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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NEW LONDON -- The thing about the press is that you either break it or it breaks you. New London-Spicer ducked and weaved and passed their way through the vice-like Bloomington Kennedy full-court pressure just enough to win a riveting finale to the West Central Tribune WildCard Girls Basketball Tournament on Friday, 56-52. The Wildcats (7-1) built a 28-19 halftime margin up to a 41-22 advantage with 10:25 left. But the Eagles downshifted and suddenly found some traction off their press-and-trap to ignite their inside game, which had been ineffective most of the evening. The Eagles' impress
NEW LONDON -- Shantel Kelly scored eight straight points to start the second half, igniting Willmar's comeback win over short-handed Minnehaha Academy 51-46 in the third-place game of the West Central Tribune WildCard tournament on Thursday. Willmar finished 1-1 at the tournament after bowing to Bloomington Kennedy on Wednesday. The Cardinals (3-3) trailed 27-21 after playing a sloppy first half. "I knew we had to do something at half to get mentally prepared and get something done," said Kelly, a senior forward.
WILLMAR -- High school hockey in Texas? You bet your spurs. There are 22 indoor sheets in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Mansfield High School, 30 minutes southwest of Dallas, will play 30 games this winter, including three this week at the Willmar Bus Cup at the Civic Center. Wednesday night they enhanced their North Star immersion playing shinny hockey at the Lincoln Rink on the east side of Willmar.
Winter's bite has made vagabonds of the Minnesota Vikings, but Willmar's Nordic ski team knows what it's like to wander in the white wilderness. The school has offered cross country skiing for boys and girls since 1998. Through the first 12 years, Willmar hosted only four home meets. The first was at Robbins Island on Jan. 13, 2001. In January of 2008, Willmar sponsored a small meet at Sibley State Park in the upper campground.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals got just what they needed -- and what was expected -- out of their home invitational: three wins while piling up 19 goals. The Cardinals whipped Luverne 6-2 early Wednesday night at the Civic Center to conclude the three-day Willmar Bus event. The wins upped Willmar's record to 4-5, after a 1-5 start. "It's a good way to get back on track and score some goals," said senior Gabe Amon, who assisted on Grant Schow goals in the second and third periods. "We got a lot of people involved and different people scoring.
WILLMAR -- "Homecoming" for the Willmar Cardinals basketball team ended happily, but barely. Jeremy Schendel sank one of two free throws with two seconds left in the second half for the final margin as the Cardinals survived a late run by the Brainerd Warriors for their third straight Central Lakes Conference win, 74-73, on Thursday. After three road games, it was the team's first Willmar appearance.
Kids these days. Some are tougher than nails. When told she had a previously undiagnosed condition leading to progressive blindness, Chelsey Hamann, born with a hearing loss, shrugged and said: "Well then, I can't go through life bumping into things; I guess I can always get a dog if I can't see." True story? "Yes," she confirmed this week.
It's a long way from west central Minnesota to east central Kentucky and the small city of Richmond -- perhaps 15 hours by automobile. But then, the first shot taken by Taylor Filipek at William's Arena on Saturday was long, too. "Air ball, air ball," the Gophers' student section joyously chanted inside The Barn after a three-point whiff by the Eastern Kentucky University freshman from Willmar. "There were about three seconds left on the (possession) clock and I just pulled up in the corner and shot long.