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October 23, 2014

Catching up with former Austin Bruin John Simonson

Posted by: Feldman

John Simonson was the leading goal-scorer in Austin Bruins history when he finished his second and final season with the team in 2012-13. He's now second in the franchise's four-plus-year history with 52 (Jay Dickman surpassed him last season), but Simonson has excelled at even higher levels.

He put up 59 points in 58 games for the Licoln Stars of the USHL last season and now he is three games into his Division I career for his hometown University of North Dakota men's hockey team.

I caught up with Simonson this week for a short story that is in today's (Thursday's) Post-Bulletin. Here is the full interview with Simonson:

P-B: What has the first month of Division I college hockey been like for you?

John Simonson: It's been good, definitely there's a learning curve and it's been a big adjustment. I'm getting into a routine now, though. The first couple of weeks there was a lot thrown at me, but I'm feeling good now.

P-B: After being a healthy scratch in the season opener, how does it feel to have a few games in?

JS: This past weekend (a two-game UND sweep at Colorado College), after I had a couple of games under my belt, I definitely felt more comfortable. Even that first game I played (Oct. 11 at Bemidji State), I just felt pumped and ready to go. I was happy with how I played in my first game and I feel like I played two strong games at CC. The team as a whole has come out with good effort the last few games.

P-B: You had a couple of great scoring chances in Saturday's 7-2 win at CC. You hit the crossbar once and a post once. Frustrating at all? Or just part of the game?

JS: The important thing is I'm getting those good chances. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. I won't beat myself up too much. I'll just keep working. Another night, those shots will go in.

P-B: What has the UND coaching staff told you about what they expect from you, what role they want you to play?

JS: The coaches expect me to play a hard, simple game. That's the base of my game, playing hard and simple. I have to have that grit to my game, get to the net front as much as I can, just like when I was in Austin and learned from coach (Chris) Tok. I need to be there scoring a goal or getting a rebound and always going hard to those tough areas. I'm trying to keep it simple and not do too much, too soon.

P-B: What was your offseason like? You're back in your hometown. Did you work out with UND teammates? Take classes?

JS: We had a summer program that, for 6 weeks, most of the guys were here working out with our trainers and taking a class or two. That's what I did, I worked out with most of those guys Monday through Friday and took one class. I got to know the older guys and guys from other places. It was a nice way to build some relationships before we got here for the season.

P-B: What's it like to play for a program with a strong history of success, that you grew up watching?

JS: I use this word a lot, but it's pretty special. A lot of the time, I'm so focused on the task at hand that I don't really think about it. There are definitely high expectations here, especially with the team we have returning. The bar is set high from the coaching staff on down. We expect to go to the national tournament and make the Frozen Four. Anything less isn't acceptable.

P-B: What thing(s) did you learn during your two years with the Austin Bruins that made you a better player?

JS: It was a combination of a lot of little things, little details that add up to make a huge difference. I don't stick out in any one area, I just try to be a good well-rounded player. That comes from the little details I learned from coach Tok and the staff in Austin. They helped me develop good habits.

P-B: It seems like the Bruins coaching staff runs its program in a similar fashion to a Division I program. Is that fair to say?

JS: It's definitely fair to say. (Tok) expects players to come out, compete at a high level and bring a lot of energy. Some days the puck doesn't bounce your way, but you can control your effort and the way you play. It's the same way here. If you work hard and battle, everything else will fall into place.

P-B: One more: Your thoughts and feelings on stepping onto the ice for your first home game as a college player (likely on Friday vs. Providence), in a rink where you grew up watching a lot of big names play in a lot of big games?

JS: I'm definitely excited and a little nervous. I know it's going to be an unbelievable experience. I'm sure it will feel surreal in warmups and when I hop onto the ice for my first shift in that building (Ralph Englestad Arena). I can't wait. It'll be very special and exciting to play my first game in the Ralph.

 

 

October 21, 2014

High School Football picks | Section quarterfinal edition

FELDY: Phersy gained another game on me last week. I'm pretty sure he cheated, but I'll take my lumps and move on. It should come as no shock that the 9-man games did me in. Phersy knew that would happen, which is why he made me pick three of them. I'm contemplating not putting any 9-man games on the list this week. We'll see. We'll see. 

