A day of fishing was a day to support scholarships at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The 8th annual Justin Knebel Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament raised more than $4,200 for the Justin Knebel Endowed Scholarship in support of student-athletes at the U of M Crookston.

    Next year’s tournament is scheduled for February 2, 2019, at Zippel Bay Resort on Lake of the Woods.

    The tournament, held on Saturday, February 3, 2018, had some 140 participants weighing in 78 fish. Prizes and winners included the first fish caught by Tyler Spencer, a $50 Streiff Sporting Goods gift card; the largest walleye caught by Alex Kophoet, a Eskimo 8" Ion Auger; the largest sauger caught by Sarah Robinson, a Vexilar FL8se; and the largest tullibee caught by Hunter Simonson, a Banks Captain Chair. The day also included many other door prizes.

    The Knebel scholarship fund, which reached the $25,000 necessary for endowment in 2016, provides a $1,000 scholarship to a men’s or women’s basketball player annually.

    Hosted by U of M Crookston Teambackers, the tournament is made possible by the generosity of its sponsors: Zippel Bay Resort, Streiff Sporting Goods, Red Fox Ice Fishing Company, Seven Clans Casino, and Erickson Smokehouse.

    Teambackers is grateful to Alysa Tulibaski for her hard work and effort to make the tournament a success.


    Justin Knebel, who played basketball for the U of M Crookston Golden Eagles, grew up in Warroad, Minn., graduating from Warroad High School in 2001.

    A talented athlete, he lettered in basketball, cross country, and track. After graduation, he attended the University of Minnesota Crookston where he played basketball as a point guard for the Golden Eagles.

    He was the ultimate team player working hard on the court and in the classroom.     

    Besides his passion for playing basketball, Knebel loved the Warroad area and outdoor sports in Minnesota, making the ice fishing tournament an apt tribute to the memory of this outstanding student athlete.

    For more information on the tournament, visit www.umcrookston.edu/justinknebel.