Professional Sports

Duluth Native, Vikings Fullback CJ Ham to Wear Custom Cleats in Honor of His Mother

The cleats that will feature a portrait of his mother Tina, who is currently fighting pancreatic cancer.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Duluth native and Minnesota Vikings fullback CJ Ham will be wearing some special footwear during this weekend’s game against the Detroit Lions. Ham will be wearing custom cleats that will feature a portrait of his mother Tina, who is currently fighting pancreatic cancer. It’s for the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” program. Ham surprised his mom with…

Pro Wrestling Returns to Duluth with “Heavy Halloween 2”

Doors open at 4 p.m. and the action begins at 5 p.m.

DULUTH, Minn. – This Sunday, Heavy on Wrestling presents “Heavy Halloween 2” taking place at the Clyde Malting Building in Duluth. For fan favorite King Leonidas, he always looks forward to coming back to the Northland for its strong wrestling fanbase. “When the King returned from all his travels in all the countries around the world and first landed here…

Duluth Native CJ Ham Scores First Career Receving TD in Win Against Lions

The former Denfeld star caught a touchdown from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter that gave the Vikings a 27-21 lead.

DETROIT, Mich. – The Minnesota Vikings got a big win Sunday afternoon in Detroit, defeating the Lions 42-24. And Duluth native CJ Ham got to be part of the scoring frenzy The former Denfeld star caught a touchdown from Kirk Cousins in the third quarter that gave the Vikings a 27-21 lead. Ham and the Vikings will have a quick…

Former Bulldog, Wilderness Standout Billy Exell Signs with Wichita Thunder

The former UMD men's hockey assistant captain has signed with the Edmonton Oilers ECHL affiliate.

WICHITA, Kan. – Former UMD men’s hockey standout Billy Exell has been signed by the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL. The 24-year-old was a big part of the Bulldogs back-to-back national championship wins. And he also was a part of the Minnesota Wilderness back in 2015 who won the Robertson Cup in the NAHL. Exell played four years with UMD,…

“Haitian Temptation” Al Sands Set to Fight Next Month in Norway

Sands will take on IBO International Cruiserweight champion Kai Robin Havnaa.

DULUTH, Minn. – Al Sands has his next fight lined up and once again, he’s going overseas. According to Team Sauerland Boxing, the “Haitian Temptation” is going to Oslo, Norway on November 16th. He will take on IBO International Cruiserweight champion Kai Robin Havnaa, who is top male boxer in Norway. Sands is coming off his first fight in the…

Northern Star: Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager

For this week's segment, we talk with a local boxer who is making her pro debut next week.

DULUTH, Minn. – Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager has always been a fighter. “My grandparents are always like, “OK so when are you going to be done fighting?” and I’ll always be like, “Just one more.” And of course after the one more, there’s always another. I just can’t stop,” said Lemenager. Growing up, Lemenager was a two–sport athlete. In high…

UMD Women’s Hockey Team Excited for Exhibition Game Against Whitecaps

This is the fourth straight year that UMD will open with the Whitecaps at Amsoil Arena.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hockey has returned to Amsoil Arena, specifically for the UMD women’s hockey team. The Bulldogs will open their season Saturday with an exhibition against the defending NWHL champions, the Minnesota Whitecaps. This is the fourth straight year that UMD will open with the Whitecaps at Amsoil Arena, which gives the Bulldogs a great chance to iron out…

Former Bulldog Justin Faulk Traded to St. Louis

The 27-year-old is a three-time All Star and has been one of the top scoring defenseman since joining the NHL back in 2012.

ST. LOUIS, Miss. – Big news in the NHL as former UMD men’s hockey star Justin Faulk has been traded from Carolina to St. Louis. The Blues also announced a seven-year, $45.5 million extension for Faulk, who was the Hurricanes highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history. In exchange, Carolina received Joel Edmundson, Dominik Bokk and a seventh-round pick. The 27-year-old is…

Former Bulldog, Current Mirage Head Coach Emma Stauber Re-Signs with Whitecaps

The Duluth native will make her return to Amsoil Arena next Saturday when the Bulldogs host the Whitecaps in an exhibition game.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Former UMD Bulldog Emma Stauber has re–signed with the Minnesota Whitecaps. Stauber, who is currently the head coach of the Proctor/Hermantown Mirage hockey team, was the third-highest scoring defender for the Whitecaps last season, helping them capture the 2018 Isobel Cup in their inaugural season. The Duluth native was a standout player at UMD and will…

Minnesota Wild, UMD Bulldogs Team Up for Little Wild Learn to Play Program

The two teams came together for the sixth consecutive year to run the youth hockey camp.

