Mom set tone for longtime coach

He has mellowed, somewhat, in his sixties. Looking rearward, Jon Horning concedes that playing for him was no bed of roses. "I could be a tough SOB," he said before junior high tennis practice on Monday. "I wasn't always very nice." He's been at ...

He has mellowed, somewhat, in his sixties. Looking rearward, Jon Horning concedes that playing for him was no bed of roses.

"I could be a tough SOB," he said before junior high tennis practice on Monday. "I wasn't always very nice."

He's been at it since 1961 when he took a social studies job with three coaching assignments at Brooten.

"But I think the kids I've coached got something positive from it, otherwise I wouldn't be getting this honor," he said.

Horning is one of four inductees into the seventh class of the Cardinal Pride Hall of Fame.


An edgy personality was nourished in a family of nine children in Watertown, S.D. His dad died when he was in elementary school.

"I think I got (the toughness) mainly from my mom," he continued. "She raised us and didn't re-marry. She expected a lot from us. I was pushed in high school, which I'm thankful for, though maybe I didn't think it was such a great thing at the time."

Harriet Horning's tough-love and tenaciousness took the widow to unexpected heights. She was elected state auditor, the first woman to reach high office in South Dakota.

What must have been a similar no-nonsense pugnacity marked her son's coaching style.

"I never asked anything of an athlete I wouldn't expect from myself. My goal was to make them not necessarily a better athlete but a better person," he said.

Jon went to St. Thomas Academy, then South Dakota State and the University of Colorado for graduate studies. He and his wife Terry, now married 48 years, came to Willmar in 1974 where they raised eight children. A son, J.D., died in 2005.

While he has coached football, wrestling, tennis and track, and his rich baritone voice enriches baseball games at Taunton Stadium, his name will forever be linked to the 1987 baseball team he coached that won the big-school state title with a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh at the Metrodome.

It's just a guess but that one was for Harriett.


Soccer gets boost

Dropping varsity status for the Ridgewater College soccer team doubled the numbers, as coach Edel Fernandez predicted. The club team had 21 players -- about half of them part-time students -- when it hosted Crossroads College of Rochester on Monday, a 7-1 win.

Fernandez is putting together a new schedule now that the team won't be playing in the Iowa conference.

Games already lined up include Indian Hills (Iowa) CC, Dakota County, Iowa Central, UM-Morris JV and Century College.

Barta settles in

Joel Barta, the new baseball coach at the college, is holding daily practices through September with up to 26 players. Justin Koenen (MACCRAY) and Justin Schroeder (ACGC) are the only returnees from the state and region championship team.

Hired in August, the North Dakota native spent the last two years as head coach University of Texas-Brownsville.

Starting from ground zero means more opportunity for incoming freshmen and second-year students who didn't make the team last year. There's also the possibility of adding players for spring term enrollments.


Barta's teaching duties include three sections of weightlifting, outdoor activities and recreation class and a golf class.

A busy coach

Concordia College head football coach Terry Horan has some important business in Collegeville on Saturday, but he plans to be in Willmar on Friday afternoon for the Pep Fest, HOF banquet and the first half of the homecoming game.

Then, he will drive back to Moorhead. The Cobbers' team bus leaves for the 1 p.m. game at St. John's University at 8:15 a.m. Saturday.

"This is a great honor," he said of his selection. "I have many fond memories of Willmar and am very proud of being a Cardinal. The area means a lot to me; our recruiting makes that obvious. "

On the fly

? College golfers played at the Worthington Country Club on Saturday. Lady Warrior Kari Rosengren was Division III medalist with a 91. Warriors' Cody Kinney shot 93 and Troy Williams 95.

? The Ridgewater Homecoming tailgate party and football game drew 441 fans Saturday evening, according to the athletic department.


? Mike Dunham, freshman quarterback at Concordia, is battling for the third spot on the roster behind senior starter Jesse Nelson (Minnetonka) and sophomore Kent Johnson (Litchfield). Dunham made the trip to Willamette (Ore.) College.

? Minnesota State Moorhead junior Mary Sussenguth is listed as a 6-1 starter on the Dragons volleyball team (6-6).

? St. Cloud Apollo, which is coached by former Ridgewater College football player Jon Benson (Atwater), won at Alexandria for the first time in 17 years, 30-25.

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