LOCAL SPORTS NOTEBOOK Wentworth attempts to fill big skates at Duluth East

Former Rochester Mayo hockey player Todd Wentworth, 42, was named head coach of the Duluth East boys hockey team. Wentworth, a sales manager for KBJR-TV in Duluth, replaces coach Mike Randolph, whose controversial dismissal as Duluth East head coach has grabbed endless headlines.

After graduating from Mayo, Wentworth moved to Duluth to study management at St. Scholastica. He was a youth hockey coach in Duluth for 14 years before he became East's junior varsity coach two seasons ago. Last winter, his JV team was 24-1.

"I have a lot of respect for what Mike did with the program," Wentworth told the Duluth News-Tribune. "During Mike's tenure, hockey in Duluth was at the forefront."

Randolph faced mixed emotions. "It's a sad day for me, and a good day for Todd," Randolph said. "I tried to prepare for this, but it still hits you hard. It brings some closure to next season. I will still coach somewhere, but it won't be at East. Basically, I have to wait until my grievance runs its course."

U.S. Army specialist Kirby Oaks, a student at Crossroads College in Rochester, returned home from Baghdad on Sunday. In April, Oaks was one of a handful of Minnesotans who threw out the honorary first pitch at the Twins' home opener via satellite from the Middle East.


In an ideal scenario, the Rochester A's would face Excelsior in the state championship of the American Legion state baseball tournament Aug. 7-10 in Rochester. Excelsior received 134 points and is ranked No. 1 in the latest coaches/media poll. The A's received 131 points and are ranked No. 2 in the poll. Excelsior received eight first-place votes; the A's received seven first-place votes.

• Jon; Barbier is the new high school girls basketball coach at St. Charles. Barbier was previously a head coach in Dickinson, N.D.,. He then served as Terry Knothe's assistant for three years with the St. Charles boys basketball program. Jason Perry, who coached the girls team last season, will remain as the Saints head football coach.

Kasson-Mantorville grad Tiffany Reber was one of eight Wisconsin-Stout gymnasts that won All-American academic awards by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches.

• Steve; Smith of Eagle Eye Photos, based in Minneapolis, was at Maple Valley Golf Club in Rochester on Wednesday. From a helicopter flown by Ken Schoenfelder of Rochester, Smith photographed every hole at Maple Valley and will assist in creating hole description signs for every hole. Smith's work can be seen at Lake City Country Club and Pine Island Golf Course.

Previous winners of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship that Rochester Lourdes golfer Brian Larson is competing in this week include Tiger Woods, Corey Pavin, Nick Price and Craig Stadler. Golfers from 22 countries are in the tournament that runs from Wednesday through Aug. 3 at the PGA National Resort &; Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The Rochester Honkers are in a stretch where they have just one home game (last Sunday against Waterloo) in 14 days. Their current seven-game, eight-day road trip included a game at Waterloo (Iowa) on Monday, two at Wausau (Wis.) on Wednesday and today, two in Duluth on Friday and Saturday, then two more in St. Cloud on Sunday and Monday. The Honkers' next home game is Tuesday against Thunder Bay.

• Tim; Welke, who broke his foot earlier this year, returned to the Class B amateur Rochester Royals last weekend and pitched out of the bullpen in both games against Austin and Eau Claire (Wis.). Royals manager Jeff Milene said Welke will be the team's closer.…; Because Mankato canceled their season, the Royals' fan appreciation night is Saturday at 6 p.m. against Austin at Mayo Field.

Troy Young's local sports notebook runs every Thursday and Saturday. He can be reached at

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