DULUTH, Minn. – This month, two of the greatest hockey forces in the state of Minnesota have teamed up once again for a special youth camp in the Northland. For the sixth consecutive year, the UMD Bulldogs have teamed up with the Minnesota Wild for the Little Wild Learn to Play Program. The clinic is designed for kids age 5…

Newcomers Win 24th Annual NorthShore Inline Marathon

Ewen Fernandez was the men's elite winner, while Julie Brandt-Glass was the official women's elite winner.

DULUTH, Minn. – Over 2,000 athletes from all over the world flooded Duluth this weekend for the 24th annual NorthShore Inline Marathon. Ewen Fernandez, a 30-year old from France, won the men’s elite race with a time of 1:03:58. This was Fernandez’s first time participating in this race, and he broke away from the group in the last eight miles…

Skaters From All Over the World Head to North Shore Inline Marathon

Nearly 2,000 participants from all over the world will take part in eight different races.

DULUTH, Minn. – This weekend, the largest skating race in the country takes over the Northland as the 24th annual North Shore Inline Marathon will take place Saturday morning. Nearly 2,000 participants from all over the world will take part in eight different races. $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to those who cross the finish line first. But…

Huffman, Walters Excited for “Generation Next” at Grandma’s Sports Garden

The event takes place October 11th at Grandma's Sports Garden in Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn. – Next month, boxing returns to Grandma’s Sports Garden with the “Generation Next” boxing card. It will be a special event for a pair of local boxers who are coming out of the Jungle Boy Boxing Gym. Wednesday, they held a special press conference to get fans hype for the event. “It’s definitely a cool experience growing up…

“Beatdowns in Souptown” Returns to Wessman Arena

Doors open at 4 p.m and the fists will fly starting at 5:30.

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – “Beatdowns in Souptown” is back for another installment of world class mixed martial arts action this Saturday at Wessman Arena. Nearly 20 MMA bouts will take place as the show will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Inner Strength Martial Arts studio in Superior. And organizers say the sport itself has come a long way in its…

Former UWS Standout Ashley Birdsall Signs with Buffalo Beauts

The Duluth native skated for the Yellowjackets from 2008 to 2013.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Former Wisconsin-Superior women’s hockey standout Ashley Birdsall has signed a deal with the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League. The Duluth native, who is about to complete her ninth year of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard, also spent time with the Minnesota Whitecaps for three seasons before they joined the NWHL. Birdsall had…

Superior Native Jessica Lindstrom Powers Wisconsin GLO to GWBA Championship

Lindstrom finished with 11 points, 15 rebounds and three steals to take home Finals MVP honors.

OSHKOSH, Wisc. – This past weekend, the Wisconsin GLO defeated the three-time reigning GWBA champions the Flint Monarchs 80–78, thanks in large part to a former Northland basketball star. Superior native Jessica Lindstrom finished with 11 points, 15 rebounds and three steals to take home Finals MVP honors. “It was a team effort at the end of the day and…

Al Sands Settles for Majority Draw Against DeShon Webster

It is the first draw of Sands's boxing career.

HINCKLEY, Minn. – It was a bittersweet night for Duluth native Al Sands who settled for a majority draw in his boxing match against DeShon Webster Friday night at the Grand Casino. Two of the three judges scored the match a draw, while the third gave Sands the edge, rendering the rare decision of majority draw, the first career draw…

Coaches Corner: Karson Kuhlman

For this week's segment, we catch up with Esko native Karson Kuhlman.

DULUTH, Minn. – For this week’s Coaches Corner, we spoke with former Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and UMD hockey star and current Boston Bruins forward Karson Kuhlman. The Esko native talked about his last year of playing hockey that saw him win an NCAA championship with the Bulldogs, as well as score a goal for the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Categories:…

Duluth Native Jesse Walters Wins Pro Boxing Debut, Huffman Settles for Draw

Both Walters and Huffman will be back in action on October 11th for a boxing card in Duluth.

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. – The Jungle Boy Boxing Gym had a great showing Thursday night at the Generation Next show at the MYTH Nightclub in Maplewood. Duluth native Jesse Walters won his debut fight via knockout in the second round. And fellow Dulutian Danny Huffman went the distance in his bout, but settled for a draw, which preserved his undefeated record….

Strong Field Expected for 94th Annual Northland Golf Invitational

After an exciting finish at the Arrowhead Invite two weeks ago, the field is as competitive as it has been in recent memory.

