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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Cannon Falls, MN

Home Care Cannon Falls, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Oxford Mill Ruins gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Cannon Falls, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Cannon Falls, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Cannon Falls, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Cannon Falls, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Cannon Falls, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Cannon Falls, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Cannon Falls, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Hannahs Bend Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Cannon Falls, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Mill Street Tavern or visit Cannon Falls Historical Society, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Cannon Falls, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Cannon Falls, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Cannon Falls, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Cannon Falls, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Cannon Falls, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Cannon Falls, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Cannon Falls, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Cannon Falls, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Cannon Rivers Senior Living
  • Cannon Country Senior Living
  • Cannon Falls Senior Citizens
  • Cannon Valley Senior Center
Home Care Cannon Falls, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Cannon Falls, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Cannon Falls, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Cannon Falls, MN

Latest News in Cannon Falls, MN

Cannon Falls couple provides both entrees for Minneapolis School Districts' Minnesota Thursdays

MINNEAPOLIS — The lunch menu on March 7 at Minneapolis Public Schools included beef and cheddar sandwiches from BAMF Meats and plant-based sloppy joes from Deeply Rooted — both produced in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.Bertrand Weber, director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, said once a month for the last 10 years, the school district celebrates "Minnesota Thursdays" over the lunch hour. Everything from entrees to desserts are sourced from around a 200-mile radius outside of the Twin Citi...

MINNEAPOLIS — The lunch menu on March 7 at Minneapolis Public Schools included beef and cheddar sandwiches from BAMF Meats and plant-based sloppy joes from Deeply Rooted — both produced in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.

Bertrand Weber, director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, said once a month for the last 10 years, the school district celebrates "Minnesota Thursdays" over the lunch hour. Everything from entrees to desserts are sourced from around a 200-mile radius outside of the Twin Cities, Weber said.

"It's a celebration of local harvest, and we try to really showcase those items to our kids," Weber said. "The acceptance is different based on the grade level, but they always look forward to it on a regular basis."

On March 7, the menu consisted of a beef and cheddar sandwich from BAMF Meats in Cannon Falls with cheese from Bongards in Perham; a plant-based sloppy joe from Deeply Rooted in Cannon Falls; sweet potato JoJo from Fifth Season Cooperative in Viroqua, Wisconsin; cole slaw from Driftless Organics in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin; and a freezer pop from JonnyPops in Elk River.

The two entrees came from Kayla and Wade Beyer, who were on hand March 7 to enjoy the school lunch inside of Franklin Middle School in north Minneapolis.

"Today was awesome," Kayla Beyer said after the lunch. "It really was like the pinnacle of the story we're trying to share. It's not all about just eating meat or all about eating a plant-based diet fully — it's about having better choices and making deliberate choices with every meal."

Wade Beyer is the owner and operator of BAMF Stock Farms in Cannon Falls. The calf-to-cow finishing operation runs about 200 head while also raising hogs and crops. Aside from the eight steers worth of roasts he sold to the Minneapolis schools, the farm has sold hamburger to the Pine Island School District, which is about 20 miles outside of Rochester, for about a year.

"It was different, but they did a good job," Beyer said of eating the food he raised at a cafeteria table inside of Franklin Middle School. "I thought it tasted great."

He said it can be a challenge for farmers to make the leap to sell to school districts and to know where to start that process.

"If it weren't for my wife, I probably wouldn't have done it," he said. "She's already familiar with that network."

Minnesota Grown, which the farm is a member of, is a place for schools to look if they are interested in connecting with local farms, Beyer said.

"Otherwise, just talking to your local schools, and go from there," Beyer said.

Kayla Beyer is founder and CEO of Deeply Rooted , which began around four years ago and provides shelf-stable plant-based crumble in flavors like Italian, Mexican and Korean barbecue. Consumers simply add water to the product, and she said that 4 ounces becomes 1 pound.

"I'm a food industry veteran who was working for big corporate America — big CPG brands — and wanted to start a food company that makes a bigger impact," said Beyer, a mom of five who grew up on a dairy farm. "I worked in mass manufacturing where I saw how processed food was, and so not only did I want to put a better product on the retail shelf, I wanted to put a better product on my kids' trays at school."

One call away

Beyer said the way she made the farm-to-school connection with Minneapolis Public Schools was by making a simple phone call to Weber, who told her exactly what the program needed for Deeply Rooted products to be served to students.

