EISEN: New Year resolutions for the local sports scene
It’s that time of year when people try to reinvent themselves with goals to do better in this new year.
While I have never managed to stick to any of my own New Year resolutions for more than a month or so and have since stopped making them, I still had this urge to offer some friendly resolutions to some of the winter sports teams that I havecovered this school year.
Obviously, winning a state, regional, district or any type of championship is always the end goal. But, those type of goals don’t make for reasonable or sometimes even achievable resolutions.
Yes, the focus should remain on the end goal, but it’s the means goals that emphasize the little and more specific things that need to happen to reach the desired end goal.
Without trying to get too philosophical in a sports column, I propose the following New Year resolutions.
Minot High boys basketball: Phase out Century loss
It’s over, it happened. Bismarck Century was the better team on Dec. 16 when they knocked around the Magicians for a 79-50 win in a rematch of the state championship game from last season.
Sure, dropping from No. 1 to No. 5 in the polls stings a little, although that’s not something anyone would care to admit. And I’m sure this goes without saying, but one regular season loss won’t define this team.
How they continue to respond will. Nobody said winning a fourth straight state title would be easy.
Minot High girls basketball: Look forward, not back
The Majettes 64-51 win over Williston on Dec. 29 felt like a turning point. Their struggles last season (2-22 overall) have been well documented, and now they can turn the page.
When they play turnover-free basketball and can get the ball inside, the Majettes can compete with just about everybody in the state. Finding the consistency to do that every game will turn them into contenders once again.
It will take time, but they are young and proved last week that they are rather sick of losing. Much of that desire to improve is being fueled by what happened a season ago.
Class B Region 6 boys basketball: Don’t take anybody lightly
This season of Region 6 high school boys basketball is shaping up to be a bloodbath.
Headlined by No. 2 Bishop Ryan, fresh off a come from behind win over No. 3 Thompson on Saturday, there are three undefeated teams in District 12 — Ryan (5-0), Our Redeemer’s (5-0) and Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood (5-0). Then, there is Des Lacs-Burlington (3-3), which just upset No. 7 Carrington 79-69.
District 11 bolsters Bottineau (5-1), Velva (4-1) and Rugby (3-3) at the top.
With regional play getting underway shortly, every game matters even more because one slip up could mean a troubling matchup come tournament time. Or worse, getting left out altogether.
Stanley boys basketball: Don’t fall victim to all the hype
The No. 1 Blue Jays are 5-0 overall this season and getting well-deserved recognition from across the state.
The spotlight on Stanley has never been brighter.
The Blue Jays should just put their shades on right now and not get distracted by this new-found fame because with success comes those that want to take it away.
Region 8 appears to be Stanley’s to lose, but upset-minded opponents will certainly put up a fight.
Minot High hockey: Hit the reset button
Minnesota wasn’t kind to either the Magicians or the Majettes last week.
The slap in the face was a jaw-dropping 20-0 loss by the Majettes to Warroad on Dec. 27. I don’t think I have seen a more lopsided Minot High defeat since I started working here a year and a half ago. I’ll repeat what I first said when I saw the box score, “That’s just brutal.”
The Majettes were outscored 30-3 in three games in Minnesota.
The Magi didn’t fare that much better with a 5-3 loss to Eau Claire, a 3-3 tie against Lake of the Woods and a 9-2 loss to the hosts Roseau.
The good news? Neither Minot team is going back to Minnesota or facing those opponents again for the rest of the season. So, brush it off and move on.
Sports spectators: Respect the officials
I feel like this common courtesy, but I still witness irate fans verbally attack officials on a bi-weekly basis.
There is a difference between getting upset with a call that was made and then choosing to shout profanities or insults toward those making the calls. That should never be tolerated, especially at the high school level.
While those that do this are certainly in the minority, it still needs to be addressed.
Set a good example for your kids and/or your community.
Myself: Video and pictures can be worth more than 1,000 words
I said I don’t do resolutions, but I can’t write this column and be a hypocrite for not holding myself to the same standards of those that I get to observe for a living.
So, my resolution for this year is to provide more in-game video and photos on my Twitter.
For those that aren’t aware, I live-tweet every game I’m covering on Twitter — @AEisen13 (shameless plug) — and I’ve come to realize most games get bogged down with a lot of text updates.
It’s the digital age and I understand people like to see things rather than reading. I get it. So, I’d like to get more of those elements to share when I’m out covering a game.
That said, the end goal of making deadline with articles and box scores in the paper for the next day remains the same.
This is the opinion of Alex Eisen. He covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.