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 10 months
It was simply a matter of maintaining. The Brainerd Warriors jumped out to a 7-2 lead against the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles and then hung on for dear life Thursday at Brainerd High School. Despite sending Apollo to the free throw line 26 times, Brainerd managed a 67-60 Central Lakes Conference victory behind Kayla Kraemer’s 21 points and 23 forced turnovers.
Austin Annable felt like Patrick Kane. The Brainerd Warriors senior defenseman mimicked the NHL star Monday as Annable ended a 3-3 overtime thriller with his second goal of the Northern Division game against Mounds View. Annable navigated the Riverside Elementary gym as time ticked down on the overtime frame. The vocal leader of the 2-2 Warriors unloaded a slap shot in mid-stride past Mounds View goalie Mark Bruan for a 4-3 Warrior victory.
It’s been a strange new world for Mattie Lueck. Last season, the Pequot Lakes senior averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds to help the Patriots to Mid-State Conference and Section 8-2A titles on the way to a Class 2A state tournament appearance. But Lueck was in the shadow of her older sister Emily and senior point guard Kylie Beltz. It was a spot she didn’t mind. This season, Lueck is the main offensive threat and the key to every opponent’s defensive game plan.
January was a month to remember for Michael Stumpf. The junior netminder for Class 1A’s 13th-ranked Little Falls Flyers allowed just three goals in eight Flyers’ victories during the month. He posted five shutouts and ran a streak of 180 minutes and 52 seconds of scoreless hockey before a third-period goal by Bill Rodning of Fergus Falls found the net in the third period in the Flyers’ 7-1 win. Stumpf finished with 19 saves in the victory over the Section 6-1A opponent.
CROSBY — By reversing the ball, the Crosby-Ironton Rangers have reversed their fortunes. Their unselfish, patient offensive attack was on display Friday in the Ranger Gym as C-I shot 57 percent from the field in the first half, including 60 percent from 3-point, to claim a 48-23 halftime edge over the Staples-Motley Cardinals. The red-hot Rangers turned that into a 72-41 Mid-State Conference victory — C-I’s fifth straight.
Of all the things that could have gone wrong, a winter with little snow wasn’t on the list. And, much to the delight of Mark and Becky Stadem, Heather Baird and Michelle Burris, that’s been the only hiccup in the inaugural season of the Youth Ski League. Those four, along with countless volunteers from the Brainerd Nordic Ski Club and parents, have helped introduce 48 children to Nordic or cross country skiing this winter through an eight-week program that’s incorporated with the Minnesota Youth Ski League.
Madison Grausam was a little too pumped for her final floor routine Thursday night at Brainerd High School. The lone Brainerd Warrior senior competing in the regular-season finale jumped out of the performance area twice, but still posted a second-place 9.2 to help Brainerd to a season-high 142.975 to beat the Little Falls Flyers, who scored a 130.70. “It was fun,” said Grausam. “I’m glad I went out with a bang. It’s always fun being the last person because it’s like you own the floor for the night.
The NFL season is nearing the end, but for a few die-hard fanatics, the football season will be getting under way soon. The semi-pro football season that is. And, in the Brainerd lakes area, that distinction belongs to the Brainerd Lumberjacks. Brainerd will open the 2012 season on the road against the Twin City Titans, who along with the Northern Terror of the north metro will join the Midwest Premier Football League this year. Brainerd’s first game is May 12. Its first home game will be June 8 against the Terror.
STAPLES — They’re called free, but Kelly Pearson and Class 2A’s eighth-ranked Staples-Motley Cardinals earned them. Pearson hit eight of 10 free throws in the final 47 seconds of Friday’s Mid-State Conference clash to hand the Cardinals a well-fought for 63-54 victory over rival Wadena-Deer Creek. Pearson finished with a game-high 26 points as she scored 13 points in each half. Jasmine McGillvray tallied 12 points, 10 coming in the second half as the Cardinals broke open a close contest for a 47-37 edge.
Caleb Janson’s stat sheet looks like it came from a video game. The Pierz Pioneers’ senior is averaging 17.9 points and 15.6 rebounds a game. He’s recorded 12 double-doubles, with two being of the 20-20 variety. The 6-foot-4 forward has 250 points, 219 rebounds, 24 assists, 20 steals and four blocked shots. He’s shooting 48 percent from the field and is closing in on 1,000 career points, but already holds the school’s all-time rebounding record with 945 through 14 games this season.