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North Branch Area High School head hockey coach Matt Cottingham was chosen as Section 5A head coach of the year by fellow section coaches. 

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The North Branch 8th Grade 14U Red JO volleyball team had an amazing season that will be hard to repeat, according to coaches Jon and Eric. They finished the season with 35 wins and two losses. They played seven tournaments; were champions of five and were third or better in the other two. P…

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I drove to Willow River recently. Up 107, over on 23 and up on 35 – the route I’ve traveled hundreds of times. This time, however, was my first in a couple weeks, and you know how appearances can change over time? Well, that not only applies to your old high school classmates! The outdoors u…

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After a most wonderful winter season, it’s a sad time as we have to put away our sleds for the summer. This past winter was no doubt the best conditions in 10 years for snowmobiling. Now it’s about servicing and putting away our sleds. Here are some tips.

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Whenever a baseball or softball player hears someone say “give them the heat,” it usually means to throw a fastball. But for the North Branch softball team, that expression has taken on a whole new meaning.

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During a signing ceremony held in the CIHS library on Thursday, March 28, a record eight Bluejackets signed letters of intent to compete athletically at various colleges. (From left) Ryley Nelson and Kellen Weibel will play football at St. Johns, London Williams will play basketball at St. C…

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On Saturday, March 9, North Branch Tae Kwon Do Academy (NBTA) sent 22 competitors from its competition team, under the name of Team Discipline, to the 2019 Minnesota Tae Kwon Do State Championship tournament. Team Discipline competitors competed in Sparring (an Olympic event) and Poomsae (pa…

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After experiencing the last two games Cambridge-Isanti played during the state Class AAAA boys basketball tournament, head coach Mike McDonald might very well have a simple plea to parents of future players: feed them plenty of vitamins, buy them longer beds, have them hang from a pole on a …

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Among the sharp, cracking sounds of baseballs colliding with bats, there is a gentle whooshing sound from ... somewhere. An owl perhaps? And, through the continuing thuds of basketballs pounding the courts, you can detect the subtle sound of a slender “club” rapidly torquing its way through …

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The Bluejacket boys basketball team had revenge on their minds going into the Section 7AAAA championship game last Thursday, March 14, but not for what everybody thought it was.

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In the history of Cambridge-Isanti basketball, both the boys and girls teams have seen their share of successful seasons, but on only one occasion have they had them in the same year. Now, you can make that two occasions.

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Braham’s Ryan Roslin goes up for a fast-break layup during the Bombers’ subsection game against Hinckley-Finlayson on Monday, March 11, in Foley. H-F defeated Braham 77-55 to end the Bombers’ season.

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North Branch Area High School assistant wrestling coach Kyle Kahl was recently named the Section 4AA assistant coach of the year by his section peers. 

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Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep walleye during open water fishing for the first time since 2015. An improving walleye population has been protected by conservative fishing regulations in recent years, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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Rum River Wrestling, which is made up of about 120 kids ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school, recently competed in the MN/USA state tournament in Rochester, with four members of the local club making it onto the podium in their brackets.

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As I make my way through the North Country, I can’t help but see the effect of our very cold temperatures and unusual heavy snowfalls on our wildlife. This very difficult winter has been a strain on fish as well as game. 

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For what is believed to be the first time in Cambridge-Isanti Hockey Association history, the Bluejacket Bantam B1 team is going to play in the state tournament. The Jackets came out of the district tournament as the seventh seed, upsetting both the second and third seeds en route to a secon…

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Cambridge-Isanti’s Henry Abraham puts up an awkward shot early in the Jackets’ Section 7AAAA game against Andover on Tuesday, March 5. On this play, the junior came within one basket of breaking the all-time scoring record for both boys and girls at CIHS. He would go on to officially break t…

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“Homeless” hockey team makes it to state tournament. The story of the North Branch boys hockey team is too easy for most media to resist. Dutifully, Viking head coach Matt Cottingham answers everyone’s questions about the team’s lack of an arena within the borders of the school district. But…

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Bluejacket gymnast MollyAnn Harvey claims she doesn’t like “drama.” “It takes away the focus you need in this sport,” Harvey proclaimed. But in looking at the senior’s last calendar year of competition, you would never believe her.

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When I was growing up on a dairy farm with a herd of about 50 Holsteins, a flock of about 50 chickens and two brothers, there was hardly a day or evening that went by when two or three of us (kids, that is) weren’t playing some sport in the backyard. We’d run pass routes, field grounders, sh…

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Another week, another round of postponements due to the weather. Unlike the previous week, only one day was affected by this round of weather, meaning most teams were able to see some action this week. 

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North Branch Area High School (NBAHS) varsity volleyball coach Mike Selbitschka has been named Class AA’s Head Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association. Selbitschka and his squad won the Class AA state championship in November, defeating Marshall High School in five sets.

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Another week, another round of postponements due to weather. This time, two days of sports were delayed because of school closings. However, each of the teams except for wrestling, who didn’t have any varsity action scheduled to begin with, did get one game in.

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Yes, the month of February can be very frustrating as Mother Nature throws all kinds of snow events, ice events and makes this month rather demoralizing. 

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Thanks to the “polar vortex,” a number of C-I games got postponed as school was closed for three straight days. However, most teams were able to get at least one competition in. 

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The “polar vortex” wreaked havoc on North Branch’s schedules last week, with three straight days of no games or even practices. At the end of the week, however, each team was able to see some action.

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Deicing salts do make getting around in the winter safer and easier, but we should consider deicers’ impact on groundwater, surface water, soil, vegetation, concrete, asphalt, metals and even our children and pets.

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As we head into the midsection of our winter angling, things have changed dramatically, especially in regard to ice conditions.