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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NORTH MANKATO -- Like the name implies, a shootout is dramatic, swift and cruel. One of Willmar soccer's most successful seasons, ever, ended in a Shootout Thursday, the sun setting on the western horizon and the Cardinals' season simultaneously at the Dakota Meadows pitch. After 100 minutes of riveting, crisply-played soccer, Mankato West beat Willmar in the best-of-5 Shootout 4-2. That translates into a 1-0 victory and the Section 2A championship and a visit to the Class A quarterfinal round. "That was a game neither team deserved to lose," said Willmar head coach Jeff Winter. Neither t
This week, Notebook visits with Lindsay Freeland. She's a new mother (baby Clara is going on 8 months) and works for Touching Hearts at Home in hiring and training caregivers.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals have a score to settle within their species. A year ago this week, the underdog Fairmont Cardinals winged up to Kandiyohi County, beat the favored home-town Cardinals in their own nest 3-2 and then soared home. This time the Willmar birds are the lower seed (No. 5) and will migrate south to Martin County to play the No. 1 Fairmont birds in the Section 2A boys soccer semifinal round. Fairmont is 16-1 and is rates first in the 15-team pod according to the Minnesota-Scores.net's cold-blooded QRF rankings.
Rochester College tackle Kevin Jones drops Ridgewater running back Tyrell Martin for a 1-yard loss in the second quarter at Hodapp Field in Willmar, Minn. on Saturday on the way to the undefeated Yellow Jackets' eighth win by a 27-7 score. The Warriors (5-3) can still qualify for the MCAC playoffs by winning at Brainerd against Central Lakes College on Saturday. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton
Ridgewater College football coach Rob Baumgarn drove to New Hope early in 2010 pursuing a 270-pound tackle. The big lineman ended up elsewhere on scholarship, but the Warriors coach didn't return home empty handed. So far, he's reaped six players from that visit. Four will start on Saturday against undefeated Rochester, a 1:30 game at Hodapp Field. The Hawks coach, John Biezuns, now at Southwest, suggested Baumgarn meet with several players who might be interested in a two-year college. Some didn't have the grades to get into a four-year school.
If you haven't caught a Lady Warriors match at the college, there's another chance at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host Rochester, the second-place team in the division. After winning at St. Cloud Tech College on Monday, the Lady Warriors are 9-0 in the MCAC South and 19-2 overall. Last night they were at Anoka-Ramsey in Coon Rapids. The team played 20 matches in 34 days through the end of September. "My concern going into (the season) was that we wouldn't have enough practice time to get back in the gym to work on areas we need to improve upon," said head coach Joe Sussenguth.
First, that name. How do you pronounce Xiaodan Yu, the senior who plays No. 1 singles for the Cardinals? I asked her. I believe this is close: try Shaow-DAN You. She's 17-years old. She was born in Hangzhou, China, a large city on the East China Sea not far from Shanghai. She has lived in the U.S. since age 3½. She speaks flawless English with no accent.
BRAINERD OVERVIEW: The Brainerd Warriors opened at home defeating Rocori 28-21 at Adamson Field. The Warriors led 28-6 until the Spartans scored twice in the last four minutes. Senior QB Mitch McLain ran for 116 yards and three TDS, one from 74 yards. He's one of only two starters back on offense. The other is two-way tackle Jake Kassulker. Linebacker Logan McAllister is also back on defense. rter back on a team that finished 11-1 and beat mighty Eden Prairie in the AAAAA state QF. Two-way tackle Jake Kassulker is the only other starter back.
After a year on the practice squad, Seth Olsen, 25, is now tabbed as the prime back-up at offensive guard for the Minnesota Vikings. He's on the active roster listed at 6-foot-5, 312 pounds. He was only a tiny fraction of that when he lived in Willmar from 1985-90 and started pre-school. He attended grade school in Raymond, now MACCRAY East Elementary, until midway sixth grade when the family moved to Nebraska in 1998. I reached Neil Olsen at his office in Omaha.
WILLMAR, Minn -- Elijah Swen's line-drive field goal from 32 yards completed a Ridgewater College comeback giving the Warriors a win in their home-town debut on a sunny and comfortable Saturday afternoon at Hodapp Field. The Warriors trailed defending MCAC Northern Division champion Mesabi Range of Virginia 14-0 after one quarter but tightened up the defense to win 17-14. Both teams are 1-1. Swen's field goal came with 6:52 on the fourth-quarter clock.