Minnesota Vikings in Amasa

Two linebackers from the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings fished and played softball earlier this month in Amasa.

Audi Cole and Mike Mauti reduced the walleye supply and helped Amasa Hotel to second place in a slowpitch tournament during their stay.

Cole, not a first-time visitor, became acquainted to Iron County through former Forest Park High School and Michigan Tech football standout Bryan LaChapelle. Kurt Lehmann, a Tech teammate, tipped off Cole that Amasa was a prime outdoors spot.

“Two normal people,” said the senior Bryan LaChapelle, noting his son mentioned there’s not much room to fish in the boat with big guys like Cole (6-foot-5, 239) and Mauti (6-2, 243) in there.

Cole nearly brought down the Packers by himself in last season’s 26-26 overtime deadlock at Lambeau Field. In his first career start, Cole collected 18 tackles with a sack and three quarterback hurries.

If not busy with football during the fall, Cole would love to get back up here for hunting. The Monroe, Mich., native is heavily involved with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources programs.

As for the slowpitch tourney, a team of Packer backers from Niagara North Star took home the title.

-?Burt Angeli