Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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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.
WILLMAR — Ickey Woods’ time on life’s center stage has always been fleeting but the impressions he’s left live on seemingly forever. Woods’ career with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals lasted just four years but he had a spectacular rookie season in 1988, rushing for more than 1,000 yards, scoring 15 touchdowns and leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl. And, of course, he invented the iconic “Ickey Shuffle” touchdown dance. Woods doing the “Shuffle” in a deli commercial for Geico this year was just 30 seconds, but the ad may be one of the most famous in TV history. “I’ve been fortunate
It was with immense pleasure that Minnesota Timberwolves fans watched the New York Knicks’ faithful booing and crying — while taking selfies of themselves crying, of course — when Phil Jackson drafted Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 during Thursday’s 2015 NBA Draft. Poor babies. Porzingis is only one of this year’s widely prized prospects.
Striving for perfection makes Tigers’ Reimers a 3-sport star