Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper
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With the Pine River-Backus softball team's 6-1 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Wednesday, May 24, coach John Riewer earned his 300th victory in his career. Riewer has spent the past three seasons as the coach of the Tigers - winning the Upper Mississippi Conference championship in each of those seasons. Before that, he spent 18 seasons as head coach of the Dassel-Cokato Saints, amassing a record of 245-154 and earning two state tournament appearances. He added another state tournament as the coach of the Tigers in the spring of 2016.
The efforts of junior Reid Pierzinski led to four first-place finishes as the Pequot Lakes boys and girls track teams both took first place in front of a Pequot Lakes crowd at the Section 6-1A Subsection 23 meet on Thursday, May 26. The top five finishers in each individual event and the top two finishers in each relay qualified for the section meet.
Tuesday was my birthday, and with it began the final year of my 20s. I know this isn't exactly surprising, but a lot has changed in my life in the past nine years. My 20th birthday occurred shortly after finishing my first year of college, and I was just about to take a summer job cutting grass for a landscaping company (during what I remember as being one of the drier summers in recent memory, unfortunately).
With 10 first-place finishes, the Pequot Lakes Patriot girls track team managed to finish first at the MidState Conference Championship at Staples-Motley on Tuesday, May 16. Additionally, the the Patriot boys managed to finish second overall, finishing 1.3 points behind Detroit Lakes.
The Pequot Lakes Patriots advanced to the second round of the Section 6-2A tournament after a 15-5 victory over the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines Friday, May 19. Kenzie Nelson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Patriots in the five-inning victory. The Patriots now move on to face the winner between Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale in Alexandria on Tuesday, May 23.
Four Pequot Lakes student athletes - Quinn Kratochvil, Cody Huss, Gage Westlund and Corina Ruud - signed letters of intent to compete at the college level on Tuesday, May 16. Kratochvil has agreed to join the Cobber volleyball team at Concordia College in Moorhead in the fall of 2017. "I'm both excited and nervous," Kratochvil said. "It feels great to move on to that next level, because everybody at the college level is playing because they love the game. I'm glad to start playing with people who care as much as I do."
Tim Bardeaux was 2-3 with a double, a triple and four runs during the Pine River-Backus Tigers 35-3 Upper Mississippi Conference baseball win over the Red Lake Warriors on Monday, May 15. Evan Gravdahl tallied a home run for the Tigers and Steven Gardner a triple. The Tigers, 8-7 overall, are scheduled to play Lake of the Woods in Bemidji on Thursday, May 18. Red Lake 3 2 1 Pine River-Backus 35 15 0 WP: Joe Davidson. 2B: PRB-Tim Bardeaux. 3B: PRB-Bardeaux, Steven Gardner. HR: PRB-Evan Gravdahl. Tigers 18, Northome 4
Chloe Bermel won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes leading the Pequot Lakes Patriots girls track team to its first ever Section 8-2A True Team title Tuesday, May 9, in Detroit Lakes. "Winning our True Team Section is quite a validation of our team's depth," Patriot girls' coach Jana Lueck said. "This is a first for our Patriots girls' track team. We have always come in close second or third. Everyone's performance pulled us to this win. Our coaching staff has done a phenomenal job working with these athletes over the years to get us to this height of accomplishment."
Pequot Lakes High School junior Sydney Ellison's passion for photography recently paid dividends, as she has been accepted to attend a summer art program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, one of the most renowned art schools in the nation. She is one of just 15 photography students throughout the world selected for the program. "For me, it is confirmation that I am good at what I do and I am not wasting my time on it ..." Ellison said. "To have a top university for design and art say, 'We want you' out of a few people, it just reinforced that I can do this."
In its work session Monday, May 8, the Pequot Lakes School Board discussed a request by Crosslake Community School to consider a cooperative agreement through the Minnesota State High School League for band and choir. The school district already has cooperative agreements with various schools for soccer, hockey, alpine ski, nordic ski and wrestling, but board members questioned the advantage for Pequot Lakes with a music co-op with Crosslake. The district currently has a tuition agreement with the charter school for music, which is not permitted in competitions by the MSHSL.