The pomp and circumstance has already started for some seniors in the area but there are a few senior athletes striving to fulfill one last goal.
Even with the lousy spring weather, there are still athletic events being played and the Brainerd area could see a swarm of athletes make to a state tournament.
In golf, 13 area boys have advanced to the section meet, the most in a long time, highlighted by the team from Staples-Motley, which placed second in the North Subsection 6A tournament Thursday.
Junior Ricky Aulie of Crosby-Ironton was the medalist at the Subsection 25, Class 7A tournament and Aitkin's Brain Hills, another junior, has been on fire of late. Junior Chris Boser is the lone Pierz representative.
Eighth-grader Josh Dale of Pequot Lakes and freshman Michael Grieme of Wadena-Deer Creek are evidence that area golf should be good for years to come.
In girls' golf, 21 area individuals have advanced to section play. No surprise were the teams from C-I, S-M and Pequot. C-I was rated No. 1 in the state at one time and Pequot and S-M have been battling for the Section 6A crown the last few years.
Wadena-Deer Creek advanced Netesse Petite and Missy Speed while Aitkin will be represented by Tiffany Kullhem.
In area tennis, three S-M players still have a chance to reach their goals. Seniors Luke Grandlund and Bob Anglin have teamed up and are causing havoc in Section 6A doubles. Senior Luis Cardenas is still alive in singles action but will face the defending Class A state champion, Tony Larson of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, today.
In area boys' track, 80 individuals and 16 relays have advanced to their respective section meets.
Some interesting stories include Staples-Motley boys' distance runners. Last fall, the Cardinals were upset in their bid for a fifth straight Class A cross country title. This week they'll look to regain their dominance in the distance races as five of the team's 15 individuals will run in the 800-meter event or longer. One of the Cardinals' three relay teams is also the 4x800.
The 4x800 will be the most exciting in the area. Along with S-M, W-DC, C-I and Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale teams advanced as well.
In area girls' track, 64 area individuals advanced as did 13 relays. The field events will be the events to watch. Twenty-seven area girls will compete in one of six field events. The highlight will be in the pole vault as six girls will attempt to represent the area.
C-I swept the pole vault at the Subsection 25 meet Wednesday as Maranda Fogle won the event with a 9-foot-3 vault and Amanda Seidle finished second.
At the Subsection 24 meet, Pequot's Jessica O'Neill won the vault at 8-6. She was followed by teammate Brittany Engen, Becca Immonen of W-DC and Amy Peterson of S-M.
In baseball and softball some area teams are already eliminated but those that remain will look to great pitching to advance deeper into the postseason.
W-DC, Verndale and Pequot might have the best shot to advance among area baseball teams. Pequot's Chase Nelson might be the area's top prospect while Chris Bramer and Chad Christianson have been putting on a clinic in Verndale.
Don't forget about Pierz. Dan Saehr has survived cancer. Will he help the Pioneers survive the section tournament?
Little Falls and S-M are the only remaining area softball teams, thanks to pitching. The Flyers have a great arm in Shanna Bach, but can she take them the distance?
The Cardinals rely on Michelle Honek, who is a quietly turning into one of the area's best three-sport athletes even though she's only a freshman.
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