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
- 7 years 5 months
Friday's Class 2A state swimming prelims could hold even more surprises for Brainerd Warriors head coach Dan Anderson. That's how the coach felt after his 200-yard freestyle relay dropped six seconds from its best time in the regular season to finish second in the Section 8-2A meet and advance to the state tournament. The foursome of Jamie Wallace, Jacquilyn Rude, Katie Streiff and Madelynn Gibbons swam a 1:39.38.
Pierz's defense came to play Saturday. And so did its offense as the second-ranked and unbeaten Pioneers ran past the ninth-ranked Proctor Rails 42-13 in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at Brainerd High School. Pierz rushed for 296 yards against a team that only allowed 811 rushing yards in its first 10 games.
Three of the eight teams in the Class 3A state tournament faced each other before the season even began. Two of those teams will square off in the state quarterfinal as the Pequot Lakes Patriots face the Mora Mustangs 3 p.m. Saturday at Alexandria High School. Both teams started the 2017 campaign with a scrimmage at Pierz. The Pioneers will face Proctor on the other side of the 3A bracket.
Two top-ranked defenses will square off Saturday when the Pierz Pioneers face the Proctor Rails in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at Brainerd High School. Pierz, ranked No. 2 in the Quality Results Formula, is allowing a Class 3A-best 6.7 points per game. That includes last week's 40-14 blowout of New London-Spicer in the Section 6-3A title game. That victory improved Pierz to 10-0 and advanced it to its fifth straight state tournament and 14th trip in program history. "What we see on film with Pierz is a big, strong team that's well coached," said Proctor head coach Derek Parendo. "They're well disciplined. They don't run many different plays, but the plays they do run are well executed.
Right off the bat, football fans will get a No. 1 vs. No. 3 matchup Friday as top-ranked Spring Grove faces No. 3 Verndale in the Nine-Man state quarterfinals. Spring Grove was ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll as well as in the Quality Results Formula. Verndale held the No. 3 spot in both rankings. Both teams enter with an 11-0 record. Spring Grove's last state trip was in 2011. This will be the third state trip for the Lions, who outscored opponents 48.5 to 18.7.
FARGO—If North Dakota State University needs a quarterback of the future, the Bison need look no further than in their own home building Friday. West Central senior quarterback Ross Anderson threw for five first-half touchdowns and 291 yards on 11 of 14 passing to build a 34-8 halftime lead, which resulted in the No. 2-seeded Knights upsetting No. 1 seed and defending Section 6-2A champion Pillager Huskies 42-38 at the Fargodome. Anderson's first pass went for a 61-yard touchdown and he and the Knights just kept adding to it.
For the first time since 2009, the Staples-Motley Cardinals boys team is back at the state cross country meet, which kicks off 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. And, judging by the roster, this could be the start of a sustained run similar to S-M's run of 13 straight appearances from 1995-2007 that included seven state titles. The Cardinals are led by freshman Emmet Anderson, who won the Section 6-1A individual title in 16:38.6 to lead S-M to the team title. Anderson was followed by sophomore Hunter Klimek, who finished 10th. Freshman Tanner Robben finished 19th. Junior Ben Bartczak placed 35th and junior Bentley Christensen was 37th.
FARGO—Maxx Schindel is the punter for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, but few would know that after Thursday's Section 8-3A final at the Fargodome. The senior never punted. He never had to as he helped Pequot's offense score on all but one of its possessions. The No. 2-seeded Patriots upset No. 1 Perham 56-22 to advance to its first state tournament since 2009 and second trip in program history. "Nobody knows I can punt," Schindel said. "I'm kind of sad because it would have been cool to punt inside here.
No. 1 Pierz (9-0) vs. No. 3 New London-Spicer (7-3) No. 1 Perham (7-2) vs. No. 2 Pequot Lakes (7-2) No. 1 Pillager (8-2) vs. No. 2 West Central (6-4) No. 1 Verndale (10-0) vs. No. 2 Brandon-Evansville (9-1)
Running is a mental exercise for Hunter Zupko. The Little Falls senior's approach to cross country running is see a target and run them down. It's a philosophy he says takes more mental toughness than actual conditioning. "When I'm running, I'll just look for someone I want to catch," Zupko said. "I'll keep my focus on them and make sure they never leave my sight. If they take a turn, then I'm running harder to get to that turn so I can keep an eye on them. Then after awhile, I've caught them and I'm passing them and moving on to my next target."