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.
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WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals boys soccer team will take a three-game winning streak and the evidence that they can play with the best in Class A. Wait, not just compete, but beat 'em. The Cardinals never trailed against St. Cloud Apollo, ranked No.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar girls placed third and the Cardinal boys fourth at the 11-team Optimist Cross Country Invitational Saturday. With its rolling terrain, plus some steep climbs, and an uphill finish, Eagle Creek Golf Course is no stroll in the countryside on the best of days. But the 80-degree temp on Saturday afternoon in full sun made the girls 4,000- and boys 5,000-kilometer courses even more of a drain on lungs and legs. Samantha Hanson in eighth led the Cardinal girls.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals put up 27 uncontested points in the first half and rode that to a 27-14 win over Alexandria on Friday. Homecoming evening drew a crowd estimated over 2,000. A full moon rose in the east. The temperature was just under 70-degrees at halftime when the Cardinal royalty was introduced followed by 2012 Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame inductees Jeff Welker and Andrea (Lentz) Winghart. On the field, the hometown Cardinals overpowered the visiting Redbirds the first two quarters -- one big-yardage play after another.
Mickey McGuire played in the football hotbed of Wake Forest, N.C. The high schools are huge (his graduating class was around 600) and the hated rivals, both public and private programs, are just a few miles away. Major universities are within an hour's drive feeding the football fever on Saturdays. McGuire was out of football two years.
WILLMAR -- Brainerd jumped out to a 21-0 lead by halftime and withstood a Willmar Cardinals' comeback in the fourth quarter to escape with a 21-14 Central Lakes Conference victory on Friday. A crowd approaching 1,400 watched the Warriors on a magnificent evening increase their winning streak over the Cardinals to 10 in a row this century. On the plus side, this is the closest the Cardinals have played the Warriors since a 14-6 win at Brainerd in 2000. After giving up three rushing touchdowns and 208 total yards in the first half, the Willmar defense turned off the Brainerd spigot the second
Willmar football engages Brainerd at Hodapp Field on Friday evening. Each fall at this time, a Cardinal fan feels ever hopeful. We're like Charlie Brown pining that this will be the time that there is a valentine in the box from the Little Redheaded Girl. Realistically, though the Cardinals are darn good this year, the Blue Wave visit yields only disappointment. Each year one looks for the chinks in Stolski's armada while building up the positives in the Willmar flood wall. But Brainerd has outgrown Cardinal football. There are 1,600 kids up there and a little under a thousand here.
WILLMAR -- Andy Jacobson has played plenty of golf in his 32 years but this is different. The Eagle Creek Golf Club member is preparing to represent Minnesota at the 10th USGA Men's State Team Championship. He and two other Minnesota golfers will compete against three-man teams from every state plus the District of Columbian and Puerto Rico. The three days of medal play runs Sept. 19-21 (no postponements) at the Galloway National Golf Club within view of Atlantic City. "This is a course you can't overpower," Andy told me last week in visit to his office at Strehlow Insurance.
Jordan Smith, the Willmar native who signed with the Cleveland Indians in June 2011, went 3-for-5 and scored four runs as the Lake County Captains spilled the Lansing Lugnuts 15-6 on Labor Day and advanced to the first round of the Midwest League playoffs. The Captains hosted Bowling Green at Classic Park in Eastlake last night in the first game of the best of three series.
With 11-teams stretching from New London to Victoria, the Wright County Conference will use a two-division format for football, basketball, softball and baseball.