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Roy Koenig, Sports Analyst
Roy Koenig, sports wrap, steele county times

New hockey coach

In addition to the personal tragedy for the family of OHS boys’ hockey coach Dave Fromm, who passed away unexpectedly in August, was the uncertainty of who would coach the Huskies this winter. It just so happens that a former head coach continues to teach at the high school.

Dennis Will is a Life Science teacher and coached the squad from 1991-98.

“It’s like going into teaching, just felt like a calling. I needed to step forward for both the players and the community. I wrestled with it for a couple days, made sure I talked to my family and my wife. Made sure everybody’s on board. From there I just applied, and I walked down to the office to let Activities Director Marc Achterkirch know I was interested in the position,” said Will.

Will continued coaching in the Northfield youth program.

“About a year ago, I parted with some of my coaching books that I’ve used over the years. But I kept all my favorite ones. And all I can think about is that there was a reason why I didn’t get rid of those,” he said. “I’m not worried in the least about stepping on the ice for the coaching part. I’ve got some really good assistant coaches. They’re all coming back, making it really fortunate for me.”

Justin Fletcher will continue as a varsity assistant.

“I know a lot of the kids because I’ve had them in the classroom, but I don’t know everyone,” Will said. “That’s probably what’s going on in the next month. Sit down with the players and let them get to know me. I want to keep all the good things they’ve been doing in the program. And my hope is just to add and improve on what’s already there.”

OHS made its only state tournament appearance during his tenure, appeared in multiple section finals, and won a pair of Big Nine titles.

“The part that I think I can really add to the program is I kind of know what’s required of winning teams. I’ve been able to coach winning teams, and I just hope to replicate that,” said Will.

Will knows some grieving may continue and that going to the Four Seasons Centre might be emotional for players, with captains’ practice already underway. He reminds people that counseling is available at the high school for those who may need it.

Scoreless Draw

The Owatonna girls’ soccer team experienced the new rule of no regular-season overtime on Saturday, playing a 0-0 draw with Chaska. Not that extra time would likely have made a difference. The goalkeepers had a couple of great saves, but each team’s line of defense forced much of the play to stay in the middle third of the field.

The Huskies’ back line of Molly Achterkirch, Isabella Muir, Aubri Werk, Alia Kubicek, Nevaeh Hofbauer and Samantha Hartman kept the Hawks away from the front of the goal. Keeper Anna Mollenhauer made a leaping save to tip a shot midway through the second half which bounced off the crossbar.

Late in the first half, Averi Vetsch played the ball to the front of the net. The keeper dropped down on it with Attley Klemmensen charging toward her. With two minutes left in the second half, Hartman lofted a ball toward the goal, allowing Achterkirch a shot, but it deflected off a Hawk.

Tackle Cancer

The Owatonna High School football “Tackle Cancer Night” coincides with Homecoming on Sept. 29. Make sure to order apparel by Sept. 22. Find the link @huskiesfootball on social media. Court Sports is preparing the shirts and donations support the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

Medford Hall of Fame

Medford High School welcomes its newest Hall of Fame class on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Owatonna VFW. Inductees include Oryle Davis, Curt Maas, Paul Selby, Frank Young, and the 2002 wrestling team. Reserve tickets to the banquet by Sept. 22. Go to the Medford Schools’ Facebook page for a link to tickets. play-by-play

Thursday, Sept. 21
OHS boys’ soccer vs. John Marshall, 7 p.m.
Medford volleyball vs. Randolph, 7:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 22
OHS football at Northfield, 7 p.m. (simulcast on The FAN/Owatonna, 106.3FM/1170AM
Blooming Prairie football vs. Goodhue, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 23
OHS boys’ soccer vs. Farmington, 1 p.m.
OHS girls’ soccer vs. Farmington, 3 p.m.

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