Northern Star

Northern Star: Abby Pajari

For this week's segment, we feature the goaltender on the Proctor/Hermantown girls hockey team who's feeling more confident after helping guide the Mirage to a state championship last season.

PROCTOR, Minn. – Being a goaltender wasn’t the first option for Proctor/Hermantown senior Abby Pajari. “I started when I was I think 10 years old. I had been a forward for five years before that. One day my dad was like we don’t have a goalie for practice and I said I’ll do it and I said oh this is…

Northern Star: Conner Barney

For this week's segment, we feature a Cloquet basketball player who's making a big impact in just his second season with the program.

CLOQUET, Minn. – There’s one place you’ll be able to find Cloquet senior guard Conner Barney almost any time of day. “He’s in the gym all of the time, he’s a gym rat,” Cloquet head coach Steve Battaglia said. “If I don’t got a gym, there’s an open gym in Hinckley that’s 24/7 so I’ll go up there as late…

Northern Star: Robert Powell

For this week's segment, we feature a Superior boys hockey player hoping to lead the team back to the state tournament.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – One of 21 seniors on the Superior boys hockey team, forward Robert Powell has been playing with his fellow Spartans for over a decade. “Just actually becoming brothers with everyone else, becoming a family. It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” Powell said. During that stretch, Powell credits his teammates and this program for helping him become…

Northern Star: Will Van Scoy

For this week's segment, we feature a senior on the Duluth East basketball team who's continuing to work his way back after missing the Greyhounds special season last year with an ACL tear.

DULUTH, Minn. – Basketball has always kept Will Van Scoy focused. “My parents, my mom, my dad, they always asked me like Will what do you want to do when you get older and I said I want to play basketball,” Van Scoy, a senior guard on the Duluth East boys basketball team said. That was until August of 2020…

Northern Star: Laila Monroe

For this week's segment, we feature a senior on the Duluth Marshall basketball team who is ready to fill some big shoes and leave her own legacy within the program.

DULUTH, Minn. – Once Duluth Marshall senior forward Laila Monroe started attending Starks Academy in middle school, the rest of her basketball career was set. “It’s crazy how fast it went by. I remember it was like yesterday I was first coming to Marshall. I’ve seen myself get better through Starks Academy, that’s where I found Marshall. I was introduced…

Northern Star: Mercury Bischoff

For this week's segment, we feature a freshman on the Grand Rapids/Greenway girls hockey team who is already ranked in the top 10 in the state in goals and points.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – The Bischoffs are your traditional Grand Rapids hockey family. “We had an outdoor pond at our house, we all grew up playing boot hockey doing everything we could to get better on the outdoors,” Grand Rapids/Greenway defenseman Jazzy Bischoff said. “The Bischoff name, the Bischoff lineage, a great hockey families with brothers and even sisters,” head…

Northern Star: Blake Biondi

For this week's Northern Star, we hear from a Hermantown native who is one of the top players on the UMD men's hockey team.

DULUTH, Minn. – Forward Blake Biondi is having a breakout sophomore campaign for the UMD men’s hockey team. He’s among the top scorers for the bulldogs and a few weeks ago was named NCHC Forward of the Week. “I think consistency is just really big so that’s been obviously building a good structure at the beginning of the season helps…

Northern Star: Rachel Anderson

For this week's segment, we feature the new program leader in career assists for the St. Scholastica women's hockey team.

DULUTH, Minn. – Following a year of craziness and an offseason full of change, fifth-year forward Rachel Anderson decided to return to the St. Scholastica women’s hockey team for her love of her team and the sport. “DIII, you do it for the love of the game. We are so close, we’ve been so close for so long. When freshmen…

Northern Star: Jacob Shields

For this week's segment, we feature a grad transfer on the UMD men's basketball team hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the court.

