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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NEW LONDON -- After two postponements due to inclement weather, New London-Spicer showed why it's ranked No. 1 in Class AA boys basketball, topping No. 2 Morris/Chokio-Alberta, 89-68, in a non-conference game on Saturday. The Wildcats (20-1) exploded to a 48-29 halftime lead and handed the Tigers (17-1) their first loss of the season before a crowd approaching 1,300. "This was intense and a lot of fun," said NLS forward Justin Zylstra, who scored 16 points.
WILLMAR -- It's on to St. Peter for the Willmar Cardinals girls hockey team after ousting Mankato East/Loyola from the Section 2A Tournament picture 5-2 on Saturday. "This was the last of our 11 goals that we put on the sheet at the beginning of the season," explained Meckenzie Dahle, one of five seniors celebrating after their final game at home. "Just now we added a 12th goal -- to get to state." Willmar (12-11-2) meets No. 3 Hutchinson at Gustavus Adolphus College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the championship. Hutchinson upset No. 2 Mankato West 4-3 on Saturday. The state tournament is Feb.
NEW LONDON - A mid-February showdown of Class AA's top two teams left no doubt New London-Spicer is fully deserving of its No. 1 spot in the boys poll. The Wildcats (20-1) blitzed No. 2 Morris/Chokio-Alberta 89-68 in front of over 1,200 fans in the NLS gym on Saturday evening. The Wildcats jumped out 8-2 and were never in danger. They dominated in the paint and the guards sliced inside for acrobatic lay-ins or last moment dish-offs to the open big man. Center Aaron Johnson with 22 points and 11 rebounds led five Cats in double figures.
WILLMAR - Three Willmar goals in the middle frame broke open a 1-1 game and sent the Cardinals into the Section 2A girls hockey final on Thursday at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter after a 5-2 victory over Mankato East/Loyola. Jennie Mattison scored the go-ahead goal on a Willmar powerplay with 3:15 gone in the second period at the Cardinal Arena on Saturday afternoon. Five different players notched goals for Willmar. Baylie Young stopped 26 shots in the Willmar cage. Willmar (11-11-2), the top seed, will play No.
WILLMAR -- When they needed a three-spot the most, the Willmar Cardinals just couldn't cash in. The Cardinal shooters went 1-for-6 from three-point range over the last two minutes trying to catch Brainerd, which left with a 58-52 win in Central Lakes Conference boys basketball on Friday. The Warriors (6-7, 9-10) have won four straight since an overtime loss to St. Cloud Tech. The Warriors' strong showing before a big crowd on Meet the Cardinals Night avenged a 79-74 loss to Willmar on Jan.
Places with lyrical names like Sherman Oaks, Green Lake, Fargo and Zumbrota figure into the background of Chelsea Brown, Willmar's newly-named girls soccer coach. Sherman Oaks: Brought up in California's San Fernando Valley, she began youth soccer at age 5 leading to varsity soccer at Notre Dame High School, just off the teeming Ventura Freeway. Green Lake: Where Chelsea spent quieter summers at the home of her grandparents, the late Don and Jo Orth.
WILLMAR -- Alexandria got sweet revenge and the upper hand in the Central Lakes girls basketball race Friday night in the most dramatic fashion. Katie Gearman got open under the basket in the closing seconds and her easy lay-in booted Willmar into second place, 60-59, ending an intense 36 minutes of basketball. Gearman took a high pass from the top of the key from Cara Wood with four seconds left. "I thought someone would be on me," said Gearman, a 5-8 guard who scored all six of her points in the second half. "I was screaming for the ball at the top of my lungs.
There's another 20 days left of Willmar girls basketball in the regular season, but Friday night is an all-Cardinals super bowl. Alexandria invades the Willmar Senior High gymnasium to decide the Central Lakes' lead and quite possibly the conference championship. After all, both teams are 11-1 in the CLC.