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 -- Scoring on their first five possessions, the Willmar Cardinals eased by Fergus Falls 49-14 on Wednesday to end the regular season. The Cardinals (4-3, 5-3) are back at Hodapp Field at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to start the Section 2AAAA playoffs. Willmar, the No. 3 seed, meets No. 6 Hutchinson (4-4) in the quarterfinal round. The Tigers knocked Willmar out of the playoffs in the semifinal round a year ago at Hutchinson. Marshall (7-1) got the No. 2 seed after holding off Luverne, 15-13. The 49 points marked the second week in a row Willmar scored seven times.
FERGUS FALLS (0-5, 0-7) at WILLMAR CARDINALS (3-3, 4-3) Wednesday at Hodapp Field, 7 p.m. A LOOK AT FERGUS FALLS: The Otters grudgingly allowed one TD per quarter in losing to Sartell, ranked No. 7 in Class AAAA 28-0 on Friday. Fergus Falls has allowed 32 points per game while scoring nine. The Otters are quarterbacked by second-year starter Zach Rengel, a 6-1, 190-pound junior. Running back Bill Rodning is expected back from injury this week. Willmar coach Jon Konold said, "Fergus is young but sound and well-coached. Richard Risbrudt does a good job up there and we'll see a great effort.
RIDGEWATER OVERVIEW: The Warriors skid into the thorniest part of their schedule, meeting MCAC's No. 2-ranked Rochester today and No. 1 Central Lakes next Saturday at home. "They're the Cadillacs of the league," said Ridgewater coach Rob Baumgarn. "It's where we're trying to get, and we'll get there." The team will be near full strength this week with the return of leading rusher Davontay Stevens (pulled quad), who is closing in on 500 yards for the season. Elijah Swen showed some speed in returning a punt for a touchdown last week in a 32-24 loss to Fond du Lac.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals piled up 367 yards of offense to overwhelm St. Cloud Apollo 49-14 on Friday in Central Lakes Conference football. Willmar's shotgun set came out blasting. After an Apollo short punt, Alex Grove moved the offense to the Eagles' two-yard line with a pass to Jeremy Schendel. Nathanial Swoyer squirmed in from the two for the first of his three first-half touchdown bursts. The Cardinal defense played the supporting role in this lopsided outcome, but got a chance to show its strength in the first quarter. Apollo faced a first-and-goal at the Willmar one.
ST. CLOUD APOLLO (1-4, 1-5) at WILLMAR CARDINALS (2-3, 3-3) A LOOK AT ST. CLOUD APOLLO: This is the first homecoming as head coach for Justin Skaalerud (WHS 2000). The Eagles, winless in 2009, won their season opener under their new coach (13-6 over Fergus Falls). Since then, the Eagles have lost five straight. Last week, Apollo fell to unbeaten Brainerd, 47-13. "They're young and headed in the right direction," said Willmar coach Jon Konold.
WILLMAR - Sara Kallhoff and Chloe Donoho are in their final month of a six-year run on the Willmar Cardinals girls soccer team. They've played under three different head coaches. The senior pair played on varsity squads that won a total of four times their first two years. The last two seasons they've been a part of squads that have won five matches alone in the playoffs and are 1-0 this post-season going into today's 4:30 p.m. Section 2A quarterfinal at Kennedy Field. "They both know the sport so well," said head coach Chelsea Brown. "I think of them as 'universal players'.