and Denfeld try to climb out of a competitive valley, Duluth Marshall is playing some of its best basketball since the program made its lone state tournament appearance, in 2000. Sure, part of Marshall's 13-3 record can be attributed to a generous schedule, but the Hilltoppers' slate has remained relatively consistent over the years. The difference is their competitiveness. Marshall's 11 wins last season equaled the highest tally in more than a decade.
Growing up in Duluth, Anders and Bjorn Broman dreamt about playing college basketball. Heck, maybe even together. No, they knew that was pie-in-the-sky stuff. So when Anders set out for South Dakota State upon graduating from Lakeview Christian Academy in 2013, it appeared to signal the end of the brothers' time as teammates. Bjorn would assume the role of prodigious scorer at LCA and chart his own path.
The Broman brothers aren’t the only Northland products earning headlines for their next-level contributions.
Malique Goulet ambled past Duluth East's visiting locker room three or four times Friday night before he finally spotted the door handle. A couple minutes later, following a short interview, the lanky senior again was at a loss trying to locate the room from which he had just emerged. It was a strange struggle for a player who didn't miss much in a well-played high school boys basketball game between city rivals. Goulet's steady second-half free-throw shooting helped the Greyhounds to a 65-56 win at Duluth Denfeld as East avenged a December loss to the Hunters.