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Warriors Athlete of Week: Running back charging into Brainerd record books

Charlie Geraets

Sport: Football

Position: Running back

Year: Junior

Age: 17

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 190

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

If you would have told Charlie Geraets before the season that he would rush for 1,556 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games, what would have been his reaction?

"I would be surprised," he said. "I didn't think our team would be doing this great, but I knew we had it in us."

Geraets definitely has it in him. In the eight-game regular season and one playoff game, the Brainerd junior has surpassed 100 yards seven times. He has enjoyed four 200-yard games, and three of the top six individual efforts in a single game in Warrior history.

Geraets' success hasn't surprise Brainerd head coach Ron Stolski.

"Charlie got himself ready," Stolski said. "He just inherently has some skills. He's a real weight-room kid. He sees the field very well. He's modest and quiet. He let's his eyes and legs do the talking. He's a hard-worker, as many of our kids are.

"If there was a statistic in high school football for yards while being tackled, that is significant about Charlie. He breaks a lot of tackles. Then when he is tackled, he's got great leg strength and desire. He gets a lot of extra yardage after contact."

Geraets has generated back-to-back 200-yard games.

In a 48-35 win over St. Cloud Apollo in the opening round of the Section 8-5A playoffs Tuesday, he rushed 30 times for 288 yards and three scores.

His top effort was a 296-yard, five touchdown performance in a 38-33 come-from-behind victory over Bemidji in the regular-season finale.

"The team was working hard," Geraets said of his output against Bemidji. "We just found a groove. I carried the ball a lot and I just kept running. I had good blocks. The line was moving everybody."

His primary offensive linemen are Michael Bieganek and Hunter Erickson at tackle, Seth Desrocher and Ryan Powers at guard and Will Schneider and Brett Hague at center. Geraets said the line continues to improve.

"We started out a little slow against Bemidji," he said. "Once we found our groove, they kept working hard, pushing everybody back. They got off the line good."

Stolski said a combination of the line's play and the blocking of running back Max Zimmerman have created space for Geraets to run through.

"Max has really come along as a blocker in front of Charlie," Stolski said. "(Against Bemidji) our offensive line was playing very well. When Charlie gets his shoulders north and south, he's really good. ... That was quite a performance (against Bemidji). I didn't realize he had that many carries."

Against Bemidji, Geraets carried 45 times, 32 in the second half. He said he's a little sore, and a little tired, after such a heavy workload. He's averaging 29.7 attempts per game.

"I'm doing good," Geraets said. "I'm a little sore after every game, but I feel pretty good still."