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NHRA drag racer Jason Line arrived in Wright on Tuesday night, happy to be back in his hometown after being gone a year. There wasn't a lot of time for small talk or seeing old friends. Instead, his older brother, Lance, promptly put him to work, tuning an engine until 12:30 a.m., then getting up at 5:30 a.m. that morning to test it, waking up the neighbors. "He's a glutton for punishment," said Greg Anderson, his Summit Racing teammate and a Duluth native. "But he still loves it."
Aug. 18, 2016, is a date which will live in infamy. The day the burger died. That would have been the likely date for the ninth annual Grill Wars, but with change taking place in the radio business, including the pending sale of KQDS, Grill Wars was put on hold. This year, Grill Wars is back, and it's bigger and better than ever.
Duluth Huskies general manager Greg Culver was busy helping out in the Kennel Klub last Friday at Wade Stadium, getting the beer taps set up for the Huskies' Northwoods League home finale. The day before a monsoon settled in over the Twin Ports, but the Huskies still managed to get the game in, with an announced crowd of 3,198. Friday's crowd, with good weather, was even better, with 4,039 tickets sold for the Huskies' 7-3 win over the Rochester Honkers. The fifth-largest home crowd in Huskies' history was treated to postgame fireworks.
As a long-tenured, full-time coach, Duluth Huskies manager Daniel Hersey was a rarity in the Northwoods League. Now, after eight seasons, Hersey, 35, has been let go, the club announced Monday. "We're going in a little different direction," owner Michael Rosenzweig said. "We're going back to having summertime-based coaches." Rosenzweig will retire from RBC Wealth Management at the end of October and will work with the Huskies full-time.
Minnesota Duluth volleyball coach Jim Boos tells his players about trips they can take each summer, but it is rare for anybody to take up the offer because it is expensive and time-consuming. Not Allison Olley. When Olley heard about the opportunity to compete in Brazil, she was all in. Olley is back to lead the Bulldogs this fall after competing in Brazil in late May and early June with USA Division II Volleyball Teams.
Minnesota Duluth offensive lineman Nolan Folkert said the preseason will feel weird this August now that the NCAA has ended two-a-day football practices. Fellow Bulldogs captain Jason Balts happened to be walking by and offered up a different opinion. "It's wonderful," Balts said.
Michael Lewis’ nonfiction book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” created a buzz in the baseball world when it was published in 2003. Like a lot of professional scouts, Duluth native Les Pajari was slow to accept the new analytical concepts laid out in the book, and some scouts feared for their jobs, thinking they’d be replaced by computer-wielding grads fresh out of college.
MANKATO, Minn. — Lori Patterson's father, Vern Parenteau, owned the Corner Bar in Bemidji, Minn., when the Minnesota Vikings held their summer training camp at Bemidji State from 1961 to 1965. "My dad is 88, and he'd tell me stories about how the players would come into the bar and raise hell and get crazy," Patterson said, laughing.
MANKATO, Minn. — Duluth native C.J. Ham flashed a big smile as he walked off the field on Monday after the first day of Minnesota Vikings training camp. What a difference a year makes. “It does,” Ham said. “A lot of things happen in one year.” Ham was wide-eyed and understandably more nervous in his first training camp last year as an undrafted rookie free agent from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Like most fathers, Bill Matzdorf is protective of his daughter, so when Jesica Matzdorf was stock car racing 10 years ago, dad took offense to some aggressive maneuvers by another driver, Kevin Burdick. Bill Matzdorf, a 35-year racing veteran, went so far as to have words with Burdick in the pits. Little did he know that Burdick would one day become his son-in-law, but that’s racin’. “Once the helmet’s on, you don’t have friends,” Burdick said.