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A frantic, somewhat contentious finish was settled by the left foot of Nick Whiteman. The Brainerd junior midfielder tallied with 25 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Warriors a stirring 4-3 victory over the Rocori Spartans in a Central Lakes Conference game Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Adamson Field in Brainerd. The debate began when a free kick was called. Rocori thought the clock would be stopped and was scrambling to get into defensive position. Whiteman capitalized on the lack of defenders and approached the live ball.
COLLEGEVILLE—For the second-straight week, the Brainerd Warriors ran into a buzzsaw of an offense. Last week it was the Buffalo Bison erupting for 400-plus yards. In Friday's North Central Red Subdistrict opener, the St. Cloud Tech Tigers utilized big plays to roll up 464 total yards and defeat the Warriors 32-26 at Clemens Stadium. Tech running backs Troy Feddema and Kedrick Osuarah combined to rush for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Osuorah raced for 203 yards with a chunk of that coming on a 77-yard TD scamper. Feddema added 102 yards.
Jon Benson is back in the saddle. Formerly the head coach at St. Cloud Apollo, Benson spent the last nine years as an assistant at St. Cloud Tech, the last five as the Tigers' defensive coordinator. During the offseason, Benson was hired as Tech's head man after longtime head coach Gregg Martig departed to join the staff of former Sauk Rapids head coach Bill Magnuson at Pequot Lakes. Benson said after he left Apollo, for various reasons, he wasn't sure he wanted to be a head coach again.
Tracey Brown was one of the fastest runners in the history of the Brainerd High School girls track and field program. Nearly 30 years after graduation, Brown remains the girls school record-holder in four events—100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and in the 4x200 relay where she teamed up with Cassie Pearson, Stephanie Jones and Nikki Tanner. In 1986, Brown finished sixth in the Class 2A state meet in the 100. She placed fifth in 1989 in the 200 and 400.
BUFFALO—Aidan Bouman and Treyton Welch were as dynamic as projected for the Buffalo Bison Friday, Aug. 31. Bouman, who has given a verbal commitment to Iowa State even though he's a junior, threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns. Welch, who has offers from North Dakota State and Northern Iowa, caught 10 passes for 118 yards and two scores as the Bison rumbled to a 38-28 victory over the Brainerd Warriors in the season opener for both teams. But the Warriors were nearly Buffalo's equal offensively. Running back Joe Klang rushed for 141 yards and a score and caught a TD pass. Quarterback Sam Miller passed for 138 yards and two TDs for Brainerd, which trailed by only 7 until the final minute.
After losing to Owatonna in the 2017 Class 5A state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Brainerd Warriors said farewell to several standouts. Among them was running back Charlie Geraets, who rushed for 2,256 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior year. He finished his career as the leading rusher in school history with 4,046 yards and 46 TDs. Also graduating were leading receiver Max Boran and linebackers Luke Johnson and Max Zimmerman, the team's No. 1 and No. 3 tacklers, respectively.
Scoring for the Brainerd Warriors has been a collective effort so far this season and that trend continued Thursday, Aug. 30, as three different players tallied in a 6-0 victory over the Willmar Cardinals at Adamson Field in Brainerd. In the Central Lakes Conference opener for both teams, Brainerd's Gabbie Smith punched in two goals and added two assists. Gina Wasniewski also tallied twice and Emma Smith and the Warriors added an own goal in the final minute. "I think that's how we're going to have to be," Warriors coach Grant Gmeinder said. "It's not going to be one person this season like maybe we've had in the past. It's going to be a collective effort. It's fun to see a few different girls get on the scoreboard and create for each other."
An offensive juggernaut awaits the Brainerd Warriors when they open the football season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Buffalo against the high-octane Bison. Left-handed quarterback Aidan Bouman, who has verbally committed to Iowa State University entering his junior high school season, is the centerpiece of the Bison's offense. According to Minnesota Football Hub, during the 2017 regular season, Bouman completed 141 of 257 passes (54.9 percent) for 2,141 yards and 16 scores. He averaged 267.6 yards per game and was intercepted eight times.
Trent Grams realizes he's replacing a legend in Minnesota State High School League baseball and he's up for the challenge. The 42-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Brainerd was hired Monday, Aug. 27, as the Brainerd Warriors head baseball coach, replacing Lowell Scearcy who retired in June after 46 years in that role. Scearcy retired with the second-most wins in MSHSL baseball history. His career mark of 765-325 (.701) trails only Bob Karn of St. Cloud Cathedral, who is 782-306 (.719) coaching the Crusaders.
In the mid- to late 2000s, the Minnesota Twins wrote out lineups with several lead-off type hitters, players who weren't superstars, but did the little things necessary to win games. Those teams were nicknamed "piranhas" by an opposing manager. Brainerd Warrior head coach Dan Anderson sees his 2018 team has some of the same qualities. "We probably don't have anybody who really scares the opposing team," he said. "When you go into a dual meet with most teams there's usually that one swimmer you know you have no answer for. We don't really have that, but what we do have is a lot of really good swimmers.