Archived Story

FF students, fans class act [UPDATED]

Published 9:37am Thursday, March 22, 2012 Updated 11:39am Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Minnesota State High School League must love Fergus Falls.

The way our individuals and teams have played over the last month is a credit to both the students and coaches for their hard work and dedication.

During these games, our fans and band created an amazing experience and excitement for all in attendance. We easily outdrew the opponent’s fan base and, of course, our band was exceptional. If you would like to read compliments about our teams go to

You can also check out John’s Blog on the Minnesota State High School League Web site. Both sites give a unique and very complimentary view of the Otters.

A staff member who attended the girls’ basketball game at Concordia with some family members shared the following story with me.

His brother-in-law ran into a coach he used to work with at UW-Stout — who is now a recruiter for the basketball program at the college. After this staff member was introduced as residing in Fergus Falls, the coach said, “I just want to tell you that I have been to 69 high school basketball games in the past two weeks throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota, so I’ve been around. “I was at Williams Arena on Wednesday and Target Center on Thursday and Friday, and had a chance to observe Fergus Falls. Fergus Falls is a class act — from the student body, the fans, the band, to the team.”

Dean Monke, Secondary School Principal and father of Mariah and Anna, received a phone message from a DeLaSalle girls’ basketball parent.

The parent stated multiple times how gracious and hard working our girls were and in all her years watching girls’ basketball, the Otter girls displayed the best sportsmanship by a team.

This is another example that people truly recognize outstanding performance.

If you compare scores, our girls’ basketball team was clearly the second-best team in the state — finishing with a 30-2 record.

The coaches and team were very unselfish and dedicated to teamwork. Congratulations to the Girls Otters for their 3rd place Class AAA state finish.



Matt Birk

Keeping with the sports theme for this column, it is very rewarding to know that the NFL picked someone who has chosen literacy as his passion.

Baltimore Ravens veteran center Matt Birk was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his commitment to improving literacy among at-risk youth.

His “Ready, Set, Read.” program helps thousands of kids with reading and writing through an incentive-based system.

“Reading is a skill from which all others follow,” Birk said. “Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, baby sitters … even Steeler fans … anyone who has instilled the love of reading in a child, this is for you.”

Matt Birk went up against Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers and Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears for the award.

“I am honored and truly humbled to be named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

“This award is not about the recipient, but rather a celebration of the decades-long tradition of NFL players using their unique platform to touch lives and make a positive and lasting impact in the communities in which they work and live.”

– Matt Birk

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