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
- 7 years 2 months
Running is a mental exercise for Hunter Zupko. The Little Falls senior's approach to cross country running is see a target and run them down. It's a philosophy he says takes more mental toughness than actual conditioning. "When I'm running, I'll just look for someone I want to catch," Zupko said. "I'll keep my focus on them and make sure they never leave my sight. If they take a turn, then I'm running harder to get to that turn so I can keep an eye on them. Then after awhile, I've caught them and I'm passing them and moving on to my next target."
Despite being a junior, Ashley Adams has grown into a leader on a team full of senior stars. The hitting duo of Ellie Miron and Casey Volkmann would make any team worthy of a Class 1A ranking and it's Wadena-Deer Creek that rosters those two seniors. But it takes a setter to get them the ball—enter Adams. The junior has developed into a consistent setter and server and she's one of W-DC's top blockers. Those reasons and more have W-DC ranked sixth in Class 1A and sitting with a 21-6 record and the No. 1 seed for the North Subsection 6-1A playoffs.
STAPLES—The year was 1998 and current Wadena-Deer Creek activities director Norm Gallant was on the coaching staff. W-DC defeated Roseau 34-0 for its last playoff victory. The following round, the Wolverines fell to Perham, which was then coached by Howie Kangas. Kangas now coaches W-DC and he helped the Wolverines break a 19-year playoff drought with a 42-20 victory over No. 3 Staples-Motley in Tuesday's Section 6-2A quarterfinals.
Kira Sweeney Year: Freshman School: Staples-Motley Sport: Cross country Highlights: Won the Mid-State Conference meet in 21:12.55 Like last season, Kira Sweeney is peaking at the perfect time. As an eighth-grader, Sweeney set the Staples-Motley school record at the Section 6-1A meet with a time of 19:18.5 to finish second and advance to her first state meet. She didn't disappoint from there as Sweeney posted a seventh-place 19:25.0 in the Class 1A final.
Luke Weniger Year: Senior School: Verndale Sport: Football Position: Running back, linebacker Highlights: Rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 112 yards and one more score against Bertha-Hewitt Like a utility player in baseball, Luke Weniger can do everything on a football field. And the senior for the Verndale Pirates has proven it.
The future of high school athletics is in jeopardy. But don't take my word for it. "Soccer, when I came here, there was maybe a list of a dozen different people who were willing to help out with our junior varsity and varsity games and now that list is down to one," said Charlie Campbell, Brainerd Warriors activities director. That "one" is one certified official. And it's not just soccer. All sports are seeing a numbers crunch when it comes to finding officials.
Staples-Motley 20, Pillager 12 Key: Josh Lombard threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns Conf: Pill 4-2, SM 3-3 Overall: Pill 6-2, SM 3-5 Next: Pillager and Staples-Motley in Section 6-2A playoffs TBA STAPLES—It may say just two touchdowns in the stat sheet, but Josh Lombard had a hand in all three of the Staples-Motley Cardinals touchdowns Wednesday.
It was a hard wait for Dylan Loftis. The Pillager Huskies' junior sat out all of last season because of the Minnesota State High School League transfer rule. Loftis, who transferred to Pillager from Staples-Motley, roamed the sidelines watching, waiting and preparing to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. "It was really hard for me to do that," Loftis said. "I know the players and the coaches felt I had the potential to play last year, but sitting out and watching the team play during Friday nights was kind of tough for me. I just worked through it and told myself, 'No matter what, work toward next year and give it all I have.'
Morgan Glenz is feeling a little alone. Prior to this season, Glenz's varsity volleyball career always included one or two of her sisters. With both of her older siblings graduated, the junior for the Verndale Pirates is the last Glenz standing. Thanks to her sisters, Jordyn and Shania, all opposing teams know the Glenz name.
PIERZ—With a 15-play, 90-yard opening drive, Class 3A's second-ranked Pierz Pioneers set the tone early. Then they just kept setting it to the tune of a 42-6 Mid-State Subdistrict 1 beat down of Class 2A's eighth-ranked Paynesville Bulldogs Friday. The Pioneers racked up 357 yards rushing and 401 yards of total offense. Ninety of those rushing yards came on the opening drive when Pierz pounded it down the field. A Reese Kapsner 20-yard run was the longest play of the drive. Pierz faced nothing longer than a third and four, until Kapsner's 16-yard rushing touchdown on third and five. There wasn't a single penalty on the picture-perfect opening possession.