I went 5-2 last week and am 37-12 this season. Phersy went 6-1 to improve to 35-14. We're down to just a couple weeks left, so he needs to gain some ground. Let's see if he can do it in the section quarterfinals. I say no, he won't.

This round's games to pick, lots of 4s vs. 5s:

SECTION 1AAAAA

No. 5 John Marshall (4-4) at No. 4 Century (4-4)

SECTION 1AAAA

No. 5 Winona (1-7) at No. 4 Red Wing (2-6)

SECTION 1AAA

No. 5 Jordan (5-3) at No. 4 Lake City (4-4)

SECTION 1AA

No. 5 Dover-Eyota (3-5) at No. 4 Chatfield (4-4)

SECTION 2AA

No. 5 G-F-W (2-6) at No. 4 Zumbrota-Mazeppa (3-5)

SECTION 1A

No. 5 Southland (5-3) at No. 4 Faribault B.A. (6-2)

SECTION 1 9-MAN

No. 5 Houston (3-5) at No. 4 Lanesboro (4-4)

**********

PHERSY: Feldy might not say it, but he's worried. This would be the choke of all chokes. He's very frightened for this week's picks, as he should be. It won't be long until Team Phersy charges into the lead...

SECTION 1AAAAA

No. 5 John Marshall 34, No. 4 Century 27: Rockets riding high after huge win over West. If they let up, they'll lose. But my guess is they're getting hot at the right time.

SECTION 1AAAA

No. 4 Red Wing 21, No. 5 Winona 0: You know it's a brutal section when the Wingers are hosting a first-

SECTION 1AAA

No. 4 Lake City 14, No. 5 Jordan 7: The Tigers' defense will carry them to a win. Jordan hasn't played the same competition, and that'll pay off at home for LC.

SECTION 1AA

No. 4 Chatfield 21, No. 5 Dover-Eyota 14: It's not going to be easy for Chatfield, and the Gophers aren't playing great. But it's playoff time...they'll dig deep and move on.

SECTION 2AA

No. 4 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 12, No. 5 G-F-W 0: These teams struggled to score points all season. Cougars faced tougher competition and they're on their home field...

SECTION 1A

No. 5 Southland 21, No. 4 Faribault B.A. 20: Upset central? Sure. FBA lost big when it faced good opponents, beat up on lesser foes. Rebels enter with confidence and pull the upset.

SECTION 1 9-MAN

No. 4 Lanesboro 35, No. 5 Houston 14: This was a shutout win for Lanesboro the first time around. Houston scores, but I don't see an upset happening.

**********

FELDY: I'll admit it. I'm worried. Worried about Phersy breaking down and bawling in the office when I win this thing for -- what? -- like the third year in a row. Let's get on with the picks.

SECTION 1AAAAA

No. 4 Century 27, No. 5 JM 25: This is more about what I saw from Century last week than it is a knock on JM. The Rockets are (obviously) playing quite well and coming off an emotional high. But Century moved the ball effectively against Mayo last week, but shot itself in the foot with turnovers and penalties. The Panthers need to clean those things up, or they won't move on. I trust they'll clean that stuff up tonight.

SECTION 1AAAA

No. 4 Red Wing 18, No. 5 Winona 6: Won't be pretty, but the Wingers advance to play Stewartville on Saturday.

SECTION 1AAA

No. 5 Jordan 24, No. 4 Lake City 20: Lake City had played very well in a loss to Stewartville and a victory against Kasson-Mantorville. Then the Tigers lost by 29 to Lourdes (no shame in that; it's happened to most everyone this year) and lost to Cannon Falls last Wednesday. The Tigers will play better tonight, but I'll take the Hubmen on a late score.

SECTION 1AA

No. 4 Chatfield 20, No. 5 Dover-Eyota 13: I agree with Phersy. Chatfield isn't playing well, but it has some veteran players who know what it takes to win in the postseason. D-E will put up a good fight, but the Gophs win on their home turf.

SECTION 2AA

No. 4 Z-M 14, No. 5 G-F-W 11: Cougars get the home-field advantage and move on to the section semis.

