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 1 week
Jeb Sanford is a glutton for punishment. During the football season he's usually the one inflicting the pain, but on the baseball diamond, the Aitkin Gobblers senior takes a licking and keeps on ticking. During a two-week stretch the No. 4 hitter was hit by six pitches. He is Minnesota's all-time leader in getting beaned. He's been hit by a pitch 34 times with four regular season games left and the playoffs. The previous record was 29 times.
BREEZY POINT—Brady Raph almost did something Wednesday no Pine River-Backus Tiger has ever done. The freshman shot a 2-over 74 at Deacon's Lodge to finish second at the Deacon's Invite. He was two strokes from becoming the first PR-B player to win the invite. "I was hitting the ball well," said Raph. "I did a good job of keeping the ball low because the conditions weren't great out there." Raph fired an opening even-par 36 on the back nine—his first nine. He sprinkled in birdies on the par 4 13th and par 5 18th.
EAST GULL LAKE—Alex Stone wasn't too pleased with her round Wednesday, but she still won. Julia Wallace had all but given up on her round at The Classic at Madden's Resort, but still placed in the top 10. The combination of a tough course and tough conditions dominated the field at the Brainerd Warriors Invite. Anyone breaking 100 had to feel good about themselves.
Lexi Roby is aware and proud to be part of a Brainerd Warriors legacy. That legacy is playing shortstop for the Warrior softball team. The junior is the latest in a line that includes Maria West, Abby Rehberger, Stephanie Neugebauer and Megan Arns to mention a few in recent years. Roby knows the names and respects the position.
Elaina Christiansen is not normal. In fact, Brainerd Warriors head softball coach Shane Jordan called her a freak. And to prove the point he moved his third-year starting catcher to centerfield for a game and the freak nicknamed "Bootsie" didn't disappoint.
Vanessa Lane's high school basketball coach may have described her best. "She would run through a wall if you asked her to." Those were the words of now retired Pequot Lakes coach Jon Dale when talking about Lane's mentality on a basketball court.
Brittney Boser has an attitude and it's a problem for opposing teams. The junior pitcher for the Pierz Pioneers softball team is demanding respect this season as she's pitched the Pierz Pioneers to a 10-6 record heading into the final week of the regular season. "If someone makes the error behind her she's going to strike the next girl out," said Pierz head coach Matt Poepping. "That's the attitude you need to have. Nothing really bothers her when she's in the circle. She doesn't seem to get rattled and that's what seems to make her so good.
Word is out—Jake Dykhoff is someone to be reckoned with on the baseball diamond. Unlike last year, when as a sophomore the pitcher-shortstop had a breakout season helping the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines to a 15-5 regular season, Dykhoff is catching nobody by surprise this year. It still hasn't mattered when he's on the mound.
A conversation in January helped Charlie Campbell land a new volleyball coach in March. The Brainerd Warriors activities director was getting concerned about the vacant volleyball position and a visit with Central Lakes College head volleyball coach Jane Peterson and assistant coach Ken Miller helped provide the name of Rick Kuehlwein. After much pestering, Campbell wrestled away Kuehlwein from his position as the Cretin-Derham Hall head coach to move to Brainerd.
Tanner Lundberg received a wake-up call at last year's state boys tennis tournament. The Brainerd Warriors' junior advanced to his first Class 2A state singles tournament after winning the Section 8-2A title. Lundberg opened with a 6-2, 6-0 loss to Orono's Conner Olsen and then lost to Mahtomedi's Spencer Wick 6-1, 6-2 in the consolation bracket to end his season.