On May 1, the Board of Directors of the North Dakota High School Activities Association met and cancelled all spring sports and activities for 2020 on a unanimous vote. With federal and state restrictions and guidelines due to the COV-19 virus, they were left with no choice. As sad as that decision is, we thought we would ask the coaches of the Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals teams to recognize their senior athletes who had their careers abruptly come to an end. Below you can read comments about high school baseball, boys and girls track, and boys and girls golf from the people that know their athletes the best.
High School Baseball
The Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals were the preseason number one team in North Dakota for 2020. This was supposed to be their year to finally break through and get to a state tournament after finishing second in the Region 4 Tournament the past three years.
Head Coach Josh Krivarchka said of the lost season, "It is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in our program that we didn't get to have a spring baseball season. We had high expectations for the season, and I really feel for the seniors who have put so much into the program over the years." Here are Coach K's thoughts about his five seniors on this year's team:
Jackson Delvo -- "He was our centerfielder this past (2019) season, and he seemed to track down every ball out there. He had great instincts both in the field and on the bases. Jackson was a great leader for our team."
Jesse Fetsch -- "Jesse was a late bloomer in the sport of baseball. He always gave 100% at all times, and his intensity was unmatched. We will really miss his leadership that he brought to our program."
Logan Harder -- "Logan played multiple positions for us from infield to outfield, and he even pitched for us. He was just an overall great team player for our team."
Brennan Kitchin -- "Brennan is another player that played multiple positions. He also played infield, outfield, and pitched. His hitting really came on for our club last season, and we were excited to see that carry through to this season."
Peyton Ullyott -- "He was a starter in the outfield for us last year. He always came to practice with a great attitude and a willingness to get better."
All five players were four year letter winners for Cardinals Baseball.
In boys and girls golf, both Cardinals teams looked to have fine seasons this year with both hoping to make it the State Golf Tournament.
Boys coach Ethen Askvig said about the lost season, "It has definitely been a disappointing spring without the golf season. As a coach, I was excited to see what progression the team and each individual golfer could make. As a team I believe we could have had some success in the region and individual golfers could have done well both in Region and at State. I know many golfers have put in a lot of time, and without the season we are left with the thought of "What could it have been?” The team will definitely miss their seniors who have showed great leadership and seen success, as they have led the boys golf team to qualify for the State tournament in each of the past three years." Here are his thoughts about his three seniors:
Sid Ullyott -- "This could have definitely been an exciting year for Sid. He has qualified numerous years for state and has seen individual success by placing in the top 10 at past state tournaments. On top of his individual success, Sid has been a great leader and promoted the golf team in an attempt to share his love of golf. He has put in hours upon hours upon hours… of work at the golf course to improve his game. (As I write this it’s raining outside, 40 degrees, and I would not be surprised if Sid is still at the course!) It would have definitely been fun to see how successful his senior season could have been."
Andy Muhs -- "As a golfer, Andy has improved dramatically over the years. As a freshman his score helped the team qualify for a state tournament, even when he was our #6 golfer. Each year he has moved up the roster, improved his scores and shown exceptional leadership qualities for our younger team. Andy is always excited to learn in the game of golf and is able to keep a positive attitude throughout his playing. We will greatly miss his leadership, excitement and calm demeanor."
Hunter Feil -- "Hunter joined the team just a few years ago with very little golf experience. His game and scores have seen consistent improvement, even earning a spot on a state qualifying team his first year on the team. His athleticism is outstanding, and I believe he would have seen continual improvements his senior season. For the team his scores were important but are definitely overshadowed by his great personality. Hunter has a way to see the enjoyment in the game of golf and life along with an exceptional ability to spread that to others."
Jenny Romfo was set to coach another successful season for the Cards girls golf team. About not being able to play, she said, "I am very disappointed that we were not able to compete this season. As these players have progressed in their careers, they moved up place-wise every year at state. I would have loved to see them golf at state another year." Here are Coach Romfo's thoughts on her three seniors:
Savannah Ullyott -- "This would have been Savannah’s sixth trip to the state golf tournament as a varsity golfer. She was in the top three at all regular season tournaments her junior, sophomore and freshman years; she was all region her 8th grade, freshman, sophomore, and junrior years. She was regional medalist her sophomore year and placed 2nd her junior year. Last year at state she placed 14th. She is a very dedicated golfer, student and leader for the younger golfers to look up to."