DULUTH, Minn. – UMD men’s basketball graduate transfer Jacob Shields just loves everything about basketball. “This might be weird to people who don’t play basketball, but I just love the sound of the ball. Like coming down the court, I love the sound of the ball. I love the smell of the ball to be honest. And that might be…

Northern Star: Addy Ranta

For this week's segment, we feature a Superior cheerleader who has the chance to represent the Northland on the national stage as a member of the National Cheerleading Association All-American Team.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Cheerleading wasn’t the first choice for Superior senior cheerleader Addy Ranta. “I didn’t make the volleyball team so it all started because I didn’t make that and I said well I guess I can try cheer,” Ranta said. Ranta, who also has a background in dance, has now been cheering since the winter season her freshman season…

Northern Star: Caitlin Schneeweis and Ashley Larson

For this week's segment, we feature two hitters who are cousins playing their first season together on the St. Scholastica volleyball team.

DULUTH, Minn. – Family is the most important thing for St. Scholastica volleyball players Ashley Larson and Caitlin Schneeweis. “We call ourselves a big commune. We’re just one big family. Everyone’s invited, even if they come into the family,” Larson, a right side for the Saints, said. The cousins have been playing volleyball together since the sixth grade and went…

Northern Star: TJ Chiabotti

For this week's segment, we feature a North Woods running back who recently became the 19th player in Minnesota High School football history to rush for over 5,000 career years.

COOK, Minn. – North Woods running back TJ Chiabotti has always loved the game of football. “I like running it and hitting people,” Chiabotti said. And he’s been making his mark on the North Woods football team long before this record breaking season. “He’s been the guy for a very, very long time for us. Starting almost in sixth grade…

Northern Star: Alexie Pryd

For this week's segment, we feature a UW-Superior outside hitter who's making a name for herself in her first full season with the Yellowjackets.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Growing up in the Twin Cities, Alexie Pryd decided she wanted to go far away for college. But after a year at Division II’s Wingate University in North Carolina, Pryd decided to return home. “I’m such a homebody. When I first went to school in North Carolina, I totally was homesick. The girls were great, the coach…

Northern Star: The Turnbull Triplets

For this week's Northern Star, meet a trio of Cloquet football players who have literally been together since they were in the womb.

DULUTH, Minn. – If you’ve been to a Cloquet football, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name “Turnbull”. If you listen to the starting lineups, you’ll hear it called three times for Reese, Alec and Will. “They’ve been certainly the base of any team that they’ve been on, in the youth level, and then in the middle school, and…

Northern Star: Blake Perry

For this weeks segment, we highlight the record-breaking accomplishments of one senior on the UWS Men's Soccer team.

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The sky is the limit for senior Blake Perry of the UWS men’s soccer team as he continues to raise the standards for the yellowjackets. “The boys all love him, there’s no question who they’re trying to follow, he just sets a great example,” Joe Mooney, the UWS Head Coach said. He sets records too, on Friday,…

Northern Star: John Schwinghamer

For this week's segment, we feature a St. Scholastica runner and skier who spent this past summer in Jackson, Wyoming helping fight wildfires.

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s been quite the year for St. Scholastica senior John Schwinghamer. He qualified for the NCAA Skiing championships, then was All-UMAC in outdoor track and field in just his second season with the Saints. “I like how they all work together, they’re all endurance sports. I love to run but I’m better at skiing but I still…

Northern Star: Gabby Jauhola

For this week's segment, we feature the star setter of the Proctor volleyball team who's led by her mom as head coach.

PROCTOR, Minn. – Volleyball is in the Jauhola family’s blood. “She has 7 siblings and all of them have played volleyball, whether in the yard or as an organized sport. Her brothers went to state twice for volleyball and she has a little sister coming up,” Proctor volleyball head coach Trish Jauhola said. “It’s nice because they’re always here supporting…

Northern Star: Baamlak Haugen, Emilia McGiffert, Victoria Thorson

For this week's segment, we feature three former Duluth Marshall soccer standouts who are all in their first seasons together at UMD.

DULUTH, Minn. – Victoria Thorson, Baamlak Haugen and Emilia McGiffert have all been playing soccer together for as long as they can remember. “Me, Emilia and Tori have been playing since we were little, we were playing on Gitch together and school soccer too and it’s been really fun. We’ve had chemistry,” Haugen said. They then played together at Duluth…

Northern Star: Brent Laing

For this week's segment, we feature a UMD offensive lineman who was recently named to the 2022 Senior Bowl Watch List.

