Count St. Cloud Tech coach Gregg Martig as a believer in this season’s Becker football team.
Martig saw the Bulldogs and scrimmaged against them last Saturday at Cambridge.
“Becker is definitely one of the better defensive squads I’ve seen,” Martig said. “They have a couple of lineman who went two ways and are big, strong and physical.
“A lot is made of their offense, but I thought on defense they did some things well.”
Becker opened with a 16-13 overtime loss Thursday at Hutchinson. Hutchinson is the defending state Class 4A champion. The Tigers beat Becker 28-24 in the state semifinals in 2012 at the Metrodome.
* Rocori head coach Mike Rowe has an impressive take on New London-Spicer. The teams scrimmaged last Saturday in New London.
“I think they’re really going to be very strong this year,” Rowe said of the Wildcats, who play in the Wright County Conference. “They might have their best team.”
Those are strong words. New London-Spicer won a state Class 3A title in 2009 and were second in 2008.
* Andy Henkemeyer is giving the St. Paul Saints a reason to bring him back in 2014. The former Sauk Rapids star is batting .310 in nine games since signing with the independent American Association team. The former Gopher had his best game, going 3-for-5 with two runs Thursday in the Saints’ 7-6 win over Winnipeg.
Henkemeyer, a 22-year-old outfielder and former St. Cloud Rox star, has scored five runs and in 29 at-bats, striking out once and walking twice for St. Paul, which signed him late in the summer off the amateur Sauk Rapids Cyclones.
The Saints were 47-49 heading into Friday night and wrap up their season with home games against Sioux City on Saturday and Sunday nights and Monday afternoon.
* Anthony Bemboom, a teammate of Henkemeyer’s at Sauk Rapids. is hitting .175 with one home run and six RBI in 20 games at catcher for Inland Empire of the high Class A California League. The 66ers are a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who drafted Bemboom in 2012.
Inland Empire is the third stop this season for Bemboom, who also played for Cedar Falls, Iowa, in the Midwest League and for Arkansas in the Texas League. Overall, he is batting .223 with nine home runs and 38 RBI with a .289 on-base percentage and a .343 slugging percentage.
* Kelsey Stommes, a 6-foot junior from Rocori, didn’t play in Mississippi State’s season-opening win over Southeast Missouri State on Friday. The Bulldogs used eight players in the 3-0 victory, winning 25-23, 25-18, 25-18. Stommes is a transfer from Ridgewater College, where she was a two-time All-American and helped lead the Warriors to a 2011 Division III national junior college title.
* Former Milaca star Brandon Kiel is listed as a player to watch for Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Kiel is a sophomore wide receiver. CLC went 7-1 last season and is considered a MCAC Southern Division favorite.