Local Sports Notebook: Nelson has strong start for Winona State

Freshman Jack Nelsonof Byron had a successful debut as the quarterback for Winona State University this past Saturday.

Nelson looked to be a redshirt this season, but he was pushed into action when starting quarterback John Teigland, who was an All-American last season, was sidelined with an injury.

Nelson responded by competing 16 of 29 passes for 228 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 29-26 loss to St. Cloud State. Nelson also rushed for eight yards and a touchdown.

Southland grad Alan May, a junior wide receiver, had three receptions for 68 yards.

Former Rochester Community and Technical College defensive back AJ Shippof St. Louis recorded six tackles in the loss for Winona State (0-2).


Teigland, who is a senior, is expected to return as the quarterback when he recovers from his injury.


Caleb Leichtnamwas back in Rochester this past weekend and he had a big smile on his face. The Grand Meadow native, who was a record-setting All-American defensive back at RCTC, had just completed a two-week tryout in an attempt to make the Division I Iowa State football team as a walk on.

"I made it," Leichtnam said during halftime of RCTC's 26-0 win over Fond du Lac. "I had some good practices.

Leichtnam made a big splash at RCTC as a freshman in 2011 when he intercepted 20 passes, the most ever in a single season at any level of college football. He was named first-team All-American in junior college football and was the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year. He added six interceptions a year ago as a sophomore to finish with an all-time junior college record of 26.

"I had the weekend off and decided to come back and watch these guys," he said of taking in the RCTC game.

Leichtnam is a 6-foot, 190-pound safety. He said he ran the shuttle dash in 4.0 seconds during his ISU tryout and had a standing broad jump of 9 feet, 8 inches. He said he did not hear his 40-yard dash time.

He will be eligible to be on the sidelines for Iowa State in two more weeks when the Cyclones face Texas. Leichtnam will be a redshirt this year, however.


"I'll have two years left to play," he said. "Hopefully I can get out there and get some momentum going."


Stewartville High School grade Mike Schmitzmade a successful mixed martial arts debut Saturday night in La Crescent. Schmitz competed as part of the "3 River Throwdown IV" event.

Schmitz was a two-time state champion wrestler for Stewartville. He went 43-0 his senior season and won the title at 171 pounds. As a junior, he was 41-1 and won at 160.

Schmitz had a Division I scholarship at Missouri, but he transferred to Division III UW-La Crosse and went on to be a four-time All-American. Schmitz placed third at nationals twice, fourth once and won one national title.

After college, Schmitz started training MMA at Iron Works Training Center in La Crosse. Saturday night marked his amateur debut, and he took on Josh Hoffof Wisconsin.

Schmitz dominated the opening round and finished the fight in the second, scoring the technical-knockout win at the 2:38 mark.



Rochester's Chelsea Wiesnerhas set the all-time digs record in volleyball at Minnesota Crookston.

Wiesner, a senior libero, broke the old mark of 1,471 digs during Crookston's 3-1 outing at the Hilltopper-Rattler Classic in San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

The 5-8 Wiesner is a John Marshall grad. She currently leads Crookston with 130 digs — 4.81 per set — this season.

Mayo grad Brittany Lookeris also a member of the Crookston volleyball team. She is a 5-10 junior outside hitter. Looker leads the team with 101 kills, 3.74 per set.

Crookston is currently 5-3.

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