Center Volleyball gets close By Jarann Johnson The Wildcats were close to giving Wilton-Wing their first loss in district play last week, but lost in five sets 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 27-25, 17-25, 10-15). The game was close with both teams making it hard for either team to secure a comfortable lead in any set. The first set started out with Wilton-Wing taking a 4-0 lead. Wilton Wing’s lead was countered by a Center 3-point rally and the pace for the set was created. Neither team gained a large lead until the midpoint of the set. Center was up 14-11 and went on a 3-point rally keyed by two Rachel Vitek aces. Wilton-Wing earned a side out and and scored, making the score 17-13. Center didn’t let the small rally become big and grabbed a 23-15 lead. The Wildcats only needed two points for the set win, but Wilton-Wing made a late rally scoring five straight and making the score 23-20. The Wildcats didn’t let the late run disorient them, instead they looked to Siam Simpfenderfer, senior outside hitter, and she scored on consecutive plays ending the game 25-20. Set 2 played out similar, but even closer. There were 12 ties during the set and at one point set could be summarized as, “ away side-out, home side out, tie game.” The set was tied at 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, 16-16, 17-17, 18-18, 19-19, 20-20. After that Wilton-Wing gained control. Wilton-Wing went on a 4-point rally keyed by a Karlee Arnold ace. Center rallied for two points but a serving error late in the set gave Wilton-Wing a 25-22 win. The Wildcats only trailed twice in set 3 but they were close numerous a few times. Late in the set the Wildcats broke a 22-22 tie and gained a 24-22 lead but they couldn’t close it out. Tristen Henke, outside hitter, committed a hitting error that gave Wilton-Wing the lead 25-24.
The Wildcats knew they would have to play a mistake-free game to beat third ranked Grant County. Grant County entered the game undefeated and averaging 59 points a game. But they are also a very talented defensive team, only giving up about 7 points per game. The Wildcats played hard in the game but played right into the averages and lost 54-6. The Wildcats lone score was a long passing play from Logan Staigle to Lane Erhardt. Erhardt caught the pass near the away team side line in 1-on-1 coverage at about the 40-yard line, then stopped and evaded several tacklers by cutting to the left and finished the play by racing back down the away team line. Other than that there weren’t many highlights for the Wildcats. Grant County started the game by scoring three times and taking a 22-0 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter Grant County continued to play well, scoring a 1-yard touchdown and making the score 30-0.
A rainy day with wet socks and numb fingers would leave most parents, fans and players with a bad attitude. But the Center-Stanton Wildcats were all smiles after score 68 points against Bowman last Friday and moving their record to 3-2 this season. Maybe it was the lure of free hot dogs at the Wildcats’ homecoming tail gate that set that pace for countering the rainy conditions but the Wildcats early offense certainly helped. Noah Johnson ran for a 10-yard score on the Wildcats’ first possession of the game. Johnson followed catching a two-point conversion pass from Logan Staigle, making the score 8-0. The Wildcat defense forced a turnover on downs on Bowman’s first possession. Center got good pressure on Bowman’s first punt attempt and forced a bad snap that Bowman’s punter couldn’t send kick.
Sometimes kids don’t have to hear their parents yelling “It’s dinner time” to know it’s time to eat. The Center-Stanton Wildcats were in a similar position heading into their game with Hettinger-Scranton. The Wildcats didn’t need anyone to tell them how important the game was, they already knew. Heading into last Friday’s game there was a cluster of teams fighting for the final playoff spot. Grant County, Shiloh and Richardson-Taylor all have a strong lead on the first three playoff spots but the last one had several teams hovering around 2-2 in region play. Hettinger-Scranton was 1-2 and so was Center-Stanton, so the winner of this game would have a strong shot at the final playoff spot.
In all reality the Center-Stanton Wildcats knew they would be fighting for the last playoff spot at the end of the year. Shiloh returned a lot of core players from their 2012 playoff team. Then there was also Grant County and Richardton-Taylor, schools that played competitive 11-man football in region 4A but dropped back to 9-man after re-classification, meaning they would be back as powers in the 9-man ranks.
Last Tuesday’s season opener was a lot like eating a turkey dog for the Center-Stanton Wildcats. They knew it was good for them but it lacked the delicious taste of victory. The Wildcats fell 48-18, 30 points better than their 60 point loss to the Shiloh Sky Hawks in 2012.
When Cale Ferderer first arrived back in Center he was an aide in the special education department and assistant football coach. Last year was Ferderer’s last season as an assistant. Now, he is the head coach but he hasn’t forgotten his past.
Washburn coaches Dirk Hausauer and Kip Erkickson had a patent pending entering last weeks section 7 American Legion tournament. The duo led three teams to consecutive section crowns and hoped for a fourth crown and consecutive state tournament appearance. Opening day - Washburn vs. Highway 21