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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Ridgewater College football begins two-a-days on Saturday. Practices are scheduled from 9-11 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Coach Rob Baumgarn, beginning his fifth fall as head coach, expects up to 70 prospects. High on the list of incoming freshmen is Paulo Sineos of Doral Academy in Miami, Fla. The offensive lineman is listed at 6-foot-3, 320 pounds. He arrived in Willmar earlier this week after making the 1,800-miles-plus drive with his mother, an aunt and an uncle, Ed Nunez, who is a professional sports photographer covering major college and NFL football. The Warriors will open Aug. 28 in St.
WILLMAR -- In his early thirties, Michael Gaffaney seemed like a man in search of a hobby. Unknowingly, his next-door neighbor had the answer. "Drag racing!" Gaffaney and his wife, Nicole, had bought a home on the south edge of Willmar. Their new neighbors were Rob and Tammy Esse, who spent their every other summer weekend at the drag strip along U.S.
WILLMAR -- For just a moment, Andy Jacobson looked vulnerable at the 27-hole Eagle Creek Stroke Play Championship on Sunday. After his drive rolled into heavy weeds, but pin high on the 10th hole, Jacobson "chunked" two recovery shots in a row on the first hole of the final nine, looking very much like an every-day 18-handicapper. But he then drilled his fourth shot from off the green to within inches of making an undeserved par and settled for bogey.
WILLMAR -- Corry Van Mil started racing in 1967.
Tennis tournaments are part of the Willmar summer. It wasn't always this way. The Rice brothers, twins Brad and Bryan, while still in high school, decided something was missing during school vacation. In 1975, they called some friends and adults, bought some pop and called it a tournament. The twins graduated a year later but carried on the event through their college years. When they moved to the metro area to establish careers and families, the Rice Classic was discontinued in the 1980s. Others picked up the slack.
Mark Dunham insists football was not the first thing on his mind when it came to choosing a college. "It wasn't the main thing," said the nimble quarterback who threw for a school record 1,930 yards last fall. Of more importance to the straight-A student: staying close to family and getting an education at a small, private college. He was also sold on the Fargo-Moorhead area, he said. His alternate choice was Gustavus Adolphus, but he didn't like the thought of playing against his brother. So next month, he'll do just what his brother, Michael, did two years before.