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WARRIOR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR Kohlmeier, Etterman surprised, but honored

Just hard work and determination.

That was how both Tyler Kohlmeier and Katy Etterman described how they earned the distinction of Brainerd Warriors Athletes of the Year.

The two were named Monday night during the Brainerd All-Sports Banquet at Brainerd High School.

Neither knew it until midway through the description of their accomplishments.

 “No, actually, right away, no and then (Warrior activities director Todd Selk) started telling what my achievements where and I said, ‘Hey, wait,’” Kohlmeier said after being bombarded with congratulations from friends and teammates. “I started getting sweaty and nervous and all of a sudden he said my name. It’s just crazy. I can’t even say. This is just crazy.”

Etterman still wasn’t sure it was her until her name was announced.

“I didn’t even know it was me because I didn’t think I had five letters,” said Etterman. “Then I started recognizing some of the things and I just got really excited and honored that I was chosen for it.”

Etterman earned five letters participating in two sports, swimming/diving in the fall and gymnastics in the winter. She was a team captain and team MVP. 

She was a 3-time all-conference selection, conference runner-up, conference champion and scholar all-conference.

She was a section runner-up and section champion.

She was a 4-time state participant, placing fifth, seventh and eighth in state meets. She earned all-state honors three times and set three school records.

“It’s one of the biggest awards I’ve ever received,” said Etterman. “It’s just a big honor.

“It’s really neat when you look at all the other girls that have won the award. They’ve all gone on to do great things in college as well. So I hope I can follow in their footsteps or make some paths of my own.”

Kohlmeier earned six letters participating in two sports.

In football he was a 2-year starter on two section championship and two state semifinal teams.

He earned all-conference honorable mention, all-area and all-section recognition.

In wrestling he is a team captain, was voted the team’s hardest worker and was all-conference, a section runner-up and section champion.

He was a member of two section team runners-up and was a 2-time state participant, finishing in the top eight in the state.

“A school this size it’s a real honor to be athlete of the year,” said Kohlmeier. “All my dedication in sports, I guess time pays off. It was pretty awesome.”

Award winners

• Silent Warriors: Bruce Fahlen, Kristi Sachs, Steve and Wendy Smolke, Colin MacDonald, Terri Elsenpeter, Gary and Kathy Engelmann, Shawn and Terry Hansen, Jim and Ann Hutchison

• Bud Schmid Award: Jay Sannes

• Erwin Thiesse Award: Dale Swenson

Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.