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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WINDOM -- Whenever ace right-hander Collin Lovell takes the mound in a Windom Pirates game, confidence oozes out from him to the rest of the team. “When he’s on the mound, we believe we can beat anyone,” says player-coach Nick Kulseth. The tall, angular Lovell was a solid pitcher during his high school days at Windom. What he’s learned at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., however, has taken him to a new level.
WORTHINGTON -- If the professional golfers touring the GreatLIFE Worthington course dominate it, says local golf pro Cory Pelzel, they’ll be falling all over themselves to take it on again. “They all talk to each other,” Pelzel said Thursday, which was a practice day for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday pro/am event in Worthington. If the course plays easy, he said, “we’re gonna have it packed next year. We will have a waiting list started.”
WORTHINGTON -- It’s enough to make George Halas roll over in his grave. Heads Up Football, a program introduced in 2012 through an NFL youth development initiative and USA Football, is now embraced by more than 7,000 youth and high school programs. And it throws everything your father taught you about tackling out the window. Imagine Chicago Bears middle linebacker Dick Butkus, or Green Bay’s Ray Nitschke, taking on a bruising NFL running back head-on, burying his head in the runner’s torso, then reaching around to pick up his legs and land him on his back.
My grandchildren are at the age where they’re beginning not just to play sports, but also notice the professional stars of the sports they’re playing. The other day I caught myself wondering which superstar they’ll want to emulate -- which role model they’ll nuzzle up to. I attended last Saturday’s major league game between the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers in Minneapolis. My grandson, Jake, who is 7, was with us as the Twins celebrated the 30th anniversary of their 1987 World Series championship.
WORTHINGTON -- On Thursday morning, 10-year-old Moe Erdman made his first attempt at rock climbing at the Worthington Area YMCA. He is a natural. Without a stumble, he made it all the way to the top, and when he finished even talked to a reporter about it. “What I like about climbing is that you gotta work your muscles and take your time,” he said, sounding like a pro.
Progress is in the eye of the beholder, and I think that’s the proper way to appraise the Minnesota Vikings’ decision to move their training camp from Mankato to Eagan beginning in 2018.
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington VFW baseball team split a pair of games with Tracy this summer, but Tracy won the most recent meeting, 7-6, in a conference matchup. Because of that, Tracy will go into today’s District 3 tournament game as the No. 4 seed while Worthington is No. 5. Game time is 6 p.m. in Tracy.
To Avery Wysong, a vital member of the 16U South Dakota Renegades, fast-pitch softball is more than just a game. “Our team has a motto, that ‘Nobody said it’d be easy, they just said it’d be worth it.’ … I kind of look at softball as my second family,” said the Hills-Beaver Creek High School student-athlete, who will be a senior in the fall.
Baseball is many things. And enjoyability is a major element. The Windom Pirates amateur team is feeling pretty good right now. That’ll happen when you’re 7-2 and riding a five-game winning streak. “We’re having fun. We’ve got a nice group of young guys playing well together,” said player-coach Nick Kulseth on Thursday. “They’re hustling. Things are just clicking this year.”
I went to the Minnesota state girls softball tournament in North Mankato last week, and on the following Saturday followed that up with an appearance at the state track and field meet in St. Paul. I thought it was interesting that, before each tournament began, a statement was broadcast in support of a Minnesota State High School League initiative to foster good feelings. “Sportsmanship and fair play is WHY WE PLAY,” fans were reminded.