My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University.
My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
- Member for
- 4 years 9 months
PILLAGER — It happened again. Five Pine River-Backus Tigers’ turnovers helped send the top-seeded and sixth-ranked Pillager Huskies to the Section 6-1A championship game for the first time since 2002. Pillager turned those five turnovers into 20 points leading to a 51-7 victory over the fifth-seeded Tigers Saturday. Pillager forced a fumble on PR-B’s opening drive. Four plays later Jeff Flickinger scored on a 34-yard run. A 56-yard touchdown pass from Connor Uselman to Devrin House on Pillager’s next possession made it 12-0.
Dallas Ehrmantraut is getting involved. The senior athlete’s increased work load is a conscious decision by the Verndale Pirates coaching staff, which has found new ways to get Ehrmantraut the ball. During the Pirates’ 50-27 regular-season finale against Ortonville, Ehrmantraut caught 15- and 13-yard touchdown passes from quarterback Dillon Card. He also scored on a 29-yard run and topped off his four-touchdown display with a 50-yard interception return. Normally a receiver, Ehrmantraut finished with 43 rushing yards on six carries to go with his two touchdown passes.
Bridget Bednar got offensive this year. The junior was already supplying quality defense at the net, but her offense has been a pleasant surprise for the Pierz Pioneers. Bednar notched 12 kills, eight digs, six blocks and one set assist and one ace serve in the Pioneers’ 3-1 victory over Little Falls Oct. 15. One night later, she recorded 19 kills, six digs, four blocks, two ace serves and one set assist in a 3-1 Central Minnesota Conference victory over Maple Lake.
CROSBY — Once. That many times the No. 8-seeded Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thunder stopped top-seeded Crosby-Ironton during the Rangers’ 54-20 Section 6-2A quarterfinal victory Tuesday night at John Davies Field. One time and that happened because of a fumble on a short kickoff. In fact, the Rangers had just two offensive possessions in the first half and scored on both. One big reason for that was a 71-yard punt return and a 79-yard kickoff return by C-I’s Daniel Hudrlik.
Megan Hintz and Sara Wennerstrand have been here before, but not like this. The two Brainerd Warriors tennis veterans helped the Brainerd team to the last two Class 2A state tournaments. This year, however, Wennerstrand-Hintz, will compete in the 2A state doubles tournament. They open with Rochester Century’s junior duo of Nicole Phillipps and Madison Kircher at 10 a.m. Thursday. Those two were the Section 1-2A runners-up to teammates Jessica Aney and Katherine Aney. Both teams are off the sixth-ranked Century team.
One of the most successful outstate tennis programs will have its hands full Tuesday. The Staples-Motley Cardinals open their eighth-straight Class 1A team tennis tournaments Tuesday against the defending state champion and top-ranked Blake 10 a.m. Tuesday. But the Cardinals have something to prove this season. Last season wasn’t as successful as years past. S-M opened with a 5-2 loss to St. James in last year’s quarterfinals and were eliminated by Waseca 5-2 in the consolation semifinals.
First, defenses need to find him. Then, they need to stop him. This season, that last part has been a problem for defenses when trying to contain the Crosby-Ironton Rangers’ Daniel Hudrlik. The sophomore do-everything-player gouged Duluth Marshall Oct. 12 for 162 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-7 victory. In the regular-season finale against Esko Wednesday, Hudrlik rushed for 211 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a 23-yard touchdown pass. The Duluth game was the first this season where Hudrlik lined up primarily in the backfield.
Mikayla Michaletz suffered through the bad. As have her Aitkin Gobblers volleyball teammates. During Michaletz’s first two varsity seasons, Aitkin owned a combined 8-33 record with two first-round playoff losses. Michaletz and the Gobblers have enjoyed success this season (13-7) and have handled it well.
Thursday football games and the Quality Results Formula (QRF) have many teams still wondering where and who they’ll play next Tuesday. Section 6-2A is still pending because Breckenridge played Staples-Motley late Thursday at the Fargodome. One interesting thing did occur after Wednesday’s games. The Crosby-Ironton Rangers (7-1) defeated Esko, a Class 3A team, 54-30. The victory bumped the Rangers up to the No. 1 spot in the section, according to the QRF. Holdingford (7-1) moved to No. 2 and Pierz, which has won six straight, fell to the No. 3 spot in the section.
Its pizza is legendary. Meaning there is a legend as to how Rafferty’s Pizza was created. The legend has grown each year as the pizza at Rafferty’s is recognized and rewarded for its excellence. But Rafferty’s pizza fame is almost a Catch 22. Often times people will decide what they crave before choosing where to eat. If pizza isn’t an option than neither is Rafferty’s. That’s a shame, because there is more than just delicious pizza at any of the four area Rafferty’s locations.