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Wayne "Wheaties" Wallin, a longtime sports booster for the Pequot Lakes Patriots, died Saturday, Aug. 11, at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby after a battle with cancer. Wallin, 77, was known for his love of the outdoors and sports, especially following his alma mater, the Pequot Lakes Patriots, for the past 40 years as a sports writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.
Katie White isn't afraid of a challenge. The Pequot Lakes graduate was an accomplished pitcher who earned all-state honors for the Patriots before graduating in 2014. The following season, White joined the University of Wisconsin-Superior softball team. The Yellowjackets had another talented freshman pitcher, so White agreed to help the team by switching to first base.
The Pequot Lakes girls and boys both continued as a dominant force as the Patriot girls were champions and the boys placed third at the Section 6A track and field meet on Thursday, May 31, in Glenwood. Last season, both squads were section runners-up. The Pequot Lakes girls finished with 104 points to easily top runner-up Perham Yellowjackets with 76. Perham did win the boys title with 80 points while Wadena-Deer Creek compiled 54 points edged out the Patriots' 52 points for second place. The Pine River-Backus boys finished 18th while the Tiger girls were 22nd.
The Pequot Lakes girls won six individual titles and three relays to defend their title at the Subsection 23, Section 6A track and field meet on Thursday, May 24, in Sauk Centre. The top five individuals and top two relays advance to the Section 6A meet on Thursday, May 31, at Glenwood. The Patriots were first with 182 points, followed by Pillager with 135.
Adelaide Hubbard won the triple jump title to help the Pequot Lakes Patriots girls track and field team finished fifth at the Class 2A State True Team meet on Saturday, May 19, in Stillwater. Desera Engholm placed second for the Patriots in the discus and placed third in the shot put while Brit Kratochvil was second in the high jump with Lydia Hubbard placing fourth.
This spring's cold temperatures and snowy conditions are frustrating for many people, especially high school activity directors, coaches and players for area teams who have practiced inside for almost a month. That frustration came through loud and clear during a recent call to Pine River-Backus activities director Randy Schwegel. I had been typing in PR-B and Pequot Lakes spring sports schedules into our system when I noticed a conflict of location for a boys' golf meet on May 3. So I called Schwegel for clarification.
The Pequot Lakes Patriots softball team would like to add another chapter to their recent success story this spring with 11 returning letterwinners. The Patriots were Class 2A state runners-up in 2016 and then compiled a 12-10 record last year after losing to top-seeded Osakis in the Subsection 6-2A tournament.
The Pine River-Backus Tigers softball team has an admirable list of players returning from a squad that won 19 games and captured their third-straight Upper Mississippi Conference title last season. Conference and team MVP Miah Hansen has graduated, but other all-conference players return like senior Lindsey Tulenchik and juniors Bailey Wynn and Jada Olivier. Also returning are seniors Emma Mills and Sydney Davidson, who received all-conference honorable mention.
The Pequot Lakes Patriots boys' and girls' track and field teams have set the bar high after each program finished second behind at last year's Class A state meet. The Patriot boys were runners-up behind this year's senior Reid Pierzinski, who earned state titles in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and teamed with graduates Ben Nelson and Cody Huss and sophomore Robbie Hendrickson to capture the 4x200 relay championship.
The Pequot Lakes Patriots boys golf team looks to improve this spring with six letterwinners, including Section 8-2A qualifier John Marchwick. "We lost a lot of leadership from last year, but have some capable younger players ready to participate competitively," said Coach Steve Stoxen, who starts his 33rd season as head coach. "What we lack competitively is the experience needed to focus mentally for 18 holes no matter what type of elements we may face."