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
- 3 years 9 months
PEQUOT LAKES — Who do you guard? That was the question Pequot Lakes Patriots head coach Jon Dale struggled with before, during and after Tuesday’s Mid-State Conference clash against the Staples-Motley Cardinals. Nine different players scored for Class 2A’s sixth-ranked Cardinals, leading to a 78-52 victory. Of those nine players, five scored nine or more points. Four different Cardinals hit 3-pointers, helping them connect on 42 percent (10-of-24) from beyond the arc.
An ugly, oversized television and VCR sits in one corner of Jim Russell’s office. One uncomfortable chair is placed next to his desk, which holds piles of papers. A small dorm refrigerator is in there, too. Books, binders and videotapes decorate the walls. Without examining the book titles or the spines of the binders, it would be impossible to distinguish Russell’s office from any of his Central Lakes College colleagues.
Tyler Schneider has a decision to make. The distance specialist for the Brainerd Warriors swimming and diving team showed his prowess in the 200-yard individual medley Thursday to help the Warriors capture the Brainerd Invitational at Brainerd High School. Schneider won the 200 IM in 2:12.62. The senior normally swims the 200 freestyle, which is the event prior to the IM. Now he’ll have to chose which one suits him and the team better.
Rachelle LeBlanc was selling herself short. The Little Falls gymnast set a goal to earn an all-around score of 37 points by the end of the season. Less than a month into the season LeBlanc reached her goal during a dual meet victory against Bemidji. LeBlanc won the parallel bars with a 9.0. She claimed the balance beam with a 9.325, owned the floor thanks to a 9.5 and won vault with a 9.2. Those four firsts added up to a winning all-around score of 37.025 on Dec. 17.
Blake Petrich’s plan for winning a state wrestling title? To be perfect. The Staples-Motley Cardinals senior has been close to that so far. On Dec. 17, Petrich went 4-0 with four pins to claim the 182-pound title in the Big Bear tournament at Cass Lake. All four of Petrich’s wins were by pin. Petrich opened the tournament with a bye and then went on a pinning rampage. He pinned Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena’s Tanner Templin in 3:08 and Willmar’s Shawn Johnson in 5:15.
STAPLES — Christmas came early for the Brainerd Warriors. The Staples-Motley Cardinals were in a giving mood as they turned the basketball over 27 times. Brainerd capitalized and turned those into 31 points, leading to a 71-37 non-conference victory Tuesday night. The Warriors built a 14-2 lead to start the game, with six of those points coming off turnovers. Brainerd had 19 points in the first half come off of S-M turnovers. Jake Sauer scored 11 of his 13 points in that opening frame and Tony Sauer scored eight of his 10 in that time.
She may be the youngest, but Tatum Sheley is now the most prolific. The junior scored 44 points in the Pine River-Backus Tigers’ 75-51 Northwoods Conference victory over Cass Lake-Bena Dec. 9 to set the school’s and the Sheley family’s single-game scoring record. The previous family record was held by Sheley’s older sister, Taylor, who scored 34 points in a game. Taylor broke her mother Kim’s record of 32 points. The PR-B school record was held by Micah Eveland, who scored 42 points against Sebeka Jan. 24, 2006.
For all of Peter Harrison’s success, a couple of things have been missing. The Pequot Lakes senior scratched off one of those things Dec. 10 when he finally broke through to win his first Paul Bunyan Invite championship at Brainerd High School. The Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestler was a two-time runner-up before earning a 4-2 decision over Pat Hopkins of Grand Rapids in the finals of the 160-pound weight class.
The Little Falls Flyers were sitting pretty after nine matches Tuesday. Then things got fun. Trailing 28-11, the Brainerd Warriors received pins from Levi Rubin, Spencer Kangas and Casey Biever to close to 34-29 with one match remaining at Brainerd High School. Sam Adams, normally a 220-pound wrestler, was asked to bump up to 285 and face the Flyers’ David Copa. Not only that, but Adams, a sophomore, needed to pin Copa, a junior, to give Brainerd a 35-34 non-conference win.
About the only college student not wanting a holiday break is Taylor Sheley. The Bethel University guard is on fire right now, leading her Royals to a 7-1 start to the season. Sheley’s play has also helped Bethel to its first 5-0 start in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last week, she averaged 21.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in three conference wins. Included in those three wins was a 26-point performance against previously unbeaten Augsburg. Sheley scored 19 second-half points to lead the Royals to a 66-57 win.