At least it wasn’t during football season.
That’s really the only silver lining I’ve come up with as we transition into this nightmarish new world without sports.
No NCAA tournament, no Master’s, no NHL or NBA (I’m actually just fine with no NBA to be honest), no Twins, no high school sports. Nothing.
Yikes. Talk about weird.
I was just up to St. Paul recently covering our guy Kaleb Haase as he captured the Class AA heavyweight state wrestling title. He should probably send a nice fruit basket to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) for the scheduling of the winter state tournaments.
It’s crazy to think if that tournament had been one week later he probably would’ve had a lifelong memory taken away from him.
Props to Haase while we’re at it. The kid came into his senior season with a little bit of pressure to go all the way. Having just missed out on reaching the state finals the past two years, it was now or never. He didn’t disappoint, truly dominating his opponents all season long on the way to a 41-0 record and a first period fall in the championship match. It was fun to be there to see it.
I was actually just a kid when the Cardinals had their last state champion, and I was there to see that one too. Duane Heiling accomplished the same feat while wrestling for my dad (Dennis) back in ’81.
My dad had some great teams back in those days, most of those were thanks to Duane and many of his brothers and cousins and a pair of stud brothers in Mike and Tim Smith.
In the past year we lost both Gene Heiling and Jack Smith (Jack most recently). I had the pleasure of knowing both of them, having worked for Gene from time to time on the farm as a kid.
He was the patriarch of arguably the greatest wrestling family in Cardinal history.
Jack was also a great man who was the patriarch of arguably the greatest golf family in Redwood history, a guy you would see around town and especially during the playing of the Palmer Kise Invitational tournaments, as he watched his sons play and win the prestigious event.
Jack claimed victory in the tournament back in 1969, and sons Mike and Pat are two of the winningest players in the history of the event. Tim is also a solid player and teamed up with his brothers and Erik Scholl to win a state golf title for the Cards back in 1981.
My sincere condolences to both the Heiling and Smith families on the loss of a pair of community pillars.
Speaking of golf, we get what appears to be a nice early spring, and, because of the coronavirus outbreak, as of now we are unable to play golf. Not cool.
Under the current order, golf courses are to remain closed until May 1.
Redwood Falls Golf Club manager Ryan Fernelius has stated that he remains hopeful that the course could be opened before the current May 1 deadline, as golf courses continue to lobby the state for opening now.
With some simple rules set in place I think the courses could be opened to the public sooner than the May 1 date.
Other states (Iowa for example) are open for play right now. It sure would be great to get out and play some golf.
Although I do understand the seriousness of what we’re dealing with.
Back to football for a second. It looks like the NFL draft will take place at its normal time here in about three weeks.
It should be an interesting one for the Vikings who now are in the unenviable position of having to rebuild the defense. You hate to see good players go, but, in all honesty, Xavier Rhodes became a liability and won’t be missed.
Linvahl Joseph was a great free agent sign a few years back but can be replaced up front.
Losing Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander in the defensive backfield is going to leave us thin there, but those two were both replaceable as well.
With five picks in the first three rounds and 12 overall, look for Mike Zimmer to nab a pair of DBs early and several over the course of the draft to replenish those losses.
Stefon Diggs wanted to be a number one receiver.
Well, good luck Diggsy in Buffalo.
Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Better get some long johns.