The winter season is over and I'm glad.
It's not that I don't enjoy it, but it gets to be long, which also makes you enjoy those last few tournaments that much more.
Congratulations to the Carrington girls and North Star boys basketball teams for winning Class B state championships. They were well deserved.
North Star will be good again next year, but it will have to find some big guys to replace Matt Swanson and Grant Lindahl. Carrington, on the other hand, returns most of its core including state tournament co-MVPs Sierra Rosenau and Emily Thompson, who was a second-team all-state selection.
- I'm excited for the Minotauros, the new NAHL team coming to Minot. Junior hockey is fun to watch, and a rivalry with Bismarck is surely in the making. That's something that will put fans in the seats for sure. If only they had come up with a better name ...
- Going back to basketball, I sat down and figured out who the best teams in Region 6 will be next year. I expect Velva and TGU to challenge a favored Bishop Ryan team for the championship in girls. The Lions will have two freshman 6-footers in Gabbie Bohl and Hannah Stewart in the paint. Point guard Sydney Landsiedel will be a sophomore as will starter Anika Rovig. With Quinn Harmon - one of the team's top scorers - only being a junior, the makings are there for a run to state. Bottineau and Berthold return many athletes on the boys' side, but Berthold's definitely deeper. Both teams should be favored to win their districts, though Velva could challenge Bottineau.
- Watch out for the Rugby boys and Benson County girls track and field teams. They're both defending state champions and have definite chances at repeat titles.
- I don't know what is going to happen with the golf season, but it doesn't look promising right now. If it warms up soon, that would be a good sign.
- I could never think of a New Year's resolution to make, so I didn't make one. I have thought of one, though, to make for next year. I think I need to read more, and not about sports. It's good to refresh your brain by getting away from your daily reading grind and check out books that don't have "scored" and "rebounded" in every other sentence.
- Though I can't believe it's almost a month away, I'm excited for a full season of Nodak Racing, which starts May 8. I encourage all racing fans to come out and show your support for racing in the area. There's always been such a great interest in the dirt track in Minot. And there are those new bleachers, too.
- In what seems to be a mythical creature, I'm trying to convince myself that the blinker is not dead. It's gotten to the point where I rarely see it when I'm driving. It has to be out there somewhere. I know I use it when I'm driving, so I'm pretty sure they still come factory with every vehicle.
- I'm not excited to have the Class A state basketball tournament in Minot in three years. It's not that we can't handle it'; we surely can. But right now, the current plan (as I've been told) is to use the Minot State Dome and the Minot Municipal Auditorium. I just don't think people are going to like having to get in their cars and drive to two separate sites. Parking at state tournaments can be a hassle. I just don't think its going to sit favorably with people. I would vote to keep it in a venue that houses two basketball courts with adequate bleacher seating.
- I'm looking forward to the summer because I'm going to do some research on Region 6 basketball and try to build some kind of archive. Perhaps, it will be useful for a future column.
- In case you haven't seen the new Class B high school baseball realignment, I'll clue you in on the one big thing I can't wrap my mind around - Velva, Bishop Ryan and Des Lacs-Burlington are in three different regions. There are eight regions, and all three are separate. Three programs less than 35 miles apart could all win their regions and go to state. Why? Because apparently it was determined that Minot serves as a dividing line. I'll get more into this later, but I just can't fathom how at least two of those three aren't in the same region.
Chris Aarhus is a sports writer for the Minot Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org