Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.
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Nate Dammann feels like he’s been living a baseball dream since 2007. The dream is about to get even better. Dammann, a 2000 MACCRAY graduate and the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen catcher for eight years, will catch the American League’s entrants in tonight’s Home Run Derby at Target Field. On Tuesday, he’ll be in the bullpen catching pitchers warming up for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. “I’m looking forward to it,” Dammann said. “I wish I could watch the game as a fan, just sit in the stands.
Eddie Estrada, Jr.
It would have come down to a coin flip. Check that: two coin flips. The Tribune’s Hengstler-Ranweiler Award was founded 54 years ago to honor each year’s best senior male athlete.
On the surface, 2014 could be looked at as a down year in area softball. Only seven of 18 Tribune-area teams finished the season with winning records.
BOLD got what it wanted: A crack at defending its Class A championship. This season, the Warriors took a route back to the state tournament that, in many ways, was familiar and in others a little off the beaten path. The 2013 champ will open its third-straight state tournament against Red Lake County at 10 a.m.
Area football programs likely won’t experience a completely different landscape in 2015, based on how the state’s new districting plan has been configured. The Minnesota State High School League announced its placement of 371 football teams into an 18-district alignment. The plan, which breaks up the traditional conference alignments, was conceived to aid schools having problems scheduling games.
Former Minnesota Twins closer Eddie Guardado appears pleased with his ceremonial first pitch during the Willmar Stingers 2014 home-opener on Thursday at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar. Guardado met with fans and spoke briefly to the new Stingers players and coaches in their dugout before the game. He donned a Stingers jersey and, after a few warmup pitches with Stinger pitcher T.J. Whidby in the outfield, made his familiar run in from the bullpen to throw out the pitch.
MONTEVIDEO — The Montevideo boys and girls track and field teams cruised to victories in the Section 3A Subsection 12 championships on Thursday at Montevideo High School. The Thunder Hawks boys scored 248.5 points, well ahead of second-place Yellow Medicine East (158 points) and third-place BOLD/BLHS (86.5). The T-Hawks girls team placed first with 214 points. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd was second with 172 points and BOLD/BLHS was third with 95. Montevideo’s Jack Spaeth won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and he place third in the Triple Jump.
If you see Jeff Tanner at a local sporting event, he won’t be sitting around by himself. The minute the long-time ACGC teacher and coach steps into a gym or onto a field, it’s a certainty he’ll have struck up a conversation with somebody he knows. Or they him. When the Falcons basketball team played a state tournament game in March, he got up from his seat to head up to the concourse.
Changes in high school football’s alignments and an expected dip in enrollment has MACCRAY exploring a move to 9-man football, at least temporarily. The school district’s board of education earlier this month was informed about the plan, which, if approved, would be effective for the 2015 season. The move is an attempt to keep the team competitive in prep football’s upcoming new environment, said Mike Dammann, MACCRAY’s athletic director and head football coach. In 2015, football conferences, as currently comprised, won’t exist under a “distr