DULUTH, Minn. – UMD offensive lineman Brent Laing is the first to credit his teammates for his work ethic. “We have a great group of guys on the defense as well as fellow linemen and those defensive linemen push me ever day and honestly just make me a better player,” Laing said. UMD played its first game in nearly two…

Northern Star: Tyler Watkins

For this week's segment, meet the assistant captain on the Wilderness who stepped it up in his second season.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Hermantown alum Tyler Watkins knew he wanted the chance to play junior hockey close to home. “For me, getting to stay close to my family, watching my sister grow up through high school and just being close to home and everything, staying close,” Watkins said. Watkins is one of eight Northland hockey players on the Wilderness this…

Northern Star: Ava Asgaard

For this week's segment, meet one of the Hermantown girls basketball senior captains who led the Hawks to their first state tournament since 2006.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – When senior guard Ava Asgaard first moved to Hermantown, she quickly gelled with the Hawks basketball team. “It’s been a good time. Coming in here, I wasn’t super good friends but basketball definitely brought us a strong bond and we’re like family now,” Asgaard said. “Ava came here in 10th grade and came from Michigan and I…

Northern Star: Payton Wefel

For this week's segment, meet one of the seniors on the Esko basketball team who's hoping to lead his team back to the state tournament.

ESKO, Minn. – After star senior guard Trevor Spindler suffered a season-ending injury just a few games in to the 2019 season, the Esko boys basketball team turned to fellow senior guard Payton Wefel to step up. “He was a huge part of our team, being the guy we go to when we need a point and just that leader…

Northern Star: Proctor Girls Basketball Seniors

For this week's Northern Star, we hear from six seniors on the Proctor girls basketball team.

PROCTOR, Minn. – The story of this season’s proctor girls basketball team didn’t begin at the start of the season or even last year when they won their first section title in 17 years. You have to go back to elementary school for the six seniors on the team: Sam Pogatchnik, Taylor Bradley, Morgan Nylund, Sam Parendo, Katelyn Marunich and…

Northern Star: Vid Milenkovic

For this week's Northern Star, we talk with one of the top players on the UWS men's basketball team.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Wisconsin-Superior’s Vid Milenkovic is a long way from home. “I’m from Zurich, Switzerland and I got recruited for basketball. Eventually I moved to Serbia and I played high school basketball over there,” said Milenkovic. And basketball is in his blood as his father is a coach overseas. “There were days when I really didn’t want to go,…

Northern Star: Kya Rybachek

Rybachek is one of the highest-ranked girl's wrestlers in the nation and just placed first in the state amongst other girls at her weight class.

HIBBING, Minn. – Wrestling is one of the world’s oldest sports and even though it has been done for thousands of years, Kya Rybachek is blazing a path of her own. Rybachek is one of the highest-ranked girl’s wrestlers in the nation and just placed first in the state amongst other girls at her weight class. Because girl’s wrestling is…

Northern Star: Blake Biondi

For this week's segment, meet the captain of the Hermantown boys hockey team and future UMD Bulldog.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Part of Blake Biondi always knew that he would be a Minnesota Duluth Bulldog. “Obviously I’m from the area and my dad played there and I’ve been a fan my whole life. So I think for UMD it was just kind of a no-brainer and I was going no matter what,” Biondi said. Biondi committed to UMD…

Northern Star: Hunter Shepard

For this week's Northern Star, we hear from the senior goalie and co-captain of the UMD men's hockey team.

DULUTH, Minn. – To say that UMD’s Hunter Shepard is a very competitive person would be an understatement. “That’s probably what I’ve made my career off of to this point. I think guys want to play in front of a guy that battles back there and the most important thing is winning. It’s not personal stats or shut-outs. Winning games…

Northern Star: Taya and Shaily Hakamaki

For this week's segment, meet cousins on the Cromwell-Wright girls basketball team who are hoping to make history in their final season.

CROMWELL, Minn. – When you go to a Cromwell-Wright girls basketball game, you’re bound to hear the name Hakamaki blasting through the gym. But seniors Taya and Shaily are just two of many Hakamakis who have worn the red and white colors. “Long line of Hakamakis have gone through. I’m kind of the baby, we’re getting there. We have one…

Northern Star: Connor and Cooper McClure

For this week's segment, meet two Duluth Denfeld boys hockey players who are making big impacts in their first season on the team.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hockey is a family sport for Duluth Denfeld boys hockey forwards Cooper and Connor McClure. “Ever since we were little, our dad got us on skates around the age of three, and I think we always knew that hockey would be number one in our hearts,” Connor said. “They live next door to me so I’ve known…

Northern Star: Brooke Olson

For this week's segment, meet one of the young leaders on the UMD women's basketball team who has helped lead the Bulldogs to an undefeated NSIC record.

