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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Boys Hockey COACH Dan Tollefson, 4th season ASSISTANT COACHES Reed Larson (varsity assistant), Ross Dahl (junior varsity) 2009-10 SEASON REVIEW Overall: 15-11 Central Lakes Conference: 8-8 (5th place) Section 3A: Beat Detroit Lakes 4-3, lost to Alexandria 3-1 in semifinals. Key Dates Season: 7 p.m. today vs. Morris/Benson Area at Benson Home: Dec. 4 vs. Blaine Central Lakes Conference opener: Dec. 9 at Alexandria Holiday tournament: Dec. 27-29 at Willmar (River Lakes, Becker, Wadena-Deer Creek, Pierre, S.D., Luverne, Fairmont, Mansfield, Texas) Section 6A: Feb.
The Willmar Cardinal football team didn't always win, but they were never boring. Even in the 14-point loss to Brainerd, Willmar piled up 320 yards of offense and had three explosive runs from 45 to 70 yards. The boys hockey team could deliver much of the same entertainment. Like football, the senior class is paramount, and talented. But they'll likely be no better than 1-1 the first week. The Cardinals go from playing a small Class A program, Morris/Benson Area, next Tuesday to hosting Blaine, a current colossus of AA hockey, on Dec.
WILLMAR -- Five years after resigning as the Willmar Cardinals head baseball coach, Mark Stier is back at the helm. The sixth-grade math teacher replaces Brad Dean, who took over for Stier after the 2005 season. Dean resigned both the baseball post and his teaching assistant position at the middle school when he had a chance to go back to work for a natural gas line company, his previous occupation. Stier ran the varsity program for seven seasons starting in 1999. His teams went 86-67 with five winning seasons.
The fifth game of Ridgewater's victory over Brookhaven (Dallas, Texas) is a bit of blur to sophomore outside hitter Macy McKay. The feverish finish of Saturday's finale in Rochester concluded a match that coach Joe Sussenguth described unrivaled in his experience. "It was definitely exciting," said McKay this week. The Lady Warriors fought back from deficits of 7-1 and 12-8 to win the tiebreaker 16-14 and yank the NJCAA Division III first-place trophy from the grasp of the two-time defending champion. "I remember we were down four points right at the start and Joe called a time out," said
MINNEAPOLIS -- Litchfield is sending eight swimmers to the Class A state meet which opens todayday with diving preliminaries at the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center. Dragons' freshman Mar-issa Warren will swim in four events, including a No. 1 seed in the 100 butterfly. Willmar got one qualifier through the section meet at Hutchinson. Cassie Yoakum, a senior, will compete in the backstroke. She is seeded 25th out of 28 entries in a time of 1:04.06. Class A preliminaries begin at noon Friday.
Girls Hockey COACH Jason Mayer, 1st year ASSISTANT COACHES Mandi Samuelson (varsity), Veronica Collins (head JV), Glenn Leitch (goalies) 2009-10 SEASON REVIEW Overall: 12-12-2 Central Lakes Conference: 2-8-2, 6th place Section 2A: beat Mankato East 5-2; lost to Hutchinson 5-1 in section final Key Dates Season/Home: 7 p.m. today North Wright County Central Lakes Opener: Nov. 19, Fergus Falls at Willmar Cardinal Classic: Nov. 26-27 (Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Austin, Morris/Benson Area) Holiday Tournament: Dec. 27-29 at Austin Section 2A: Feb.
Wrestling COACH Tom Beyer, 4th year ASSISTANT COACH Lee Hiltner LAST SEASON MCAC: 1st place (4-0) MCAC/Region Tournament: 1st place. NJCAA Division III: 5th place KEY DATES Opens/Invites: Rochester, Nov. 5; Dakota Wesleyan, Nov. 13; Augsburg Open, Nov. 20; Ridgewater Open, Jan. 8; Minn. West Open, Jan. 15; North Country Open, Collegeville, Feb. 5 Home opener: Dec. 10, 4 p.m., Ridgewater Duals Region XIII Qualifier: Feb. 12, Itasca CC (Grand Rapids) NJCAA Division III: Feb.
WILLMAR -- When it comes to football, it appears the Willmar Cardinals are up a creek and headed from a little falls to a grand rapids. A Minnesota State High School League committee is recommending that Grand Rapids High School be placed in the Central Lakes Conference for football beginning in the fall of 2012. The Raiders would be the 10th team, replacing Little Falls, which leaves in all sports at the end of this school year to join the new Granite Ridge Conference. Since 2006 the CLC has scheduled independents Moorhead and Bemidji in football, though not as conference members.