Willmar notebook: Smith, McCarthy, Hysers new Card Pride inductees
The Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame committee has named former athletes Katie McCarthy (1982) and Lee Smith (1984) and retired teachers Ray and Betty Hysers in the Community Member category to the Class of 2013. The induction banquet is Oct. 4, prior to the homecoming football game.
McCarthy was the youngest of five sisters in an athletic household and the only one to get the full benefits of Title IV. She would take advantage of the opportunities to earn 14 letters in swimming, gymnastics and golf. She competed on Cardinal teams that would win five Central Lakes Conference titles and twice played on golf teams that finished second at the state meet. Now a triathlete, she lives in Reno, Nev.
Smith was all-conference in three sports (football, hockey, baseball) his junior and senior years and the Lions Award top male athlete recipient his senior year. He went on to play hockey at Mankato State University. The last 19 winters he’s been the head coach of the Eden Prairie Eagles hockey team while teaching sixth-grade math. In perhaps the state’s toughest section, he’s been named 6AA Coach of the Year seven times. In 2009, and again in 2011, his Eden Prairie teams won the Class AA state championship.
Ray Hyser began videotaping girls basketball games in the late 1980s and continued the volunteer effort for over 20 years under three coaches. Betty was a “special assistant” to the male head coaches, especially valuable in the locker room, where she was a gentle counsel. While most closely associated with girls basketball, they were friends and generous, enthusiastic supporters of all Cardinal athletes and non-athletes for over 25 years.
Banquet, ticket and other details of induction day will be released in about a month.
Jordan Smith continues his steady performance at the plate while patrolling right field for the Carolina Mudcats, the Cleveland Indians’ affiliate in the Advance A league near the eastern seacoast.
After a slow start (he batted .233 in April), he pumped up his average to around .270. Last Thursday, he has one of his biggest days at the plate in a three-year minor league career. Playing at nearby Winston-Salem, the left-handed hitter went 4-for-5 with a triple, two singles and a homer to right field, scored three times and knocked in a pair of runs in a 7-2 victory. Last weekend his average reached a season-high .276.
The former Cardinal, who turned 23 on July 5, has been a better hitter on the road: .315 away and just .230 in Zebulon. In two fewer games, he has 18 more hits in away games. He’s hitting right-handers at a .277 pace and is hitting .259 vs. left-handers.
He’s in the lineup every day, usually batting second or clean-up. Through Tuesday, he was among the league leaders in games (103), at bats (399) hits (108) and doubles (29). His .271 average ranks 18th in a pitcher’s league where the top batting average is just .309. The Mudcats are 21-6 in the second half.
Warrior football opens camp Aug. 8
The Ridgewater College Warriors football team reports Aug. 8, with the first practice the next day (a Friday). Coach Rob Baumgarn expects 13 second-year players among the usual turnout of 50-60 first-year prospects. There’s still a need for housing. Baumgarn suggested calling the front desk at the college if anyone is interested in renting to incoming freshmen.
The newcomers include two players off the 2012 Cardinals football team: linebacker Josh Kelly and lineman Cass Herzog, who played in the Lions All-Star Game in June.
The team will scrimmage Crown College at St. Bonifacius on Aug. 23;. The regular-season opener is at home on Aug. 29 vs. Itasca College at Hodapp Field, following the Willmar sophomore team hosting Sauk Rapids at 4 p.m. The Cardinal varsity opens the next night at Sauk Rapids.
On the fly
n The Minnesota Sting won the Midwest Premier Football League championship a second straight year on Saturday. The Sting, which jettisoned the West Central Broncos 38-6 in the semifinals, blasted the Brainerd Lumberjacks 50-0 at Clemens Field in Collegeville.
n High school fall teams may begin practice on Aug. 12. Here’s the Cardinal varsity season openers: Aug. 22, boys soccer at Mankato West, girls soccer vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake, girls tennis vs. Hutchinson, New London Spicer; Aug. 24, girl swimming home invitational; Aug. 26, cross-country at Moorhead; Aug. 29, volleyball vs. Fergus Falls; Aug: 30, football at Sauk Rapids