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Published October 07 2010

Clark: Behind a stout defense, Wheaton moving up polls

Anyone paying attention to the Associated Press 9-man poll can’t help but notice Wheaton.

Wheaton, now 5-0, entered last week No. 10 but is more than likely to move up following a 12-6 overtime win against No. 5 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

A number that could be more impressive is 24. That’s how many yards Wheaton’s defense gave up in the second half.

“We’ve just been playing good, solid run defense,” said Wheaton head coach Tony Thiel. “We usually play a 3-3 but we will change it up at times.”

Judging from the looks of things, there’s not much that needs to be changed.

Thiel is 91-46 in 14 seasons at Wheaton. His hope is to capture his 100th win this season.

He could pull that off if Wheaton wins its final three games against Hancock, Bertha-Hewitt and Ashby.

Take all that plus a defense that’s given up a touchdown a game, not bad for a team that went 6-3 a year ago.

“I just think it has to do with playing good defense,” Thiel said. “We had some kids that were returning. We had six on offense and on defense and it is helping a lot.”

Three of those players in defense are Wolfgang brink, Kevin Kauffman and Will McCarthy.

Thiel said those three have anchored the defense.

“I look at Kevin and you cannot knock him off his feet because he has such good balance,:” he said. “he is also a wrester too and has been to the state tournament for many years. He’s a tough kid.”

Detroit Lakes Hall of Honor to induct 5

The Detroit Lakes Hall of Honor will welcome five new inductees on Oct. 16.

The inductees are:

- Norris Johnson, a three-sport star that left early to serve in World War II.

- Wally Walbaum, who won two state titles in track. He also played football and basketball and later played football at the University of Minnesota.

- Ed Larson, who played football, basketball and track. He later played football at Army.

- Tom Evans, who played baseball, hockey and football.

- Anne (Schiller) Riddle, who played volleyball, basketball and ran track.

- The entire 1992 state champion football team.

Board member Mike Hagen said the Laker Athletic Association, the group responsible for the hall, started ten years ago.

The board started with the purpose of raising money for the future of Detroit Lakes athletics.

Years later, it added a goal of honoring the school’s past.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548