Perhaps the brightest spot for the Minot High School soccer team this year has been the play of sophomore forward Ekow Annan.
Annan has scored 15 goals for the Magicians (8-4-1), five more than his brother P.K. When P.K. Annan left Minot's contest against Fargo Davies after picking up a yellow card in the first half on Saturday, Ekow took over.
Ekow Annan scored all three goals for MHS in a 3-1 win.
Minot High School sophomore forward Ekow Annan kicks the ball during Minot’s game against Mandan in August at Optimist Soccer Complex.
"It was just kind of, I came into the game feeling really good," he said. "I hadn't really played well the game before (against Bismarck High) and I wanted to make it up to the rest of the team."
Ekow has played with P.K. since the two brothers were five and seven years old, respectively. That will end after the season as P.K. Annan will graduate in the spring.
"I think he really enjoys playing with his brother," MHS coach Cody Saunders said. "I think the challenge will be playing without him here to talk to or play with."
Ekow credited much of his success this season to the fact that opposing teams spend most of their energy trying to stop P.K.
"I think I've kinda learned to deal with the fact everyone knows my brother," Ekow Annan said. "I think sometimes that helps me 'cause all the attention is on him."
Bolinske performing well in final season
Minot High School senior middle hitter Alex Bolinske knows her time on the volleyball court is running out.
The Majettes have just six regular-season matches and a tournament in Fargo before postseason tournaments begin. After that, Bolinske said she will retire from the sport she's played since the sixth grade.
"I'll cry," she said.
MHS coach Ellen Jebens said that the 5-foot-11 Bolinske - one of three team captains - has taken on a leadership role for the Majettes while succeeding as a hitter and blocker.
"She's a leader on the floor," Jebens said. "She's a captain and a leader and she gets the girls going. She's really stepped up and been an aggressive force at the net for us."
Bolinske celebrated her 18th birthday with an 11-kill, five-ace and four-block matches in the Majettes' 3-1 win against Williston on Tuesday. It's a stat line that her teammates have grown accustomed to.
"She's been getting a lot of blocks," senior middle hitter Morgan Milbrath said. "She's been hitting very well, also. Getting the ball to the floor."
During the Williston game, Bolinske was constantly flashing a grin, something Jebens said is commonplace around the team.
"I think that a majority of the girls play because it's fun and they enjoy it," Jebens said. "I think they all do."
Bolinske said she is interested in pursuing radiology this time next year and plans to stay close to home for college.
"I think I'm going to stay in Minot and go to MSU for a few years," Bolinske said. "Then I'll decide from there."
Bogenrief outworking the competition
At 6-foot-2, Sarah Bogenrief towers over most of her competitors in the 100-meter breaststroke.
The Minot High School junior is one of the state's best in the event and her frame is only part of the reason for her success. MHS coach Dan Hinton said she even outworks sophomore McKenna Brown, the team's best swimmer, in preparation for meets.
"She's up there with McKenna in work ethic, but I'd give the upper hand to Sarah in terms of being the hardest worker," Hinton said. "She puts in 110 percent effort in every set we do in practice."
That effort helped Bogenrief beat Bismarck Century's Veronica Herrmann at the Majette Invitational on Sept. 8. The two have competed against each other throughout high school, but that was the first time Bogenrief beat Herrmann. She did it again in the Bismarck Invitational on Sept. 15.
"There's always that drive to one-up the other person," Bogenrief said.
Bogenrief recorded a season-best one minute, 10.49 seconds in the breaststroke at the Bismarck Invitational. She placed eighth at last year's state meet and has similarly lofty goals for this year.
"I'm hoping to at least finish top five in the state, which is pretty reasonable where I'm sitting now," Bogenrief said. "I'd also definitely like to beat my time from last year (1:10.41)."
Bogenrief said she'd like to swim collegiately but that she won't go to college "just to swim."
"I really want to be a marine biologist," Bogenrief said. "Having the whole swimming background, being in the water all the time is something that would appeal to me."
Bryan Doerr producing for Magicians football
Despite the presence of heavy winds that made even attempting a pass a fool's errand, senior defensive end Bryan Doerr picked up two sacks in the Magicians' 21-12 win at Fargo Davies on Friday.
Doerr now has three sacks and a forced safety on an intentional grounding in the Magicians' last two games.
"I think he's starting to blossom a little bit now as one of our veteran guys," Holmen said. "He got to play plenty last year and he's been healthy this year. He's contributing real well on the defensive side of the ball."
Doerr attributes the boost in numbers to increased studying and the stellar play of senior end Tanner Gust.
"I've been studying with a lot of the guys," Doerr said. "That's what it's all about, studying film and working hard in practice. A lot of tackles I make are where Gust makes them my way or I force them his way. Gust makes a tackle, I make a tackle."
Gust and Doerr have played football together since seventh grade and Doerr said with the familiarity comes plenty of trash talk.
"Me and Gust are always chirping at each other during the games, saying who makes the most tackles," Doerr said. "If we both make a sack at the same time or get there at the same time, we're giving each other crap on who should have had the tackle."
Doerr said that although he hasn't been recruited he would like to play college football. He wants to coach after his playing days.