DULUTH, Minn. – The UMD women’s basketball team is coming off of its 11th overall NCAA Tournament appearance is picking up right where they left off. But after graduating two big pieces last year, the Bulldogs have very young leadership this season. “We’ve got to keep getting better. We have young point guards and we’re still fairly youthful, which is…

Northern Star: Grace Kirk

For this week's Northern Star, we hear from the captain of the Duluth Marshall girls basketball team.

DULUTH, Minn. – Back in March, the Duluth Marshall girls basketball team had their season end at the hands of Proctor in the Section 7AA title game. Nearly nine months later, that loss is still stuck in the minds of the Hilltoppers, even more so with senior guard Grace Kirk. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had…

Northern Star: Braelyn Sathers

For this week's segment, meet a Proctor/Hermantown defender who isn't letting a slow start hold her back.

PROCTOR, Minn. – While many of the pieces have changed, senior defender Braelyn Sathers has been a consistent part of the Proctor Hermantown Mirage blue line this season. “She’s a tall girl, she takes up a lot of space just with her size and her stick and her positioning. Every game she’s been bringing it and she’s really doing a…

Northern Star: Nate Pionk

For this week's segment, meet the St. Scholastica men's hockey captain who's creating his own legacy within the program.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hermantown high school hockey is a program that will always stand out across the state of Minnesota. “It’s a hockey community. You see it all over the news in the state of Minnesota. Just growing up there and playing there, you always had a target on your back, teams would want to beat you being one of…

Northern Star: Eva Reinertsen

For this week's segment, meet a Wisconsin-Superior women's basketball player who's looking to leave one final mark on the program.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Eva Reinertsen is one of just four seniors on a very young Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team this season. “I think it’s surreal, it’s surreal for sure. I’ve been playing basketball for a little over a decade and it’s been such a big part of my life. It’s not over yet but it’s for sure a sense of…

Northern Star: Chikara Hanzawa

For this week's segment, meet a Minnesota Wilderness player who traveled halfway across the world to continue his hockey career.

CLOQUET, Minn. – The Minnesota Wilderness are currently made up of eight local players. But for Japenese forward Chikara Hanzawa, he’s in America for the first time ever. “It’s good, I like it so far,” Hanzawa said of Minnesota. Hanzawa first came to the U.S. to play with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL. After four games, he was traded to…

Northern Star: Tessa Lowry

For this week's segment, meet a St. Scholasitca women's hockey defenseman whose role on the team goes far beyond what shows up on the box score.

DULUTH, Minn. – Like many of her teammates, St. Scholastica women’s hockey senior defenseman Tessa Lowry grew up around hockey. Her dad Dave played 19 seasons in the NHL, and has spent time coaching in the Western Hockey League, and her two brothers, Adam and Joel, currently play in the NHL. “I honestly, growing up, didn’t really realize how cool…

Northern Star: Cassie McClure

For this week's segment, meet a UWS women's hockey player who's just thankful she has the chance to go out and play hockey every day.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Duluth Northern Stars girls hockey alum Cassie McClure always knew she wanted to stay close to home for college. “It’s been pretty surreal so far. It’s a dream come true playing so close to home and having so much support here from my teammates and coaches, and having my family so close, it’s just been awesome,” McClure…

Northern Star: Cade Goggleye

For this week's segment, meet a former North Woods basketball star who made a late decision to stay close to home.

DULUTH, Minn. – After a third straight Class A state championship game appearance, former North Woods guard Cade Goggleye committed to the University of Jamestown. But just a few months later, Goggleye had a change of heart. “So Jamestown starts a little earlier, it starts a week earlier than St. Scholastica does. So I was there for a week, and…

Northern Star: Morgan and Nolan Friday

For this week's Northern Star, we talk with a brother/sister duo who share more than just a last name.

