Adam Carner is the last pioneer of the Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey team.
When the Warriors' program became a sanctioned varsity activity in 1995-96, Carner was an eighth-grader and Brainerd was runner-up in the state tournament. In the subsequent four years Carner played on teams that placed third at state twice and won two state championships.
Sport -- Adapted floor hockey
Position -- Center/wing
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-5
Weight -- 120 pounds
Grade-point average -- 2.4
Memorable sports achievement -- Playing on two state championship teams, captain for two years
Favorite subject -- Physical education
Favorite food -- Spaghetti
Favorite movie -- "Howard the Duck"
Hobbies -- Collecting football cards, collecting die cast cars
Future plans -- Undecided
Athletes he admires -- His brother, Kori Kuhn, and teammate Nick Praska
Parents -- Richard and Denise Rathman and Loren Carner
This season, his final year as a Warrior, Carner scored 10 points in the regular season and added five at state. He had an assist in the 5-4 state semifinal win over Dakota United and two goals and two assists in the 7-2 state championship win over the St. Paul Humboldt Hawks.
Scoring hasn't been Carner's role for the Warriors. He is one of the Warriors' emotional leaders, a young man who assists his teammates on and off the floor by performing tasks like washing their uniforms at state and submitting orders for sweatshirts that players can purchase.
"It's a credit to Adam to be with the program through thick and thin," Warriors coach Bruce Thompson said. "He's one of our co-captains. He does an excellent job in giving leadership and helping out with all the little things that have to be done.
"Adam's not a big scorer. All the things he does behind the scenes make up for that."
After the Warriors beat Maple Grove 7-1 in the state quarterfinals Carner rounded up the team's uniforms, went to a laundromat and washed them.
"We get back Friday night and he grabs everybody's uniforms, takes them down and washes them," Thompson said. "He didn't ask for money. He took it upon himself to do that. I'm thinking, 'Holy cow. What a great move on his part to make sure the kids have clean stuff.' I don't think other kids would think of that but Adam did. That shows where he is as far as doing things for the team."
Carner said laundering uniforms at state became a tradition a few years ago.
"It's carried on," he said. "It's a nice thing to do. Then they're clean and ready to go. Friday night I collected them all and washed them. (Teammate) Nick Praska helped me with the money this year. It only cost 75 cents per load. It was only three loads so it cost under $5."
Team members have been outfitting themselves in sweatshirts since the program's inception.
"The captains get the order forms," Carner said, "and it has carried on. Tina Young did it last year. I did it this year. Who knows who will do it next year? I hope somebody will.
"The sweatshirts are about $35 apiece. Each kid pays for their own. You can have what you want on the back. The Brainerd Warriors adapted floor hockey logo is on the front."
Carner has had to overcome tuberculosis and meningitis that affects the left side of his body.
"Most people's hips are at such a degree," Carner said. "Mine are turning a bit more. It causes me to limp. One foot is shorter than the other."
Carner joined the floor hockey program the year before it became a sanctioned varsity sport in Brainerd.
"When I first heard about it I thought, 'That ought to be fun,'" Carner said, "so I tried out and it took off from there."
Carner hopes to remain involved with the program after he graduates.
"It was a hard thing, at the end of my career, when I had to give back my jersey," Carner said. "I did not want to take it off. (Assistant) coach (Ron) Allord said we're not leaving until you do. I finally got the guts to take it off."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Nick Praska, floor hockey, had seven goals and four assists and was named to the all-state tournament team.
Chris Nelson, floor hockey, had five goals and three assists and made the all-state tournament team
David Peterson, floor hockey, had three goals against Maple Grove in the state tournament.
Adam Thiel, floor hockey, had five assists against Maple Grove.
Dustin Scherfenberg, floor hockey, made 54 saves in the state tournament.
(Athlete of the week is honored by the Brainerd Sports Boosters Club.)
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