Prep notebook: Athletes challenged at Spartan Challenge

Prep notebook: Athletes challenged at Spartan Challenge


Prep notebook: Athletes challenged at Spartan Challenge



Jake Zauhar wanted to try something different for the first Spartan Challenge.

For the second go at it, Zauhar hopes to make it better.

“We’d like to see it get bigger and to have more coaches participate,” said Zauhar, a teacher and coach at Rocori in charge of the Spartans’ conditioning programs.

The goal for the second annual Spartan Challenge is to have more than 120 participants. There were 95 from six schools in 2012.

Zauhar expects male and female athletes from eight area schools to participate. Athletes from Rocori, St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Tech, Little Falls, Sartell and Dassel-Cokato participated last year.

Last year’s age group champions are expected back, including Rocori athletes Erin Huls, Kristie Hennen and Skip Virchow.

It’s basically a weight-lifting and conditioning test to see how well the summer has gone for high school athletes preparing for fall sports.

This year’s Spartan Challenge is at 9 a.m. Aug. 2 at the Rocori High School weight room. Depending on the weather, some events will be outdoors.

Athletes from across the area compete in the bench press, parallel squat and power clean. There is also testing in the vertical jump, the 40-yard dash and a pro agility test.

Scores are based on something called the MPPO method (most pounds per ounce). An athlete’s total pounds in the bench, squat and clean are added together, then divided by the athlete’s weight. It’s considered a more fair method of determining female and male winners entering the 10th, 11th and 12th grades this fall.

There is a $25 registration fee and $30 at the door. Early registrants get a dry-fit t-shirt.

Numerous local sponsors have been secured, offering athletes athletic massages and body rubs, a lunch and drinks. Zauhar said the numerous sponsors offering their wares help make the event successful.

“It’s a win-win situation for the businesses and the participants,” he said.

Zauhar said that because it is the offseason and there is 10 days off before the official start of high school practice on Aug. 12, there is little risk in injuries to athletes.

For more information, check out the Rocori Schools website at Or contact Zauhar via email at

Zauhar also has information set up on Facebook and Twitter.

LF gets No. 1

The seeds have been announced for the Sub-State 12 American Legion baseball tournament that begins Wednesday at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex.

Little Falls got the top seed, followed by No. 2 Sartell, No. 3 Sauk Rapids, No. 4 Monticello and No. 5 Waite Park.

The St. Cloud 76ers got No. 6 and the St. Cloud Chutes are No. 7, followed by No. 8 Clearwater/Annandale and No. 9 St. Augusta.

The double-elimination tournament begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday with games continuing throughout Thursday and Friday.

The championship game is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Dick Putz Field, with a second game, if necessary, set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Putz.

The winner advances to the state legion tournament Aug. 1-4 at Edina.

Tier II tourney set

Defending champion Paynesville plays host Browerville in the first round of the District VI Tier II tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Play continues Friday in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament, with the championship bracket set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday. A second game, if necessary, will be played at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The winner advances to the state Tier II tournament Aug. 2-4 in Bird Island.

First-round games in the District VI tournament are: Paynesville (No. 1 Melrose Sub-District) vs. Browerville (host); Pierz (No. 1 North) vs. Staples-Motley (No. 2 West); Foley (No. 3 Melrose) vs. Sebeka (No. 1 West); Providence Academy (No. 1 District 10) vs. Sauk Centre (No. 2 Melrose).

Browerville has side-by-side diamonds at its high school and is able to have two games going at once.


Former Rocori and Eastern Kentucky star Justin Stommes is contemplating which pro basketball team to play with for the 2013-14 season.

“I haven’t decided yet,” said Stommes, a 6-foot-7 point guard. “It’s still early.”

Stommes played for Bremerhaven, Germany, in 2012-13. It’s a Tier I league in Europe.

“I did all right, nothing special,” said Stommes, who is spending the summer with his parents in Cold Spring. “For a young guy, I held my own.”

Stommes is a 2007 Rocori graduate. After four years at Eastern Kentucky, he has spent the past two winters playing professionally in Germany. He’d be fine with going back. But he isn’t against playing somewhere else, either.

“Maybe it’s time for me to find a different country or something,” he said.

Bemboom hot

Sauk Rapids’ Anthony Bemboom is batting .310 with four homers and nine RBI in his last 10 games for the Burlington (Iowa) Bees of the Class A Midwest League. For the season, Bemboom is hitting

.245 with eight home runs and 25 RBI for Burlington, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Bemboom, a catcher, spent two weeks at Class AA Arkansas and played eight games because of an injury. He went 4-for-26 (.154) with four RBI. The Angels drafted Bemboom from Creighton University in 2012 in the 22nd round.

Frericks update

Former St. Cloud Apollo star Mike Frericks is playing for the Kelowna Falcons in Kelowna, British Columbia. Frericks, who will be a senior at Division II Wayne (Neb.) State, is 0-2 with a 7.71 earned-run average in 1823 innings for the Falcons, with 15 strikeouts and seven walks.

Kelowna is the lone Canadian team in the West Coast League, a collegiate wood-bat summer league similiar to the Northwoods League.

League leaders

* Lake Henry’s Cory Nietfeld won the Stearns County League batting title, edging Meire Grove’s Eric Marthaler. Nietfield batted .386 in 13 regular-season league games; Marthaler hit .382.

Lake Henry’s Jon Lieser was third at .380, followed by Elrosa’s Pat Illies (.368) and Spring Hill’s Jamie Terres (.365).

* Lake Henry’s Nathan Nietfeld, Cory’s brother, won the Stearns County League earned-run average title with a 1.00 ERA. He was followed by Spring Hill’s Corey Schoenberg (1.10), Roscoe’s Jordan Roos (1.29), New Munich’s Ross Uphoff (1.29) and Elrosa’s Ethan Vogt (1.48).

* Cory Niefeld, Spring Hill’s Cody Eichers and Lake Henry’s Josh Kampsen tied for the league lead with two home runs.

* Richmond’s Shane Rausch won the RBI title with 15. Jon Lieser led the league with 20 runs scored and Kampsen led the league with 10 stolen bases.

* Lake Henry’s Josh Roelike led the Stearns County with six pitching wins. Elrosa’s Aaron Voigt led the league with three saves.

Brother Ethan Voigt led the league with 67 innings and 62 strikeouts.


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