The college athletic careers of Heather Anderson, Chris Bjorklund and Chris Studer equaled, or exceeded, what they accomplished at Brainerd High School.
Former junior high coach Lenny Byzewski impacted the lives of young Brainerd athletes for nearly 30 years.
And, Maynard Ketterling's tireless fundraising efforts led Brainerd to have one of the best high school baseball facilities in Minnesota.
All five had at least one thing in common. As a result of their efforts, Brainerd Warriors athletics were better off.
The five will be inducted into the Warriors Hall of Fame at the all-sports banquet April 30. Following is a profile of each.
Sports: Coached grades 6-9 wrestling 29 years, coached eighth grade baseball 15 years, coached freshmen baseball two years, coached grades 7-8 football 24 years
Residence: Foley, Ala.
Occupation: Retired, taught social studies at Franklin Junior High for 29 years, taught one year at Mississippi Horizons
Career highlights: Recipient of Bud Schmid Award, figures he coached about 2,500 Brainerd athletes, long-time director of Paul Bunyan wrestling tournament.
"I play golf about every day," Byzewski said. "This has been a good month for me. I got my first hole in one (on Good Friday) and got elected to the hall of fame.
"This honor is taken so humbly because of guys who are in there, like (basketball coach Fred) Kellett and (baseball coach Lowell) Scearcy, who won championship after championship."
Sports: Volleyball, basketball, track, softball
BHS graduate: 1993
Residence: St. Michael, moving to Dallas in May
Occupation: From 1998-2003 was physical education/health instructor and athletic director at St. Stephen's Catholic School in Anoka, currently stay-at-home mom of 4-year-old twin boys.
High school highlight: Winning consolation championships in consecutive state basketball tournaments
College highlights: Received scholarship to play basketball at University of Minnesota-Duluth, played four years, played in NAIA national tournament in Tennessee.
BHS graduate: 1997
Occupation: Pharmaceutical representative for Abbott Laboratories.
High school highlights: Leading boys' scorer in BHS history (1,718 points), all-conference three times, all-state twice, two-time all-state academic selection, four-year starter, top-five Mr. Basketball candidate.
College highlights: At Cal Poly was Big West Conference Freshman of Year, made the All-Big West first team twice, leading scorer in Cal Poly history (2,009 points), fifth-leading scorer in Big West history, Cal Poly athlete of year as senior.
Category: At large
"When I decided to organize the Brainerd Area Baseball Association the best decision I ever made was to ask Maynard Ketterling to be on the board," Scearcy recalled. "Maynard turned out to be an amazing fundraiser, who is largely responsible for such baseball field improvements as the grandstand, the lights, the concession stand and outfield fence. It's estimated that Maynard raised approximately $250,000 for (Adamson) field.
"It was very interesting, to say the least, when you accompanied Maynard to a service club meeting to ask for money. He would ask for $50,000. A couple hours later we would have both joined the organization and would come away with at least half the amount. Were it not for Maynard, we would probably not have the beautiful baseball stadium we now enjoy."
Ketterling's wife, Mary, said of Maynard's induction, "I know he would be smiling. He never wanted recognition for what he did. He would always say, That's not why I did it."
Sports: Football, baseball
BHS graduate: 1997
Residence: Sioux Falls S.D.
Occupation: News anchor/reporter for KSFY, the ABC TV affiliate in Sioux Falls.
Football highlights: As a linebacker, his 214 tackles in 1996 set a BHS single-season record and had 346 career tackles.
Baseball highlights: A two-year starting catcher, he led the Warriors both years with .417 and .444 averages. In his career he hit 12 home runs and had 47 RBIs.
In the 1996 state quarterfinals against Rosemount he became the first, and possibly only, high school player to hit a ball over the batters' eye in center field at Siebert Field. His three-run homer capped a 12-run inning.
Studer was all-conference twice, made the 1996 all-state tournament team and played in the 1997 Lions All-Star series. In the first game of the Lions series, he hit a grand slam to win the game for the North.
College highlights: Led North Central Conference in RBIs twice, career batting average was .367 with 37 home runs and 176 RBIs, first-team all-conference twice, two-time member of all-region team, region player of year once.
Mike Bialka may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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