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Warriors Athlete of Week: Geraets among elite Brainerd backs

Ron Stolski has coached a countless number of top-flight running backs during his 43 years as Brainerd Warriors head football coach. Their names are too numerous to mention for fear of overlooking one, but one thing is clear after last year, and ...

Brainerd’s Charlie Geraets runs the ball during a game against St. Cloud Tech this season. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd’s Charlie Geraets runs the ball during a game against St. Cloud Tech this season. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch

 

Ron Stolski has coached a countless number of top-flight running backs during his 43 years as Brainerd Warriors head football coach.

Their names are too numerous to mention for fear of overlooking one, but one thing is clear after last year, and three games into this season-Charlie Geraets is on the list.

According to Brainerd Dispatch records, the senior already has churned out four of the top nine individual rushing efforts in Warrior history. His best, and the third-best in program history, was a 296-yard, five touchdown effort against Bemidji Oct. 19, 2016.

Last week against Alexandria, Geraets delivered the fourth-best effort on the list with a 43-carry, 290-yard, three TD game in a wacky 50-43 shootout victory. He also passed for a score, caught the game-winning TD pass and caught a 2-point conversion pass.

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As if that wasn't enough, Geraets also returned four kickoffs for 104 yards, including a 49-yarder that enabled Brainerd to score on the last play of the half and grab a 22-21 lead.

Stolski said Geraets possesses all of the traits of the Warrior greats.

---   ---   ---   ---   ---

Charlie Geraets

  • Sport: Football
  • Position: Running back
  • Year: Senior
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 200
  • Grade-point average: 4.0
  • Favorite class: Physical education
  • Favorite food: Pizza
  • Favorite TV show: "Friends"
  • Hobbies: Being outdoors
  • Future plans: Attend college, hopes to play football and major in engineering
  • Favorite football player: Adrian Peterson
  • Parents: Roger and Tracy Geraets

---   ---   ---   ---   ---

"We have been blessed to have a lot of really good backs here," Stolski said, "and a couple of things are similar about all of them. One is all of them, from a personality point of view, are humble, quality kids. You could go through our whole history here and they were all humble athletes.

"Two other things that stand out are vision and power. You don't want to call on a back to carry the ball 35-40 times, but every one of those (great backs) could. And that's Charlie. He hardly says boo. They're all quiet, powerful kids with really good vision and you don't find a fumbler in the crowd."

Like many of his talented predecessors, Geraets is a reserved individual.

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"Charlie's quiet," Stolski said. "He just goes about his business. He's so unassuming, but he's working all the time. Those qualities are not only worth mentioning, they're worth emulating."

After being limited to six points in a loss to St. Cloud Tech a week earlier, the Warriors busted out to knock off Class 5A's fifth-ranked team.

"I just think our team, after a tough Tech loss, worked hard all week and found our groove," Geraets said. "We just pushed the ball and played fast."

Geraets said a Tech defense that restricted him to 29 yards stymied the Warriors' offense.

"They stacked the box, rushed a lot people, that kind of hurt us," he said. "We weren't really prepared for that."

Geraets credited his big day at Alexandria to an improving offensive line of returning starter Hunter Erickson at left tackle, Nate Bessingpas at left guard, returning starter Brett Hague at center, Ryan Peterson at right guard and Hunter Anderson at right tackle.

"They started off a little slow against Buffalo," Geraets said, "but we found our way. Tech we kind of got pushed around. Against Alexandria we found our groove."

As if Geraets doesn't have enough to do with running the ball, catching it and returning kicks, he also is an excellent blocker.

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"On the occasions we went to Max Zimmerman, it was Charlie taking on the linebacker," Stolski said.

Blocking is something Geraets takes pride in doing.

"Blocking is one of the most important things," he said. "When everybody does it for me, I have to return the favor when it's my turn. I put a lot of pride into that."

Geraets leads Brainerd in rushing with 489 yards and five touchdowns and is one of four captains with Zimmerman, Erickson and linebacker Luke Johnson.

"I just like to be a leader, lead by example, make sure everybody's on the same page," Geraets said.

Stolski said all four captains are from the same mold.

"What I see is Charlie leads, as so many good leaders do, by example," Stolski said. "He's not rah-rah. He's not that kind of kid. If you need a slot receiver on the scout team, all of a sudden there's Charlie. If you need a wide receiver, there's Charlie. In drills, you better work as hard as Charlie Geraets. He doesn't say it, he just does it."

Other notable efforts:

• Mason Malone, boys soccer, scored a hat trick vs. St. Michael-Albertville and plays an average of 75 minutes per game.

• Britney Fletcher, girls tennis, decided Brainerd's victory against Bemidji with a 3-set win at No. 2 singles and beat a Willmar opponent 6-1, 7-6 (6-0). • Emily Rugloski, cross country, won her second race of the season at the Pierz Pioneers Stampede.

• Katie Streiff, swimming, won two individual events and was on two winning relays vs. Alexandria.

Related Topics: BRAINERD WARRIORS
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