We aren’t in normal times.

Flipping through today’s newspaper, it’s hard to miss how drastically different the end of March is than what typically is programmed.

In an alternate universe, I’m pouring over our Spring Sports Spotlight and mentally preparing for the sprint-like spring sports season with March Madness and the infancy of a 162-game baseball season on in the background. This year, though, I’m left contemplating when sports might eventually resume.

These are drastic times, and it’s now more important than ever to stay inside, stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve to help our doctors, nurses and hospital employees (who all seriously deserve a raise) better fight this outbreak.

You’ll notice the sports section today is smaller than normal, because news about the virus requires and deserves all the space it needs.

We’ll still be producing sports content for however long this hiatus from competition stretches, but with a twist. You’ll still see stories on how local athletes, teams and organizations are grappling with the situation, but we’ll also be looking back into this town’s sports history.

I hate the phrase, “sports are a distraction,” because nothing should be drawing attention away from the collective hard work that will be required to lessen the effect of COVID-19 on our community, state, country and planet. I don’t want this sports section to be a distraction, but instead provide a brief break to delve into old stories.

That journey starts today, as the Northfield News kicks off a series that will last however long it needs to by remembering some of the most memorable teams, championships and individuals in Northfield’s athletic history.

First up: a look back at the Northfield boys golf team claiming the 1972 state title — the first in school history for any sport.

You can find the original story from the championship on B2 of today’s paper (and online), as well as stories about Gene Christensen sneaking out of town in 1937 to win the boys golf individual state title, and Jim Lucius, who claimed a one-stroke victory to capture the 1953 boys golf individual state title.

Each week, we’ll devote plenty of space to these stories, and in some cases retell those triumphs through the present and fresh eyes of the parties involved. If you have any suggestions for a team or individual to look back on, don’t hesitate in dropping me a tip at mhughes@northfieldnews.com.

In the meantime, stay inside, grab a cup of coffee, settle in and reminisce with me about what life used to be — and will be when we ultimately return to normalcy.

Reach Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @NFNewsSports. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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