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Sportsline: Carrington honored by USCA

This author has been named by the United States Curling Association as the 2011 recipient of the Bruce Bennett Media Award for his dedication in helping the sport grow, not only in Bemidji but across the United States.

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This author has been named by the United States Curling Association as the 2011 recipient of the Bruce Bennett Media Award for his dedication in helping the sport grow, not only in Bemidji but across the United States.

Bemidji is generally recognized as the curling capitol of the nation with a steady stream of national champions and international competitors from the junior to senior ranks.

Its Pete Fenson rink is the only U.S. rink to ever earn an Olympic medal, taking the bronze in 2006.

The award honors Bruce Bennett of the Duluth News-Tribune who captured the many aspects of curling, the people, the competitiveness, strategy and skills of the sport.

He was responsible for generating interest in the sport and expanding the curling community throughout the curling world.

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He covered local, national and world curling during his long career including four World Championships and one Olympic trial.

The award is presented to those who exemplify Bennett's sustained journalistic skills for promoting the sport.

It has been awarded only five other times.

This author began covering the sport shortly after joining the Pioneer in 1959 when the four-lane Curling Club was located at 5th and America Avenue, site of the present Northland Apartments.

It later expanded to six lanes, then moved to its present West 23rd Street location coupled with the Neilson-Reise Arena.

Notice of the award was released by Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications for the USCA in Stevens Point, Wis.

Fargo's Chris Coste has ended his professional baseball career and returned to Concordia College where he will become associate head coach with Bucky Burgau.

He played his last Major League game in 2009 with Houston.

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The three-time All-American played for Burgau in 1993-95.

Coste underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 and had hoped to resume his career this year.

But he was unable to make an independent pro team such as the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for whom he played in 1998-99 before going on to higher-level ball, playing four major League seasons with Philadelphia and Houston.

He played amateur ball this summer but was bothered by a series of injuries which caused him to retire.

He is viewed as a potential successor to Burgau who has guided the Cobbers since 1979.

Sophomore Lynn Astrup has become the latest Warroad hockey player to commit to North Dakota for her college career, beginning in the 2013-14 season.

She joins four teammates headed to Grand Forks: Layla Marvin and Shelly Amslie-Benzie who will be freshmen this fall and Lisa Marvin and Kayla Gardner who begin their college careers in 2012.

The newly formed Bemidji Youth Football League will begin drills Monday at 4 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club.

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It is designed for all area youngsters in grades three through five and no player will be turned away.

Those who have not yet registered may do so Monday at 3 p.m. Cost of the six-week program is $95.

For further information contact director Wes Hegna.

Park Christian High of Moorhead will be the newest football team in the area this fall.

The Falcons have played in a co-op with Fargo Oak Grove for the past 12 years but will go it alone this fall.

They will play 9-man ball.

The head coach is Dan Kowalski, a former Oak Grove assistant who is familiar with most of the players.

The Falcons open on the road Sept. 1 at Goodridge-Grygla and inaugurate their new home field a week later against Ulen-Hitterdal.

Waite Park's stay at the Cal Ripken 12-year-old national 70-foot baseball tournament ended when it fell to Clifton Park, NY. 11-1 at Aberdeen, Md. in its fourth start.

It finished 2-2 in pool play and failed to advance to the title bracket.

The St. Cloud area team ended 36-4.

The East Twins of Maplewood took the state 60-foot baseline title at Baxter, the division in which Bemidji competed.

The City Bowling League will hold its organizational meeting Tuesday at 7:30 at the Bemidji Bowl. Contact Dick Robinson, team secretary, at 444-8992 or 760-6465.

This edition marks the last for The Sportsline.

It was created in 1980 shortly after the death of the legendary sports columnist Cliff Morlan (1942-79) containing many of the items used in his 37-year daily column.

It was the eighth and final weekly column of this writer to remain alive. The other columns included the fall Football and Volleyball Roundups, the winter Boys' Basketball and Girls Basketball Roundups, Hockey Highlights, Mat Chatter and the spring Baseball Roundup.

It has been a long, lonely but rewarding ride through our 53 years.

We joined the Pioneer from KBUN in 1959 as news editor and photographer and quickly originated the local sports section as a second job.

Previously the only local coverage came through Morlan's daily column. The second job quickly also grew to a 40-hour task which continued until the past year.

Covering Bemidji sports has been a true pleasure with the high school dominating the area in the single division years but finding state trips far less frequent with expansion into three to six divisions.

Reaching the state, however, has become far more difficult and far more meaningful as time wore on.

We have covered three generations of athletes from their pre-school days in summer track to their senior and even super senior years in golf, curling, softball and hockey.

While a steady stream of stars and super stars has been a delight to watch, including major league stars such as Gary Sargent, Brian Hickerson and Bill Israelson plus a steady number of college performers, we would be remiss if not including the large number of team players who lingered through their full high school careers as reserves, mostly for their love of the game.

These are the true heroes of sports.

One top highlight of our stay was the 31 seasons as owner-manager of the Bemidji Braves from 1963-93 and our long association with Bemidji Youth Baseball.

We have seen the Lumberjacks program grow from six to 24 varsity programs taking in more than 100 teams through their feeder systems.

We have diligently tried to cover all of them in some form or another.

BSU also rose from six sports to 24 sports under Harry Fritz and his successors though sadly fallen back to 13 due to the increased cost of Title IX and the move to ultra expensive Division I in two sports.

Hopefully that trend can be reversed.

We hope to continue our association with sports through other means, perhaps through the school district or youth sports programs or both.

In any event, we will be present at local events as a No. 1 spectator.

Our particular appreciation goes to the readers who have provided constant support and encouragement through the years. Your friendship has been deeply appreciated.

And in the words of my beloved friend Cliff Morlan, Go You Jacks and God Bless You All.

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