Boys Lacrosse: Brainerd continues to grow on the field
The 2023 Brainerd boys lacrosse preview
BRAINERD — Head coach Adam Extrand has a lot of positive momentum to build off from last year.
The Warriors won a program-high six games, which included a 7-4 win over Becker in the Section 8 play-in for their first playoff victory.
Brainerd graduated most of the leading scorers from last year, including Jacob Holm and Ethan DeRosier.
“We are going to have to rely on some younger players this year,” Extrand said, who is in his fifth year as coach. “Last year, we were heavy on seniors. We have some good senior leaders returning this year, but we have about half the seniors we had last year. I think overall we will still be skilled because these younger kids have been playing.”
Senior Zac Birks hopes to pick up the slack on the Warriors’ attack.
“He’s put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Extrand said. “He’s looked really good. We aren’t really sure of our other attackers, so we will need to work some things out, but we have a handful of players fighting for those positions.”
Sophomore Gaje Germanson is one of those younger players Extrand is excited about on the attack along with freshmen Jack Liebel and Cooper Katzenberger.
“Those guys might not play a lot right away, but I think they will work their way into pretty consistent playing time,” Extrand said.
Extrand feels the midfield is his team’s deepest position. The group is led by three senior captains in Tanner Karsnia, Cullen Davis and Nicholas Buffetta.
“Tanner has been playing forever it feels like,” Extrand said. “I think he started as a seventh grader. All of our captains have done a really nice job of getting guys together for captains’ practices. Cullen and Nicholas are both kind of our quiet leaders, but are super leaders in their attitude and effort in how they play the game.”
Juniors Braeden Manceke and Andrew Garding will lock down the midfield for the Warriors as well.
“We have a good core there,” Extrand said. “I think Manceke is going to be very effective for us. We were thinking of putting Andrew Garding at attack, but he will probably be one of our midfielders. We rotate a lot of guys in and out of that position. That’s not a spot I’m worried about. We are pretty deep in that area.”
Senior Liam Luther is one of the goalies for the Warriors along with freshman Eli DeRosier.
“Liam played the majority of the games last year at the varsity level,” Extrand said. “We are excited because Liam did really well and now we have Eli who will really push him.”
Similar to the Warriors’ attack, the defense also saw a lot of graduated seniors leave. Senior captain Eli Wiskow is a returning starter on defense and will be joined by junior Sean Holbrook and sophomore Triston Kubista.
“Wiskow played a lot of varsity for us last year and is an awesome athlete,” Extrand said. “He’s a good leader there. The other guys are a little younger and will need some experience. I think Sean Holbrook will play a lot for us. He dominated JV last year and should find a spot on varsity for us.”
The Warriors open their season Monday, April 17, at home against St. Cloud.
“I think we will continue to build on our overall record,” Extrand said. “Our schedule is very similar to last year and last year we beat some teams we have never beaten before. But there are still some teams we haven’t got yet, so we are really shooting for those teams.”
Extrand has also been excited about the growth of the junior varsity in the boys’ program.
“They hadn’t won a game until last season,” he said. “They were around .500 and I think they are going to be really good this year. A lot of them are pushing for varsity spots, which I think is going to make them have a good JV season.”
Seniors: Tanner Karsnia, Cullen Davis, Nicholas Buffetta, Eli Wiskow, Noah Hines, Tony Cash, Liam Luther, Reese Meyer, Kamden Ylinen, Zac Birks
Juniors: Landon Liebel, Ashton Extrand, Daniel Tollesrud, Braeden Manceke, Eli Knapp, Caleb Estrada, Sean Holbrook, Andrew Garding, Connor Knight, Brandon Tulenchik
Sophomores: Gaje Germanson, Triston Kubista, Ethan Kosloski, Jaxson DeRosier
Freshmen: Jack Liebel, Tatie Knapp, Cooper Katzenberger, Eli DeRosier
Monday, April 17: hosts St. Cloud, 7 p.m.
April 20: at Sartell/Sauk Rapids, 6 p.m.
April 24: at Rocori, 7 p.m.
April 27: at St. Cloud, 7 p.m.
April 28: hosts Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.
May 2: hosts Moorhead, 4:30 p.m.
May 4: at Becker, 6 p.m.
May 5: at Chisago Lakes, 6 p.m.
May 8: hosts Sartell/Sauk Rapids, 7 p.m.
May 12: hosts Rocori, 7 p.m.
May 15: at Grand Rapids, 6:30 p.m.
May 18: hosts Big Lake, 7 p.m.
May 19: hosts Monticello, 7 p.m.
May 29: Section 8 play-in
May 31: Section 8 quarterfinals
June 6: Section 8 semifinals
June 8: Section 8 finals
June 13-15: State tournament
Head coach: Adam Extrand, fifth year
2022 record: 6-9
Captains: Tanner Karsnia, Cullen Davis, Nicholas Buffetta, Eli Wiskow
Assistant coach: Zach Cadwell, Kaden Sheflo (JV), Zane Hensel, Jayce Schroeder
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.