Local Sports Notebook: Sherels sees increased playing time on defense
With all the injuries in the secondary this season, Rochester's Marcus Sherelshas gotten to see plenty of action on defense for the Minnesota Vikings.
Sherels, the team's punt returner, is a backup cornerback who usually only plays when six or sometimes five defensive backs (dime and nickel packages) are used. But cornerbacks Chris Cook, Josh Robinson, A.J. Jeffersonand rookie Xavier Rhodeshave all missed time or games this year because of injuries and Sherels has played a much bigger role.
Now an injury could sideline Robinson for the final six games of the season.
"Tough to lose a player like Josh, but we have to step up," Sherels said. "I've been getting more reps (in practice) so we'll see Sunday. The plan is to play more."
Including the safeties, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Sherels is one of the Vikings' few defensive backs who has not missed time with an injury.
"I've been healthy all season," he said.
Sherels has 25 tackles (22 solo) this season. He has gotten a chance to return just 12 punts in 10 games, but leads the NFL with a 16.3 average and has one touchdown.
The Vikings play at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sunday.
"Lambeau is a tough place to play," Sherels said. "Their fans are great and the Packers always seem to play well at home. But we're looking forward to going there and trying to get a win."
The Packers are without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I told Sherels I had a feeling he might get his first NFL interception in the game. He did not respond with a bold prediction, however.
Rochester Community and Technical College wrestler Garrett Millerhas signed a letter of intent to continue his career at St. Cloud State University.
St. Cloud is currently ranked fourth in the nation in Division II. The Huskies are the three-time defending NCAA Division II Super Region 3 champion and two-time Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champion.
Miller is a graduate of Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School, where he compiled a 157-21 record. He was a four-time state entrant, he finished third in the state in his weight class in 2011 and 2012.
As a freshman at RCTC, Miller placed third at the 2013 NJCAA National Championship. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the NJCAA at 174-pounds. In 2013, he was also an NJCAA Academic All-American and is studying environmental science.
Lourdes senior Michael Brandthas signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Division II Augustana College out of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Brandt will be a pitcher at Augustana. He has played on the Lourdes varsity the past two seasons. On the mound as a junior, he was 5-2 with one save and a 1.07 ERA. He also battled .356 with 16 RBIs.
He was 2-1 with four saves and a 3.59 ERA as a sophomore while batting .292 with 16 RBIs.
Owatonna native Chris Mussmanhas been fired as the head football coach at the University of North Dakota.
Mussman had been a coach at UND since 1999. He was the head coach the last six seasons and compiled a record of 31-34.
Mussman played center for Iowa State. He was a four-year starter and was a team captain in 1990.
Jumarhi Turnerand Rachael Dollof Rochester Community and Technical College have been named the men's and women's basketball MCAC Southern Division Players of the Week.
Turner is a 6-foot-1 freshman guard from Bloomington. He averaged 22.5 points, 2.5 steals and 2.5 rebounds in two games for the Yellowjackets. Included was a 33-point showing in a 90-83 loss to Division II Northern Iowa Area Community College.
Doll is a 6-1 freshman center from Rochester. The Mayo grad Rachael had 16 points and 14 rebounds in both RCTC games while shooting 54 percent (14-for-26) from the floor. Doll also averaged 2.5 blocks.
An overlooked fact from Sunday's Crossroads-Grinnell men's basketball game was that Crossroads' Andy Carsonscored 50 points, one short of the school record.
Carson is a senior from Bloomingdale, Mich.
Of course the biggest news coming out of the game was the 109-point performance by Grinnell's Jack Taylorin the 173-123 win over Crossroads.