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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Rob Anderson, left, and Manny Ronneberg grew up playing sports in small towns along U.S. Highway 212. Together they approach retirement with a combined 87 years as educators.

Willmar Notebook: Living large in a small town


A long time ago (but not far away), Manny Ronneberg and Rob Anderson were high school athletes.

It was the 1960s. Think Beatles, Vietnam, assassinations, Civil Rights marches, men on the moon.

Ronneberg graduated from Dawson High School in 1962. In football he was a 145-pound two-way end and played on the Blackjacks varsity baseball team four years. Soon after he graduated the school consolidated with the district a little to its southeast, the Boyd Rams.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334