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Will it ever be spring?

Snow still blankets much of the lakes area (that’s no April Fools’ Day joke), making me wonder, “Will the winter of 2011 ever end?”

Spring sports are under way and chomping at the bit to get outside. Before spring shifts into high gear here’s an update on a few area sports personalities.

• Freshman Kyle Crocker of Brainerd is being redshirted by the University of Minnesota baseball team and his tentative plan is to play for the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers this summer.

“We have decided to red-shirt Kyle for development reasons,” Gophers coach John Anderson wrote in an email, “and due to the dome roof collapse, and the loss of all our home games, we just didn't feel like using up a year of eligibility for a small (number) of innings played. 

“He is going to be a very good hitter and we are still trying to identify what his best position on defense at this level will be. He is currently working at third base. He is a great young man and is doing well in school.”

• Brainerd High School graduate Delinda (Blanck) Rood has left her position as associate director of development for major gifts in the University of Minnesota Athletics department. She will become director of development for Admission Possible, an organization that helps low-income young people earn admission to, and succeed in, college.

• New coaches at area high schools include Jeremy Janzen, Aitkin, baseball; Dan Saehr, Pierz, baseball; Jacob Mehr, Pillager, baseball; Ron Beachy, Staples-Motley, track and field; and Terry Olson, Wadena-Deer Creek, track and field.

• Jim Strohmeier, long-time offensive coordinator for the Central Lakes College football team, has retired. Raiders head coach Greg Medeck said the search is under way for Strohmeier’s replacement.


• Brainerd’s Brett Kramer was batting .400 through nine games for St. John’s University with six RBIs and two doubles. He’s also 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 12.1 innings pitched.

• Joel Martin of Brainerd is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA for Luther College in 18 innings pitched.

• Nick Jelacie of Brainerd is hitting .320 for Bemidji State with four extra-base hits and four RBIs. Teammates include Billy Sather of Brainerd (0-0, 2 innings pitched), and Riley Hirsch (.263), and Logan Kalis (.450, 7 RBIs, 1-0, 7.50 ERA), both of Little Falls.

• Nick Anderson of Brainerd is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched for St. Cloud State.

• Beau Hanowski of Little Falls was batting .340 for South Dakota State through 16 games.

• Zach Heidmann of Brainerd was batting .269 for North Dakota State through 18 games.

• Brett Cloutier of Brainerd has pitched 3.2 innings for Augsburg.

• Robby Veith, Rhett Williamson, Tom Fairbanks and Ethan Branum, all of Brainerd, are playing for Wisconsin-Superior. Through nine games Veith was batting .304, Williamson .300 and Fairbanks .286. Branum was 0-1 with a 14.00 ERA in nine innings pitched.

Women’s golf

• Cydney Hasselberg of Staples-Motley has played 19 rounds for North Dakota State this spring with an 84.32 average and a low round of 78.


• Ryan Peltoma, sophomore defenseman from Brainerd, had three goals and three assists in 33 games for Bowling Green this season. He scored one game-winning goal and Bowling Green finished 3-21-4 in conference play, 10-27-4 overall. Former Brainerd head coach Ty Eigner is an assistant coach for the Falcons.

• Ben Hanowski of Little Falls, scored 13 goals and added seven assists for St. Cloud State this season. Teammate Jared Festler of Little Falls had 12 goals and 12 assists.

Women’s basketball

• Emily Thesing of Brainerd played in all 28 games for Concordia College this season. She averaged 15.6 minutes, 2.3 rebounds and 6.7 points. She shot .853 at the free throw line. Staples graduate Jessica (Beachy) Rahmann is the Cobbers’ head coach.

• Emily Mehr of Aitkin started all 28 games for Minnesota-Morris this season. She was the Cougars’ second-leading scorer (12.9 points) and averaged 3.6 rebounds and 23.9 minutes a game.

• Taylor Sheley of Backus started all 26 games for Bethel University, averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds.

Men’s basketball

• Crosby-Ironton graduate Bryce Tesdahl played in all 26 games for Bemidji State this season, averaging 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 33.6 minutes. He led the team in assists (156).

• Tucker Sheley of Backus started all 26 games for St. Olaf this season, averaging 29 minutes, 3.6 rebounds and 8.5 points.

Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at or at 855-5861.