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 11 months
Chris Ortman missed all the fun last season. That wasn’t the case this season. The Pierz Pioneers’ sophomore was coming off a state tournament appearance as an eighth-grader only to have his freshman year derailed with an elbow injury. Now healthy, Ortman returned to state as part of the Pierz team as well as an individual. He advanced to the Class 1A individual state tournament thanks to a 7-2 decision over Holdingford’s Adam Lane in the Section 7-2A individual championship Feb. 25.
Emily Miron is lucky No. 8. And by the time the junior is done she’ll likely be No. 2. Miron surpassed the 1,000-point career scoring milestone Feb. 23 in the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines’ 57-19 victory over Park Rapids. She added 12 rebounds in W-DC’s 19th win of the season. She said she had no idea she was even close. “Right before the game, someone came up to me said ‘22 points,’” Miron said. “I said ‘What?’ And they told me I needed 22 points to reach 1,000. I didn’t know.”
As if Blake Petrich needed any more incentive. Class 2A’s top-ranked 182-pound wrestler suffered his only loss of the season in the Section 8-2A championship match last weekend. The three-time state wrestler from Staples-Motley will begin his quest for the finals against ninth-ranked Connor McCormick of Caledonia on Friday.
Dillon Kifer is the area’s highest-ranked Class 3A wrestler. He’s also the unluckiest. The Little Falls senior suffered his third loss of the season in the Section 8-3A final. That planted the seventh-ranked 138-pounder against top-ranked Dayton Racer of Apple Valley in the first round of the Class 3A state individual wrestling tournament Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Kifer, who is Little Falls’ all-time winningest wrestler, will be making his fifth state tournament appearance. His best finish was sixth last year.
Two questions surrounded the Little Falls Flyers’ and Pierz Pioneers’ state team wrestling quarterfinal matches. How improved are the Flyers since Feb. 4 and how much better is this year’s Pierz team compared to last year’s squad. Both questions will be answered Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center during the Class 3A (Little Falls) and Class 1A (Pierz) state team tournament. The Flyers (22-8) will face the second-ranked Hasting Raiders in their opener. Hastings defeated Little Falls 58-13 Feb. 4 during the Anoka tournament.
Jordan Chouanard will have to earn his final prep wrestling goal. The Aitkin senior enters the Class 1A state individual tournament Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul with a 35-1 record and as the No. 2-ranked 152-pounder.
Bob Brink called it the weirdest game he’s ever seen. The Rocori Spartans’ head coach has seen a few and it would be hard to argue Friday’s Central Lakes Conference clash wasn’t unusual. A technical foul for six players on the court after a made basket, 33 total turnovers and three players fouling out were just a few of the interesting things that happened at Brainerd High School. When the buzzer finally sounded, the Spartans escaped with a 58-47 victory over the Brainerd Warriors.
Marlee Moore was quick to give the assist to Bethany Cressman. With the defensive eyes locked on Cressman, Moore exploded for 31 points in the Lake Region Christian Hornets’ 61-44 victory over Fourth Baptist Feb. 17. Moore’s total, a career high, more than doubled her previous career best.
Cole Hunstad has waited patiently for this. The Pillager Huskies’ center endured 3-21 and 2-24 seasons before tasting success. Hunstad would be the first to admit Pillager’s 17-6 season has more to do with the play around him than himself, but the three-year starter has played a major role in Pillager’s success. One key area has been Hunstad’s passing.
The Sartell Sabres spent most of the night trailing. But at the end of each frame the Sabres always managed to either lead or tie the Brainerd Warriors during Thursday’s Central Lakes Conference game at Brainerd High School. That included the overtime frame, which saw Sartell steal a 72-62 victory over the Warriors on Brainerd’s senior night.