Erin (Nelson) Hancock knows the feeling of the ice at Hazen's All Season Arena well. She knows the curves of the sideboards, the rough spot she fell down that first day learning to skate, the wet spots where the roof leaks when it's warm. Even though she has been away for six years, Hancock will always remember the feel of wearing her Novas jersey. Hancock, along with nine other Novas alumni, reconnected this past weekend as part of the second annual Alumni Christmas Tourney sponsored by the Blue Line Club. For Hancock, she said it was like time had gone in reverse.
Six wrestlers, mixed with hard earned conditioning and getting after it wrestling equaled twelve pins, five placings and 4.2 pounds of hardware this past weekend. The Beulah-Hazen Miners battled with 16 other Class B teams at the Linton Holiday tournament to get their first team trophy in almost five years. Placing fourth behind this year's Class B powerhouse Oakes, Carrington and Napoleon with Rugby, South Border and Hettinger nipping at their heels. Once is good but twice is nice as the Miners had two champions. Ben Maliske defended his 112-pound crown impressively, not even giving his opponents time warm up by pinning all three in the first period. Jared Weinand captured his second tournament crown of the year at 145 pounds also with three pins. His semifinal match against Billy Vetch, South Border, was no cakewalk having to fight off his back on three different occasions before wearing his opponent out and getting the pin 34 seconds into the third period.
Identity isn't something most teams start with each season but the Miner boys' basketball squad did learn a few lessons from their opening weekend of action. The first being they are going to need to work and the second being that the combination of Josh Schank and Andrew Just will keep them in many games this year. Carrington 56, Beulah 48 Beulah opened the Hoopster Shootout Friday at the Bismarck Civic Center against Carrington. Right away the two teams were deadlocked with even scoring. But by the second quarter, the Miners dug their own grave scoring just eight points as the Cardinals charged ahead with 19.
The Miner wrestlers traveled to Sidney, Mont., for their first true test of the year with one gym, four mats and lots of wrestling last weekend. Ten wrestlers competed in the junior varsity and varsity tournaments. The tournament started out in pool play, a grouping of three to five wrestlers, with Ben Maliske and Jared Weinand winning their pools 3-0 and 4-0. Alex Krebs, Scott Krebs, Jordon Mann and Ryan Block all finish pool play with one loss. At 98 pounds Hunter Eslinger had Jeremy Simmons, Minot, going over for the fall when the referee stopped the match for an injury timeout with 20 seconds left in the match. Eslinger came up short on making the finals, but would wrestle back to take fourth place. A. Krebs also wrestled at 98 pounds taking sixth place.
The first game of the season is always a little scary for coaches. The excitement and first-game jitters are enough to deal with but for the North Stars they faced an always-challenging Fargo Shanley for their opener last Friday. With the advantage of being on home ice and a hidden surprise, senior Riley Olson scored a hat trick and led Hazen-Beulah in a 7-6 comeback win over Shanley for the first time in memory the North Stars beat a Fargo team.
Beulah head football coach Loy Ham compared the Miners' season to a long train journey. At times, the train enjoyed scenic views from atop glorious peaks. At other times, the train chugged through some mountainous terrain, traveling through dark valleys. But all the while, the train gave its absolute all. Last Thursday, the athletes and coaching staff that made that train go were honored during the annual Beulah Miner Football Banquet at the Beulah Elementary School.
If you can't be one of the eight teams in North Dakota to continue their volleyball season this week, then you want to be one of the 16 teams to end their season with a win. Meeting up with Dickinson Trinity in the semifinals of the Region 7 Tournament, Beulah lost their chance at the title match falling 3-0 but they decisively rebounded Thursday with a 3-0 sweep of New England for third place.
Beulah volleyball coach Kevin Peterson admits there was a period of adjustment for the first-year coach and his players. "At the beginning of the year, the girls commented that I was a loud coach but now they find I'm just a teddy bear," he said. "A lot of that is 'are they willing to change,' 'are they willing to buy into what we are doing?' The kids are probably the only ones who really understand what we (as a coaching staff) are trying to do. They are with us everyday and we talk about every scenario."
At the start of the two-day tournament there were six. By Tuesday night there were only four and Beulah was the No. 3 seed, surviving to battle for another match. After taking the District 14 opening night contest with Dickinson Trinity on the chin, the Miners rebounded to crush Glen Ullin-Hebron in the regional qualifying match Tuesday night. They will now face the loser of the District 13 competitors Beach and New England Monday in Hazen for the first round of the Region 7 Tournament.