SECTION 1A

No. 5 Southland 28, No. 4 Faribault B.A. 18: COME ON, PHERSY! This was gonna be my (mild) upset special! Southland's three losses came to Caledonia, Goodhue and Rushford-Peterson. If you're gonna lose three games, there's no shame in those losses. The Rebels are riding high after knocking off defending Class AA state champ Chatfield.

SECTION 1 9-MAN

No. 4 Lanesboro 63, No. 5 Houston 48: I can't pick 9-man games, so why not expect a fan-pleasing shootout? Gimme the Burros by a bunch. Eeeee-awwww! (Sorry, I really do think the Burros need that sound effect at their home games, to play after they get first downs. That'd be awesome. Someone get me a video if they do that?)

October 17, 2014

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Gone pink edition

PHERSY: Welcome back to the latest edition of the Phersy and Fatis show. I sat down with the Rochester Ice Hawks front man this week to talk about last weekend's games and the two-game slate in front of them this weekend.

Saturday night is Pink the Rink night at the Rochester Recreaction Center. Last year more than 2,200 fans attended the special game, and this year even more are expected. So, make sure to get to the Rec Center early! Puck drops at 7:05 Saturday (vs. Ironwood Fighting Yoopers).

Sunday night the Ice Hawks (8-0) are on the road at the Steele County Blades in Owatonna.

Enjoy the show!

PhersyAndFatisShow101714

 

October 14, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football Picks | Week 8

PHERSY: For the first time since Week One, Phersy gained ground in the standings! Feldy, don't look now ... objects in your rear-view mirror...

So last week I went 5-2, and Feldy was 3-4. That leaves me at 29-13, while Feldy is 32-10. Still lots of ground to make up, and a comeback is unlikely, but I'll go for broke this week, I'm sure.

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin (3-4) at Mankato East (3-4).

Century (4-3) at Mayo (4-3)

SFA BLUE

Caledonia (7-0) at Goodhue (6-1)

SFA RED

Kasson-Mantorville (4-3) at Plainview-Elgin-Millville (4-3)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Randolph (6-1) at Spring Grove (6-1)

Lyle/Pacelli (1-6) at LeRoy-Ostrander (1-6)

Lanesboro (4-3) at Mabel-Canton (4-3)

• • • • •

FELDY: After a putrid week last week, no more shooting for upsets this week. I'll take Phersy's approach from last week. Not much for comments, just get down to business. Also, I'm calling Shenanigans about having to pick three 9-man games. You know I can't get those right to save my life...

BIG NINE

Mankato East 35, Austin 27: East is playing well and actually has a .500 season in its sights.

Mayo 28, Century 24: Mayo needs to put last week's game against Mankato West behind it as quickly as possible.

SFA BLUE

Caledonia 30, Goodhue 20: Goodhue is playing very well, but Caledonia is, well ... Caledonia.

SFA RED

P-E-M 26, K-M 23: This is a toss-up to me. Take the 'Dogs at home.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Spring Grove 37, Randolph 20: Lions want some momentum heading into the playoffs. They'll get it with a good win in the regular season finale.

LeRoy-Ostrander 16, Lyle/Pacelli 13: Gimme the Cards at home, picking up W No. 2 of this season.

Lanesboro 32, Mabel-Canton 24: Taking the Burros with a late score to win on the road. Eeeee-awww! (Is that the sound a Burro makes? I'd like to think so. That would be a cool sound effect at Burros games.)

• • • • •

PHERSY: Let's see if I can make up some more ground and pass Feldy in the playoffs...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin 35, Mankato East 28: Brandon Edgar needs less than 100 yards to reach 1,000. While East is playing very well lately, Edgar is going to lead this team to a huge win.

Mayo 21, Century 19: I'd be stunned if this game wasn't close. We'll know a lot about both teams after this tilt. Michalak with another big game to carry the Spartans, though.

SFA BLUE

Caledonia 27, Goodhue 18: Great game, and the Wildcats proved they're for real last week. But Caledonia is on its way to another state title. Heck, maybe Goodhue is too.

SFA RED

Kasson-Mantorville 21, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 14: The KoMets finish the season on a high note. They're getting healthy and that makes them dangerous.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Spring Grove 41, Randolph 21: Won't be as close as some may think.

