Fort Council set to go diamond surfing this Monday

Forget Game Seven of the Stanley Cup final or a game-winning touchdown drive at the Super Bowl. This is the real deal.
The 14th-annual slo-pitch game between Fort Frances council and their International Falls counterparts is set for Monday at 5 p.m. at the St. Francis Sportsfield here.
Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said he’s been working out regularly and is ready to lead his revamped squad against their opponents–led by new Falls mayor Harry Swendsen.
One minor problem. The Fort crew sports an anemic 2-11 record in the 13 previous challenges, including a 15-run blowout at the hands of the Falls the last time they played in 1999 (last year’s game was rained out).
Let’s put it this way: Mayor Witherspoon can’t remember the last time they won. “We’re not good,” he admitted. “If this was the majors, we’d be sent down long ago.”
But help may soon arrive. Besides Couns. David Bourgeault and Neil Kabel set to don cleats Monday, the mayor said recreation director Megan Ross has been recruiting top new talent from the town’s administrative ranks.
“Our team will be as strong as she recruits it and she’s very competitive,” noted Mayor Witherspoon, 60, a former fastball pitcher.
The game began in 1988 on Canada Day weekend in an effort to build camaraderie between the two towns. Originally, the loser had to fly the opposing team’s town flag for one day but now all that’s on the line is friendly bragging rights.
The winter equivalent of this battle has been a smoosh race each January in conjunction with “Ice Box Days” across the river–a contest in which the Canadians have fared much better.
“These guys beat us pretty bad in the snowshoes so we have a score to settle,” noted Mayor Swendsen, 40, who will be playing his first game with the team and is confident history will repeat itself Monday.
“I can almost guarantee a win. I’m confident our team can make us proud,” he said.  With the odds against them, can Mayor Witherspoon still make a Mark Messier-like guarantee of his own?
“We can guarantee a win as long as we get more runs than they do,” he reasoned.