Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.
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WORTHINGTON -- It goes in the books as a split -- one well-played game won by Minnesota West and another one that got out of the barn early and roamed free all over the countryside. One day after dropping two at home to MState-Fergus Falls 13-5 and 5-2, the Lady Jays fast-pitch softball team defeated visiting Ridgewater 7-3 in Game 1 Saturday at the local college field, then lost Game 2 by a 20-1 score in five innings.
There are a lot of grownups who don’t understand Twitter. But Rafe York, track and field coach at Jackson County Central High School, has it down. And because he’s willing to push the envelope a bit, he’s making the sport more fun for his athletes. Here’s a sample:
WORTHINGTON -- For their first softball doubleheader of the season, the Worthington Trojans learned that they need to work on their staying-power. Marshall came to town on Tuesday and swept the Trojans, 5-3 in seven innings and 15-0 in four. The first game was well-played. The second game, not so much. Head coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka chalked it up, partially at least, the length of the Trojans’ afternoon. They started at 4:30 and finished at 7:30, and it appeared after falling behind in the second game that the players lost their focus at times.
WINDOM -- Softball’s loss is track and field’s gain. Windom Area eighth-grader Delaney Smith was lured away from softball and into the track and field sphere prior to her seventh-grade year. It turned out alright for her -- she placed fifth in the section in the shot put. A year later, Smith is enjoying track and winning shot put and discus events, all the while hoping to reach the next rung of the ladder before she enters high school.
WORTHINGTON -- From 35 years working as a coach at Worthington High School, Rich Liapis has stored away a treasure-trove of memories. One of his favorites happened when he was assisting the girls basketball team under Don Kuiper. The Trojans were struggling through a particularly troublesome first half in Pipestone, and the coaches were frustrated at the girls’ effort. Kuiper, whose demeanor was usually calm in these situations, turned to his assistants and asked a question.
WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota West coaches were smiling broadly Thursday, and for good reason. An installment of incoming athletes was introduced in the commons area of the Worthington campus, representing baseball, football and women’s basketball. And they were all from the area.
BY DOUG WOLTER Daily Globe sports editor I suspect that when District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard said last weekend that if a new facility for the Worthington High School gymnastics program isn’t found, it will be cut, he meant to scare people into action. If so, it had better work.
WORTHINGTON -- Their short games helped Worthington’s Nathoe Vorasane and Adrian’s Alexia Kemper to medalist rounds Tuesday at the Worthington Country Club. Vorasane shot a 37, two strokes better than teammate Jacob Prunty’s 39, to win the boys’ three-team competition. Kemper carded a 39 in the girls’ meet, easily better than runner-up Anneke Weg of Worthington, who shot a 46.
WORTHINGTON -- It was an easy choice for Ahmitara Alwal to choose Rochester Community and Technical College as her next academic location. She has lots of family in the area. She loves the town. And the college women’s basketball program appears to be a perfect fit. “The coach, he’s more defensive-minded. And I love defense, and that’s a perfect setting for me,” said Alwal, who on Tuesday at the Worthington High School media center signed on to play for the school while her parents, high school teammates, and Rochester head coach Steve Hucke looked on.
WORTHINGTON -- If only they’d managed a clutch hit in the opener, the Minnesota West softball team might have swept visiting Riverland Tuesday in the Lady Jays’ first games of the 2017 season. As it turned out, the home-standing Jays settled for a split, winning the second game 6-4 behind a solid Brooklyn Barnett pitching performance after getting eclipsed in the first game 3-2. All in all, a good day for a team consisting of only 10 players against a Riverland team that had already played half a dozen games this spring.