LeRoy-Ostrander 59, Lyle/Pacelli 40: Bunne power. Plus the L-O offensive coordinator is a genius.

Mabel-Canton 40, Lanesboro 35: This is a great game. A true toss-up. I'll go with the home team.

October 13, 2014

Random hockey notes, updates

Posted by: Feldman

Lots of former area hockey standouts are already into their junior, college or pro seasons. And a handful of high school players from the area are nearly finished with their Upper Midwest Elite League regular season.

I'm still in the process of compiling The List, the annual chart I put together of former area players who have moved on to junior/college/pro hockey. I'll post that as soon as I complete it.

For now, here are a few random updates on former area players who have moved on. If you don't see your favorite player's name listed here today, don't panic. There's lots of season left and I'm sure I'll get to him/her as the season progresses.

• Let's start in the UMEL, where three Rochester players have performed well for Team Northeast (I guess it makes sense that they're randomly placed on Team Metro Northeast, eh?). Anyhow, a pair of defensemen have played well for the 9-7-2 Team NE. Rochester Lourdes senior defenseman Griff Slightam has 4 goals and 4 assists, for 8 points, in 18 games, while Century senior defenseman Riese Zmolek has 2-4—6 through 17 games this fall.

Lourdes senior goalie Jack Burkel is also on Team NE. He has split time equally with Matt Snow of St. Thomas Academy. Burkel is 6-4-0 with a 3.92 goals-against average and an .873 save percentage.

Team Northeast has turned up its play in the second half of the regular season. After a 3-7-1 start, it is 6-0-1 in its past seven games, including two victories over the weekend by a combined score of 15-3. Team NE beat Team Wisconsin 7-2 on Saturday, then rolled to an 8-1 win against Team Great Plains on Sunday.

There are three regular-season games remaining for Team NE — Tuesday vs. Team Southeast at New Hope, then Saturday and Sunday, against Team Great Plains and Team North, at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth.

• A couple of former Austin Bruins players made their NCAA Division I college debuts over the weekend.

Forward C.J. Smith started at left wing on the second line for the UMass-Lowell RiverHawks. Smith assisted on Michael Louria's game-winning goal in UML's 5-2 victory against No. 4-ranked Boston College. (Louria, by the way, played last season for one of the Bruins' divisional rivals, the Minot (N.D.) Minotauros).

Another ex-Bruin, forward Johnny Simonson, played his first college game on Saturday for his hometown team, North Dakota, as it won at at Bemidji State, 2-1. Simonson didn't have a point, but did register one shot on goal while centering UND's fourth line.

Former Bruin A.J. Reid, now a sophomore at Air Force Academy, had a pair of power-play goals on Friday, including the game-winner in the second period, as the Falcons beat Mercyhurst 5-1.

Forward Trey Dodd, who has had two stints with the Bruins, scored his first goal for Dubuque of the USHL on Saturday night in a 5-2 victory against Sioux City. Dodd spent all of 2013-14 with the Bruins, putting up 18 points in 45 games. He was picked by the Fargo Force in Round 3 of the USHL Draft last summer, but returned to the Bruins after the Force let him go. Dodd played in games at Minot and Bismarck on Sept. 26 and 27, then was acquired by Dubuque in a trade for "future considerations."

• Rochester Mayo senior Logan Haskins has seven points in seven games for the unbeaten Rochester Ice Hawks. Haskins and Mayo teammate Dylan Boysen will play with the Ice Hawks until their high school season begins next month, and will likely re-join the Hawks after the high school season ends. Former Rochester John Marshall standout forward Nick Paulson leads the Ice Hawks in scoring with 19 points through eight games.

October 10, 2014

High School Football picks | Week 7

FELDY: After last week, I think Phesy is waving the white flag. He is French, after all (he's not, and no offense meant to our readers in France). Let's get going with Week 7 games. I went 6-1 last week to improve to 35-7. Phersy went 4-3, in his defense, trying to make up some ground, but now sits at 28-14. Maybe he better go all 7 different than me over the next couple weeks.