The crumble served at Minneapolis schools went through a sodium reduction process to meet USDA standards, which she said made the product taste better in her opinion.

"I tasted my original formula now and it's salty to me, so it's a very good change," she said. "We just lowered the sodium, the salt, and increased the other spices. So it wasn't a big deal for us to do that, and we did it willingly."

Beyer said unlike the many plant-based companies that have popped up in the past few years, she said Deeply Rooted has nothing against meat that's raised on a farm.

"I thought what a great opportunity to change that narrative and bring it from an agricultural perspective that I have had all these years," she said.

Another reason Beyer was interested in selling Deeply Rooted products to the K-12 market is that it's much larger than the retail space, she said. In retail, products like hers are targeted towards vegans and vegetarians, which she said the company's mission doesn't align with.

"There's nothing wrong with being a meat company, and there's nothing wrong with having a plant-based option," Beyer said. "Let's make it palatable, so it tastes good, and they actually come back for more."

Cannon Falls does it again, heading back to state football tournament

WATERVILLE — For the fourth time in the last six years, the Cannon Falls football team is headed to the state tournament.The Bombers got there again on Friday night by blitzing St. Agnes 60-34 in the Section 4, Class 2A final.Cannon Falls did the usual in getting it done. The Bombers ran, ran, ran.They didn’t stop until they’d dashed for 624 rushing yards, their second highest total in school history.After just six plays, Cannon Falls’ vaunted running game had already accumulated 198 yards ...

WATERVILLE — For the fourth time in the last six years, the Cannon Falls football team is headed to the state tournament.

The Bombers got there again on Friday night by blitzing St. Agnes 60-34 in the Section 4, Class 2A final.

Cannon Falls did the usual in getting it done. The Bombers ran, ran, ran.

They didn’t stop until they’d dashed for 624 rushing yards, their second highest total in school history.

After just six plays, Cannon Falls’ vaunted running game had already accumulated 198 yards and three touchdowns.

“Our offensive line did an amazing job,” Cannon Falls coach Dan Meyers said. “And our offensive coaches did an amazing job of calling plays. We shift around a lot with our running plays. At this point in the season, we have a lot of answers and adjustments we can make.”

Those 60 points scored by Cannon Falls were not some sort of aberration. Scoring in that vicinity is what the Bombers do. It was the third time this season that Cannon Falls had scored at least 60. It also had games of 73 and 71 points. For the season, it’s averaging nearly 50 points per game.

Cannon Falls moved to 9-2 with the win. Its only losses this season have come to state-bound Caledonia (28-8) and Chatfield (36-22).

The Bombers had three players rush for more than 100 yards. They were led by Derrik Bechtholdt with nine carries for 221 yards and four touchdowns. That gave Bechtholdt a stunning 25-yards per-carry average.

Preston Schoenfelder had 190 yards on 12 carries with four touchdowns, and Dylan Banks had 133 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown.

Cannon Falls had to go with a sophomore as its starting quarterback, as its top two at the position were both out with knee injuries. Getting the nod was Grady Meyers, son of coach Dan Meyers.

Father liked what he saw from son.

“He did a great job,” Dan Meyers said. “We didn’t ask him to drop back and pass (he threw it just once, a 9-yard completion). In our offense it’s about making the right reads and getting it to the running backs with precision.”

In beating St. Agnes, the Bombers took down a team that entered the game unbeaten. It marked the second straight playoff game in which Cannon Falls had topped an unbeaten team. It handed previously perfect Norwood Young America in the prior round.

On Friday night, the Cannon Falls’ touchdowns came fast and furious. It scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and three in the second. They included an 82 and a 50-yard run by Bechtholdt. He also had a 53-yard TD sprint in the fourth quarter.

Cannon Falls 60, St. Agnes 34

Cannon Falls 22-18-20-0 — 60

St. Agnes 14-6-6-8 — 34

First quarter

CF — D. Banks 55 run (Shepersky run)

SA — E. Simmons 7 run (Mickelson run)

CF — P. Schoenfelder 51 run (run failed)

CF — D. Bechtholdt 82 run (Banks run)

SA — Kiehl 24 pass from Mickelson (Mickelson run)

Second quarter

CF — Schoenfelder 41 run (run failed)

CF — Bechtholdt 19 run (Duden pass from Meyers)

CF — Bechtholdt 50 run (Duden pass from Meyers)

SA — C. Flood 5 pass from Mickelson (pass failed)

Third quarter

CF — Schoenfelder 34 run (Shepersky run)

