Learning more about Tiger greats

Published 9:21 am Monday, July 9, 2012

Column: Aaron Worm, Behind the Mic

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Aaron Worm

After getting a chance to talk to some of the Albert Lea Hall of Fame inductees over the last couple weeks, I could just tell how much they enjoyed their athletic career at ALHS. These inductees made memories for themselves and everyone that followed them that are still vivid to them today.

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Longtime cross country and track and field coach Jerry Kaphers talked about how he stressed to his team to always work hard and to outwork the other teams.

Kaphers mentioned that he had great athletes to work with. I always enjoy talking cross country; it was the most rewarding of the four high school sports I participated in.

I can barely run around the block without being winded, but back in high school a typical Saturday morning consisted of a 13-to 15-mile run.

Darrel Gavle, a fellow inductee and previous record holder in the shot put at ALHS, talked about what a great person coach Kaphers is. One thing about sports that contain a lot of running, besides being in great physical shape, you have to be mentally tough as nails, and I am sure Kapher’s teams always were.

One of the things I enjoy the most about talking to the inductees, is learning more about the great sports history of Albert Lea. Thanks to the Hall of Fame, I have gotten a chance to learn about the athletes that wore the cherry and blue before I was born.

I didn’t know that the hockey team used to play out at the fairgrounds until I talked with Ross Dahl. He said they would put boards over the ice to host farm shows at the fairgrounds.  Dahl explained that after Lea College closed in the early ’70s, the team played at the Lea College Field House, which became city arena, and now Roy Nystrom Arena. It was interesting to connect the dots.  Dahl was one of the first players to play for coach Nystrom, who has coached many Tigers in his 39 years in Albert Lea.

Before we moved to town in 2006, one of the last names I recognized was Woodside. I saw Ben play a few times in high school, but watched him from the other side of the scorer’s table covering Austin at that point. I had heard a lot about his grandpa, Jack Woodside, and got a chance to reminisce with him about basketball, and obviously how the game has changed a little since he played in the early 1950s.  Jack said he keeps close tabs on his grandson, as Ben has taken his game from North Dakota State to overseas.

Once again a thank you to the members of the Hall of Fame committee, and those that put together this event for the third year. Before the hall existed, my two major sources of Tiger history were the radio sports gurus of Tom Jones and Dave Gilbertson. Looking back in time, and honoring those athletes from the past, should make us all proud to be a part of Tiger athletics.


KATE Radio Sports Director Aaron Worm’s column appears each week in the Tribune. He can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. weekdays on The Breeze.