Tribune Notebook: Cards QB earns conference honors

Oct. 24—WILLMAR — It was the biggest win of the season and likely helped the Willmar football team secure a first-round bye in the playoffs.

When Willmar beat Totino-Grace 36-35 in double overtime last Wednesday it helped the Cardinals secure a third seed in the Section 2AAAA playoffs. Willmar plays at 3 p.m. Saturday in Marshall.

Leading the upset against Totino-Grace was Jordan Ellingson. The sophomore quarterback completed 19 of 34 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. That effort helped him earn Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week honors.

Ellingson was one of 12 athletes honored by the CLC this week.

Others honored include:

* At Alexandria — girls soccer player Greta Oldenkamp, boys cross-country runner Tom Wilmesmeier and volleyball setter Meadow Zipel;

* At Fergus Falls — girls cross-country runner Aubrey Flynn;

* St. Cloud Apollo — girls swimmer Lucy Heringlake and boys cross-country runner Ryan Karls;

* At St. Cloud Tech — boys soccer goalie Landon Austin;

* At Sartell — girls soccer player Emma Prow-Dockendorf, girls swimmer Joslynn Stewart and volleyball libero Aubrey Flynn;

* At Sauk Rapids — football player Hudson Omoke.

Willmar girls soccer player Avery Quinn earned CLC Performer-of-the-Week Honors for Oct. 16. The senior center-midfielder had a penalty kick score against Detroit Lakes in section play and has played every minute this season.

The Cardinals, who earned a second seed in the Section 8AA playoffs, lost 1-0 to St. Cloud Tech in the semifinals. Willmar finished with a 6-7-4 record.

Sacred Heart's Ryan Hebrink and Jeremy Hinderks have been inducted into the Concordia College Cobber Athletic Hall of Fame in Moorhead.

Hebrink, a 2004 Concordia graduate, earned All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors five times in football and baseball while with the Cobbers. He was a quarterback for Concordia, earning team most valuable player honors three times. He's the school's all-time record holder in offense with 6,422 total yards.

In baseball, he twice earned all-region honors and played one season of independent professional baseball with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League.

Hinderks, also an '04 Concordia grad, also played football and baseball for the Cobbers. He's the only Concordia player in school history to be named the MIAC Pitcher of the Year and was a two-time all-region selection. In football, he was a starting fullback for three seasons, leading the Cobbers in touchdowns in 2003 and rushing for nearly 1,000 career yards.

Both Hebrink and Hinderks still play amateur baseball for the Sacred Heart Saints.

Willmar's Jordan Smith has been inducted into the St. Cloud State Athletic Hall of Fame, as has the 1986-87 men's basketball team that included former Bird Island-Lake Lillian star Barry Wohler and Willmar guard Mark Harvey.

Smith was a two-time Division II All-American baseball player at St. Cloud State. He also was the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year in 2011. In 112 career games with the Huskies, he batted .420 with a .480 on-base percentage and a .722 slugging percentage, good for a 1.202 OPS. He was drafted in the ninth round by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Guardians and is currently the bench coach of the Guardians' Lake County Captains, who play in Class A.

The '86-87 SCSU men's basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for six straight weeks and finished with a 24-7 record, winning the North Central Conference Holiday Tournament title, the regular-season championship and the school's first North Central Regional title, advancing to Division II's Elite Eight. Wohler was an all-conference selection who had transferred from the University of Minnesota. Harvey was a a 6-foot-6 freshman on the team.

Former Willmar Stinger Louie Varland, who pitched on the Northwoods League team in 2017 and '18, was on the Minnesota Twins' roster for the 2023 playoffs. He's one of 17 former Northwoods League players on playoff rosters, including Tampa Rays pitcher Colin Poche, who played for the Stingers in 2013. Varland's a North St. Paul and Concordia-St. Paul graduate.