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
- 5 years 10 months
Not only do the Brainerd Warriors have numbers. They have good numbers. Nine seniors. Four state meet returners and seven more who placed at sections. Not only do the Warriors have numbers, they have swimmers in each event making a repeat 8-0 season a very strong possibility. “We graduated four seniors and two, Luke Jacobsen and Josh McKeag, that went to state, but we have nine seniors and four guys that are coming back from state. Things are going to be exciting this year.”
Results-wise, last year was a learning year for the Brainerd Warriors. The struggles of last season should pay off nicely this season, however. Seven girls who competed in the Section 8-2A meet return, including Mikayla Cerney, who owns state meet experience. Brainerd placed fourth in last year’s section meet with 137.025 points. The Warriors were fifth in the Central Lakes Conference championship meet and owned 5-3 overall and 4-3 conference dual meet records.
Position versatility will be a key phrase toward the Brainerd Warriors’ success this season. A lack of height will have the Warriors coming up with different ways to defend the post as well as score points and so far first-year head coach Troy Nelson has enjoyed the challenge. “I’ve been so impressed with how the kids have been working and bringing positive energy to practice and working to become a team,” said Nelson. “That’s one thing we need to do. We’ll need to play as one unit and keep looking forward. We have to keep growing and keep getting better.
EAST GULL LAKE — Golf season is over in the Brainerd lakes area. Or is it? The staff at Cragun’s Legacy Courses in East Gull Lake have taken the game indoors to keep golf relevant during the cold months. A golf simulator and an added lesson bay used by Chris Foley of Chris Foley Golf Schools and his TrackMan technology have been set up in the Legacy Clubhouse. Golf enthusiasts can take lessons, hit the range, play Pebble Beach or any of the 39 other courses available on the simulator’s software package.
Gabriella Haire finished off last season better than most. The Brainerd Warriors’ junior rebounded from just missing a spot in the state meet by winning the skate portion of the Central Lakes Conference meet. It was her first varsity victory. Haire will look for more victories this season as she leads a varsity savvy group with the goal of repeating as conference champs and finally beating Little Falls in the Section 8 meet.
For years Zean Baker was the one they chased. Now it’s time for a young group of veterans to be chased. With the graduation of Baker, and fellow state meet participant Gerrit Garberich, the Brainerd Warriors will rely on a core group of varsity veterans to continue their tradition of success. Last season, Brainerd finished second in the Central Lakes Conference and second in the Section 8 meet. Junior Noah Baker, Zean’s younger brother, qualified for state individually and finished 93rd with a time of 34:18.3
In a turn of events, it was the Central Lakes College Raiders who fell victim to a relentless attack Tuesday in Brainerd. Usually it’s the Raiders’ vaunted defense that assaults opponents on their home floor. Tuesday the North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats dominated the paint and exploded for a 43-27 second half to beat the Raiders 83-62.
October 14 was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Pierz’s Bridget Bednar was devastated and that feeling lingered. It was so unforgettable because it was senior night, cross county rivals, home court, a 3-2 loss to the Little Falls Flyers. As luck would have it, however, those same teams faced off 11 days later in the North Subsection 6-2A quarterfinals.
Pierz’s Bridget Bednar and her setter helped the Pioneers land two players on this year’s Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Volleyball Team. Brainerd and Verndale also landed two people on the squad. Players for the all-area team are nominated by their coaches and selected by the Dispatch sports department. All-area team ■ Bailey Nordean, Aitkin Senior, outside hitter The All-Great River Conference player finished with 119 kills, 174 digs and 37 ace serves on 97.8 percent serving.
In order to be wicked awesome, the Brainerd Warriors are going to be crazy stupid. In three of the five events a Brainerd athlete will compete in at the Class 2A state swimming and diving meet Monday through Wednesday at the University of Minnesota, they are seeded 15th. That includes Erica Rehnblom in the 100-yard breaststroke, Katie Streiff in the butterfly and Brainerd’s 200 medley relay. It’s in this relay that the Warriors are going for broke.