CF — Schoenfelder 24 run (run failed)

SA — J. Skidmore 18 pass from Mickelson (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

CF — Bechtholdt 53 run (run failed)

News reporting

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Cannon Falls pulls off upset, will meet Caledonia for section volleyball title

ROCHESTER — Tough to knock out a champion.That proved true once more on Thursday night at Mayo Civic Arena as defending state volleyball champion Cannon Falls asserted itself late and beat the No. 1 seed in the Section 1-2A semifinals, Chatfield.The fourth-seeded Bombers prevailed in a marathon, winning 25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12.“I think we just told ourselves we've done this before, we can do it,” said Cannon Falls outside hitter Karsyn Winchell, also a key piece to last year’s state titl...

ROCHESTER — Tough to knock out a champion.

That proved true once more on Thursday night at Mayo Civic Arena as defending state volleyball champion Cannon Falls asserted itself late and beat the No. 1 seed in the Section 1-2A semifinals, Chatfield.

The fourth-seeded Bombers prevailed in a marathon, winning 25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12.

“I think we just told ourselves we've done this before, we can do it,” said Cannon Falls outside hitter Karsyn Winchell, also a key piece to last year’s state title team. “We had that attitude that we’d been in tough matches before.”

Cannon Falls coach Melissa Huseth was preaching that same mindset as she sought any edge possible against a team as good as Chatfield.

The reminder of their championship experience worked well.

“We have girls who know how to win,” Huseth said. “So I think having had that success helped them to believe that they can finish in tight situations.”

Chatfield, ranked second in the state, looked ready to polish things off in the fourth set. After an ace serve by Hannah Tweten, the Gophers led 22-20. But they couldn’t hold it.

Cannon Falls showed up as a deceiving No. 4 seed. The Bombers played almost the entire season without two-time All-State outside hitter Madison Burr. But the 6-foot-1 senior has returned for the playoffs and it’s made all the difference.

She is getting all kinds of support, too. While Burr had 19 kills and 21 digs, Kallie Johnson, Winchell and Falon Hepola were right there with her. Johnson had 18 kills and 14 digs, Winchell 12 kills and 23 digs, and Hepola 46 set assists and 18 digs.

It was Winchell who ended the match, blasting a kill down the line.

From there, it was a massive celebration from the state’s defending champion. The elation was in good part because they know just how good Chatfield is. The Gophers entered with just two losses all season and a pack of excellent players led by star junior outside hitter Jaelyn LaPlante.

Winchell admitted that all of that gave her team plenty of worry going into the match.

“(Chatfield) is very good, so we were very nervous,” Winchell said. “I think it was our defense that really stepped up and led to us winning.”

Chatfield first-year coach Kristi Rindels tried to remind her team just how good it is as it prepared for Cannon Falls, which has a superstar in Burr and plenty more talent around her.

Turns out her confidence-prodding effort likely only had partial success. Chatfield got off to a tough start, got things together, but then couldn’t finish the deal.

“I think playing Cannon Falls had a bit of a mental effect on us because of what they did last year,” Rindels said. “But I tried to tell our girls that we have just as many stars as they do.. In the end, we just didn’t capitalize on all of the opportunities that we had.”

Cannon Falls takes a 15-16 record into Saturday’s noon final with No. 2 seed Caledonia

Chatfield’s spectacular season ends at 26-3.

Chatfield and Cannon Falls faced off in a Section 1, Class 2A semifinals volleyball game on Nov. 2, 2023, at the Mayo Civic Center. Cannon Falls won 3-2.

Cannon Falls 3, Chatfield 2Cannon Falls#25#22#21#25#15Chatfield#21#25#25#23#12No. 4 Cannon Falls: Falon Hepola 4 kills, 46 assists, 18 digs; Karsyn Winchell 12 kills, 23 digs; Kallie Johnson 18 kills, 14 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace; Madison Burr 19 kills, 21 digs, 5 blocks; Katie Tipton 3 assists, 28 digs, 3 aces; Claire Meyers 1 assists, 6 digs, 1 ace.No. 1 Chatfield: Trindy Barkeim 18 kills, 5 digs; Cora Bicknese 4 assists, 39 digs; Jaelyn LaPlante 17 kills, 3 assists, 15 digs, 1 ace; Hannah Tweten 1 kill, 13 assists, 13 digs, 5 aces; Harper Goldsmith 8 kills, 34 assists, 17 digs, 1 block, 1 ace; Evy Goldsmith 14 kills, 1 block; Alexis Hinckley 6 digs; Kylin Schroeder 2 digs, 1 block; Charleigh Larson 1 kill, 4 digs, 6 blocks.