This week's games:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

* Rochester John Marshall (3-3) at Owatonna (4-2)
* Northfield (5-1) at Rochester Century (4-2)

SFA RED DIVISION

* Lourdes (6-0) at Lake City (4-2)

SFA WHITE DIVISION

* Triton (5-1) at Lewiston-Altura (4-2)
* Dover-Eyota (2-4) at Zumbrota-Mazeppa (2-4)

SFA BLUE DIVISION

* Goodhue (5-1) at Chatfield (4-2)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

* Spring Grove (5-1) at Lanesboro (4-2)

* * * * *

PHERSY: I stink anyway, so no research, no wise thoughts, just picks...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

* Rochester John Marshall 21, Owatonna 14: Rockets need this win badly.
* Northfield 37, Rochester Century 21: Northfield is the second-best team in the conference.

SFA RED DIVISION

* Lourdes 35, Lake City 34: Closer than most think, but Eagles still win a big one on the road.

SFA WHITE DIVISION

* Triton 27, Lewiston-Altura 20: Good game, Cobras steal a road W.
* Dover-Eyota 20, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 12: Sticking with the road theme.

SFA BLUE DIVISION

* Chatfield 29, Goodhue 2: I don't usually bet against the Wildcats, but when I do, it's against a good wrestling school.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

* Spring Grove 41, Lanesboro 34: Nine-man ... who knows.

* * * * * * * 

FELDY: This can never be easy, so I'm sure I'll lose 3-4 games this week, even if I pick the same as Phersy.

BIG NINE

* JM 31, Owatonna 20: JM's a better team than its 3-3 record shows. Think about it: This team is 4 points away from being 5-1, if it flips 1-point losses to Mayo and Northfield.

* Century 33, Northfield 31: Call it an upset if you want. Northfield is a good football team, but so is Century, and Century has flown under the radar all year, even after beating JM. Time for the Panthers to stand up and be recognized.

SFA RED

* Lourdes 38, Lake City 28: I agree with Phersy, Lake City will keep this one close and it'll be one of the best 4-3 teams in the state afterward.

SFA WHITE

* L-A 24, Triton 20: The Cards are ticked after their first division loss last week and they bounce back with a quality victory against the snakes.

* D-E 24, Z-M 10: The Cougars have really struggled to score this year. That continues this week, and D-E gets its third win of the season.

SFA BLUE

* Chatfield 28, Goodhue 17: What a brutal way for Goodhue to end its season: at Chatfield, then home for Caledonia. Chatfield has lost twice this year and won't let it happen again in the regular season

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

* Spring Grove 63, Lanesboro 56: As Phersy said, we have no clue how to pick 9-man games. That's a credit to those teams in a balanced SEC, who believe they can win on any given week. Spring Grove put up 98 last week against G-E, so I'll take them to win this week in a defensive battle.

October 03, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football Picks | Week 6

PHERSY: Feldy took advantage of me last week ... not like that! Get your minds out of the gutter! No, I put my picks in before learning K-W was ravaged by injuries. Feldy pounced and lengthened his lead. It's getting embarrassing now. I guess I will continue to press ... you know, if you're not first, you're last!

Standings: Feldy 29-6; Phersy 24-11.

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin (1-4) at Red Wing (1-4)

Mayo (3-2) at Owatonna (4-1)

SFA RED

Lourdes (5-0) at Stewartville (5-0)

Lake City (3-2) at Kasson-Mantorville (3-2)

SFA WHITE

Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1-4) at Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-4)

Lewiston-Altura (4-1) at Pine Island (4-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Randolph (5-0) at Grand Meadow (5-0)

* * * * * 

FELDY: So many good games this week. Could probably flip a coin on all of 'em. What football fan wouldn't want to be in Stewartville tonight? It's 12:27 as I write this and I'm guessing you probably needed to get there about six hours ago to get a decent seat. Here we go, I'm guessing me and Phersy will have lots of opposite selections this week:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin 30, Red Wing 22: The Packers have to bounce back at some point, right? Right?

Mayo 34, Owatonna 31: I think Mayo figured out at the end of last week's game that it has to throw the ball to win, and it has to protect QB Jay Alston in order to throw the ball. The Spartans are in a tough stretch of schedule and they need a 'W' to get back on track after two losses. This is where senior leadership becomes very valuable, and the Spartans have a lot of it.

SFA RED

Lourdes 33, Stewartville 30 (OT): I've gone back and forth on this one about three dozen times. I'll take the Eagles' offense to slightly outscore the Tigers.

