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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WORTHINGTON — A coach’s job is to push players past their comfort levels, to challenge them to give all they’ve got. Minnesota West volleyball coach Marie Johnson is fortunate this year. She’s getting extra help to push her players to excel — from the players themselves. “The goal is definitely to make it to regionals, and then working toward getting to nationals,” Johnson said Monday afternoon. “The girls have it in their minds that they want to get to nationals.
WORTHINGTON -- Nobody went away disappointed in Worthington's 3-0 volleyball sweep of Fulda Friday night. In the season opener for both teams, the Trojans were understandably happy with their victory. After a slow start, they exhibited an undeniable consistency, winning each game by identical 25-18 scores. Fulda head coach Jennifer Tiesler said she was pleased, too, in that the Raiders played a better season opener than they'd played in years.
Could this be the year the Southwest Christian Eagles lose their volleyball grip on the Red Rock Conference? And could Westbrook-Walnut Grove be the team that climbs that top rung? Southwest Christian won its second straight conference title in 2012, but the Eagles enter 2013 with some important injury concerns. W-WG, on the other hand, returns its supremely talented 5-10 hitter Dayna Comnick, who earned first-team Daily Globe All-Area honors as a junior.
LUVERNE — The Luverne Redbirds amateur baseball team has been waiting … and waiting … for their first appearance this year in the state Class C tournament. It has been two weeks since the Redbirds last played a game. That’s what can happen when you win a Region 13C tournament. You get a state tournament bye. And you wait. The patient Redbirds will finally get on the field Friday against the Midway Snurdbirds, who defeated Upsala 4-1 in the first round of the state tourney on Aug. 17.
Hardly a year begins in Southwest Conference volleyball when a team from the northern tier isn't looming menacingly above the rest. History has decided that the Marshall Tigers simply must be accounted for. Not only the conference power for decades, the Tigers have also been a powerful force in the state for decades. They were again in 2012, making their 24th appearance in the state tournament. Last year, they not only appeared; they won the championship, beating Caledonia in the Class AA finals three games to one.
WORTHINGTON -- The 2013 Worthington Trojans girls tennis team has talent, says head coach Mike Marquardt. His job is to get them to believe it, too. "I truly feel that we have to break through the mental barriers. The girls are starting to understand that they are good. And I think that's a huge part of it," said the veteran coach. The Trojans didn't exactly broadcast their talent to the rest of the high school girls tennis world last fall. They posted a 4-13 record.
MAPLE LAKE -- The winning run crossed the plate on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Wilmont's state Class C amateur baseball tournament run was over Friday after just one game. Clear Lake defeated the Cardinals 6-5 at Irish Stadium in Maple Lake, ending the southwest Minnesota team's season. "We definitely had our chances," said Wilmont starting pitcher Justin Saufley. "That's why it stings a little more than in the past."
LUVERNE -- For two Southwest Conference girls tennis teams, the time has come to shake off the summer dust and step into the fall. The Luverne Cardinals begin their 2013 season Saturday at home against Lac qui Parle Valley and United South Central. Pipestone Area will open Monday in Luverne in a triangular with Yellow Medicine East and the LHS Cards.
ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- Toby Lorenzen has no worries that when his high school football team plays its first game of the 2013 season Aug. 29, his players will be mugging for television. Fans, maybe, but not the players. When Lorenzen, head coach of the Central Lyon/George-Little Rock Lions, was asked if he's preparing his team slightly differently in the knowledge that the opener (at Rock Rapids) will be broadcast by the Iowa High School Sports Network, he said he wasn't at all. "We're just glad we're getting the exposure," he said this week.
WILMONT -- It's been working so far. Why change it? Justin Saufley will be on the pitcher's mound Friday when the Wilmont Cardinals play their first state amateur baseball tournament game against Clear Lake. Saufley's appearance on center stage is one reason for Cardinal fans to be confident. He's 7-2 for a team that's 21-7 on the season. But there are other reasons to be hopeful.