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Smith feels SCSU was right choice for baseball: Sports to surgeon

e may have surprised a lot of people, but Jordan Smith is glad to have it done with.

"I can just play basketball this winter and not have to worry about it," he said this week.

Smith, who surely ranks with the top all-around athletes to play three-sports at Willmar High School, accepted a scholarship last week to play baseball at St. Cloud State University.

He also had discussions with Minnesota and visited North Dakota State.

He received letters from all the MIAC schools, he said, plus Minnesota State, Mankato and many of the Division III colleges in Wisconsin.

He also talked football with Minnesota; he hasn't completely ruled out kicking or punting for the Huskies.

But baseball is his first choice.

"It's my pride and joy," he said.

SCSU head coach Pat Dolan was elated to sign the young slugger. In a press release, he admitted he feared losing Smith to Division I football.

Smith said several things pointed him to St. Cloud State.

"I knew I could play right away, instead of going to Minnesota where I might have to sit for two year," he said. "And I know some of the players already."

Minnesota had not offered him anything at this point.

"We talked a lot last summer, but Minnesota is slow," he said. "They take their time and I hadn't heard much lately."

The Willmar senior has drawn attention from the pros. The Twins sent him a questionnaire, asking if he was interested in being drafted or if he was going to college.

A Cincinnati scout told him that if he went to college it would be a good idea to go to one where he wouldn't be sitting, so that scouts can see him right away. That scout watched him play at a Legion tournament in Minot, N.D.

Smith expects to be used at third or in the outfield.

"It feels great to have it out of the way," said Smith. "SCSU is a great school. It's close for my parents and relatives to come see me play."

Jordan is the son of Fran and Rachel Smith. Fran is a 1979 Willmar graduate who is an assistant coach on the VFW team.

Scott Lyle Nyberg (WHS '78) is a transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a professor of surgery at Mayo's medical school.

The top student in his senior class, he still found time to letter on the last two football teams coached by the late Bill Hansen.

Nyberg took physics and mathematics courses at the community college before enrolling at MIT on the way to medical school at Johns Hopkins University.

Nyberg told the current issue of Ridgewater College magazine that he went into medicine because he was impressed growing up by a local highly-thought of surgeon "who was very busy but still always had time for golf."

No doubt, he was referring to the late Dr. A.M. McCarthy, a summer neighbor on Eagle Lake.

Girls soccer postseason honors were announced recently.

Co-MVPs: Chelsey Wierschem and Hannah Murphy ... Most Improved: Hanna Pederson ... Coaches Award: Rachel Lawton ... Top Defender: Lesley Christianson ... Leadership: Murphy ... Hustle: Karis Rogers.

The team also had the following firsts: Winning record (10-9-2), first time to the section final, first time scoring more goals than allowing in a season.

n Concordia Cobber senior hockey forwards, Alyssa Dahl, the all-time scoring leader at Willmar (90-100-190) and Mandi Samuelson (74-64-138), who is No. 3), have combined for a goal and two assists during a 3-1 start.

- When it comes to popular school nicknames, Cardinals ranks fourth in a three-way tie with Knights and Warriors, each with 14, according to the MSHSL. Eagles ranks No. 1 (25 schools) followed by Tigers (21) and Panthers (16). For one-of-a-kind monikers, its hard to beat the Jordan Hubmen and the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms?