Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

Faribault Bethlehem Academy boys basketball coach Franz Boelter announced his retirement on Tuesday. In 36 years of coaching — six in tiny Medford, 30 more in the small private school about 50 miles south of Minneapolis — Boelter went 613-290, the seventh-most victories of any boys basketball coach in state history. He won 14 Gopher Conference championships at B.A., eight district and sub-section titles. His 1993 Cardinals team placed second in the Class A state tournament, back when there were only two classes in Minnesota. A year later the Cardinals placed third. That’s on the basketball court. As volleyball coach at B.A. Boelter has proven even more dominant, winning an astounding six state championships. There are very few coaches in Minnesota — if any outside of former Tracy-Milroy and Marshall coach Terry Culhane — who have enjoyed that type of two-sport success. He will continue on as B.A’s volleyball coach and will continue to contend for state championships.

But to really see Boelter’s greatness as a coach, go back to his Medford years. Medford won the Gopher Conference in 1981 and 1982 and that doesn’t sound like it compares to section and state titles, but after Boelter left Medford won a single Gopher Conference title. No one wins in Medford. Franz did.


Amtrak trek

Posted: January 30, 2014 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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Following a three-week stay in Minnesota, where we became the first people to voluntarily vacation in the state in January for 21 days and also experienced a pair of polar vortexes — one when we arrived, another when we left — we declined the wonders of air travel for the romance of the train.

A flight takes less than three hours and our train trip took 36 but I’d gladly do it again, even though I’m certain we never will again.


It’s impossible for me to count how many hours I spent at the Janesville city park as a kid. Two hours playing a pickup baseball game. Three hours playing football. Four hours playing two-on-two basketball. Five hours alone in the summer shooting baskets. An hour alone in the winter shooting baskets. Day after day, night after night.

And all that time I probably took two trips to the park’s bathrooms. Maybe three. Part of it had to do with geography — we lived a block away from the park so why not just go home when needed? But sometimes — in the middle of one of those marathon baseball, football or basketball battles — I wouldn’t want to run home and run back. Still, I avoided them. You might dare a friend to go in them but never chance it yourself. The restrooms terrified me — if monsters, human or otherwise, didn’t lurk there, then organ-killing germs and filth did. The tiny facilities, situated just off the area used to play baseball, looked like a structure that shows up on a news report accompanied by the words, “Police say the bodies were found inside…”


High school basketball started in Minnesota, and in related news I’m still dreaming about my last high school game. Had a good one two nights ago, though that game didn’t make an appearance. Made like 10 straight 3-pointers on picture night.

In preparation of the new season, a look back at some old games and highlights, found while crawling through the depths of YouTube.


This week on the pod, TV and Fury discuss all things college football – or at least some things college football. Namely: ESPN College Gameday going to Fargo, N.D., where the guys met.

Also, one Big Ten coach (Minnesota’s Jerry Kill) deals with health issues, while another (Nebraska’s Bo Pelini) fills up the swear jar.

Here’s the link. 


The Worker

Posted: July 9, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
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My mom Cees Fury started working at the E.F. Johnson company in Waseca, Minnesota, in January 1969. That same month she turned 19 years old. A month earlier, a week before Christmas, she had given birth to my sister Lisa. For the next 44 years she worked at E.F. Johnson and two other manufacturing plants, save for the one year she lived in Germany when my dad was stationed there in the army.


Blown away

Posted: May 23, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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The words in this space were supposed to explain my new/old running shoes. It’s a long and inconsequential story – I’ll waste your time with that another day.

But then, while refreshing my Twitter feed in the late stages of the Heat-Pacers game, I was introduced to Zach Sobiech. Everything stopped for a few minutes, a rare occurrence in my weird and busy life.

I listened to his song – No. 1 on iTunes as of Wednesday night – and watched the 22-minute documentary about his battle with cancer, one the 18-year-old from Minnesota lost earlier this week.

The story is astounding and impactful – far more so than anything I could come up with. So do yourself a favor and watch the video or share it with a friend. Maybe donate to the fund or download his song.

Clearly, I did not know Zach Sobiech just as I don’t really know the athletes that I cover. Odds are that he spilled grape juice on the carpet when he was 6 or talked back to his parents when he was 12, that he was not perfect. But the way he message that he attempted to convey to the world during his final months on earth? The way people appeared to rally around him? It will stop you in your tracks, if only for a few minutes.

We all could be so much better than we are.


This week, TV and Fury bang out a podcast while in neighboring states.

The story starts there with Fury talking about an epic loss to his dad in high-stakes golf and continues with analysis of the NBA playoffs.

Oh, and it turns out that NBA executives like nursing shoes. What? Exactly.

Here’s the link.

Late Monday I stumbled upon the jock, geek, criminal and the rest of the gang arriving at school for detention. There’s no law that you have to watch The Breakfast Club when it pops up on cable TV — it’s not Shawshank Redemption or anything — but it’s hard to look away, at least until the gang starts smoking pot and we’re exposed to Emilio Estevez, who had apparently been secretly injected with cocaine before filming.

The movie came out eight years before I graduated but it’s still obviously a classic for people in my generation, though my sister’s Class of ’87 probably loved it even more. Everyone could identify with the characters, right? Whether you were a star athlete or the prom queen or an outcast, there was something for everyone. And I suppose that’s true.

But like so many other classic movie and TV moments involving high schools there was an aspect of The Breakfast Club that had no connection to our reality in the burgs of Janesville, Waldorf and Pemberton. Namely: A Saturday, nine-hour detention?


Had a little incident Wednesday. For about 30 minutes, I became obsessed with hunting down and capturing a cheap airline ticket price I had seen two days earlier but had disappeared within 24 hours. Next thing I knew I had signed myself up for about six email alerts from various websites and I was tweeting at the account for American Airlines. I checked various travel sites — you know them, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, and company — and at one point after entering various dates on Kayak I watched in horror as about 24 separate windows popped up on my computer screen, all of them offering basically the same prices, taunting me with their consistency.

Once it had all died down I felt a bit sheepish, checked to see if any hairs were out of place and if anyone would use the words wild, eyed and frenzy when describing me. Then I continued on my day. Still, I like to think many people would have acted like this if they had the chance to save a thousand bucks.