15 Years Ago – Gridders snap 19-game skid
The Monticello football team conquered St. Michael-Albertville in the season-opening game of 2002, ending more than two years of losing for the Magic.
Monti, which began the season on a 19-game losing streak, won a 6-0 battle over a Knights team that had been in the state tournament a year earlier.
The game was scoreless until the opening minutes of the fourth and final frame. Then with ten minutes to go, senior quarterback Kevin Marking connected with senior wide receiver Mark Geyen on a 41-yard scoring strike, giving Monti a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Outside of the winning touchdown, the defense was the star of the game for Monticello. Monti forced three turnovers in the game, including a Geyen interception and a forced fumble by Matt Erlandson (recovered by Nick Beckman) in the final minutes. Wes Johnson picked off an errant Knights pass for the third turnover of the contest. Mark Holker led Monti’s defense with 13 tackles in the game, including one sack. Special teams were also key, as Brandon Veches booted two punts that traveled more than 50 yards and helped Monti win the field position game. Offensively, Chris Reder picked up 47 yards on 12 carries to help lead Monti.
35 Years Ago – Swimmers finish second at invite
Monticello headed to St. Cloud Tech for an early season swimming invitational in 1982 and came away with a competitive performance in a closely bunched field. Monti wound up in a three-way tie for second at the eight-team relay meet, finishing behind the host Tigers and tied with Cambridge and St. Cloud Cathedral.
Monti’s best finish came from the team of Ann Pringle, Kelly Praught, Jenny Jacobson, and Chris Engel. The foursome earned a victory in the 300 breaststroke relay at the event. It was Monti’s first event victory in its history at the Tiger Relays. Monti also had one second place team at the invite, when Jodie Quick, Pringle, Engel, and Jacobson teamed up to finish right behind the winners in the 200 medley relay. The Redmen had two third-place finishes to round out their best performances at the meet. The team of Becky Bauer, Praught, Bernie Adkins, and Cochran finished third in the 200 freestyle, while Sue Schwarz, Ann Poirier, Jacobson, and Engel finished third in the 300 butterfly.
45 Years Ago – Runners win home meet
The Monticello boys cross country team turned in a strong first month of the season in 1972, building on its success from the year prior when Monti was the Wright County Conference Champion.
Monti kept things rolling late in the month with a win at the seven-team Monticello Invitational, held at the Monticello Country Club.
Makoto Sekine placed first overall at the meet with a time of 17:40 to help set the pace for Monticello. The Redmen finished with 44 total places at the meet, easily surpassing second-place Watertown (76 places). Steve Kuchera finished fourth at the meet for Monti, while Dale Lusti (11th), Bruce Hendrickson (12th), and Bill Cox (16th) rounded out the scorers. Gary Lindberg and Dwight Wildman both finished in the top 20 for Monticello as well, helping to push back the scoring runners from other teams.
Later in the week, Monti finished second to Litchfield in a meet that was held at the Cokato Golf Club.
Monti totaled 72 places at that meet, led by an eighth-place finish for Sekine, 11th-place showing for Cox and a 12th-place finish for Kuchera.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]