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 Cardinal football, as well as Vikings football, is many months off, but there are still topics for discussion. In August second-year coach Jon Konold could welcome back as many as 55 juniors and seniors from last fall's 5-5 squad. Another 25-30 sophomores, for Willmar uncharacteristically heavy and broad shouldered, will expand the varsity roster to about 80 players. Konold didn't make any coaching changes when he was hired last spring at Willmar, although he did rearrange the veteran staff. Earlier this month, he made his most substantial shift.
WILLMAR - Outfielder Jason Kubel, relief pitcher Jesse Crain, Twins radio personality Kris Atteberry and mascot TC Bear signed autographs and answered questions during the Twins Winter Caravan 2010 Monday. The event drew approximately 200 fans to the Kandi Mall in Willmar for the one-hour program.
SPICER -- A run in winter is no time for a spring rain. Showers fell Saturday morning sapping what had might have been a record field. Instead of over 200 runners -- the record is 233 in 2007) -- only 90 runners and walkers finished the Fifth annual WinterFest Frozen 5k. A digital billboard at the south entrance to Spicer showed the race- time temperature at 35 degrees. The mild conditions couldn't offset rain and the threat of dangerous travel. The last two Frozen 5ks were held with the mercury around 12 below and each had a field of 100 runners. Four days before the event, race direct
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals offense is heating up in the dead of winter. Friday night's 74-52 win over the Rocori Spartans marked the fifth time in the last seven games the Cardinals reached or exceeding 70 points. Not bad for a squad whose reputation is blue-collar defense. "Typically, we're known for being toughest on defense," said coach Brad Atchison. "We've successfully turned it up offensively (since the holidays). We're seeing the floor and passing the ball very unselfishly." The Cardinals shared enough for 20 assists helping five players reach double figures.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals seem to have found their groove again. The Cardinals crushed St. Cloud Apollo 70-46 on Thursday night to improve to 6-2 in the Central Lakes Conference and 12-3 overall. Taylor Filipek finished with a season-high 31 points. The senior forward had 21 points by halftime. He drained two 3-pointers each half and converted a steal to a dunk early in the second half.
The decision came with some anguish, but Jeff Winter has decided to relinquish the reins of Cardinal girls soccer to become boys head coach. He replaces Richard Courtney, who resigned after seven seasons, including the school's first state soccer tournament appearance in 2008. Winter, a middle school guidance counselor, has been head coach the past three years and has been with the program for six years.