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 six grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He self-publishes short stories in his spare time.
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JACKSON -- When Tom Hady says he's not going to play amateur baseball next year, in the back of your mind you're just not exactly sure he means it. But that's what the 43-year-old Jackson Bulls veteran says, anyway, believe him or not. "I'm not gonna play again next year," Hady said on the record this week. "It's time for some of these younger guys to play the role.
WINDOM -- In the spring, the Windom Eagles high school baseball team produced a season for the ages. For the first time since 1987, the once-dominant program qualified a team for the state tournament. In the summer, many of the younger players who toiled for those Eagles are getting much-needed playing time to develop into the leaders for 2014. The Windom American Legion team, coached by Doug Kneeland and Brad Schlomann, are a divided bunch. Players eligible for Legion ball with the most experience are doing much of their summer baseball duty playing in the amateur ranks.
WORTHINGTON -- For 32 years, Wayne Klumper brought families together as program director of the Worthington Area YMCA. Now, as Klumper works toward a lengthy recovery from a serious June 25 motorcycle accident, his many friends are rushing to his aid. A portion of money earned from the YMCA Fun Run, which Klumper helped create 31 years ago, will be used to help Klumper and his family with expenses as he recovers. Persons who pay the $23 sign-up fee for the July 31 event ($25 for non-members) will see $10 of it set aside. The YMCA is also taking donations for the family.
If only the Minnesota Timberwolves had had a few more competitive years in the historical record, they might have more die-hard fans today. As it is, I suspect many Wolves fans see themselves more as detached critics than invested fanatics.
WORTHINGTON -- Juan Flores is a very successful youth soccer coach. He's also a role model and a bridge between the cultures. But to Flores himself, he's just a lucky guy who was pointed in the right direction and a guy who, now that he's older, wants to give back. "All this that I'm doing here is my giving back to the community," said Flores Monday afternoon, just hours before his Worthington boys 17-and-under squad defeated Waseca 8-0 to improve its summer record to 8-0. Flores came to Worthington from Mexico at age 10, in 2002. "It was hard for me to adjust.
In Buffalo Grove, Ill., people are becoming increasingly concerned about unruly parents at youth ball games. So they've put up signs to remind them not to be jerks. "This is a game being played by children. If they win or lose every game of the season, it will not impact what college they attend or their future potential income," one of them reads. These kinds of reminders can't hurt. But let's face it, they're not going to stop every parent from getting a little carried away --or a lot.
WORTHINGTON -- In one tournament, Ken Duke became transformed from an obscure "journeyman" professional golfer to the celebrity of the moment. His weekend triumph in the Travelers Championship was exciting news to Worthington area golfers who remember him from his 1994 victory in the local Labor Day Golf Classic. "I remember him as a very young guy.
WORTHINGTON -- Last weekend in Eau Claire, Wis., Rich Lupkes won another national arm-wrestling championship. Let's see, how many is that now? "Oh, boy," the champ wondered when asked the question. "I think I've got maybe five world titles. I can't even tell you how many nationals I've won." His training partner, Erik Youngblom, answered the question for him. "I think it's 19." Lupkes entered his first local arm-wrestling competition in 1975. He weighed about 180 pounds at the time. Thirty-eight years later he has added considerably to his six-foot two-inch frame.
WORTHINGTON -- The Hershey's Track & Field Games is kind of friendly and laid-back. But for a friendly, laid-back event, it can lead to memories that last a lifetime. Last year, a boy who competed in the Worthington running of the Hershey meet -- Ammanuel Fissiha -- advanced all the way to the national competition in Hershey, Penn. You just never know what might happen. Hundreds of young athletes from around the region have the chance to strut their stuff at the 2013 Worthington Hershey's event Monday (June 17).
WINDOM -- Twenty-five years ago, if someone had told you that the Windom Eagles would go 26 seasons between state baseball tournament appearances, you would have said he was sniffing too many pine tar fumes. But the once-mighty Eagles have, indeed, wandered in the wilderness for more than a quarter of a century. Time was, Windom was synonymous with high school state tournament baseball. Head coach Jack Kelly (tenure 1960-1976) took teams to state in 1970 and 1976. Head coach Dean Jaacks (1977-2002) took the Eagles there in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 --five straight years.