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
Adam Hallberg is making every pitch count. The junior right hander is picking and hitting his spots for the Little Falls Flyers baseball team. He’s become so efficient he landed himself in the Minnesota state record books by pitching 37.1 straight innings without allowing an earned run. Hallberg’s streak ended May 21 during a 4-1 victory over Mora. He still collected 10 strikeouts to go with four hits and one walk. The most impressive stat, according to Flyers head coach Chad Kaddatz, was his number of pitches.
BAXTER — It was a question of who could maintain focus the longest. The answer was the Bemidji duo of Matt Hokanson-Noah Holter. The defending North Subsection 8-2A champions and Thursday’s top-seeded doubles team withstood a first-set loss and defeated Brainerd’s duo of DJ Kraemer-Tanner Lundberg for the title and the North’s top seed in next Wednesday’s Section 8-2A tournament in St. Cloud. Hokanson-Holter, who were rewarded with a first-round bye, won 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
NISSWA — Andrew Israelson and Thomas Stoxen play golf in contrasting fashions. Israelson is a swashbuckling sophomore from Staples-Motley. Stoxen, a Brainerd senior, plays with machine-like precision. On Wednesday at Grand View Lodge’s The Pines, both styles worked as the two finished in the top 10 of the Brainerd Invite.
BAXTER — Troy Bialka was dejected Tuesday. The senior captain teamed with junior Jordan Kleist to man the No. 1 doubles team for the Brainerd Warriors during the North Subsection 8-2A team tournament at Forestview Middle School. The duo crushed their first opponents from Detroit Lakes 6-2, 6-1 to help No. 3-seeded Brainerd advance to the quarterfinals against No. 2-seeded Alexandria, which eliminated St. Cloud Apollo 7-0.
Preston Riewer has turned rivals into teammates, patience into success and control into a winning record. The leadoff hitter, pitcher, shortstop and sometimes catcher has the Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale Raiders baseball team in the hunt for a conference title as well as for postseason success. Both were goals of Riewers entering his fourth season of varsity baseball. During a 17-4 blowout of McGregor/Cromwell May 2 at Mills Field in Brainerd, Riewer displayed his patience as a leadoff hitter by walking three times and scoring two runs. He also added a stolen base.
The more pressure the more Emily Israelson enjoys it. Despite already signing a National Letter of Intent to play golf next season at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., Israelson is playing this season as if her future is on the line. She’s already racked up three medalist honors and is ranked ninth in the state. “I still want to win,” said the Staples-Motley senior. “It’s my last year and my last time playing in all of these tournaments. I’m still waiting to end well. The pressure is kind of off, but I’m not thinking of it like that.”
BAXTER — For one event, Beth Etterman is the prototypical athlete. For her other she has no bodily business being successful. On Thursday, Etterman was the best in both. The Brainerd senior won the pole vault and captured the 100-meter hurdles to catapult Brainerd to first in the Central Lakes Conference quadrangular at Forestview Middle School. The Brainerd boys, which rested its top athletes for Friday’s Class 3A state True Team meet, finished fourth.
BREEZY POINT — On a day when the heavy hitters felt defeated, Ethan Neitzke prevailed. The junior from Pequot Lakes switched to a new putter just in time to tackle the fast greens and tough pin placements of Deacon’s Lodge and win the Deacon’s Invite Wednesday with a score of 76. The next closest player was Brainerd’s Thomas Stoxen with a 78. Dakota Waverek of Staples-Motley and Chase Mouch of Forest Lake each fired 79s to tie for third. Those were the only four scores under 80 in a field that featured nine players ranked in the state’s top 100.
When asked about goals, Trysten Ross said he wasn’t sure. The senior for the Little Falls Flyers didn’t want to put a ceiling on what could happen. What could happen is Ross could set school records in the shot put and discus and carve out a spot for himself in the Class 2A state meet at the end of this season. The all-star offensive lineman, and all-state wrestler, threw the shot put 51-11.5 to win the event May 1 at the Princeton Invite. He added a first-place toss of 135-10 to win the discus.
By the time you finish saying her name, Lindy Lahmann-Sharbonda has already sprinted 100 meters. The Aitkin Gobblers’ track and field athlete is running down and leaping past the competition on her way to a successful senior season. Her success has not only captured the respect of her teammates, but also her male counterparts.