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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ST. CLOUD -- Ridgewater College baseball made great strides this spring, but that was small consolation to coach Joel Barta after losing 5-2 to Riverland College on Monday. "I don't care for silver," said the second-year leader. "It's not my favorite color." The gold medals went to the Blue Devils for the second year in a row.
Little seemed normal for the 2010 walleye opener at the halfway point in May. A bright sun hovered over calm waters and the mercury nudged 70. Sunburn, not hypothermia, was the primary danger to anglers who swarmed to the prairie lakes. "This is not a normal opener," said Gary Anderson of Danube as he loaded his boat with provisions at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Norway Lake public access. "It's often rain or sleet. The weather was so dreary this week, I wasn't very excited.
Pitching and fielding are the two keys to winning a baseball tournament. Hitting, as the tournament draws out, is a given. It's especially true in a four-day, double-elimination event like the MCAC state and region tournament Friday through Monday at Putz and Faber in St. Cloud. Joel Barta, who is in his second year directing the Ridgewater College program, has groomed the Warriors' pitching staff for the long run.
Elsie Klemmetson has hinted at retirement before but this time he means it. He's turned in his VFW uniforms, scorebooks and lineup cards. That gesture finalizes a 50-year association with youth baseball. "I just can't see the outfield," he said. "I have to ask (someone on the bench), 'What happened out there?' Ellsworth Klemmetson grew up outside Bemidji. The family moved to Willmar after World War II. He coached the Willmar Police PeeWee team from 1960 to 1984. The east-siders dominated the late-elementary league. In 1969, VFW Post 1939 asked the army veteran to start a team.
BENSON -- Sam Peterson overcame two triple bogeys to shoot a three-over-par 75 and win the individual title on his home course Saturday at the Benson/Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Boys Golf Invitational. It was the first invitational title for the Benson sophomore, who also logged four birdies and one bogey with 11 pars. Peterson won by three strokes over co-runners-up from Litchfield, senior Matt Thomas and eighth-grader Josh Polingo, each at 78. Golfers battled a cold wind under heavy overcast skies on the first day of May. The team prize went to New London-Spicer, which shot 322 to nudge Li