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 piled up 367 yards of offense to overwhelm St. Cloud Apollo 49-14 on Friday in Central Lakes Conference football. Willmar's shotgun set came out blasting. After an Apollo short punt, Alex Grove moved the offense to the Eagles' two-yard line with a pass to Jeremy Schendel. Nathanial Swoyer squirmed in from the two for the first of his three first-half touchdown bursts. The Cardinal defense played the supporting role in this lopsided outcome, but got a chance to show its strength in the first quarter. Apollo faced a first-and-goal at the Willmar one.
RIDGEWATER OVERVIEW: The Warriors skid into the thorniest part of their schedule, meeting MCAC's No. 2-ranked Rochester today and No. 1 Central Lakes next Saturday at home. "They're the Cadillacs of the league," said Ridgewater coach Rob Baumgarn. "It's where we're trying to get, and we'll get there." The team will be near full strength this week with the return of leading rusher Davontay Stevens (pulled quad), who is closing in on 500 yards for the season. Elijah Swen showed some speed in returning a punt for a touchdown last week in a 32-24 loss to Fond du Lac.
ST. CLOUD APOLLO (1-4, 1-5) at WILLMAR CARDINALS (2-3, 3-3) A LOOK AT ST. CLOUD APOLLO: This is the first homecoming as head coach for Justin Skaalerud (WHS 2000). The Eagles, winless in 2009, won their season opener under their new coach (13-6 over Fergus Falls). Since then, the Eagles have lost five straight. Last week, Apollo fell to unbeaten Brainerd, 47-13. "They're young and headed in the right direction," said Willmar coach Jon Konold.
WILLMAR - Sara Kallhoff and Chloe Donoho are in their final month of a six-year run on the Willmar Cardinals girls soccer team. They've played under three different head coaches. The senior pair played on varsity squads that won a total of four times their first two years. The last two seasons they've been a part of squads that have won five matches alone in the playoffs and are 1-0 this post-season going into today's 4:30 p.m. Section 2A quarterfinal at Kennedy Field. "They both know the sport so well," said head coach Chelsea Brown. "I think of them as 'universal players'.
It might be said of Ellsworth "Elsie" Klemmetson, though childless, he raised a thousand sons. The bachelor's association with sports in Willmar began in 1955 and didn't end until Sunday at 1 a.m., when he died at age of 79. On Friday, he had looked forward to attending the college volleyball match on Saturday.
RIDGEWATER?OVERVIEW: "I liked the way we stuck together when we got down 14-0 early against Minnesota West," said Ridgewater coach Rob Baumgarn of last Saturday's comeback win. "Fond du Lac likes to throw, but our pass defense is strong." The Warriors have some key injuries. Running back Devontay Stevens has a pulled quad and wide receivers Marcus Thames (Achilles pull) and Elijah Lee (ankle) are also hobbling. Baumgarn said backup quarterback Colton Otto, who scored a touchdown in last Saturday's 24-20 win, has left the team, dropping the roster to 42.
Gen. George Patton once uttered the famous phrase "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." We all get knocked down. There's despair. We get back up. And soon enough, if fortune shines, things get better. The wide appeal of the sports arena is that a drama can play out in a single evening or even a few minutes. This past week saw a trend of bust to boom. The Cardinals volleyball team started 0-9, but after a wrenching five-set loss at Sauk Rapids, surprised Little Falls 3-0 last Thursday. The young squad (three seniors) has gone 5-1 the past seven days.
WILLMAR CARDINALS (2-2, 3-2) at SARTELL SABRES (4-1, 4-1) Friday, 7 p.m. A LOOK AT WILLMAR: Less than one minute into the second half last Friday at Moorhead, the Cardinals were in a 20-6 hole. The turnaround began with a blocked punt and a quick touchdown drive as Willmar went on to outscore the Spuds 28-6 over the game's final 23 minutes. The win boosted Willmar's stock in Section 2AAAA, but its importance will quickly fade without a win at Sartell. "(The Sabres) were senior-dominated last year, but this team knows how to win," said Willmar coach Jon Konold.