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
- 6 years 3 weeks
Seth Helland returns to his second year as head Brainerd Warriors coach, and lucky for him, he returns to his entire roster, too. Not a single athlete graduated from last year's squad, which finished 6-3 overall, placed fourth in the Central Lakes Conference and fourth in the Section 8-2A meets. With the first year out of the way for both the coaching staff and the athletes, there seems to be an optimistic energy in the Warriors practice room.
When Kylee Heurung graduates at the end of this school year, she will go down as one of the best players in Brainerd Warriors history. During her junior season, she became the sixth Warrior girl to surpass 1,000 career points. However, there is one thing she has not accomplished—a Section 8-4A playoff victory. And if Heurung and the Warriors hope to accomplish that feat in a talent-packed section, other key players will have to broaden their roles.
With five selections, the Brainerd Warriors once again secured the most spots on the 2016 Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Team. However, Pierz, Pillager and Verndale were right behind with three selections apiece on the 22-man squad. Players are nominated by their head coaches and then selected by the Dispatch Sports Department. The 2016 All-Area team: Jeb Sanford, Aitkin Senior, RB-LB The Northeast Blue Subdistrict Defensive Player of the Year finished with 118 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles.
Noah Gindorff Year: Senior School: Crosby-Ironton Sport: Football Position: Quarterback, defensive end Highlights: The All-Northeast Blue Subdistrict Offensive Most Valuable Player, Mr. Football finalist, member of the Vikings All-State Team and Academic All-State 2A player rushed for 1,468 yards and 22 touchdowns on 165 carries (8.9 yards per carry), threw for 787 yards and 6 touchdowns on 46-92 passing (50 percent completion) and caught 2 passes for 93 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Local 218 Where: 723 Mill Ave., Brainerd What: American restaurant and bar Owner: Pj Severson Multiple ingredients went into Brainerd's newest eastside eatery. Not only concerning the sleek, thoughtful menu, but also the reconstruction of Pj Severson's first foray into restaurant ownership—The Local 218. Located on Mill Avenue in northeast Brainerd in the old Choppers building, The Local 218 underwent a facelift that Severson hopes provides a comfortable second home for locals and travelers alike.
Five teams dominated this year's Brainerd Dispatch All-Area team. Aitkin, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Verndale and Wadena-Deer Creek enjoyed successful postseasons due in large part to their players who were selected to this year's team. Brainerd and Pine River-Backus rounded out the 12-player roster. This year's all-area team: Ellie Michaletz, Aitkin Senior, outside hitter The All-Great River Conference player and GRC Most Valuable Player finished with 376 kills, 232 digs, 4 set assists, 20 blocks and 36 ace serves on 88.5 percent serving.
St. Croix 35, Pierz 28 Key: Mike Stern rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns Overall: Prz 10-2; SCL 12-0 Next: Class 3A state championship at US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 1 p.m. Saturday MINNEAPOLIS—Time can not be beat and Mike Stern could not be stopped. The junior running back rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries and the St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders held on to eliminate the Pierz Pioneers 35-28 In Saturday's Class 3A state semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Shania Glenz's excitement was tempered just a bit. For the third straight season, the Verndale Pirates' middle hitter was named the Brainerd Dispatch Volleyball Player of the Year. It was the first year, however, that the five-year varsity veteran secured the honor by herself. The last two years she shared it with her older sister, Jordyn Glenz.
State football Who: St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders (11-0) vs. Pierz Pioneers (10-1) What: Class 3A state semifinals When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday Where: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis While 112 miles separate Pierz High School from St. Croix Lutheran, the two football programs do share a past. In 2005, Pierz eliminated the Crusaders in the Section 4-2A finals 69-20. The next year, St. Croix returned the favor with a 28-13 defeat of the Pioneers in the section final.
PIerz 34, Greenway-NK 0 Key: A blocked punt and two interceptions Overall: Prz 10-1, GNK 7-3 Next: Pierz in Class 3A state semifinals at US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 4:30 p.m. Saturday Logan Lease said the block wasn't even called. He also said his defender didn't block him either. The 6-foot, 175-pound senior linebacker maneuvered around the line of scrimmage and blocked an attempted punt with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter.