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MINNEAPOLIS — The National Football League draft starts on Thursday, April 25, but preparations for that event began much sooner than that.

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VIRGINIA — A 2011 graduate of Eveleth-Gilbert High School, Kaylen Erchul never imagined what was in store for her after she began reffing hockey in her last year of high school.

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NASHVILLE — The annual presentation and celebration for the newest round of inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame took place last week in Nashville, one of hockey’s newest hotbeds.

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OMAHA, Neb. — Those aching to see USA and Sweden battle under the spotlight once again will get just that on Sunday afternoon as John Shuster and Niklas Edin are set to battle in the Curling World Cup final.

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EVELETH — Team Jared Allen wasn’t afraid of the reigning Olympic gold medalists Friday when they competed in their first professional curling match at the Curl Mesabi Classic in Eveleth.

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VIRGINIA — “Way of the Warriors’’ will be much than just a hockey movie, according to screenwriter John Montague.

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VIRGINIA — Norm Setnicker and Jim Milanovich have well over 100 years of softball experience between the two of them. And with that much dedication to the sport, both are set to be recognized next month with each being inducted in to the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame.

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HIBBING — Wrestling Gone Wild (WGW) will present the live professional wrestling card “Kingdom Rising” on Saturday, Oct. 6.

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SUZHOU, China — U.S. curlers are hoping to find success this week at the first-ever Curling World Cup, an event that will help meet demand for the sport and increase the talent pool.

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United States curling gold medalist John Shuster (right) signs the shirt of a young fan during an open house in his honor Saturday at the Chisholm Curling Club.

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HIBBING — Wrestling Gone Wild (WGW) will present the live professional wrestling card “Kingdom Rising” on Saturday, Oct. 6.

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COLERAINE — Although the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has been around for more than six decades, it has not been real visible in Northeastern Minnesota until just recently.

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EAGAN — For 52 years, the Minnesota Vikings made Minnesota State University, Mankato their summer training camp home. After a farewell tour last year for the city of Mankato, the Vikings have now cozied up in their new home at the TCO Performance Center in Eagan.

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Hibbing’s Scott Perunovich (center) was honored at the Hibbing Miners game Tuesday. Here, Perunovich talks with Miners’ manager Jamie Steinberg (left) and catcher Jaiman Lamphere after throwing out the first pitch of the game.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (FNS) — Unfortunately for Mesabi East track and field coach Steve Ekman, he couldn’t travel to watch standout Giants runner Ava Hill compete in the USATF Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships last week.

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HIBBING — Growing up in a family that loved to play horseshoes, Jerry LaBrosse naturally became adept at the game.

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VIRGINIA — One of the most famous pieces of sports hardware ever is internationally known, is 126 years old, has more than 4,500 names on it, weighs 35 pounds and is 97 percent silver and 3 percent nickel.

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HIBBING — When Ben Abrahamson hits his first shot off the tee at the 2018 Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) Amateur Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., on Monday, July 16, he will have to pinch himself to prove that it really is happening.

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EVELETH — The facial scars, the curly hair, the eye brows and the blue eyes all stood out as Eveleth’s John Mariucci statue was unveiled in the Big Stick Plaza Tuesday.

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VIRGINIA — Tuesday is a day that the kids of the Virginia Area Summer Hockey School will likely never forget.

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DULUTH (FNS) — Just because it’s June, that doesn’t mean Scott Perunovich is impervious to more accolades.

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HIBBING — First off, congratulations to Hibbing’s Scott Perunovich for being selected in the NHL draft Saturday.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Matt Niskanen first starting playing organized hockey in Mountain Iron at the age of 6.

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The Nashville Predator’s announced Tuesday that they have signed former Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl goaltender Niclas Westerholm to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning in the 2018-2019 season.

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HIBBING — Two local snowmobile racers will be competing in a world-class event in Wyoming later this month.

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DULUTH — A mob of hundreds crowded the Duluth International Airport Monday in anticipation of the arrival of the gold medal U.S. men’s curling team. Fans, friends and loved ones crowded the small airport for their chance to greet the most successful American curling team in history.

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea ­— After a 2-4 start to the round robin, USA’s John Shuster had feelings of old creeping into his head. But, a fresh mindset and some inspiration from his family and a past Olympian who has had struggles helped the four-time Olympian lead his team to three straight mus…

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CHISHOLM — In 20 days, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in Florida and Arizona, but the Minnesota Twins are starting the season a little early.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — USA Hockey Saturday announced the final 23-player roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York, from Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018.

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BLAINE, Minn. — With the holidays drawing near and an Olympic Trials win already in their pockets, what more could Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton ask for? The brother-sister duo made history Sunday by becoming the first athletes to qualify to compete in both team and mixed doubles competit…

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EVELETH — With this weekend’s Curl Mesabi Classic ready to kick off, the Iron Range will be welcoming curlers from all over the globe to take part in the biggest World Curling Tour event in the country.

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CHISHOLM — Members of Range Martial Arts in Chisholm and Range Martial Arts East in Virginia participated in a World Tang Soo Do Association event in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., last month.

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OMAHA, Neb. — With their backs against the wall and down 1-0 in the best-of-three championship series, the John Shuster Rink knew they had to come out and play Friday and Saturday to secure their spots at the 2018 Winter Olympics. And boy, did they do just that.

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HIBBING — When John Shuster and his team take to the ice on Saturday during the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb., he will be striving to represent the United States in the Olympic Winter Games for the fourth consecutive time.

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EVELETH — Phill Drobnick is expecting an “intense week’’ of curling when the U.S. Olympic trials start up on Saturday.

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GRAND RAPIDS — After taking a break from powerlifting for 10 years, Tony Scheldrup of Grand Rapids returned to the sport this summer. With nine months of training starting last fall, Scheldrup was able to return to the bench at a WABDL (World Association of Bench and Deadlift) competition in…

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