Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper
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After four years, Jana Lueck has resigned as girls varsity coach for the Pequot Lakes Patriot track team, effective immediately. Her resignation paves the way for assistant coach Jamie Wagner to become head coach. "It's his time," Lueck said. "I just feel he deserves this step. He is young, and I want to have him do this ... He can do it, and he is going to do really well. I didn't really want to be the one holding that back. Had there been no one else, I wouldn't dream of going, but he is going to be awesome."
In its Monday, Oct. 16, meeting, the Pequot Lakes School Board unanimously approved a Spanish class trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in June 2019. Spanish teacher Chris Palmer presented to the board, showing the tentative itinerary and outlining the cost of the trip for roughly 35 individuals. The cost is set for $2,879 per student - assuming at least 25 people go on the trip - plus a $10 Nicaraguan "tourist tax." This cost includes all meals, hotels, basic traveler's insurance and a fluent Spanish-speaking guide.
The Pequot Lakes Patriot tennis team qualified four players for the Section 7-1A individual tournament following South Subsection action Thursday, Oct. 12. The doubles team of Alexis Lueck and Morgan Mudgett defeated Shelain Lewis-Kalina Spalj of Crosby-Ironton for third place. The team of Alexa Fyle and Erin Bengston won an opening round match against Mora by a score of 6-2, 6-0.
The Pine River-Backus Tiger football team picked up their second win in three games on homecoming night in a 31-16 victory over the Cass Lake-Bena Panthers Friday, Oct. 13. "(They were) outstanding," coach Tom Demars said. "We have been undermanned and undersized, and one thing we have done a really good job of is competing every night. We had a couple of good things happen in the first half and we got some momentum going. The guys got pretty excited and played hard all game."
The Pequot Lakes Patriot tennis team saw its team-competition season come to an end on Monday, Oct. 9, in a 4-3 loss to Pierz in the Subsection 2, Section 7-1A semifinals. "We played well, but Pierz played even better," coach Monica Sergent said. "Morgan Mudgett and Courtney Boller played strong singles matches for us to get wins, and Afton Crocker and Morgan Lueck had a big three-set win at No. 3 doubles." Mudgett and Boller registered wins for the the Patriots at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, along with a Lueck-Crocker at No. 3 doubles.
In a work session Monday, Oct. 2, the Pequot Lakes School Board reviewed its class size policy for the district. Currently, the policy states grades K-2 should be capped at 25 students per section, grades 3-5 at 27 students and 6-12 capped at 30 students - with the exception of required high school lab classes, which are capped at 25 students per section. However, the board can opt to close open enrollment, increase the class size cap or create additional sections in the event a class reaches its cap.
Quarterback Blake Lane scored four touchdowns as the Pequot Lakes Patriot football picked up a homecoming victory over Park Rapids on Friday, Oct. 6, by a score of 55-8. "I saw a lot of great team chemistry," senior wide receiver Austin Young said. "Everyone is starting to work together ... We came in prepared. We've always known Park Rapids will hit us hard, but we were ready and we blew them out of the park." Young caught two touchdown passes - one from 42 yards out and another from 20 yards away - and Nathan Traut found the endzone twice on the run for the Patriots.
Maddy Pluimer won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, who swept all four singles in a 6-1 win over the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines Friday, Sept. 29. "We are always happy to get our conference wins," head coach Monica Sergent said. "Morgan Mudgett did a great job filling in at No. 1 singles for us ... The entire team played very well. I am pleased with how we are playing as we are edging close to the playoffs." Elli Saxerud and Maddy Sherman picked up the straight-set victory at No. 2 doubles to move to 22-3 as a team on the season.
Many families find a common-interest activity as a way to spend "family time." For the Ryans of Pequot Lakes, "family time" is spent on the gridiron. "Football is life for the Ryans," Patriot running back Tim Ryan said. He, along with his twin brother Luke and older brother Jake, are on the field for Patriot football games where their father, Pete Ryan, serves as defensive coordinator.
As someone who writes for a living, I obviously need to have a decent understanding of the English language. I'll be the first to admit I'm a long way from having anything resembling a mastery of the language, but I like to think I do fairly well at telling stories or recapping events. I try my best to use proper English, even when I text - much to the chagrin of my friends and family who have to read the paragraphs I send them - and I'm quick to correct myself in the event of improper grammar, even when speaking.