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Commentary: Another good year to be a CLC Raider

It's another good year to be a Central Lakes College Raider. In what has almost become an annual event, Raiders volleyball and football teams captured championships last weekend. Coach Jane Peterson's volleyball team won the Region 13B title with...

It's another good year to be a Central Lakes College Raider.

In what has almost become an annual event, Raiders volleyball and football teams captured championships last weekend.

Coach Jane Peterson's volleyball team won the Region 13B title with a 3-0 sweep of Rainy River in the championship match. CLC advances to the NJCAA Division III national tournament Friday and Saturday at Rochester, Minn. The fourth-seeded Raiders (21-11) open against No. 5 Columbus State (Ohio) in the quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the UCR Regional Sports Center.

The Raiders have been sparked this season by Rachel Mathias, who paced the Northern Division in kills per set and was third in attack percentage and blocks per set. Five times she was the division player of the week.

Other Raiders' stat leaders include Kaitlynn Christen, seventh in the division in attack percentage; Britta Torgerson, seventh in ace serves per set, 10th in attack percentage; Sierra Nori, 10th in ace serves per set; Kahlen Manthey, third in digs per set; Lakyn Anderson, fourth in set assists per set and Morgan Melby seventh; and Kayla Larson eighth in blocks per set.

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Meanwhile, in football, the unbeaten Raiders (11-0) won the MCAC state championship with a 36-28 win over North Dakota State College of Science. Coach Greg Medeck's Raiders should receive an attractive bowl invitation when bids are announced Nov. 15. CLC moved up from seventh to sixth in this week's NJCAA rankings.

Through the regular season, quarterback Mike Tveitbakk was the East's second-leading passer with 1,567 yards and 21 TDs with just seven interceptions. Teddy Sherva led the East in rushing with 814 yards and 10 scores.

Cody Rau led the division in receiving with 47 catches, 486 yards and five scores. Daryl Waindim ranked ninth.

Mustaful Strong was third in kickoff returns and DJ Hardin seventh. Rau and Strong ranked 6-7 in punt returns.

Sherva, Antoine Akundu and Waindim ranked 1-2-3 in scoring. Greg Lewis tied for sixth in scoring and Lewis tied for eighth. Caleb Glennon ranked sixth in punting.

Kyree McLean, Barry Moreland and Tykeise Johnson finished in the top 10 in interceptions.

CLC led the division in team offense and defense.

Geraets rushes into record book

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Brainerd junior running back Charlie Geraets is on the verge of rewriting the Warrior football record book after gaining 1,660 yards and scoring 20 TDs in his first full varsity season this fall.

According to Brainerd Dispatch records, his season ranks as the fourth-highest single-season rushing total. Geraets trails only Brian Day, 2,354 in 1996; Kyle Berg, 1,800 in 1999; and Joe Diemer 1,695 in 1990.

Also according to Dispatch records, Geraets already has produced three of the program's top seven single-game rushing efforts. His 296 yards against Bemidji Oct. 19 ranks third, his 288 yards vs. St. Cloud Apollo in the postseason is fourth and his 243 yards vs. Apollo in the regular season is seventh.

Day owns the single-game high mark with 461 yards (then a state record) vs. Apollo in 1996. Dale Brown ranks second with 312 yards vs. Bemidji in 1961 and fifth with 265 yards vs. Aitkin in 1961. Nick Welch ranks sixth with 251 yards vs. Cambridge-Isanti in 2011.

Legendary Lumberjack dies

Brainerd High School grad Mick Toumi called to point out that former Bemidji Lumberjacks basketball legend Ray Cronk, whom the Brainerd Warriors bumped off in the quarterfinals of the 1958 state tournament, died Oct. 26 in Red Wing.

Cronk was a behemoth in his era, standing 6-foot-6. Against Brainerd, he helped Bemidji to a 47-46 halftime lead, but was in foul trouble. Warriors' sharpshooting guard Jimmy Brown stole the spotlight, pumping in 31 points in a 77-72 Brainerd victory.

The 76-year-old Cronk was a 3-year starter for the Lumberjacks and played in three state tournaments. He was a member of the all-tournament team in 1957 and 1958 and scored more than 1,400 career points. He went on to play for Minnesota, averaging 14 points per game, and led the Gophers in rebounds from 1960-62. He was the Gophers' MVP in 1962.

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Cronk was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1964 and played with the Minnesota Muskies of the ABA in 1968.

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