LOCAL SPORTS NOTEBOOK Honkers have a history with Major League draft picks

A few players with Rochester Honkers experience will continue to chase the dream of playing in the Major Leagues.

Arizona State's Andre Ethier, who played in Rochester last summer, became the highest draft pick in Honkers history, when the Oakland A's drafted him in the second round, 62nd overall.

Midland (Texas) College's Ben Thomas was picked 457th overall by the Atlanta Braves. Thomas played for the Honkers last summer and was playing again this summer.

Iowa's Kyle Thousand, another 2002 Honker, was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 770th overall pick.

Garden City Community College's Lance Schartz, also a 2002 Honker, was picked 1,224th overally by the Boston Red Sox.


Former Rochester Royals pitcher Mark Skrukrud made his pitching debut over the weekend with the Chillicothe (Ohio) Paints in the Frontier League. Skrukrud started and pitched 62⁄3; innings, giving up two runs -- none earned -- on five hits while walking none and striking out six.

John Marshall grad Aaron Sickman, the Wild's manager of corporate communications and Internet services, accompanied team officials to the NHL draft, that begins Saturday in Nashville.

Plans haven't been finalized, but the two-part Minnesota Timberwolves annual summer caravan is in late June with stops in Little Falls, Duluth and St. Cloud. It resumes in mid-July with the Wolves making a stop in Rochester on July 17. Point guards Troy Hudson and Mike Wilks will participate in the caravan.

Lourdes grads Eric Deutsch and Josh Bargfrede, and former Rochester Mayo golfer David Morgan will all be competing in the 2003 MGA Players' Championship June 24-26 at Chaska Town Course. The match play competition involves a field of 64 golfers. Morgan is the Players' Championship defending champion.…; Tom Lehman won the MGA match play title in 1980 and 1981.

Austin's Claudia Pilot teamed with Brenda Williams of Waconia to win the Minnesota Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship with a 1-over-par total of 141 Tuesday at Oak Ridge Country Club in Hopkins, Minn. Pilot and Williams had a second-round 70 to win by three strokes.

• The; American West Hockey League recently held their entry draft. John Marshall goaltender Josh Skinner, Austin forward Brad Weichmann and Austin defenseman Eric Hanson were selected by the Fairbanks (Alaska) Ice Dogs. Lourdes forward Nick Forliti was selected by the new Fargo-Moorhead Jets.

Century grad and Gophers sophomore Karl Erickson's track coach Phil Lundin was named U.S. Track Coaches Association coach of the year.

Troy Young's local sports notebook runs every Thursday and Saturday. He can be reached at

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