DULUTH, Minn. – The 94th annual Northland Golf Invitational will begin Thursday at the Northland Country Club in Duluth. The fun starts with the qualifying round, followed by the first and second round of match play on Friday, leading up to the championship on Sunday afternoon. And after an exciting finish at the Arrowhead Invite two weeks ago, the field…

Coaches Corner: Al Sands and Mike McKean

For this week's segment, we talk boxing with the "Haitian Temptation" Al Sands.

DULUTH, Minn. – For this week’s Coaches Corner, we’re talking with local pro boxer Al Sands about his upcoming fight next Friday at the Grand Casino in Hinckley. We also spoke with his trainer Mike McKean about what they learned from Sands’ bouts overseas. Categories: Coaches Corner, Friday Night Frenzy, Professional Sports, Sports

Duluth Native CJ Ham Ready for Year Four with Vikings

With Kevin Stefanski being promoted to offensive coordinator and a healthy batch of weapons, Ham believes this will be a good year for the Vikings.

EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings training camp is well underway and Duluth native CJ Ham is looking forward to his fourth season in the purple and gold. After being an undrafted free agent and spending most of his rookie season on the practice squad, the Denfeld alum has found himself in a comfortable spot for his fourth year. Ham saw playing…

Born to Box: Jesse Walters Gets Set for Pro Debut

Walters will make his pro debut next Friday against Mark Slyter from Kansas.

DULUTH, Minn. – For 18-year-old Jesse Walters, you could say he was born with boxing gloves on his hands. “Basically I was already introduced to it when I was two weeks old. I went to one of Zach’s first fights,” said Walters. “Shortly after he was born, they brought him and said, “Meet little Jesse!” I’m all sweaty coming out…

Vikings Training Camp in Full Swing

Minnesota's first preseason game is August 9 in New Orleans.

EAGAN, Minn. – After a disappointing 8–7–1 record, the Minnesota Vikings are more than ready to close the book on last year. But now, the pads are on, the intensity is up and the Vikings are full steam ahead for the 2019 season. After putting on the pads for the first time during training camp on Sunday, the Vikings were …

Coaches Corner: Dave Sabick

For this week's segment, we get a preview of this weekend's FortuneBaynia II.

DULUTH, Minn. – For this week’s Coaches Corner, we hear from Heavy on Wrestling’s Dave Sabick as he previews this weekend’s FortuneBaynia II, taking place at Fortune Bay Casino in Tower, MN. Among those expected to attend are WCW icon Sting, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T and former WWE champion Aberto Del Rio. Categories: Coaches Corner, Friday Night Frenzy,…

Legendary Pitcher Ila Borders Returns to the Northland

Borders played for the Duluth-Superior Dukes from 1997 to 1999.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Huskies had a special guest at Wade Stadium Thursday night as legendary pitcher Ila Borders returned to the Northland for the first time in two years. Borders was the first woman ever to earn a collegiate baseball scholarship and went on to sign with the St. Paul Saints in 1997, as well as spending a…

Jets Sign Hermantown Native Neal Pionk to Two-Year Deal

The deal is worth three million dollars annually.

WINNIPEG, Ontario – The Winnipeg Jets announced this weekend that they have signed Hermantown native Neal Pionk to a two-year deal with an average annual value of three million dollars. The 23-year-old was acquired from the Rangers back on June 17th after scoring 26 points in 73 games in the Big Apple. The former UMD star spent two seasons with…

Duluth Native Rob Bordson to Continue Pro Career in Sweden

The former UMD standout is signing with Vasterviks IK.

DULUTH, Minn. – Former UMD men’s hockey star Rob Bordson is heading overseas to continue his pro career. The Duluth native is signing with Vasterviks IK in Sweden. Bordson was supposed to play in Austria last season, but a knee injury prevented that. The 31-year-old has also played in Germany following his time at UMD. He’ll see some familiar faces…

Wild Defenseman Nick Seeler Visits Duluth Air Show

Seeler's grandparents were avid fans of planes.

DULUTH, Minn. – This weekend, the Duluth Air Show will take to the skies entertaining fans across the Northland. And Friday, they had a special guest stop by from the Minnesota Wild. Defenseman Nick Seeler was in town to take in the sights and sounds of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Seeler says both of his grandfathers were in the…

Nygaard Wins Second Straight Five-Miler, Kazmierczak Wins Women’s Division

Duluth's Nick Nygaard and White Bear Lake's Claire Kazmierczak each took first place in their respective divisions.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of runners made their way to Park Point for the 48th annual Five-Miler Thursday night. Duluth native Nick Nygaard took first place in the men’s division with a time of 26:27. Claire Kazmierczak of White Bear Lake was the first women to cross the finish line at 36:37. Categories: Professional Sports, Sports

Danny Huffman Preparing for Third Career Pro Fight

Huffman will take on Jessie Addison III From Indianapolis, Indiana.

DULUTH, Minn. – Jungle Boy Boxing Gym’s Danny Huffman is getting set for his third career pro fight coming up next month. Huffman says he’s about halfway through his training program and he’s anxious to get things going. “We’ve already been in camp for three weeks preparing for the fight, so this last three is just getting some good rounds…

Florida Panthers Sign Former Greyhound/Bulldog Dominic Toninato

Toninato has played in 39 NHL games and scored his first NHL goal back in February.

SUNRISE, Calif. – The Florida Panthers announced Tuesday they have signed former Duluth East and UMD men’s hockey captain Dominic Toninato to a one-year, two-way contract. Toninato was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2012, but has spent most of his career in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Toninato has played in 39 NHL games and scored his…

Whitecaps, Bulldogs to Meet in Exhibition Game

The defending Isobel Cup champs will meet the Bulldogs Saturday, September 28th at 4 p.m at Amsoil Arena.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Whitecaps announced Monday that they will head back to Duluth to play a preseason game against the UMD women’s hockey team. The defending Isobel Cup champs will meet the Bulldogs Saturday, September 28th at 4 p.m at Amsoil Arena. The Whitecaps played UMD in an exhibition before they started their inaugural season last year,…

C.J. Ham Hosts First Annual Youth Football Camp in Duluth

Over 270 kids came to the camp at Lincoln Park Middle School.

DULUTH, Minn. – Kids in the Northland had a special treat Saturday afternoon, getting the chance to learn some football skills and play some games with a pro football player. Duluth Denfeld alum and current Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham returned to Duluth this weekend to host the first annual C.J. Ham football camp. UMD soccer and football players as…

Registration Open for Park Point 5-Miler

Northern Minnesota's oldest race is in its 48th year of existence.

DULUTH, Minn. – Registration is open for the 48th annual Park Point Five-Miler, which takes place Thursday July 18th. The event is northern Minnesota’s oldest race and begins at 5:30 p.m. with a kids-only race for children 14 and under. After that, the five-mile run will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the two-mile walk starts at 6:35 p.m. Proceeds from…

Former Greyhound/Bulldog Andy Welinski Talks NHL Move from Anaheim to Philadelphia

Welinski spent the past four seasons in the Anaheim Ducks organization, spending most of his time with their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.

DULUTH, Minn. – Former Duluth East and UMD hockey star Andy Welinski doesn’t mind a change of scenery as he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers last week. Welinski spent the past four seasons in the Anaheim Ducks organization, spending most of his time with their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls. Welinski says he is still very grateful to the…

Duluth FC Heads Into Finale with Playoffs in the Balance

The Bluegreens will need to beat La Crosse Aris and hope that Minneapolis City knocks off Med City to keep their season alive.

DULUTH, Minn. – Within the blink of an eye, the NPSL regular season is almost at its end. Duluth FC will be back in action Friday at home in their season finale, which is their final chance to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Because of their loss last week, the Bluegreens will need to beat La Crosse Aris and…

Superior Native Mike Sislo to Continue Pro Career in Germany

Sislo will join fellow Superior native Brett Olson who also plays in Germany.

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – It’s been quite the week for Superior native Mike Sislo. Not only has he taken part in the latest Twin Ports Pro Development Camp. But he’s also announced he’ll be going overseas to continue his pro career. Sislo has signed a one–year deal with Wolfsburg of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. The Superior native has played in over…

Local Hockey Players Learn From the Pros at Twin Ports Pro Development Camp

The camp, owned by Superior natives Mike Sislo and Brett Olson, runs through Thursday at the Superior Ice Arena.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Local hockey players are getting the chance to strengthen their skills and grow as players this summer. And with the Twin Ports Pro Development that it’s all led by coaches who started their playing careers right here in the Northland. The 5th annual Twin Ports Pro Development Camp is this week, bringing five pro hockey players back…

Jungle Boy Boxing’s Huffman, Walters Announce Return to the Ring

The pair will take part in the "Generation Next" boxing card on August 8th at the Myth Live down in Maplewood.

DULUTH, Minn. – Jungle Boy Boxing Promotions have announced that Duluth natives Danny Huffman and Jesse Walters will be back in action next month. The pair will take part in the “Generation Next” boxing card on August 8th at the Myth Live down in Maplewood. Huffman is currently 2–0 in his young career so far, while Walters will be making…

USWNT Inspires Northland Youth Girls Soccer

Local soccer players are feeling inspired and motivated after watching the U.S. Women's National Team win back-to-back Women's World Cup titles.

