Warriors Athlete of Week: Geraets becomes Brainerd’s go-to workhorse
Position: Running back
Other sports: Basketball
Grade-point average: 4.0
Favorite class: Physical education
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite TV show: “Friends”
Hobbies: Being outdoors
Future plans: Attend college
Favorite football player: Adrian Peterson
Parents: Roger and Tracy Geraets
As a sophomore, Charlie Geraets received a taste of varsity football, rushing 20 times for 130 yards and a touchdown primarily in a reserve role behind then seniors Allen Jevning and Mitchell Rahn.
This fall, Geraets has capitalized on his opportunity to move into a starting running back role and has become the Brainerd Warriors’ go-to workhorse. Through the season’s first two games, the 5-foot-11 junior has rambled for 403 yards on 59 carries, a 6.8-yard average per attempt, with three touchdowns.
“I’ve felt good,” Geraets said. “The line’s been doing good, making holes. I’m getting lots of carries, but I’m going to keep pushing.”
The starting offensive line of tackles Hunter Erickson and Michael Bieganek, guards Seth Desrocher and Ryan Powers and center Will Schneider helped Geraets push for 243 yards on 35 carries (6.9 average) and score three TDs in a 28-21 come-from-behind victory at St. Cloud Apollo last week.
His most significant rush at Apollo was a 16-yard game-winning TD with 8:11 remaining. He then ran for the 2-point conversion.
“He literally willed that last drive,” Warriors head coach Ron Stolski said. “We were playing very well, but Charlie bounced it at the right time. I’m not surprised (at his success) because he’s prepared himself for this season. He’s practiced very hard and very well. He’s an outstanding student. He’s got all the tools of an excellent high school running back.”
Stolski said it was evident from the varsity experience Geraets received last season that he possessed the tools to flourish at the next level.
“He runs with his pads over his toes. He runs hard. He’s a smart runner. He has excellent vision,” Stolski said. “He’s helped himself by getting strong and physical. He’s a really good athlete in our Warrior strength program.
“He’s broken so many tackles. He gets to the second level. That’s what we try to teach our backs -- you’ve got to break that first tackle at the second level. His vision is what really marks him. We teach kids to run with your eyes. He’s made the right cuts at the right time and he goes north-south at the right time.”
In the season opener at Elk River, Geraets rushed 24 times for 160 yards, but the Warriors couldn’t penetrate the end zone.
“I was a bit nervous,” Geraets said of his first varsity start, “but I was excited to start the season. I was just ready to play. The team was playing hard. I was doing my job running. They were a tough team.”
Against Apollo, the Warriors opened the fourth quarter with the ball at their 28 and trailing by a point. They proceeded to go 72 yards in 11 plays culminating with Geraets’ 16-yard TD run on fourth and 3.
“Everything was clicking with the offensive line and the lead blocking by (running back) Max (Zimmerman). They made big holes,” Geraets said. “When we got down there for the last play, they made a hole big enough where I could walk in the end zone for the touchdown.
“We were a little worried (about being behind). We just knew we had to finish the game strong, do what we had to do and the defense would do their job.”
Other notable efforts:
• Julia Wallace, girls swimming, won two individual events and was on two winning relays vs Tech, Alexandria, Willmar and Bemidji.
• Jack Thorkelson, soccer, scored a hat trick vs. Sauk Rapids.
• Ally Smith, girls soccer, scored four goals vs. Alexandria and hat tricks vs. Sauk Rapids and Tech.
• Luke Wiskow, football, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble vs. Apollo.
• Courtney Russell, volleyball, had 37 kills at the Sauk Rapids tournament, 16 vs. Apollo and 31 at the Mabel-Canton tournament.
• Cara Helgeson, volleyball, had 70 set assists at the Sauk Rapids Tournament and 87 at the Mabel-Canton Tournament.
• Meritt Miller and Matt Cherne, cross country, won girls and boys titles at the Pequot Lakes Invite.
• Katie Streiff, girls swimming, won two individual events and was on two winning relays vs. Willmar and Alexandria.
• Molly Rudolph, girls soccer, posted clean sheets vs. Elk River, Rogers and Tech and shared a shutout vs. Alexandria.
• Payge Fitterer, Libby Kurtzman and Kate Kurtzman, tennis, won singles titles in the Moose Tournament. Kate Kurtzman also won the No. 3 singles title at the Hibbing Quadrangular.
• Kennedy Rusk-Brittney Fletcher, girls tennis, won the No. 1 doubles title at the Hibbing Quadrangular and at the Moose Tournament.
• Maria Bell-Jaycie Hinrichs, girls tennis, won the No. 3 doubles title in the Warriors’ quadrangular.
• Emily Rugloski, cross country, won the girls race in the Run for Your Melon Invite.
• Jack Quaal, boys soccer, shut out Alexandria and Rocori.