Winter is in the air.
The area winter sports season begins in just nine days as the Brainerd Warriors girls' hockey team, under the direction of first-year head coach Jim Ernster, opens at home against River Lakes. A day later, the Central Lakes College Raiders men's basketball team opens at home against Mennonite University of Canada.
After bursting with activity the last two months, the fall sports season is coming to a swift conclusion.
The Pillager Huskies and Verndale Pirates football teams and the Brainerd Warriors, Little Falls Flyers and Staples-Motley swimming and diving teams are the only area fall teams who remain in postseason competition.
It's time to clear off the sports desk, surf the Internet and check in with some area athletes involved in post-high school competition.
* Brainerd's Laura Bogenschutz of Wisconsin-Stout was named to the all-tournament team last weekend as the Blue Devils went 4-0 in the Bob & Steve's BP Amoco Shops Classic at UW-River Falls. She finished the tournament with 128 set assists, along with 21 kills.
Bogenschutz was named to the Verizon District V all-academic team as a sophomore. As a freshman she set the school record for assists (1,406) in a season.
Stout is 29-5 and ranked 19th in Division III.
* Brainerd's Julie Moran of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., led the Dutchwomen in digs with 3.62 per game. Union was 20-7 in the regular season.
* Brainerd's Natalie Dunphy of Swarthmore College (Pa.) was second on the team in kills per game (2.1) and was one of its top servers with 35 aces.
* Brainerd's Ryan Sofie, junior goalie at the University of North Dakota, has not played for the Sioux this season. He appeared in two games last season and earned his second letter for UND, which is unbeaten in six games this season.
* Tim Conboy, former Warriors defenseman, has a goal and assist for St. Cloud State, which is 3-2-1 overall.
* Brainerd's J.P. Platisha has four assists in 11 games for the Topeka Scarecrows of the USHL.
* Brian Reese has 8 goals and 5 assists in 13 games for the Billings Bulls of the America West Hockey League. Andrew Stearns of Wadena is a teammate.
* Former Brainerd resident Weston Tardy is playing for Colorado College of the WCHA.
* Henrik Impola of Brainerd is red-shirting at Michigan Tech of the WCHA.
Warriors football wrapup
Final statistics have been tallied for the Brainerd Warriors football team.
Quarterback Chris Klabo accounted for nearly 2,000 yards total offense. He rushed for 1,052 and nine touchdowns and passed for 865 and 16 scores. Klabo also was one of the top punters in Class 5A with a 38.5 average.
Halfback Luke Furda finished with 994 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. The 5-foot-5, 150-pound sparkplug led the team in scoring (66 points).
Junior Justin Mueller caught 27 passes for 532 yards (19.7 average) and 10 touchdowns. He has to be one of the finest receivers ever to play for the Warriors.
Junior Sam Gervais kicked 25 of 33 extra points, 3 of 4 field goals and averaged nearly 50 yards per kickoff. His longest 3-pointer was 36 yards against Sauk Rapids.
The Warriors' defense recovered 14 fumbles, with Chad Weiss, Kevin Mertens and Matt Radniecki each recovering two.
Mertens and Jake Phillips tied for the team lead in interceptions with five and Darin Eller had four.
The Warriors averaged 28 points and 321 yards to the opposition's 11 and 219.
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