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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I have a funny little rule regarding on-field football celebrations: If high school kids shouldn’t do it, then NFL players shouldn’t either. You know how it is in high school. Spontaneous celebrations are fine, but attempts to draw attention to one’s self are another thing entirely. I’m one of those stick-in-the-muds who believe that spiking the ball in the end zone is cool, but gyrating the hips while doing it is going too far. Call me old-fashioned. I admit it.
WORTHINGTON -- Emily Ahlquist describes herself as a very competitive person. But upon taking over the Worthington Trojans varsity girls soccer program five years ago, she soon learned that in order to be a successful coach she’d have to learn to curb her lofty ambitions. The Trojan soccer girls don’t measure success on the basis of wins and losses. If they did, they’d be miserable.
LUVERNE -- Several players on the 2017 Luverne VFW baseball team believe they have something to prove next week at the state tournament. And their head coach, Mike Wenninger, is behind them all the way -- pushing them to be the best they can be. “When you have a good play, he’ll give you a head nod. But even if you make the right play, he’ll keep riding you until it’s perfect. It’s actually a good thing,” said one of the team’s top players, Ben Serie.
Every time I drive past Oxford Bowl on my way to and from work, I give it a glance. And I think about how disappointing it is that it no longer does business. In a few months, Worthington will embark on another winter without bowling. And when I see today the empty Oxford Bowl forlornly looking out onto the city’s main thoroughfare running east and west across the community, I remember better times.
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.