Speaking of Sports

By John Fragodt, Sports Reporter

I had a chance to go to four varsity events Tuesday, Sept. 5, covering the Gators swimming and diving team, girls tennis, soccer and volleyball at home.  I don’t get many chances to see two varsity teams on one night so when I got a chance to cover four teams, I was quick to mark that date on the calendar.

I started my night at the girls tennis match against Montevideo and then raced home for a quick bite before coming back for more.  At 6 p.m. was the swimming and diving meet so I watched that for 45 minutes to an hour before heading outside for the first half of the boys soccer game.

When halftime rolled around for soccer, I went back inside to the swim meet for more pictures (after waiting for my camera to quit being fogged up from the humidity in the pool) and when that was almost done, I headed down the long hallway toward the MAHS gym for the start of the volleyball match.

All in all, it was a wonderful night of picture-taking and sports’ excitement.  And, if you missed it, there were three more contests at home, Thursday, Sept. 7 as the girls tennis, soccer and volleyball teams had home matches.  All-in-all, it was a great week to be a Laker fan.

•  Even though Minnewaska’s first football game was on a Thursday, it reminded me how much I enjoy football games under the lights and also brought back memories from some of my favorite times during Benson football games with my kids.

When my two sons were old enough, I started taking them to high school football games.  I kept statistics for the Benson football team for over 30 years so I went to every game, no matter if it was at Brock Field in Benson or the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

My boys and I would always get to the field early and head to one of the end zones to play catch until the start of the game.  We ran, passed and caught the football for as long as we could until the start of the game.  And, when halftime came, we would go back on the field for 5-10 minutes of more fun.

I’ll admit it was one of the highlights of my week.  It didn’t matter if the Braves or Saints won, we still always had a good time. 

My favorite times of playing catch before games were when the Benson Braves and KMS Saints had playoff games at the Fargo Dome a few times and when the Braves and Saints played at the Metrodome.

One time, one of my sons and I had the whole FargoDome to ourselves for 30 minutes of non-stop playing catch before the competing teams and fans started to arrive.  Talk about a great memory . . .

Eventually, my sons reached the age where they started playing football so they didn’t come on the field with me anymore.  Luckily, my daughter came out on the field with me a few times and I enjoyed that just as much.

Yes, Friday night football games under the lights always brings back great memories for me.  I remember how exciting it was to play in high school for BHS on Friday nights, I remember how much I enjoyed covering football games with my kids and I still enjoy the excitement of covering football games on Friday nights for the Minnewaska Area Lakers.