My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University.
My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
- Member for
- 7 years 2 months
Nick Ackerman leads the Pine River-Backus Tigers in most statistical categories, but it's his leadership qualities that are the most important. That's what Tigers head boys basketball coach John Riewer believes. "The best things I see in Nick are his work ethic and his leadership," Riewer said. "He's vocal and has grown up in that regard and he leads by example. He leads our team in almost every category. Pretty much Nick leads us in all categories.
In a season of change, one thing hasn't—Olivia Lane still dominates. The Pequot Lakes Patriots have a new head coach in Katrina Moody. It's her first head coaching stint and she and her players are learning and coming together on the fly. But they seem to be learning quickly, and having the 6-foot-1 Lane on the floor helps.
Call it a culture adjustment. A perceptual refocus to all five senses. Going from the formal, martini-bar style dining of Iven's on the Bay to the casual, kick your feet up dining of the Northern Cowboy Flame N'Brew north of Brainerd on North Long Lake is abrupt, but not unwelcome.
There's a strange routine happening in Pine River-Backus. Bailey Wynn is the latest girls basketball player to experience it. Because of past struggles, PR-B head coach Randy Schwegel has kept it secret when one of his players reaches 1,000 career points and has waited for a more suitable time to announce it.
State or bust. The Brainerd lakes area was blessed with four state-qualifying teams, including Class 3A state champion Pierz. That level of success created a crowded Brainerd Dispatch All-Area roster, which was highlighted by eight Brainerd players and five each from Pierz and Pequot Lakes. Verndale and Section 6-2A runner-up Pillager filled out this year's squad with three players apiece. Players for the all-area team are nominated by their coaches and then selected by the Dispatch football committee. All-Area Team
With a Section 6-1A title, and a fourth-place finish in the Class 1A state tournament, the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines highlight this year's Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Volleyball Team with three players. Pine River-Backus also advanced to state and landed two players on the all-area roster. Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton and Pequot Lakes all landed two players on this year's squad. Players for the all-area team are nominated by head coaches and selected by the Dispatch sports committee. All-Area Team Maggi Fellerman, Aitkin Senior, middle hitter
It's No. 1 ranked vs. unranked. It's perennial state participant vs. first-time state semifinalist. But at this point it's anyone's guess how the top-ranked St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders and Pequot Lakes Patriots match up on the field. Fans will find out 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Class 3A state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Three of the eight teams in the Class 3A state tournament faced each other before the season even began. Two of those teams will square off in the state quarterfinal as the Pequot Lakes Patriots face the Mora Mustangs 3 p.m. Saturday at Alexandria High School. Both teams started the 2017 campaign with a scrimmage at Pierz. The Pioneers will face Proctor on the other side of the 3A bracket.
FARGO—Maxx Schindel is the punter for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, but few would know that after Thursday's Section 8-3A final at the Fargodome. The senior never punted. He never had to as he helped Pequot's offense score on all but one of its possessions. The No. 2-seeded Patriots upset No. 1 Perham 56-22 to advance to its first state tournament since 2009 and second trip in program history. "Nobody knows I can punt," Schindel said. "I'm kind of sad because it would have been cool to punt inside here.
No. 1 Pierz (9-0) vs. No. 3 New London-Spicer (7-3) No. 1 Perham (7-2) vs. No. 2 Pequot Lakes (7-2) No. 1 Pillager (8-2) vs. No. 2 West Central (6-4) No. 1 Verndale (10-0) vs. No. 2 Brandon-Evansville (9-1)