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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton The Mites (K-third grade) take over the Cardinal Arena in two sessions, depending on grade, from 6 p.m. to 7:45 on Tuesdays. Here, former Cardinal hockey great Darin Strand (WHS 2001) lines up little skaters for a sprint.

Willmar notebook: New breed of rink rats

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"Family, Friends, Fun!”

That’s the new slogan for youth hockey here.

It’s the sport that has to recruit, somehow.

Basketball has an edge because every school has a gym and it doesn’t take much to outfit a kid in sneakers and shorts. Football and baseball are all over TV and most dads had a try at them growing up.

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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
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