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The Drill: Gilbertson's leadership pays dividends for Windom Area

WINDOM -- If you're lucky enough to have a Luke Gilbertson on your team, whether you're a coach or a teammate, you've got an excellent athlete and a leader.

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Luke Gilbertson of Windom Area High School is a leader in three sports. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WINDOM -- If you’re lucky enough to have a Luke Gilbertson on your team, whether you’re a coach or a teammate, you’ve got an excellent athlete and a leader.

Coaches will say that you can never get enough quality kids like that. And most coaches feel fortunate if they’ve got one.

Windom Area High School coaches in baseball, football and basketball have worked with Gilbertson in recent years, and in each sport the versatile Eagles performer -- now a senior -- has demonstrated on-field and on-court excellence as well as another quality not easily manufactured -- leadership.

Handsome, articulate and focused, Gilbertson has been a winning example for the Eagles in all three sports. Already in his senior year he has earned Globe All-Area honors as a quarterback on the football team, and he’s likely to move up from a 2017 honorable mention boys basketball selection to a higher grade if he continues helping his team improve this winter.

The Eagles began the 2017-18 basketball season with an impressive victory over Worthington, using strong and coordinated defense to get the job done. They followed that up with a victory over Section 3A finalist Westbrook-Walnut Grove, then beat a talented Pipestone Area team in the third game.

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Gilbertson makes an honest attempt not only to be a big contributor on the basketball court (he sees his quickness and passing ability as his best physical attributes) but also to be a strong leader. He has played competitive basketball since the fourth grade, and this year marks his fourth year on the Windom Area varsity squad.

The Globe interviewed Gilbertson for an installment of The Drill. You can access the interview and video footage online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: As a senior All-Conference player for the Windom Eagles this basketball season, how do you see your role on the team? What are you trying to do to make your teammates better?

ANSWER: “My role on the team here is kind of a leadership role. I’ve taken that on throughout football and baseball and basketball. My job is to really push these guys, I think, and be with them when they have questions and try to help them out. I expect the same from them for me.”

Q: How have you matured as a player?

A: “I’ve really come a long way. Some of the older guys, a couple years older than me, taught me a lot growing up, especially as a seventh- and eighth-grader. Really let me know physically what the game takes to be where you need to be.”

Q: How has playing quarterback on the football team prepared you to be a floor leader for the basketball team, and where does baseball fit in?”

A: “Baseball is probably my favorite sport. There’s just the spring days and the hot summer nights. I stepped into the role of quarterback (on the football team) a couple of years ago and it really helped me take that leadership role, I think.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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