DULUTH, Minn. – Soccer is on the rise here in the United States and a huge reason for that is the U.S. Women’s National Team and their back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles. “I was screaming at the TV a lot. I really wanted them to win and then I started crying because I wanted them to win, and then they…

Former Pro Athletes Return to Superior for Nemadji Celebrity Golf Scramble

The event brought in former Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals to the Nemadji Golf Course.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Tons of celebrities swapped the football out for golf clubs for the day, all for a good cause at the Nemadji Golf Course in Superior. Former football players from the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, as well as some other former athletes gathered for the Nemadji Celebrity Golf Scramble. Athletes included former…

Coaches Corner: Twin Ports Development Camp

For this week's Coaches Corner, we spoke with instructors from the Twin Ports Development Camp ahead of this year's camp.

DULUTH, Minn. – For this week’s Coaches Corner, we sat down with some of the instructors from the Twin Ports Development Camp. Head instructor and co-owner Brett Olson, and instructors Andy Welinski and Brenden Kotyk discusses what the camp is and why they love doing it. Camp is July 8-11 in Superior. If you are interested in learning more or…

Duluth Native Emma Stauber Brings Isobel Cup to Proctor

The former UMD women's hockey captain won the Isobel Cup with the Minnesota Whitecaps back in March.

DULUTH, Minn. – Last week, the NWHL Isobel Cup made its first trip to the Northland, as former CEC Lumberjack Sadie Lundquist brought the cup to Cloquet. Thursday night, the cup made its way back to the Northland, this time to Proctor. Duluth native and former UMD women’s hockey captain Emma Stauber brought the Isobel Cup to the St. Luke’s…

Former Northland Hockey Players Return for Heritage Summer Hockey Classic

Duluth native Rob Bordson and Hermantown native Adam Krause served as team captains.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Heritage Center was the place to be on Monday night as the annual Heritage Summer Hockey Classic took place. The game featured former and current professional and semi-professional hockey players from the Northland including former UMD player Rob Bordson and current UMD assistant coach Adam Krause, who served as team captains, as well as St. Scholastica…

Kongin, Rojas Finish as First-Time Winners in Grandma’s Full Marathon

The 43rd annual Grandma's Marathon saw first-time winners in Boniface Kongin and Nell Rojas.

DULUTH, Minn. – The 43rd annual Grandma’s Marathon saw new winners in the full marathon race. Kenya’s Boniface Kongin took home the men’s division title in his first Grandma’s Marathon. He was a bit of an underdog, but led for most of the race, and despite major cramping and having to stop a few times, Kongin finished with a time…

Scaroni, Pike Set Records in Grandma’s Wheelchair Division

Both Susannah Scaroni and Aaron Pike repeated as winners and set new event records during Saturday's race.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Grandma’s Marathon wheelchair race saw record shattering performances and repeat winners, as Susannah Scaroni won the women’s title while Aaron Pike won the men’s title. Illinois native Scaroni won her second straight title, setting a new event record by over five minutes and setting the new Paralympic World Record with a time of 1:30:42. This is…

Mkungo Wins Back-to-Back; Jermann Wins Her First Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Kenyan Panuel Mkungo won his second straight men's title while Minnesota native Katy Jermann won the women's title.

DULUTH, Minn. – The 29th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon featured a familiar winner for the men’s division, as Kenyan Panuel Mkungo won his second straight title with a time of 1:02:37, beating his time last year by 13 seconds. The women’s division saw a new winner, as Burnsville, Minnesota native Katy Jermann took home the women’s championship with a…

Former Greyhound Ryder Donovan Drafted by Golden Knights

The former Duluth East standout was taken in the fourth round.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – With the 110th pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights selected former Duluth East forward Ryder Donovan. The future Wisconsin Badger was taken in the fourth round, becoming just the 25th Duluth native ever to be picked in an NHL draft and the first since Dominic Toninato and Judd Peterson back in 2012. Donovan…

Coaches Corner: Mandi Peterson

For this week's segment, we're talking about Grandma's Marathon.

DULUTH, Minn. – For this week’s Coaches Corner, we’re joined by Mandi Peterson who is the marketing and PR director for Grandma’s Marathon. Among the topics discussed are the planning proccess behind the weekend, as well as the impact of the volunteers who help make the race possible. Categories: Coaches Corner, Friday Night Frenzy, Professional Sports, Sports