Lake City 27, Kasson-Mantorville 20: Lake City stayed within one score of a powerful Stewartville team last week. Its only other loss was to state-ranked P-E-M.

SFA WHITE

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 19, Kenyon-Wanamingo 16: Both teams have struggled to score points in recent weeks, and something has to give here. I'll take the Cougars on the road.

Lewiston-Altura 35, Pine Island 27: No team has come within 19 of L-A since its season-opening loss to Lourdes, but P.I. is the toughest opponent L-A has faced since Week 1.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow 26, Randolph 21: Can't go against the No. 1 team in the state on its home field, even against the No. 2 team in the state. The Larks haven't allowed more than 18 points in a game all season, and have given up a total of 24 over the past three weeks. 

********

PHERSY: As much as I wanted to pick every game differently this week, Feldy made that impossible for me ... he's a clown:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin 21, Red Wing 13: Austin was better last week, though still far from good. I like Brandon Edgar to get 20-plus carries and that'll be enough to win in my old stomping grounds.

Owatonna 29, Mayo 19: This weather favors Owatonna, IMO.

SFA RED

Lourdes 21, Stewartville 7: I wanted to take the Tigers, but this weather is terrible for a passing team. Not to mention, I'd be run out of town if I picked against the Eagles again.

Kasson-Mantorville 20, Lake City 13: K-M back on track? Must play well to beat a solid Lake City team.

SFA WHITE

Kenyon-Wanamingo 7, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 6: Big rivalry ... I'll take the Knights at home.

Pine Island 18, Lewiston-Altura 13: Great game. PI controls game with its running and wins a tight one.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow 46, Randolph 12: Not going to be close...Jacobson will top 200 yards and four tuddies.

October 02, 2014

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Undefeated edition

PHERSY: Welcome back to the Phersy and Fatis Show. Coach and I break down last weekend's win over the Crusaders, talk about this week's practice and then look ahead at Saturday's showdown against the undefeated Dells Ducks.

The Ducks hit Rochester at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for the big-time tilt at the Rochester Recreation Center. It's duck-hunting season!

Enjoy the show!

PhersyAndFatisOctDucks

 

September 26, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football picks | Week 5

FELDY: Last week wasn't a very shining moment for either of us, Phersy, but especially you. We both were way off the mark on Austin against Faribault and we both thought JM would win a competitive game against Century. Turns out, Century had no inkling of letting it be close. I went 5-2 and am 23-5; Phersy went 3-4 and is now 20-8. Let's put last week in the past and move on to this week's games:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

* Rochester Mayo (3-1) at Faribault (2-2)

SFA RED

* Plainview-Elgin-Millville (3-1) at Rochester Lourdes (4-0)

* Stewartville (4-0) at Lake City (3-1)

SFA BLUE

* Caledonia (5-0) at Chatfield (3-1)

SFA WHITE

* Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-3) at Dover-Eyota (1-3)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

* Grand Meadow (4-0) at Lanesboro (3-1)

* Spring Grove (3-1) at Mabel-Canton (3-2)

**********

PHERSY: Feldy, after another awful week, I need to try something new. So I'm gonna rip through these picks, no research, just first team that comes to mind...I have to break this slump!

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

* Rochester Mayo 28, Faribault 14: Spartans get back on track.

SFA RED

* Plainview-Elgin-Millville 27, Rochester Lourdes 26: Going with road warriors this week?

* Stewartville 47, Lake City 22: Lake City is solid, but Stewartville is elite.

SFA BLUE

* Caledonia 24, Chatfield 7: Caledonia is balanced and the Warriors will be back on top again this year.

SFA WHITE

* Kenyon-Wanamingo 25, Dover-Eyota 21: All road teams, all night long.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

* Grand Meadow 33, Lanesboro 21: Best team in the state takes this one.

* Spring Grove 35, Mabel-Canton 28: This should be a good one!

* * * * *

FELDY: Let's see if I can put some more separation between me and Phersy...

BIG NINE

Mayo 33, Faribault 21: If the Spartans are the team they expected to be at the start of the season, and the team they still believe they can be, they come out and take it to the Falcons in Faribault.