Caledonia 3, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 2

RROCHESTER — Caledonia wasn’t ready to be done.

Showing all kinds of resolve in the final two sets, the Warriors rallied for a five-set win Thursday night in the Section 1, Class 2A volleyball semifinals, beating Zumbrota-Mazeppa 21-25, 25-16, 20-25, 27-25, 15-6 at Mayo Civic Arena.

The match figured to be an epic one. No. 2 seed Caledonia entered ranked fifth in the state, while No. 3 seed Z-M was eighth.

Not only that, but they had a history. Earlier this season it was the same kind of grueling battle between the two. That one was also won by Caledonia, 3-2.

“We knew it would be a match like this, one that would likely end (in five sets),” said Caledonia coach Scott Koepke, whose team moved to 26-5. “Zumbrota-Mazeppa has a fabulous team. They are a tough team to play against because they flat-out blast the ball. And they just don’t ever stop coming.”

What Koepke fought to get across to his team was that it also needed to get moving. After looking messy in a first-set loss, then also dropping the third one, the Warriors were one set away from having their season end.

So Koepke looked his players in the eyes and told them to start battling like Z-M was.

They complied and none did it any better than Koepke’s daughter, senior Logan Koepke.

Providing one timely winning hit after another, she went a long way toward turning a 22-all tie in the fourth set to a 27-25 Caledonia win.

From there, it was all Warriors. They dominated the final set, earning a spot in Saturday’s championship match with No. 4 seed and defending state champion Cannon Falls.

A senior outside hitter, Koepke finished with 23 kills, 22 digs and 2 service aces. Emma Rommes also had a big night with 22 digs, 47 assists, 5 kills and 3 aces.

“I was just trying to keep my team together and not think about the outcome,” Koepke said. “Just think about what was in the present, like the next ball, the next play.”

That worked. Caledonia leaped out to an 8-2 lead in the deciding set and never lost its momentum.

Z-M, which finished its season 20-10 and had come into the night on a seven-match win streak, got 19 kills and 23 digs from Lilly Mehrkens. Ella Chandler added 18 kills and 14 digs and Megan Jasperson 13 kills and 28 digs.

Z-M coach Lisa Nelson appreciated how her team battled.

“We do have some gamers,” Nelson said.

Caledonia 3, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 2Zumbrota-Mazeppa #25#16#25#25#6Caledonia #21#25#20#27#15Zumbrota-Mazeppa: Lilly Mehrkens 19 kills, 3 assists, 23 digs; Cora Ohm 5 kills, 2 assists, 4 digs; Ella Chandler 18 kills, 14 digs, 1 ace; Megan Jasperson 13 kills, 4 assists, 28 digs, 1 ace; Paislee Peterson 32 assists, 18 digs; Anna Cylkowski 22 assists, 10 digs; Melanie Raasch 8 kills, 28 digs, 2 blocks.Caledonia: Emma Rommes 22 digs, 47 assists, 5 kills, 3 aces; Logan Koepke 23 kills, 22 digs, 2 aces; Braelyn Lange 6 kills, 1 block, 9 digs; Emme Kittelson 38 digs; Aubrie Klug 4 kills, 25 digs, 1 ace; Sienna Augedahl 4 kills, 5 digs; Kennedy Hansen 4 digs, 1 ace.

Cannon Falls sprints past Triton for program's first state football victory

NEW PRAGUE — The Cannon Falls High School football team had found itself in the MSHSL state football quarterfinals four times before.But despite being one of the top regular season teams, the Bombers were 0-for-4 and still in search of the program's first state tournament victory entering Thursday night's Class 2A state football quarterfinal against Triton.The 0-fer was well talked about entering the clash with the Cobras and the Bombers did their best to downplay the match-up as best as they could."We tried n...

NEW PRAGUE — The Cannon Falls High School football team had found itself in the MSHSL state football quarterfinals four times before.

But despite being one of the top regular season teams, the Bombers were 0-for-4 and still in search of the program's first state tournament victory entering Thursday night's Class 2A state football quarterfinal against Triton.

The 0-fer was well talked about entering the clash with the Cobras and the Bombers did their best to downplay the match-up as best as they could.

