Marshall soccer team going strong
THUMBS UP: World Cup fever might have subsided for another four years, but soccer is still going strong this summer in Marshall. On Monday, the Marshall 16-and-under soccer team cruised past the Keliix Intra Soccer Club out of Hopkins, 4-1, to earn a trip to the state tournament, which begins July 24 in Coon Rapids. Marshall finished the season with a 13-2 overall record. Soccer is a sport that garnered plenty of attention in the United States when the Americans made an impressive run in the World Cup, but after the U.S. lost to Ghana, that spotlight faded and the sport has returned to relative obscurity. However, in Marshall, this group of teens is still going strong and should be recognized for what they've accomplished this summer. Good luck at state.
No slowing them down
THUMBS UP: Brett Favre is still running onto the football field in his 40s. Forty-year-old Mike Modano will probably lace up his skates for one more year. More and more athletes are trying to prolong their playing days as much as possible and get as much out of their bodies as they can. You can add Randy Kamrath to that list. Kamrath of Canby is 56 and is playing summer ball with the Canby Knights amateur baseball team this year. That's quite an accomplishment for this long-time softball player. On May 23, Kamrath, wearing No. 56, started at first base for the Knights, taking the field with his son, who started in right field. Our hats are off to Kamrath, as well as 83-year-old Val Blair of Marshall, who last month recorded a hole-in-one at Savannah Oaks Golf Club. These two, like Favre and Modano, are proving that age is nothing but a number.
THUMBS DOWN: The most prominent gubernatorial candidates are keeping their names in the news this summer as they should, given it's an election year. But it's not exactly what voters deserve, or even want to hear. This month's topic du jour revolves around tip credits and minimum wage. GOP candidate Tom Emmer by now has the taste of his shoe sole out of his mouth after suggesting that businesses be allowed to factor server tips into the minimum wage - an idea he says was misinterpreted and taken out of context by the media. Emmer's stance on tips and minimum wage is confusing at the least. The Dems, meanwhile, countered, with Margaret Anderson Kelliher coming out in support of bumping the minimum wage up. Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza said they, too, would be in favor of boosting the minimum wage. All this talk about the minimum wage and tip credits has, for now, made us all forget about the big fish that needs to be fried - the ballooning deficit this state faces heading into 2011. The candidates need to address the massive deficit and deal with the minimum wage and tip credit issue, and the media has a responsibility to report on it - we need to make sure that sometime before the election these candidates are called to task on the state's budget. For or against him, at least Marty Seifert outlined his ideas for doing so. In fact, he did in way back in March. It's time the remaining major party candidates do the same.