Each morning before school, Joelle Ertl is in the gym, preparing for the season she loves most, basketball season.
The senior point guard is putting everything she has into helping Holdingford turn its girls basketball fortunes around.
Ertl is on the brink of setting the school’s all-time scoring record for a boy or girl. She’s about 80 points away.
The long mornings long before the season starts are one reason why Mayville State recruited her. She has signed an NAIA letter of intent with the North Dakota school to play basketball in the 2014-15 season.
“Joelle has an incredible work ethic,” Holdingford head coach Ashley Hoffmann said. “I think she’s a wonderful player and I’m happy for her.”
Ertl said she made a verbal commitment to Mayville State in July, then heard from some bigger schools, but had narrowed her choices to include Augsburg, St. Mary’s and Jamestown.
She likes the small-town feel of Mayville (population of about 1,800) and feels she will be most comfortable there, planning a secondary education major with an emphasis in biology.
On the court, she’s a do-everything player who led the Huskers in scoring (17.4 points per game), assists (2.6 apg) and rebounding (5.8 rpg) while shooting 35.7 percent from the field, 78.4 percent from three throw line and hitting 32.7 percent of her three-pointers.
“It’s a great weight lifting off my shoulders,” Ertl said. “I can just focus on what I want to from now on.”
The rebounding statistic may be the most impressive, considering she is 5-foot-4. Holdingford is tiny. She was the Huskers’ third-tallest starter in a year in which Holdingford went 2-12 in the Central Minnesota Conference and 5-20 overall.
“There is always room for improvement,” Hoffmann said. “She’s very coachable and very adaptable. Basically, it’s her work ethic and the time she puts to be better at the game that makes her successful.”
A dedicated AAU player who plays for the Central Minnesota Comets, she has spent the fall working out with Holdingford boys basketball coach Nate Miller, himself a former undersized point guard from Little Falls who had a great career at St. Cloud State and played professionally overseas.
She said besides the size of the community, Mayville State was a good fit because it is in need of a point guard. That gives her the opportunity to play right away, she said.
“I could go to a bigger school and sit on the bench for three years,” she said.
She hopes to lead Holdingford to more success this season.
“That’s why I’ve been working,” she said. “I just want to improve and leave a legacy behind. It (the losing) is a little frustrating. It’s my last year and I’ve got to do whatever I can (to improve).”
Mike Trewick confirmed that he has applied for the St. Cloud Tech activities director position that opened when Jill Johnson resigned to become Waconia’s AD.
Trewick is an assistant football coach and head boys basketball coach at Tech. He has extensive college coaching experience, having been a long-time assistant in three sports at St. John’s University, his alma mater. He also was head men’s basketball coach at St. Mary’s in Winona.
The job was closed Friday and was open only for internal candidates. According to the job listing, the salary would be $64,000-82,000 defending on education and experience.
Qualifications include: “successful coaching and/or advising experience; demonstrated organizational and communication skills;” and, “familiar with K-12 education systems and student activities.”
If things go like they should, Sartell’s match at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Cloud Apollo will determine the top seed in the South Sub-Section 8A boys soccer playoffs.
“That’s the way it’s looking,” Sartell senior forward Kyle Erickson said.
Going into Monday’s games, the South was aligned this way based on QRF rankings at Minnesota-Scores.net: No. 8 Sartell (10-2-1), No. 11 Apollo (9-3-2), No. 25 St. Cloud Cathedral (8-2-3), No. 54 Little Falls (6-6-0), No. 70 Becker (5-7-0), No. 79 Sauk Rapids (3-10-0) and No. 82 St. John’s Prep (2-9-1).
No. 12 Hillcrest Lutheran/Pelican Rapids (11-0-1) is headed to the top seed in North Sub-Section 8A and is the section favorite.
Sartell and Apollo played to a 1-1 overtime tie Sept. 10 at Sartell.