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Wolter: On Stoesz, AP, and other random thoughts

Bits and pieces from the cluttered mind of the sports editor: Stoesz getting it done for MLA Big high school football game on Friday: 2-1 Hills-Beaver Creek at 3-0 Mountain Lake Area. It's coming one week after MLA senior quarterback Levi Stoesz ...

Bits and pieces from the cluttered mind of the sports editor:

Stoesz getting it done for MLA Big high school football game on Friday: 2-1 Hills-Beaver Creek at 3-0 Mountain Lake Area.

It’s coming one week after MLA senior quarterback Levi Stoesz had a remarkable performance in the team’s 56-24 win over Madelia. Stoesz rushed 14 times for 334 yards and four touchdowns. He completed two of four passes for 104 yards. He scored a TD on a blocked punt and scored another on a safety.

Wolverines head coach says Stoesz has always been an exceptional athlete. But he wasn’t satisfied with that.

“A couple of years ago he started to buy into getting stronger and faster,” Tim Kirk said.

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Through his training regimen, Stoesz has added another 10 pounds of muscle without losing speed. And he’s having a monster season after a 2015 campaign that caused him to miss a couple of games with a broken fibula. He bounced back from it, but was unable to return to 100 percent effectiveness.

MLA has beaten Fulda 28-14, Nicollet 64-19 and Madelia 56-24 so far this year, but on Friday the Wolverines will face their biggest test yet. Hills-Beaver Creek is very talented (its only loss was to an outstanding Cleveland team, 35-34, in Week Two) and probably hasn’t forgotten the fact that MLA handed it its only regular season setback in 2015, 32-20.

Outside of Stoesz, the Wolverines are a fairly inexperienced squad, and Kirk is concerned that his team hasn’t been tested for four quarters.

“We’ve just gotta find out how to compete against the elite teams,” said the coach, adding, “We’ve got to find ways to score because we can’t just let Levi do it all.”

It’s always better with AP I wasted a little bit of my time in front of a television set on Tuesday (I don’t know why I do these things) listening to a couple of ESPN geniuses disagree on the significance of Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson’s meniscus tear suffered during the Sunday night game with Green Bay.

One of them said the Vikings are better off without Peterson, who had averaged just 1.6 yards per carry during the first two games of the season. It didn’t seem to matter to the ESPN “analyst” that Peterson led the league in rushing as recently as last season. He’s just not so good any more, he said.

Vikings fans, of course, know differently. And so do opposing NFL coaches. Peterson has had sub-par games before. All NFL running backs do. The fact is that he has never had sub-par seasons. He’s as likely to follow up a poor performance one week with a 120-yard performance the next week as any back in the league -- even now, if not for the injury.

Watching Peterson run prior to the injury is just like watching him run during any other season. He still runs with the same tenacity as before. And any time he’s in the backfield rival defenses have to devote an inordinate amount of their energies into holding him in check. Without a doubt, without Peterson in the backfield on Sunday, Carolina’s job becomes much easier.

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Runners still will run at Prairie View I counted 38 inches of copy that the Daily Globe devoted to previewing the 2016 Turkey Trot cross country race in the Sept. 15 issue. Alas, the event was canceled due to heavy rains and lightning that lit the sky throughout the afternoon of the 15th.

Last Thursday was the be the 49th running of the Trot. The decision to cancel wasn’t made easily.

Some have questioned whether the event couldn’t have been postponed to another date, perhaps limited to a smaller number of teams (four or five, maybe) which couldn’t have adjusted their schedules. Worthington High School athletic director Josh Dale, however, said the calendar worked against him.

“The issue is that you don’t want to take teams away from other competitions,” he said.

Friday, the 16th, might have been an option, he said. But the WHS football team was hosting a homecoming game. Maybe if the game had been away and not at home, there would have been a chance.

So the Turkey Trot is gone for 2016. But cross country is not off the table for Worthington this season.

On Oct. 18, Worthington will host the Big South Conference meet at the same Prairie View course the Turkey Trot was scheduled to be run on. So local cross country fans will still get the chance to see their Trojans run on local turf.

Nice.

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Other things --- There are 11 games remaining for the Minnesota Twins in the 2016 season. They will almost surely finish with the worst record in the major leagues. It appears certain that they will lose at least 100 games. Perhaps they can muster up a little incentive, however, to try to avoid matching the 60-102 record they posted in their worst season ever, 1982. Hard to think of that as much of a rallying cry, however.

--- Carson Wentz, the former North Dakota State standout quarterback, has played two marvelous games to begin his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, it’s hard for some NFL watchers to give him the credit he is due, in part because his first two opponents, Cleveland and Chicago, are not very good. Here’s my point: I saw Wentz react like a seasoned veteran when the Bears, numerous times, sent pass-rushers crashing into his facemask. The kid is impressive whichever way you look at it.

--- Interesting high school volleyball match on tap for tonight, with Pipestone Area at Worthington. Both teams hoped to be able to crack the upper echelons of the Big South Conference this year, but the performances have been spotty. PA is 10-3 overall following a 3-1 record Saturday in the Jackson County Tournament, but last Thursday the Arrows were turned back in four games by conference rival Windom Area. Worthington is coming off a 3-0 victory over a good Red Rock Central team. Both squads are looking to get on a roll.

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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Friday night high school sports roundup: