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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The Willmar Cardinals boys basketball team has zipped to a 5-1 start, but they face a tough nut tonight on the road at Brainerd. The Warriors are 4-3 after losing to Owatonna 69-61 and North St. Paul 76-71 at the Owatonna holiday tournament, an AAAA field. Meantime, Willmar won its own invite against AA competition. This early it's a little hard to be sure how good this Willmar team is. There's plenty of hustle and ball movement making them a fun team to watch.
While the snowless winter has its conveniences, it's been hard on cross-country skiers. Cardinal Nordic coach Brad Haugen is trying to keep 50 boys and girls -- 12 of them first time skiers -- motivated. Without snow, the team runs, roller blades, hill bounds and works on core conditioning. The team has traveled to practice at Andes Tower Hill and the Elm Creek Park Reserve in the northwest metro. They've also managed two meets, one at St.
Bennet Woltjer scored 231.90 on the 1-meter board Tuesday night in a dual meet. That's 3 points short of his career-best. The Willmar Cardinal senior has an eye on the school record board and the 272.1 score posted by Darren Melin in 1985. He's come a long way in six years. He began as a raw seventh-grader with no background in the sport.
Nothing will change the reality that their 20-year-old son is gone but Mike and Darla Reynolds are hoping for an answer. Stephen, 20, died at home a week ago Tuesday. There was early speculation that a hockey injury had led to his death. An autopsy in Anoka the day he died did not provide an answer, his father Mike Reynolds told me Wednesday. Nothing was noted wrong with the heart or lungs, no evidence of blood clots. In the Sunday league game, Steve told his dad that he was hit with a puck just below the visor, but it was only a "little bruise" by the right cheekbone.
All are sad to learn of the death of Stephen Reynolds at home on Tuesday. He was only 20. He lettered twice in Cardinal hockey before graduating in 2010. It's unknown at this time what led to his unexpected death. An unconfirmed report said the Ridgewater College student had a headache and had remained at home. He was apparently fit and healthy.
Terrin DeBoer plans to pursue the appeal process, the ousted Willmar High School volleyball coach told me when contacted by telephone Tuesday, so that she can present her side of the story. On the record she would say no more. She feels she has nothing to gain by airing her side of the story in the media. She wants the school board to hear her out.
Concordia College quarterback Michael Dunham, the senior who started three seasons for the Cardinals, broke the school record for career passing yardage in the third quarter during the Cobbers' 27-13 loss Oct. 29 to No. 25 Bethel College at Jake Christiansen Stadium before a crowd of 4,120 in Moorhead. Dunham's 9-yard pass completion to Matt Peterson, senior running back from Alexandria, late in the period pushed him past record-holder Ethan Pole and into the No.1 spot on the school's all-time passing yardage list.
ST. PETER -- A year ago the BOLD Warriors volleyball team won 23 matches but lost to Marshall in the Section 2AA championship.
NORTHFIELD -- Conditions were near perfect at the St. Olaf College athletic fields on Saturday for a cross country meet but for Willmar, the Cardinals performance was less so. The team finished 15th of 16 seven-member units running the Class AA boys 5k. "Average, at best," assessed Willmar head coach Jerry Popp.
Alex Grove passed for 1,852 yards in 10 games as a sophomore and 1,502 this fall in nine games. Grove's total yardage of 2,234 is up from last year, when he totaled 2,177. The shotgun quarterback ran for 709 yards, a 6.3 average per rush. Around mid-season, the night after playing 5A Moorhead, the 175-pound junior was asked how he was holding up? "I'm a little sore right now," replied the personable young athlete.