Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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The Willmar girls tennis team continued its dominant season with a 6-1 victory over Rocori in a Central Lakes Conference match on Monday at the Willmar High School courts
By Tom Larson firstname.lastname@example.org The Willmar football team has yet to rediscover the stick-to-itiveness that helped the Cardinals craft a comeback victory over Buffalo in the first game of the season. Since then, the Cardinals trailed Rocori by just one point after the first quarter, only to watch the Spartans score 20 second-quarter points and win by three touchdowns. In Week Three, Willmar and Brainerd were tied 7-7 at halftime.
When the St. John’s football team travels to play a Family Day game at Concordia-Moorhead on Saturday, half of the Cobbers’ Jake Christiansen Stadium could be packed with West Central Minnesota families and friends. There are 22 former Tribune-area players on the Johnnies’ and Cobbers’ rosters, 18 of whom wear Concordia’s maroon and gold. Most of the former area players are just getting their college careers going or are in backup roles.
WILLMAR — The Willmar and Alexandria football teams enter today’s game with 1-2 records and both teams will be striving to prove they’re better teams than those marks show. Willmar and Alex play at 7 p.m. at Alexandria’s new artificial turf field. Willmar has lost two straight after opening the season with a last-second win over Buffalo. The Alex Cardinals dropped their first two games to Monticello and Moorhead teams that are a combined 6-0. They rebounded in style, 70-33, over St.
WILLMAR — Next player up. That’s been the oft-heard mantra of coaches for years. No good team has the luxury to wallow in pity when a big-time player is no longer available. The star quarterback graduated? Tough. Strap on your hat, get under center and do what you know how to do. The all-state guard got injured? Oh well. Get out of that warmup.
New London-Spicer head football coach Dan Essler was on the field when the Wildcats played Becker on Friday, but he may have to turn over his sideline duties soon as he fights kidney cancer. Essler said Friday that his physicians discovered a growth was cancerous the day before NLS’ season-opener against Glencoe-Silver Lake on Aug. 22. “I had high blood pressure and my (physician) said it may be caused by a kidney blockage,” Essler said. “They did an ultrasound, boom, there’s a growth there.
OLIVIA — The final score was about right and the performance was convincing, as most expected. The surprising thing few saw coming was the color of the uniforms on the winning side. Quarterback Grant Thompson ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns, and he also tacked on a two-point conversion and intercepted a pass as Paynesville dominated BOLD, offensively and defensively, during the majority of a 26-13 win Saturday night. Thompson scored on a three-yard dive in the first quarter, then ran straight up the gut for 84 yards and another TD in the second quarter that put the Bulldogs ahead 12-
With an early start to the season, Willmar Cardinals football head coach Jon Konold and his staff will find out what kind of team they have much like everyone else in the stands. “That’s a hard question to answer this year,” said Konold, whose Cards open the 2015 season playing host to Buffalo at 7 p.m. today at Hodapp Field. Because of Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Gophers schedule issues at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota prep season started Aug.
The 2015 Paynesville football team knew the upcoming season would be tough, just by looking around their locker room and noticing who wasn’t there anymore. When they look outside those walls at who will be lining up to take them on beginning Aug. 22, the challenge looks even more daunting. The Bulldogs were 19-2 the two previous seasons, with both losses not coming until section championship games.
After a story-book start to his college baseball experience, Eddie Estrada found himself struggling, perhaps for the first time in his athletic life. The former Litchfield High School star, University of Minnesota recruit and current Willmar Stinger has veteran college coaches and NCAA Division I players as teammates to go to for help.