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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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.
WORTHINGTON -- Once upon a time in amateur baseball, everybody used aluminum bats. Pitchers cringed in fear of balls coming back at them five times faster than they could throw them to the plate. Purists in the stands cringed at the sound of the "ping." It sounded so unsatisfying. Team managers shrugged, acknowledging that at least the aluminum bats lasted longer, which was good for the budget. Players (most of them, at least) smiled.
WORTHINGTON -- The spring boys tennis season has been a breeze for the Luverne Cardinals, but now the real action begins. Today at 2 p.m. at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis, the Section 3A champion Cards play Mound Westonka in the state tournament. LHS went undefeated as a team during the regular season, but nothing ever comes easy at the state level. The individual portion of the tournament begins Thursday.
WORTHINGTON -- Jared Keaveny, who for the past seven years has headed the program at Campbell-Tintah Public Schools in Campbell, Minn., has been hired to be the new varsity boys basketball coach at Worthington High School. Keaveny takes over for Ron Vorwald, who retired after 24 years of leading the Trojans. A 1999 graduate of Wahpeton High School in North Dakota, Keaveny attended the North Dakota School of Science and graduated with an AA degree in 2002.
WILLMAR -- Kate Lesnar double bogeyed her first hole Thursday at the Seciton 3AA golf tournament. But rather than a sign of bad things to come, it was only a tiny bump in the road at Eagle Creek in Willmar. Lesnar finished her day with an 18-hole total of 80 strokes --good enough for second place in the girls field and a berth in the state tournament. The Worthington senior will compete in her third straight state meet June 11-12 at Ridges at Sand Creek near Jordan.
SIBLEY, Iowa -- Ty Hanna, a junior from Sibley-Ocheyedan High School, struggled with his golf game during much of the 2013 spring season. His short game was out of whack, and according to his coach, it didn't begin to improve significantly until late. Then, as the sectional and district competitions were under way, Hanna's game got better. "He started to see things coming around in sectionals," said Sibley-Ocheyedan coach Rick Braby. Braby worked with Hanna on shortening his swing and accelerating through the ball.
WORTHINGTON -- For high school sports teams, this is the time of year when optimism is both desired and necessary.
WINDOM -- If you didn't know any better, you'd probably think Windom Area head baseball coach Brad Schlomann doesn't know Brandon Thongvivong's talents as intimately as he should. In reality, however, nobody knows them better. So why, then, did Schlomann wait until Saturday -- during the Section 3A tournament -- to give Thongvivong his first pitching start of the spring baseball season? Because, usually, Thongvivong is needed so desperately elsewhere. "If I had nine of him, that would be awesome," Schlomann said Monday, after Thongvivong threw a no-hitter against Edgerton/Southwest Christi