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
Sneaky good may be the best way to describe this year’s Brainerd Warriors. Here’s why. Last season the Brainerd Warriors finished sixth in the Section 8-3A finals, but five of the six players from that team return. The Warriors had no state qualifiers, but they do have a bona fide leader in Thomas Stoxen, who set a school record by shooting a 68 in the Apollo Invite. Stoxen, who has played varsity golf since seventh grade, finished fourth in the final Central Lakes Conference standings and tied for 13th in the section finals with a two-day 161.
Maddie Franz couldn’t lie. She admitted having a 5-0 lead after the first two innings of the Brainerd Warriors’ season opener made things easier for her on the mound. The senior pitcher did the rest as she struck out five, walked none and allowed one run on nine hits in the Warriors 8-1 victory over St. Cloud Apollo Thursday at Adamson Field in Brainerd. Franz’s ability to throw first pitch strikes was key.
Mike Snow counted the hours. He watched the tally rise as he sat stuck. Two hours a day wasted. Ten hours a week gone forever. Around 500 hours a year spent sitting in a car driving to and from a factory job that left him unfulfilled. Snow had enough. “I was very surprised,” said Greg Snow, Mike’s younger brother and current PGA head professional at Olivia Golf Club. “He had a very good job in the Cities. He made really good money. It was just a matter of him not liking going to work. It was a shocker.”
Only three players return from the Brainerd Warriors’ Section 8-2A qualifying team. Add another uncooperative spring weather-wise and head coach Bruce Thompson still isn’t sure what he has for a lineup. One area Thompson isn’t worried about is his singles lineup with DJ Kraemer returning to the No. 1 spot followed by eighth-grader Tanner Lundberg, who will move up to No. 2 singles after playing No. 3 last season. Senior captain Troy Bialka also returns and will be a key player in the Warriors’ doubles lineup that will likely be a work in progress during the season.
While an assistant PGA professional in the Brainerd lakes, Tim Johnson created a reputation as a bit of a ladies man. Now entering his second season at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Johnson is hoping his reputation will kick-start the new Golf Fore Gals Night. Every Thursday night starting May 1, GVL will host a nine-hole golf event just for women. This social golf will use The Pines and The Preserve along with Grand View’s social nine the Garden Course.
One of the most popular Brainerd lakes area golf fundraisers is getting a makeover. The former ACS Pink Ribbon Classic is being renamed the Pink Links For Cancer. This year’s event will be June 17 at Grand View Lodge’s Pines and Garden courses. The all-women’s scramble, which began in 2003, was a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, will raise funds for the St. Joseph’s Foundation — Brainerd Lakes Pay it Forward Cancer Fund and the Angel Foundation of Minneapolis as its 2014 charities.
Two days after competing in one of the biggest wrestling tournaments in the nation, Hayden Zillmer was back at it. The North Dakota State University wrestler advanced to his first NCAA Championships at 174 pounds. It was a goal achieved, but it also created more reasons for Zillmer to continue his unparalleled work ethic. Zillmer, a Crosby-Ironton High School graduate, lost to Mike Dessino of Bloomsburg in an 8-6 sudden victory and fell to No. 11-ranked Bryce Hammond of California State University-Bakersfield at the national tournament March 20-22 in Oklahoma City.
Much has been said about Vanessa Lane during her Pequot Lakes High School athletic career. State track and field champion. Powerful sprinter. Career 1,000-point scorer in basketball. Cross country runner. Volleyball player. What hasn’t been said until now is 2014 Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Lane is the fifth Patriot to win the award and probably the most unlikely.
Pequot Lakes’ run to the Class 2A state tournament helped the Patriots land three players on this year’s Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Team. 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, guard
MINNEAPOLIS — Carlie Wagner showcased on Wednesday what she will hopefully do next year as a University of Minnesota Gopher. The 5-foot-11 senior guard broke her own state tournament record as she scored 53 points to lead the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (NRHEG) Panthers to a 100-68 victory over the Pequot Lakes Patriots in the Class 2A state quarterfinals at Mariucci Arena.