The Windom sports community suffered a significant loss this week with the passing of one of the biggest Windom Eagle sports fans I know. Joe Carpenter passed away Monday at the age of 97. Up until last year, Joe was a fixture at just about any Eagle sporting event. You could usually see him in the southeast corner of the Blue Gym, usually shooting the breeze with other spectators. He occasionally would stop by the Citizen office to get my take on the local teams or to talk up his other favorite team, the Iowa Hawkeyes. He rarely passed up on a chance to rub it in if the Hawkeyes were to beat the Gophers in just about any sport. I often joked with him that I wouldn't hold his unending devotion to the Hawkeyes against him. I always figured he was too set in his ways to "turn from the dark side." But when it came to sports, you could tell that the Windom Eagles were always at the top of his list, even if the Hawkeyes weren't far behind. Joe always had a front-row seat to the action. It just won't be the same going to an Eagle basketball game and not seeing him in the stands. New pairing The area's sports landscape will change this winter, following approval of a new sports pairing. It was announced last week that Adrian and Ellsworth would be pairing in all sports, beginning with the winter sports season of 2019-20. Initially, the pairing was not going to take effect until the 2020-21 school year. Adrian and Ellsworth currently field their own volleyball and cross country programs this fall. Adrian and Ellsworth are now paired in football. The impression I got was the teams will be called the Adrian-Ellsworth Dragons and will use the current Adrian blue and gold color scheme. The pairing was approved by both school boards and will need final approval from the Minnesota State High School League. It is unlikely to change any competitive section classification for the current teams. Because of the new pairing, Red Rock Central announced that it added a boys basketball game against Murray County Central on Dec. 6 in Slayton. As of now, RRC's two original girls basketball dates against Ellsworth (Dec. 12 and Feb. 11) will remain open. Meanwhile, Mt. Lake Area-Comfrey announced that to make up for the two boys basketball games it lost against Ellsworth, it added games against both Edgerton and Southwest Christian, which will both be played as girl/boy doubleheaders. MLAC will host Edgerton on Dec. 12 and will play at SWC on Jan. 20. Like RRC, MLAC will look for replacement girls basketball contests. Westbrook-Walnut Grove has not announced any schedule changes yet.