SFA RED

Lourdes 28, PEM 24: I like Phersy's pick here, but coach Kesler won't let Lourdes relax with its No. 1 ranking. The Eagles will have a big bullseye on their backs (as if they already didn't) the rest of the way.

Stewartville 38, Lake City 21: No one has been able to slow Stewie's offense yet. As well as Lake City has played, Stewartville is as tough a test as they'll face all year.

SFA BLUE

Caledonia 34, Chatfield 19: Caledonia has had this game marked on its calendar for almost a year. 

SFA WHITE

Dover-Eyota 20, Kenyon-Wanamingo 17: I don't think I've picked a K-W game correctly all season. Maybe I'll start this week.

SOUTHEAST

Grand Meadow 36, Lanesboro 23: Sticking with the defending state champion Larks.

Spring Grove 22, Mabel-Canton 20: I'll take the Lions with a late score to win on the road.

September 19, 2014

Feldy and Phersy's High School Football Picks | Week 4

PHERSY: Well, that was an ugly week for me. I went 4-3, and Feldy went 6-1 ... so, now Feldy leads in the standings ... Feldy is 18-3 and I'm 17-4. The good news is, please remember to ask Feldy who correctly picked the winner of last weekend's PGA Tour Championship.

Let's play some football!

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin (1-2) at Faribault (1-2)

Mankato West (3-0) at Owatonna (3-0)

John Marshall (2-1) at Century (2-1)

SFA RED

Stewartville (3-0) at P-E-M (3-0)

Byron (1-2) at Kasson-Mantorville (1-2)

SFA BLUE

Rushford-Peterson (3-1) at Goodhue (3-0)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro (2-1) at Houston (2-2)

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FELDY: Let's get right to it ...

BIG NINE

Austin 34, Faribault 21: The Packers' defense will be better this week. Their offense will keep clicking along.

Mankato West 40, Owatonna 20: West is the No. 1-ranked team in the state for a reason. Its offense is all but impossible to slow down. We'll get to see if this inexperienced Owatonna team is for real.

John Marshall 33, Century 23: Century won't make things easy on its crosstown rival, but JM is a team that keeps improving each week and will again this week.

SFA RED

Stewartville 38, PEM 24: The Bulldogs are no slouches, ranked No. 3 in the state Class AAA poll, but Stewie has been more unstoppable than its No. 7 ranking in Class AAAA indicates.

Kasson-Mantorville 28, Byron 21: Both of these teams need a good confidence boost. K-M will get it with a win, but Byron will take it down to the wire.

SFA BLUE

Rushford-Peterson 31, Goodhue 21: Goodhue's 'D' has been impressive the past two weeks, but I think R-P has too much for the Wildcats this week. R-P's only loss came by one point to Caledonia, which might be the best team in Class AA.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 18, Houston 15: every time I pick these 9-man games to go into the 40s for scoring, the defenses rise up. I've learned my lesson. I'll take the Burros in a close one.

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PHERSY: Those picks were brutal Feldy. And by brutal, I mean, they're exactly what I was thinking. But, you know that's not how I roll, so...

BIG NINE

Austin 42, Faribault 36: Austin's defense is young and it still scares me. The line must play better, too. But, I'll stick with Big Red ... with Brandon Edgar having a monster game to lead the way.

Mankato West 42, Owatonna 21: West is the real deal, and I'm not certain Owatonna is legit. We'll find out tonight. I do know Owatonna has the best player in the conference in the middle of that line...I don't care what anyone else says.

John Marshall 17, Century 16: Rivalry game ... that means it'll be closer than expected. JM too talented to let this one slip away. But Century will slow it down and keep it close and have a chance to win at the end.

SFA RED

Stewartville 35, PEM 21: Stewartville has stars all over the field. PEM is a bit more balanced, but the Tigers are legit and they'll get the W in a close game.

Byron 7, Kasson-Mantorville 6: KoMets are going to struggle as they try to find their identity. This will be a nasty rivalry game.

SFA BLUE

Goodhue 14, Rushford-Peterson 12: G-Force!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 38, Houston 22: Let's go Buros. My first thought is to pick the opposite of Feldy on all Nine-Man games. But this week I have to stick with Lanesboro in a war of attrition.