Area Notebook: NLS Wildcats learning as they play ball

·4 min read

May 5—SPICER — New London-Spicer baseball co-head coach Kyle Lieser figures he's a baseball lifer, though he's only 28 years old.

He grew up around the St. Martin amateur baseball field, where his father Carl Lieser was a long-time player/coach and now manager. Kyle Lieser still plays for the Martins, after a standout career at St. Cloud State where he was one of the Huskies' captains.

Head coaching "is a lot more commitment," Lieser said. "I've had it in my blood. Coach Dolan (SCSU head coach Pat) said to me I'd be a coach some day. He was right."

Also listed as a co-head coach is Eric Terres, who plays town ball for the Spring Hill Chargers, one of the Martins' rivals in the Stearns County League. Lieser is an Albany graduate. Terres went to Melrose. Albany and Melrose are rivals, too.

Lieser and Terres guide an inexperienced NLS squad that has five seniors and five juniors. The Wildcats are off to a 1-6 start heading into a home doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday against Dassel-Cokato.

"We're actually kind of sophomore heavy," Lieser said.

There are six sophomores on the varsity.

Around the horn, the Wildcats feature sophomore Cole Dolezal at catcher, senior first baseman Loan Woelfel, sophomore second baseman Bennett Schultz, sophomore shortstop Riley Lessman, sophomore third baseman/pitcher Gavin Degner, sophomore pitcher/third baseman Connor Rohloff, senior left fielder Mason Toutges, junior center fielder Luke Ruter and sophomore right fielder Aedan Andresen.

A player to watch is junior pitcher Peyton Coahran, who is also a top golfer on the NLS boys golf team.

The coaching staff is definitely town-ball heavy. Besides Lieser and Terres, it also includes Griffin Bjerke, who plays town ball for the Paynesville Pirates, and Adam Schrader, who plays for the New London-Spicer Twins.

Lieser's loving the coaching gig. He gets along well with his players. He's also teaching middle-school math at NLS.

"I'm having a lot of fun with it," he said.

Hole in one

Scott Norling aced the 170-yard 16th hole Saturday at the Eagle Creek Golf Course in Willmar. Norling used a 5-iron for the feat.

Willmar athletes honored

Willmar baseball pitcher Andrew Baumgart and softball player Bentley Sjoberg have been named Central Lakes Conference Performers of the Week.

Gaumgart, a senior left-hander, had two wins, going nine innings. He gave up four hits, two walks and two runs, striking out 12.

Sjoberg, a senior center field, had 12 putouts on 12 chances for the Cardinals.

Also honored were:

* From Sartell, senior baseball player Jack Greelun;

* From St. Cloud Tech, sophomore softball player Mattie Vaught; girls track hurdler Noelle Hackenmueller and boys tennis players Olutomiwa Ajayi and Ben Eiynck;

* From Alexandria, senior softball pitcher Emily Harris;

* From St. Cloud Apollo, senior track sprinter David Boyd;

* From Fergus Falls, sophomore track and field athlete Alex Jensen;

* From Sartell, girls track and field athlete Emma Schwartz and boys senior golfer Logan Hamak; and,

* From Bemidji, boys tennis player Filippo Buffo.

Baseball nominations

Since 2012, Diamond King Baseball has recognized outstanding high school baseball players for four main traits: humility, accountability, resiliency and discipline. The award returns this year. Diamond King Baseball seeks nominations from high school coaches.

Send nominations to dkbaseball2019@gmail.com or contact Adam Hoogenakker, Diamond King general manager, at 952-300-7639.

The 2021 event is July 31 at a Northwoods League game involving the host St. Cloud Rox at St. Cloud's Joe Faber Field. Four winners will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.

The Diamond King Award is "a major league sized wood bat with the player's name, school and trait engraved on it," according to a news release from Diamond King Baseball. "Since 2012, 30 varsity high school baseball players have been honored with the award."

Golf nominations

The Ms. and Mr. Minnesota Golf Awards return for the 2021 season. It's an annual award postponed in 2020 because of the pandemic and the lack of a high school season.

The award recognizes the top female and male senior golfers in the state. A list of a top 15 watch list will be released by the organizing committee for the award. From that list, the committee will pick a top eight in each division. The top male and female will be presented with the award following the state high school tournament June 15-16.

Coaches are encouraged to make nominations to Phillip Ebner at 952-500-2784 or by email at psjep1031@gmail.com

Hoops registration

The 24th Annual Hoops by the Lake Tournament is set for July 3 in Spicer. It's a 3-on-3 basketball tournament played outdoors on the shores of Green Lake. There are boys and girls divisions in grades 5-12, along with men's and women's divisions.

For more information, contact Skip Wright at 320-905-1652 or Matt Holland 320-894-5391.