Greta Haslekaas -- "This would have been Greta’s fifth trip to the state golf tournament. She was one of our top golfers throughout her career. She placed 17th last year at state and was consistently in the top 5 at our regular season and regional meets. Watching her golf really was amazing. She can hit the ball off the tee very well, but her game around the green is impressive, too."
Abby Romfo -- "Abby would have golfed in her 5th state golf tournament this year. During her sophomore and junior years she was a top 10 golfer consistently at all the regular meets. She place 2nd in regionals her sophomore year and 3rd her junior year. She placed 22nd at state last year."
The Cardinals girls team placed seventh at state in 2019.
In track and field, there were also high hopes for both Cardinals teams to place high in both the team and individual events.
Cardinals girls track coach Jane Hart said, "This will be the season of so many unknowns. It makes me sad, it makes me angry, but one of the worse parts is not being able to see and coach the girls on a daily basis. They are great kids that you want to be around. It's hard to hear their voices or see them online during distance learning. Another thing is never knowing what could of happened: would we have seen individual personal bests, young athletes stepping up, a regional title or possibly a state title? We will never know!" Here are Coach Hart's thoughts on her three seniors:
Elise Ramberg, Brooke Bakke, McKenna Belle -- "Not being able to see and coach my three seniors ever again has been so hard, I try not to think about it. Elise, Brooke and McKenna have put in a lot of years training for their events, along with being great leader in their distance, throwing and jumping areas. They will be greatly missed! They were all regular placers at the regionals, and Elise has been a state placer and also broke the Langdon school record in the 2-mile run." Coach Hart also closed by saying, "Seeing our track empty on nice days hurts the heart. Someday maybe this COVID track season will be fun to talk about."
On the boys track side, Rich Olson said on the season that wasn't, "We had around 30 athletes that were planning to participate in boys track this season, about 1/3 of those in junior high and 2/3 in high school. We were all looking forward to building off last season and watching our athletes take their performances to a higher level! Last season we finished 4th in the NE Region losing one senior in Carter Currey. Carter is a big loss in the throwing events, regularly scoring in the top 4 at meets in all three throwing events. Carter qualified for state in the discus finishing 12th and just missed qualifying in shot and javelin. Having the season get cancelled like this is very tough for our 5 senior boys. Track athletes normally perform their best and place the highest during their senior year as they get bigger, stronger, and faster. For most track athletes their final year is the highlight of their career so it’s very difficult to see this get taken away by something they have no control over. We were all looking forward to seeing how our seniors and the rest of our athletes performed this year." Here are some thoughts from Coach Olson about his five seniors:
Sean Gette -- "Sean qualified for state in the triple jump the last two seasons and was looking to add a few other qualifying events to his resume this season. We believe Sean would have had a chance to qualify in several sprint events including the 300 hurdles. Sean led the team in points last year and was named most valuable sprinter and jumper along with co-most valuable boys track athlete with Carter Currey."
Blaine Perry -- "Blaine was our most valuable distance runner last season and was just seconds off qualifying in the 1600. He had a chance to qualify in multiple distance events including the 4 x 800 meter relay."
Arik Christianson -- "Like Blaine, Arik also was looking forward to qualifying for the state meets in many running events. Arik has signed to run at Valley City State University next year, and we think he will do very well there."
Wyatt Knoke -- "Wyatt was improving as much as any thrower we had last season, and he was ready to make a big jump in his senior year."
Wyatt Kartes -- "Wyatt Kartes had become a key contributor in the sprints and sprint relays in what was his first year of track, and we were excited to see what year two held."
Perhaps Coach Olson said it best in his closing remarks, with something that speaks for all five Cardinals spring sports coaches: "We want to wish all of our senior boy and girl athletes the best as they head off to college and begin the next chapter of their lives. It was a pleasure to have coached you, and we appreciate everything you did for our teams during your Cardinal athletic careers!"
In a season that didn't happen, no truer words could be spoken.