Mark Dunham insists football was not the first thing on his mind when it came to choosing a college.
"It wasn't the main thing," said the nimble quarterback who threw for a school record 1,930 yards last fall.
Of more importance to the straight-A student: staying close to family and getting an education at a small, private college. He was also sold on the Fargo-Moorhead area, he said.
His alternate choice was Gustavus Adolphus, but he didn't like the thought of playing against his brother.
So next month, he'll do just what his brother, Michael, did two years before. Start college football at Concordia College.
"Football is a great tradition up there, and watching Michael play last year the place got to feel like home," said Mark. "My brother thought it would be fun if I came up."
Michael didn't become the Cobbers' starting quarterback until midseason but still posted some impressive numbers: 1,213 yards passing with five TD against two interceptions.
He's got two years left and is one of two co-captains already appointed by head coach Terry Horan.
That means Mark probably has, at least, a two year wait. He may need that.
"I know I'm quick enough and have the skills but I know I have to get bigger," he said. "It will come."
He's been eating heartily and lifting weights four days a week but he is only nudging 160 pounds on a 6-foot frame.
Michael is 6-2 and about 200 pounds.
Both have demonstrated they are fearless running with the ball and accurate, long-range passers.
Like his older brother, Mark is good in math and the sciences and will enroll in the biology program at Concordia. He has a career in dentistry in mind.
On the fly
n The 45th Smith Open 5-person scramble is one month away. The Aug. 7 event at Eagle Creek carries a $70 per person entry fee ($20 for juniors) and includes cart, prizes and buffet. Register at www.willmarhockey.pucksystems.com. or phone Sheri TerWisscha at 796-5190.
n Elizabeth Leer, 41, who placed fourth among women at the Green Lake 12-mile run on Monday, captained the 1985 Willmar Cardinals girls cross country team when she was known as Beth Berg. She was team MVP in both her junior (with Jodie Rinke) and senior seasons.
n Matt Gorans scored a double-eagle on the par- five fourth hole at Eagle Creek recently. The club's 2009 match-play champion found the cup on his second shot with an 8-iron.
n Ridgewater College football has added a "practice session" with the UM-Morris varsity at Big Cat Stadium at 4 p.m. on August 21. The Warriors start conditioning Aug. 6, hold their Red and White Scrimmage at noon Aug. 14 at Hodapp Field and open the season at Husky Stadium at 11 a.m. Aug. 28 against Itasca College.
n WCER gymnastics at the Kennedy small gym is the most popular young-girls program this summer with 183 enrolled ages 4-11. Baseball has about 200 youngsters in grades 3-6. Willmar puts out eight teams in the 17-team West Central League, which has expanded to included Belgrade,-Brooten-Elrosa Prinsburg and MACCRAY.
n Baseball fields are at a premium in the city, It can be especially difficult to find a ball field open with 90-foot bases for an evening practice.
n Aaron Barber's score of nine-under-par 207 to win the 54-hole Lakeland Tournament was the best-ever since the event went to its present format in 2005. That year Erik Tone won with a 208 which wasn't eclipsed until the former pro came along to play in his first Lakeland this summer.
n Kevin Madsen, Civic Center supervisor, is part of the United States Curling Association's membership team. He travels to various regions of the country to help new clubs get curling up and going in their communities. Interest exploded after the 2010 Olympics. Madsen, whose expertise is making arena curling ice, is preparing to hold seminars in Somerset, Wis., Grand Rapids, Minn., and San Francisco.