When I was asked by Art Hagebock, current
owner of the Enderlin Independent, to write an article
about Scoop (Jerry Engstrom) I was really eager to
take on the challenge. I made a call to Jerry, setting
up a time when we could sit down together and visit
about old times, new times, and his future, which
included the plan to retire from full-time reporting
of sports for the Enderlin Independent.
I’ve known for a while that Scoop was contemplating
slowing down on the sports writing, but did not want to
believe it. He loves following the kids and watching their
progression from elementary right through high school
sports. But..... as Scoop put it, “I need more time for
Gathered a lot of information, but when I started
putting it down on paper, it sounded more like an obituary
rather than a story of a ‘giving’ guy, who is not through
giving, but who is slowing down a bit.
Scoop came to the Independent in about 2004 with
an offer to help out with our sports coverage. Needless to
say, our coverage was really thin, with only me covering
the games. Only the in-town games were really covered
with pictures, and receipt of the stats after each game were
sketchy, to say the least.
Scoop had thought it out before offering to help. He
had, out of necessity, recently retired from the Canadian
Pacific Railway, and was not enjoying just sitting at home.
He liked going to sports events and knew that we could use
some help with the coverage. A team was formed (him and
the Independent), with Jerry doing all the work, and the
Independent getting a lot of the glory.
Jerry was originally reluctant to have his name as a byline,
but one of the high school coaches called him Scoop, and
it stuck. Scoop it became! He moved on from his railroad
knickname of Bingo to Scoop.
He took hundreds (probably thousands) of pictures
over the next ten years. In fact he wore out two cameras
(one 35mm and 1 digital) and is working on a third, another
digital currently. He also put on hundreds of miles on his
own vehicles going to almost all of the games, from elementary
to high school and the summer games season after season.
Scoop made every effort to remain neutral in his coverage
of the teams. He tried to get a picture of a different kid every
week, not just the ‘stars’. And in his column he almost always
gave them encouragement when they were losing and praise
when they were doing well.
While attending a newspaper sponsored sportswriter
seminar called the “The Huddle”, Scoop was singled out
by the speaker. The speaker held up a sports page from the
Independent, saying “This is how a sports photographer
does it..... he takes a lot of pictures of a lot of athletes”.
“I made a lot of friends,” said Scoop. He could walk
into a sports event out-of-town, and people from not only
the Enderlin crowd, but also the opposing team crowd, and
they would say hello, knowing I was there to cover the
action. Parents and students alike were friendly. “I got a
lot more thanks than no thanks over the years.”
+ + + +
(Be sure and read all of the testimonials from both
coaches and area people at the end of this article. You
will understand why the Independent decided to do a
story about our favorite sportswriter.)
+ + + +
Scoop said that he thinks that area family scrapbooks
have a lot of pictures in them that he took and shared of
their sons, daughters, grandchildren, etc. Scoop, over the
years, would print extra pictures and give them to the kid
or their parents, all out of his own pocket. I think that he
made a groove in the Walmart picture development stool,
just printing out pictures, that he was going to give away.
“I never had a chance to attend my own kids events
alot over the years, because I was out on the train,” said
Scoop. “Now I have grandkids (two boys and two girls)
that are beginning to get involved and I want to be there.
My oldest grandson is going to play tackle football in
Glyndon this fall and I want to be there with my camera.”
“I’m not going to stop going to the games and taking
pictures, but having officially given up the job, I won’t be
under any pressure to perform,” he said.
The school has voiced praise and appreciation for all
the work that Scoop has done for the sports programs over
the years. I’m sure a lot of his pictures have also ended up
in the school annual.
Scoop’s kids were all out of the nest by the time he
started writing the sports for the Independent. He and his
wife Elva have three children: Brock, Courtney, and Eric.
Read the following
testimonials and get to
know the ‘real’ Scoop.
Jerry has done a tremendous job covering
athletics here in Enderlin for several years. I have had
the pleasure of talking with "Scoop" several times,
whether it be at Jr. High basketball games, or on the
football field. He has always conducted himself with
professionalism and kindness. I think the most important
attribute that Jerry has in his job is how much he enjoys
watching the athletes succeed and how positively he
talks/writes about them. Thanks for the great work and
great years covering Eagle/Falcon sports.
Tyler Schlecht, Coach
+ + + + +
Jerry has provided our athlete's with sports coverage
and pictures for many years. You can't say thank you
enough times for all that he has done. Every year at our
athletic banquets I have been able to thank and recognize
Scoop for everything he has done to promote Eagle and
Falcon athletics. He graciously accepts the handshakes
and hugs and readies himself for the next season. We
will truly miss his coverage of our events but realize that
he will continue to be a regular at our games and matches
and hopefully continue taking pictures. We will always
have a chair ready at the games along with a bag of
popcorn and a Diet Coke. Thanks for everything you
have done for programs.
Brian Midthun, Coach
+ + + + +
I haven't been coaching all that long so I haven't
worked with Scoop as long as some. What has always
impressed me about him is that he spends the time to
cover every level of sports at Enderlin School. I first
met Scoop when driving bus for 5th and 6th grade
basketball games. We were in Lisbon and Scoop came.
Not only did he come but he got the names and
asked about which families each player belonged to. He
wrote a nice article about the game for the Independent.
Seeing your name is the paper is a pretty rare and
exciting occurrence for a young person and I thought
it was very cool that he would put the same time and
effort into a 5th grade game as he did a varsity game.
Eric Bergstedt, Coach
+ + + + +
The biggest blessing to the Enderlin Independent
was when Bingo started volunteering his time to make
sure our student athletes had some coverage. He has
always went above and beyond to make sure every
athlete got a picture from him of their season….and
in our case many pictures of many seasons. Since
Bingo started taking pictures years ago I have not
carried a camera to one single game because I knew
the shots he got would be amazing. How do you say
“thank you” to someone like Bingo when he has given
so much to so many?
+ + + +
Having worked with Scoop for so many years,
he showed that he really has the kids best interest at
heart. Having all three of my kids attending and
graduating from the Enderlin School and being in
all kinds of sports, Scoop hardly ever missed a game.
He was always on top of getting the sports stats to the
newspaper and selecting the best photos to use to go
with his sports writeups. He knew the kids and the
parents better than anyone else. He knew the kids
by name as well as by their jersey number.
Scoop will be missed and for that "Our Hats
Off To You"!
Coaching boys basketball for 2 years while
Scoop was covering our games was a great
experience. I vividly remember him being the
first one in the gym almost every single game,
sometimes before the bus got to the away games.
He was a great fixture on the sidelines I know the
community, coaches and players loved having.
He has made a lasting impact on all people involved.
Thanks for everything Scoop!!
Calvin Kraft, Coach
+ + + +
Thanks Jerry Engstrom for helping make the
Enderlin Independent’s sports page one of the best.
I was always proud to publish your statistics and
pictures every week, fall, winter, spring and summer.
You always kept a positive attitude and was eager
to encourage the young people you covered.