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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MINNEAPOLIS -- The New London-Spicer football team is right where they planned all along -- in the state championship game. "We've been dreaming about this since seventh grade when a bunch of us would come down here to watch the games in the Dome," said senior running back Jake Essler. The Wildcats reserved a date with three-time defending champion Glencoe-Silver Lake in the Prep Bowl XVIII Class AAA title game with unexpected ease after a 34-14 victory over previously undefeated Kasson-Mantorville Saturday on Mall of America Field. The Wildcats (13-0) led 20-0 at halftime while allowing th
MINNEAPOLIS - A school renown for its state tournament basketball teams has projected itself into the state football championship game. New London-Spicer (13-0) frolicked to a 34-0 lead and went on to defeat Kasson-Mantorville 34-14 in the Class AAA semifinal-round at the Metro Dome on Saturday. The Wildcats, whose only other state trip was a year ago when they lost in the semifinals, will play three-time defending state champion Glencoe-Silver Lake (13-0) at noon Saturday back in downtown Minneapolis. Quarterback Jayme Moten threw for two touchdowns - to Jake Essler and Luke Peterson - and
In March, Lee Smith (WHS 1984) and David Aus (WHS '87) faced off in the Class AA boys hockey semifinals with Smith's Eden Prairie Eagles prevailing over the Blaine Bengals on the way to winning the championship. The girls hockey season began for Willmar last night with Chad Akerson (WHS '98) up against North Wright County. coached by Tim Hanson ('92). It's Akerson's seventh season coaching high school, but first as the helmsman.
COACH Chad Akerson (1st year) ASSISTANT COACHES Lee Wierschem (varsity), Veronica Collins (head JV), Kelsey Ochsendorf (assistant JV) LAST SEASON 8-18 overall; 2-12 CLC, 8th place; Section 2A: beat St. Peter 7-3, lost Mankato West 6-2 KEY DATES Season/Central Lakes Conference: 7 p.m. today vs. North Wright County (St. Michael-Albertville, Monticello, Annandale, Big Lake) at Monticello Home Opener: 7 p.m. Friday vs. St. Cloud Icebreakers Cardinal Classic: Nov. 27-28 (Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Mankato East, Morris/Benson Area) Holiday Tournament: Dec.
WILLMAR -- There was no telling who was more joyful on Saturday at the end of the Section 3A swimming and diving meet, Willmar senior Anna Fuglestad, who had punched her first ticket to the state meet, or classmate Alissa Tinklenberg, has been going every year since seventh grade. "I'm so excited," said Fuglestad, who will swim the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay. "I was so nervous (the last two days). We'd gone under the state cut on Thursday (in the preliminaries), but we had to do it again today.
WILLMAR -- Willmar senior Alissa Tinklenberg won the 500 freestyle (5:23.15) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.91) on Thursday during the Section 3A preliminaries in the Cardinals' own pool. Both times are well under the state cut, though she will need to make it official on Saturday. The concluding day starts at 11 a.m.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's prospects aren't as bright as some years for advancing individuals to state. The Cardinals will be swimming and diving in their home pool Thursday at the Section 3A preliminaries starting at 5 p.m. Swimmers and divers from 10 schools, including Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield and Montevideo, will compete. The two-stage meet continues on Saturday in Willmar with diving prelims at 11 a.m. and the finals in all events at 3 p.m. "We'll need a good day," said coach Carl Shuldes, commenting on Willmar's chances for gaining state slots.
Michael Dunham, who quarterbacked the Willmar Cardinals for the better part of three seasons, is 3-0 as a starter at Concordia College. The Cobbers improved to 3-4 in the MIAC and 5-4 overall by beating Carleton 31-19 in Northfield Saturday. Dunham threw for 162 yards and ran for 45 more, though three sacks made it a net 32. His 20-yard keeper capped the scoring in the fourth quarter. The 6-2, 190-pound sophomore has an impressive quarterback efficiency of 129.19.
COACH Carrie Ogdahl, 15th season LAST SEASON MCAC: 5-7, 4th place South Division Overall record: 11-14 KEY DATES Opener: Today, 6 p.m., home, Central Lakes South Division opener: Jan. 6, 2010, home, Anoka-Ramsey MCAC State Tournament: Feb.
COACH Bob Knutson, 4th season Asst. coaches Matt Gustafson, Rick Houske LAST SEASON MCAC: 8-4, 3rd place South Division MCAC state tournament: 2-1, consolation champion Overall record: 18-11 KEY DATES Opener: today, 8 p.m., home, Central Lakes South Division opener: Jan. 6, 2010, home, Anoka-Ramsey MCAC State Tournament: Feb.