You may have read recently about Caledonia native Isaac Fruechte, who will be taking part in his first NFL training camp this summer with the Minnesota Vikings.
I caught up with him to chat about the differences he has seen so far between Division I (Fruechte played at the University of Minnesota) and at the professional level.
“I think the biggest difference so far has been the new terminology of the plays,” he said. “It’s almost like learning to walk or ride a bike all over again.”
Being a Minnesota boy, of course, Isaac grew up a Vikings fan and is excited to have the opportunity to play for them. He isn’t the first from his small town to have a shot at the pros.
“I was very fortunate to have Karl Krug, who is also from Caledonia, kind of burn a path for me and show me the way its done,” Fruechte said. “He’s obviously playing with the Titans and has been there his whole career, but coming from a small town like where we are from, it’s pretty unlikely that people make it that far, so just being able to see him make it and continue to make it, sign a second contract and things of that nature, gave me confidence and helped me feel like I could do it, too.”
The support of an entire community could be great motivation, or it could be a lot of added pressure.
“It’s a great motivation to make sure you wake up every day and you get your workout in and you are eating right,” he said. “It’s not an added pressure by any means; it’s good support and gives me motivation to hopefully keep going and make the team.”
Over these final weeks before training amps up, Fruechte has helped out with a football camp at Caledonia for a few weeks and has been spending time with family along with keeping up with his training schedules.
“I’m up in the Cities training with Marqueis Gray, Adam Thielen and Zach Line, and some of those guys that are already pros and have already made rosters,” he said. “I’m trying to be like those guys and emulate what they are doing — just trying to be as much of a pro as they are.”
Since a young age, Fruechte has always loved the game and wanted to play college and pro football, but he said there wasn’t a specific moment that he thought, “Wow, I’m pretty good.”
“It was always like, ‘This isn’t good enough because I want to be better,'” he said. “I think the people, the coaches I’ve had, and my dad who was my high school coach, I think they can all attest to that — I hope that I did everything I could to make this dream happen and hopefully come true.”
Former KTTC-TV anchor heads home
After more than 20 years away, Kevin Doran is coming back to Minnesota TV.
The former KTTC-TV anchor recently took a position with KSTP-TV and KSTC-45 anchoring the 9 p.m. newscast alongside Lindsey Brown and doing some reporting for the 10 p.m. newscasts as well.
“I loved my time at KTTC,” Doran said. “I moved to Rochester in 1987 to work at KTTC. I came as a reporter and worked my way up through ranks, morning, weekends, 5 p.m. news, in 1990 was named evening anchor, but Rochester is where I met my wife, Theresa, so its the best thing that ever happened to me.”
While here, Kevin says, he couldn’t crack the door to get into the Twin Cities, so he decided to move away to gain experience.
From Rochester, Doran moved to Huntington, W.Va., for a few years, then Indianapolis for six years, then Rochester, N.Y., for 15 years.
“The timing was never right with contracts and such, then this door opened up a few months ago, and now, we are heading home,” he said.
A lot has changed since Kevin and Theresa left in 1993. They have two kids: 19-year-old Emma, who’s transferring to University of Minnesota from the University of Buffalo, and Eva, 16, who will be going to school in Mendota Heights.
“One of the things I’ve always been so proud of is that I’ve been able to do something that I love, and I haven’t had to move my kids,” Doran said. “And here I am, with my daughter going to be a high school junior, and I’m moving her, but luckily, she is on board, and I feel everything happens for a reason.
“My wife’s father still lives in Rochester, so we will be close by, and I grew up in Brainerd, so we are close to my family as well,” he said. “One of the great parts of this move is that we are going to be closer to family, plus I’m going to be able to work at a place I’ve always wanted to work, which is pretty cool.”
Doran will start on Wednesday, but “for the first few weeks, I’m going to do nothing but report, and then I will join Lindsey Brown as her new partner right before the State Fair, and then of course, we will broadcast every day from the State Fair. It’s going to be a soft introduction and a great opportunity for me to get to know not only the Twin Cities again but the entire state. I’m excited for the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”