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Stingers honored by Northwoods League

ROCHESTER -- The Northwoods League named the Willmar Stingers as the Organization of the Year for 2010, it was announced on Monday.

The expansion franchise averaged over 1,000 fans per game in their first year playing at Bill Taunton Stadium.

"This recognition on behalf of the Northwoods League is a direct reflection of the people of the Willmar area," said Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak. "Stingers fans, host families, sponsors and city officials embraced the Northwoods League and showed why the Willmar area is a great place to live, work and play baseball. A tip of the cap goes out to all those that helped make the 2010 Inaugural season a memorable one."

Willmar also narrowly missed making the playoffs in their inaugural year in the league.

Jerzak and Ryan Voz, along with Gary Posch, started the expansion Stingers as owners last fall after Jerzak and Voz spent the last decade elsewhere in the League.

Voz was the 2002 NWL Executive of the Year while with the Alexandria Beetles and also worked in the St. Cloud and Brainerd Lakes Area in recent years. Jerzak earned the NWL Executive of the Year honor in 2007 while with St. Cloud. He also spent a year each with Brainerd Lakes Area and Alexandria. Nick McCallum, who interned in Brainerd in 2009, has been the team's Assistant General Manager since early 2010.

"The 2010 Northwoods League Organization of the Year comes as no surprise given the leadership of the franchise," Radatz said. "Marc and Ryan have proven themselves to be overachievers since they entered the League."

The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The Northwoods League completed its 17th season of play in August.