"We tried not to think about it," senior Dylan Banks said. "Tried to take it just one game at a time. Honestly, it didn't even really feel like a state playoff game. We kept that mindset and I think it really helped."

In the end, that mindset was enough to help the Bombers make history.

Behind a vaunted rushing attack that tallied 374 yards and a stifling defense, the Bombers finally broke through, capturing the program's first state tournament victory with a 51-6 win over Triton at New Prague High School.

Cannon Falls (10-2) will now play at U.S. Bank Stadium when it takes on Eden Valley-Watkins in a Class 2A state semifinal at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. After many close calls, the Bombers are finally playing at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"We've been so close about four times. I mean, one score games that we've lost state quarterfinal games, so to finally break through in a big way, it's just an amazing feeling," Cannon Falls coach Dan Meyers said. "It's something that we've been working for, and these kids have been working for and aiming for, for a long time. So just so proud of their effort."

Meanwhile, Triton's Cinderella run comes to an end. The Cobras entered the postseason 3-5, before rattling off three straight wins to compete in the program's first state tournament since 2010. It's a run that will have a lasting impact for second-year coach Brandon Neseth.

"I can't say enough good things about our seniors, and the way the guys played tonight," Neseth said. "We knew what type of team Cannon Falls is and the success they've had in Class 3A and obviously a lot of success this season. They present a challenge offensively and I thought the final score really wasn't indicative of how well the defense played. ... I liked how the guys fought and how well they played."

It was an 8-6 game entering the second quarter after Pierce Petersohn found Jayce Leonardo for a 28-yard passing touchdown. The Cobras took advantage of a short field after recovering a fumble.

Yet, the Bombers would take control with a 22-point second quarter.

August Wagner collected his second rushing touchdown on a 1-yard plunge, and Dylan Banks then took it 68 yards for a rushing TD on the following drive to make it 22-6. Grady Meyers connected with Calvin Singewald, who made a nice lunging grab for a 16-yard score to push the score to 30-6 with 13 seconds left until halftime.

Banks added his second rushing touchdown — a 1-yard plunge — on the opening drive of the second half to ice the victory. Banks finished with 142 yards on 17 carries to help pace a ground attack that recorded 374 yards on 43 carries.

"We have a great group of guys up front," Banks said. "They work hard in the weight room and when they move guys, they make it easy for the running backs to do their stuff. But it's all about the line."

Outside of that first quarter touchdown, the Bombers defense was stout throughout. They finished with seven sacks and recovered a pair of fumbles, while holding Triton to under 200 yards of total offense.

"We've had a few games lately where we've given up more points than we wanted to so to keep a six on the scoreboard and to come out and play really well defensively feels good," Meyers said.

For the time being, the Bombers will enjoy this one, but the preparation for Eden Valley-Watkins, which won its quarterfinal 60-0, begins immediately.

"We'll be back to work tomorrow," Meyers said. "We'll get into the film and watch it, see we can do better and get back in the weight room. It's going to be a really fun week and I can't wait. I can't wait to get after it."

Cannon Falls 51, Triton 6CF 8-22-5-7— 51Triton 6-0-0-0 — 6

First quarter

CF — August Wagner 9 run (Wagner run) 5:14

T — Jayce Leonardo 28 pass from Pierce Petersohn (pass failed) 2:46

Second quarter

CF — Wagner 1 run (pass successful) 9:17

CF — Dylan Banks 68 run (Shepersky run) 6:28

CF — Calvin Singewald 16 pass from Grady Meyers (pass successful) 0:13.

Third quarter

CF — Banks 1 run (run failed) 6:57

CF — Shepersky 1 run (run failed) 4:42

Fourth quarter

CF — Aaron Melhouse 75 pass from Meyers (Lance Mlsna kick) 3:54

Cannon Falls gets on the board with a 9-yard rushing td from August Wagner. He also ran in the 2 point conversion. 8-0 5:14 1Q.

— Alex VandenHouten (@AlexVandenhout1) November 10, 2023

Touchdown Cannon Falls. 16 yard reception here from Calvin Singewald. He caught the 2 point conversion too. 30-6 Bombers, 13.9 2Q.

— Alex VandenHouten (@AlexVandenhout1) November 10, 2023

Cannon Falls' Madison Burr has put a chill into volleyball opponents with lethal game

CANNON FALLS — The Pequot Lakes players might as well have thrown their hands in the air or grabbed a white flag and started waving it.It was Cannon Falls’ Madison Burr who above all had them feeling so helpless. Burr, a 6-foot-1 wiry and long-armed bundle of strength, explosion, passion and smarts, had that effect on almost all teams a year ago en route to being named first-team All-State.But the then-junior unleashed her No. 1 performance against Pequot Lakes. It came on the biggest of stages, in the ...

CANNON FALLS — The Pequot Lakes players might as well have thrown their hands in the air or grabbed a white flag and started waving it.

It was Cannon Falls’ Madison Burr who above all had them feeling so helpless. Burr, a 6-foot-1 wiry and long-armed bundle of strength, explosion, passion and smarts, had that effect on almost all teams a year ago en route to being named first-team All-State.

But the then-junior unleashed her No. 1 performance against Pequot Lakes. It came on the biggest of stages, in the Class 2A volleyball state championship match at Xcel Energy Center, the Bombers going for their first state title in any sport.

For three years, Burr had built a reputation as a lethal hitter, mostly striking directly down on the ball, her smashed shots echoing through gymnasiums and sending shivers through opponents. There was plenty of that against Pequot Lakes. Burr finished with a thunderous 21 kills, which gave her 468 for the season and 1,003 for her career, both Cannon Falls records.

But there was also a mix of the subtle, a late add-on by Burr that made her game now complete and had the incredulous Pequot Lakes players with no idea how to defend her. Was she going to put a crease in the floor with another hammered kill, or was she going to torture the Patriots with a changeup, instead pushing the ball into vacated corners of the court for winners?

It was all too much from the two-time All-State selection, who this year is a candidate for the Miss Baden Volleyball Award, which goes to the top senior volleyball player in the state.

“I think that was the best I’ve ever played,” said Burr, whose team swept Pequot Lakes in that state final, just as it did to all three of its state opponents. “And the fact that our whole team was on made it even better. I was finding the deep corners in that match. Just being smarter rather than trying to hit the ball into the ground every time. I got a lot better at reading the court.”

That’s a reminder that no team in southeastern Minnesota — and the state, for that matter — wants to hear, that Burr has gotten even better. Burr owning a complete offensive game takes her to a level that almost nobody can match.

It’s what landed her a full scholarship to Division I program South Dakota State University. And it’s what will have opponents this season staying up late, trying to devise strategies against her.

Just what do you do against this feisty, powerful and smart redhead?

Mostly, it’s just hope for the best.

“Madison has the best all-around skills that I’ve ever coached, when you also consider her size,” said Cannon Falls 18th-year coach Melissa Huseth, who for the second straight year will also have Burr playing in the back row this season where she has also dramatically upped her game. “I think what teams fear most about her is her offense and how she attacks the ball so hard. If you don’t get a block up, it’s going to be difficult to defend her. She’s also been working on hitting her shots higher (instead of straight down). She’s worked hard on having an all-around game.”

One thing that Burr has never had to develop is passion for the game. That comes naturally. In fact, for a few, they might see it as coming a little bit too naturally.

Burr is known for celebrating with gusto her biggest and most thunderous points. Her reactions can be bellowing and with a serious strut to them. It’s likely not for everybody. But for her and her teammates, it works. It adds fire to the Bombers' attack, something that Burr is all about and keeps her coming back for more.

“I don’t see it as cockiness; I just see it as confidence,” Burr said. “When you get a big kill, the excitement that it creates for teammates is the best part. I’ve never had anyone tell me to stop (celebrating). But I have had teammates tell me to pick it up.”

Playing volleyball is a celebration, period, for Burr. Also a solid softball player and a one-time basketball player, Burr is at her happiest by far when on a volleyball court.

She’s excited when she’s playing for her travel team, Southern Minnesota Volleyball. She’ll be excited when she starts playing a year from now at South Dakota State. And she is excited now, primed for another banner season with her Cannon Falls teammates.

“All of the girls in this (Cannon Falls) program, we are super close,” Burr said. “We all go to school with each other, and pretty much all of the parents know each other. There is a bond that we have that is great.”

And the game is just as great.

“The tension that comes with volleyball, I love it,” Burr said. “It just gets me so excited. Having a long rally and then ending it with a kill, there’s just nothing like it.”

Pat has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter since 1994. He covers Rochester John Marshall football, as well as a variety of other southeastern Minnesota football teams. Among my other southeastern Minnesota high school beats are girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, high school and American Legion baseball, volleyball, University of Minnesota sports (on occasion) and the Timberwolves (on occasion). Readers can reach Pat at 507-285-7723 or [email protected].


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