Tom Jones: Albert Lea will have a girls’ club rugby team

Published 6:28 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Sports Memories by Tom Jones

Tom Jones


50 years ago: 1969

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• Albert Lea’s Jack Werner rolled the second sanctioned 300 game in Albert Lea bowling history at Bob’s Lanes. It was the first 300 game that had been rolled at Bob’s Lanes in its 11-year history.

• Group Promotions Director Dick Meredith of the Minnesota North Stars spoke at the Albert Lea Hockey Association’s youth hockey banquet at the Veteran of Foreign Wars club. The head table featured a sign that said “Think Indoor Arena.”

• Albert Lea graduate Chuck Jean won the NCAA wrestling championship at 177 pounds with a win by fall over Michigan’s Peter Cornell. The sophomore had advanced to the championship match with wins over wrestlers from Brigham Young and Iowa.


25 years ago: 1994

• The eighth annual city racquetball championship was at the Albert Lea Family Y. In the Men’s A division, Mark Justesen took first place, Mark Sherman second, Jeff Fillipek third and Paul Linnes consolation.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves signed 6’10” center Andres Guibert, who had defected from Cuba the previous year, becoming the first Cuban to play in the NBA. He played two seasons for the Timberwolves, averaging 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

• The Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team advanced to the NCAA Final Four when Jeff Nielsen’s 29th goal of the season with 9:29 to go in the second overtime gave the Gophers a 2-1 victory over Massachusetts-Lowell. The Gophers were slated to play Boston University in the NCAA semifinals in St. Paul.


10 years ago: 2009

• The United South Central/Alden-Conger boys’ and girls’ track and field teams opened up their season with two first-place finishes at the Gopher Conference indoor meet at Minnesota State University-Mankato. The boys took home 10 first-place finishes and the girls six.

• Albert Lea junior Colby Strilaeff and Alden-Conger junior Travis Marth were named to the All-State honorable mention boys’ basketball team.

• Nine-year-old Geneva resident Oakley Baker placed first at the Elks Hoop Shoot Central Region championship in Iowa City and qualified for the national competition that was to be held in Springfield, Massachusetts.


This year

• There’s a new team in town, as the Freeborn Eagles Rugby team for high school girls’ begins play this spring. It is considered a club sport in Minnesota and is classified as a sevens team, meaning there are seven players per team on the field during a match. The team kicks off its six-game schedule at Osseo on April 10 and will play their lone home game at 5 p.m. May 15 on the field near Brookside Education Center. They still have room for more team members and you can register at The team is currently practicing indoors at Brookside.