Local Sports Notebook: Sherels does his part, now he must wait
Rochester's Marcus Sherelsmade his bid to earn a spot with the Minnesota Vikings during the team's final preseason game on Thursday. Now he has to wait.
Sherels returned a kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown to start the second half and less than four minutes later he intercepted a pass during the Vikings 24-23 win over the Tennessee Titans.
"I always try to make plays," Sherels said following the game. "You always try to make plays and today I had my chance and I took advantage of it."
The 25-year-old has been the full-time punt returner and a backup cornerback the past two seasons for the Vikings. He made the team as an undrafted free agent and is always a player on the bubble trying to make the squad.
"I always feel like that and I like it that way," he said. "Competition is great and always makes us better."
The Vikings are expected to make their final cuts today to get down to the 53-man roster. They open the season next Sunday at Detroit.
"Same as it has been the past few years, not really in my control," Sherels said of waiting to see if he has made the team. "I will just sit and wait, and we will see."
Sherels has been in a tough competition with Bobby Felderto retain the job as punt returner. Felder, who is also a cornerback, suffered a sprained ankle during Thursday's game and had to be carted off the field.
Sherels has also had to deal the with death of his father, Ben, who died of cancer earlier in August. With the support of head coach Leslie Frazier, Sherels elected to skip the team's third preseason game to attend the funeral.
"It was awesome," Sherels said of Frazier's support. "He was the one that basically told me I need to be with my family, he would have done the same thing, and I am glad I made that decision."
Frazier might have been as pleased as anyone in the stadium regarding Sherels' strong play against the Titans.
"I'll tell you, everybody loves the way Marcus competes and I think we were all pulling for him," Frazier said. "He played with a heavy heart losing his father and then being at the funeral last week.
"It's just been tough for him. We've got some other guys who've lost parents on our team so they know what he's been going through. So to see him make those plays tonight, our whole sideline was just jubilant to see him come out and play the way he did and what's on his mind and what this week has been like for him, so (I'm) really happy for him."
Rochester's Richard Lilla, an offensive lineman for Winona State University, has been named to the Division II preseason All-American first team in college football.
Lilla, a John Marshall grad, is a senior at Winona State and in his fourth year as a starter. He is 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds.
Last year he helped the WSU offense set school and conference records for total offense. The Warriors averaged 480 yards per game while going 10-2 and winning the Mineral Water Bowl. Lilla helped open holes for running back Rayon Simmons, who set a school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,774 while also establishing new WSU and NSIC career rushing marks.
Former Rushford-Peterson activities director Luke Luttermannow has the same position at Sauk Rapids High School.
Mayo grad Rachel Dollsigned her letter of intent on Friday to play women's basketball at Rochester Community and Technical College during the 2012-13 season.
Doll is a 6-foot-1, forward/center. She was a four-year starter at Mayo and scored more than 1,000 points during her career with the Spartans.
She averaged 18.9 points a game as a senior.
Claudia Pilotof Austin placed third in the Minnesota Senior Women' State Amateur Championship held this week at Pokegama Golf Course.
Pilot had a two-round total of 152, 11 strokes off the lead.
Rochester's Ellie Laytonplaced fifth with a two-round score of 157.