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 FOOTBALL PREVIEW - WEEK 5 Sartell Sabres (4-0) at Willmar Cardinals (3-1) Friday at Hodapp Field, 7 p.m. Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame Inducteees honored at halftime SARTELL OVERVIEW: The unbeaten Sabres average 34 points per game while putting away most opponents early: 36-17 against Little Falls, 42-14 over St. Cloud Tech, 30-0 against Fergus Falls and 34-14 vs. St. Cloud Apollo. The all-senior offense is triggered by quarterback Cole Jenkins, who threw for 1,213 yards as a junior. Joel Kremer (615 yards rushing last fall) is the halfback and Sean Tillman. the fullback.
Willmar High School Homecoming week has three big athletic events this weekend. Top-ten-ranked Sartell (4-0), the Central Lakes Conference leader, is here on Friday night (See preview on Page B-3). The up-tempo Cardinals (3-1) are coming off a comeback win at Little Falls. The Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame 2009 inductees - Judy Aagesen, Scott Swansson and Bob Martin -- will be introduced to an anticipated full stadium. On Saturday, the Cardinals volleyball tournament brings in five area teams, all having winning seasons.
WILLMAR -- Homecoming ignited a spark missing all season in Ridgewater College football. The pre-game festivities and a big crowd, for junior college, seemed to wake a slumbering team that had sleepwalked through four straight losses to a 32-3 win over Fergus Falls 32-3 on Saturday evening at Hodapp Field. "That crowd really gave us confidence," said defensive end Joe Doubler, who returned from a two-game injury.
Fergus Falls (0-0, 1-3) at Ridgewater (0-0, 1-3) 6 p.m. today at Hodapp Field (Homecoming) FERGUS FALLS OVERVIEW: The game opens MCAC Southern Division play for both teams. A win is now worth two points (an inter-division win is one point). Just like Ridgewater, the Spartans' losses have been frustratingly close. They've been in every game, including a one-point loss to Northland two weeks ago and a 35-24 loss in Week 4 to Vermilion. The Fergus win came against Fond du Lac. A big concern for the Warriors' defense will be running back Ray Gardner.
Most men aren't in their nineties. Some will get there. Statistically, though, the majority will be women. Harold Westhoff turned 90 on Aug. 8. He still can shoot his age, plus or minus a couple strokes. He's been able to hit that mark that since 1981 - when he was 72. He plays up to three times a week. There's a gang of 25 that leaves town each week in cars and vans to sample distant courses.
Little Falls Flyers (2-1) at Willmar Cardinals (2-1) Friday at Hodapp Field, 7 p.m. LITTLE FALLS OVERVIEW: After an opening week loss to Sartell (36-17), the Flyers lifted off with a 16-7 win over Rocori at Cold Spring -- the program's first win since 2006 -- and then shaded Moorhead 34-33 in two overtimes. It's a veteran team with a senior nucleus that has played varsity since 10th grade.
WILLMAR -- Leave it to Brainerd to bring Willmar back to earth. Despite a promising 2-0 start, the Cardinals were overmatched against the Warriors once again, absorbing a 35-13 whacking in a Central Lakes Conference tilt before about 1,900 fans on a mild Friday night at Hodapp. "We laid an egg," said Taylor Filipek, the senior two-way starter. "They were prepared to play and we weren't." The Warriors dominated the first half to lead 21-0.