Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children.
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LITCHFIELD -- Willmar's starting pitching might not throw lights out, but they sure were long-lasting like energy bulbs during the American Legion baseball District 7, Division I Tournament. The four-team, double-elimination tournament concluded Saturday evening in Litchfield where Willmar swept a pair from Post 104 at Optimist Park 9-4 and 10-3 to advance to the state tournament. In five nine-inning games over five days, Willmar coach Wade Adamson used a relief pitcher only once and that for a one-inning dust-up. Jake Rambow, the starting shortstop, threw eight innings for the Game 1 win t
MONTEVIDEO -- Granite Falls' dramatic run through the loser's bracket finally ended Sunday afternoon losing to Eden Valley-Watkins 5-1 in the District 7, Division II Legion baseball final. Granite Falls forced a second game Sunday by stunning the tournament favorites 16-6 in six innings earlier in the day. But the 2009 Legion state champions had saved their ace to start the title game and Matt Geislinger delivered. Virtually the same team that won its second straight Class A state high school championship in June beat the district upstarts 5-1 in the championship. Geislinger was one of sev
WILLMAR -- The plan called for the first Get Stung with the Run 5k to end at home plate, but another early-morning downpour Saturday soaked the field and the finish chute was moved to the parking lot outside Bill Taunton Stadium. That's where Ryan Sawyer, 16, of Willmar was first to the finish in a time of 16:58 followed by Ben Burgett of Spicer in 17:18 and Kyler Vossen, 18, of Willmar in 17:35. The first female to make her way around the outfield warning track, side-stepping puddles as the sun broke through light cloud cover, was Ariel Johnson, 19, of Willmar, in 20:06.
LITCHFIELD -- The Willmar Legion Post 167 baseball team won the District 7, Division I Tournament on Saturday defeating Litchfield in back-to-back games at Optimist Park 10-3 and 9-4. Jake Rambow pitched eight innings in Game 1 and Jake Damhof went all nine innings in Game 2 on a five-hitter. Willmar went through the elimination bracket 4-0 after losing the opener 10-5 to Litchfield on Thursday in Alexandria.
Kerry Dikken, a 1979 Sacred Heart High School graduate, studied art and technical illustration under Bill Oakleaf at what was then called Willmar Vo-Tech. His parents, Dorothy and Alfred, have lived in Willmar the past 25 years since selling the farmstead where they raised pigs, among other things. Kerry lives in Minneapolis where he has a business named Blasted Art Inc. Working from computer-designed templates, Dikken (pronounced Deacon) sandblasts anything you got: glass, metal, stone, brick, plastic, wood, even leather and denim. His work is well known in the Twin Cities.
MONTEVIDEO -- Through five innings the score might be framed as Alex Erickson 1, Madison 0. The Morris Legion pitcher was working on a whitewash facing Madison Lac qui Parle Post 158 and his home run to lead off the bottom of the first was the only run on the scoreboard. But the Madison bats would come to life starting in the sixth inning, igniting a 4-1 win in the opening game of the District 7, Division II Final Four on Tuesday evening. After giving up that first-pitch home run, Joey Schreck and his error-free Madison teammates slammed the door.
WILLMAR -- Jordan Smith is not the only member of the first Willmar Stingers team in 2010 to go pro this year. A half-dozen others are also starting their climb up the minor-league ladder this summer. First, here's the latest on Smith, a local boy, drafted by the Cleveland Indians. He had just finished his second record-breaking season at St. Cloud State when he was picked in the ninth round of the first-year player draft in June. Through Friday, the third baseman for the Mahoning Scrappers (Niles, Ohio) is hitting .337 with 30 hits and 20 RBI, all team bests.
Bob Lehman passed away on July 3. Bob coached the Cardinal track team for 30 years and the short-lived boys gymnastics program in the 1960s. He also started a competitive mathematics team during his 39 years as an educator. That was only a part of the Iowa native's contributions to the community. He was a doer, active in Boys Scouts, the Historical Society, and church, civic and military groups. In his 80s, I remember Bob sitting at the end of the basketball bleachers with Doc McCarthy and Ed Leschke.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Stingers, whose history dates back to, say, spring of 2010, put on a show for Central Minnesota Christian School, which got its start in 1911. The Stingers scored six times in the first two innings to start them on the way to a 7-3 win over Duluth. CMCS students, alumni and friends of the Prinsburg K-12 school took up a big share of the 1,000 seats at Bill Taunton Stadium Tuesday night. The school sponsored 500 free posters of the team and the entire evening celebrated the school's 100th anniversary. The Stingers had to be celebrating a little bit, also, with a 6-0 l
SPICER -- Former Clara City three-sport athlete Gretchen Amundson, 32, of St. Cloud made it two women's titles in a row fronting 127 females running the 37th Green Lake 12-miler on Sunday morning. The men's champions was Phil Richert, 24, of St. Paul who completed the circle run from Saulsbury Beach in 1:07.23. Incredibly, that was 1/100th of a second faster than the winning time a year ago and the fastest time in 13 years. He also won in 2006.