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Scoop Engstrom cutting back, but not going away

By Ruth E. McLeerey 
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 
grandkids.”
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.
Here goes.......
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.”
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(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.)
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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
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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
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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 
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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?  
        Neva Hamre
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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"!
Gena Johnson
Independent Editor/Parent

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
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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.
Ruth McCleerey
Former Publisher/Editor/
and friend

 
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