DULUTH, Minn. – When the st. Scholastica soccer teams take the field, any day could be a Friday. “Soccer was always big for me. Growing up, me and Morgan back when we were in elementary school, we had a little soccer field just outside our house with little hockey nets, not even soccer nets,” CSS men’s soccer midfielder Nolan Friday…

Northern Star: Peter Soumis

For this week's segment, meet the starting quarterback for the Hermantown football team and UMD men's basketball commit.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Hermantown basketball standout Peter Soumis committed over the summer to play college ball right here at the Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth. “I just wanted to stay home, stay close to the family, so that was a big thing. The coaches, the coaching staff, they’re all super nice and I could relate to them a lot with our…

Northern Star: Emily (Torve) Balts

For this week's segment, we feature the setter of the UMD volleyball team.

DULUTH, Minn. – If you’ve been to a UMD volleyball game over the past few years, you probably heard Emily Torve’s name blast through the speakers. But this year, she’s got a new name, as she married former football standout Jason Balts over the summer. “We just met through athletes in action, which is a bible study on campus for…

Northern Star: Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager

For this week's segment, we talk with a local boxer who is making her pro debut next week.

DULUTH, Minn. – Amy “Hard Hands” Lemenager has always been a fighter. “My grandparents are always like, “OK so when are you going to be done fighting?” and I’ll always be like, “Just one more.” And of course after the one more, there’s always another. I just can’t stop,” said Lemenager. Growing up, Lemenager was a two–sport athlete. In high…

Northern Star: Alex Hanson

For this week's segment, we feature a Superior boys soccer captain who has big goals for his senior season.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Senior midfielder Alex Hanson never really thought about playing high school soccer. “I started in about sixth grade. My parents got me in it. I played a lot in latchkey and stuff, and everybody said I was pretty good. I’m not super outgoing so they kind of forced me into it,” Hanson said. But since then, Hanson…

Northern Star: Caden and Jaxon Edwards

For this week's segment, we feature two Duluth East football players who have been building a strong connection on and off the field since birth.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth East senior quarterback Caden Edwards has become the leader the Greyhounds need. “Caden’s an extremely gifted athlete and at quarterback he has all the tools, he’s big, he’s got a big arm,” Duluth East head coach Joe Hietala said. Through the first three weeks of the season, Edwards has completed 19 passes for 291 yards and…

Northern Star: Alaina Bennett

For this week's Northern Star, we talk with the heart and soul of the Carlton volleyball team.

CARLTON, Minn. – When Alaina Bennett first joined the Carlton volleyball team, she was one of three eighth graders to play on the varsity squad. “It was just crazy when you step on the court and you’re with seniors and juniors and you’re a little eighth grader. You listen to what everybody’s saying because you just want to make sure…

Northern Star: Zach Edwards

For this week's segment, we feature the quarterback on the St. Scholastica football team.

DULUTH, Minn. -St. Scholastica quarterback Zach Edwards entered Saturday’s season opener with high expectations, as he officially started his last first game. “You think about it’s the last of the end. I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited. Nothing like senior year, nothing like football, so I think it will be a good time,” Edwards said. In his junior season,…

Northern Star: Eric Watson

For this week's Northern Star, we highlight a UWS men's soccer player with high expectations for the upcoming season.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – For University of Wisconsin-Superior senior Eric Watson, this upcoming season will be a big one for the Yellowjackets men’s soccer team. “The publishings that come out or the stories that come out about us, it’s all extra on top of it. A little bit of the cherry on top. But I think really if we’re being truthful…

Northern Star: Markus Pokornowski

For this week's segment, we feature a running back on the Cloquet football team who's using his injury as motivation for his senior season.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Last season, the Cloquet football team lost in the section 7AAAA final for the first time in three years. “It’s a team game and our team just didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” senior running back Markus Pokornowski said of that loss. But the Lumberjacks were missing a big piece in that game, as Pokornowski…

Northern Star: Reagan Ruffi and Brody Payton

For this week's segment, we feature two Northwestern alums and rookies on the UMD football team who are excited to go through this experience together.

DULUTH, Minn. – The UMD football team is officially one week into the 2019 season. “I am pumped to be here. I’ve been wishing away my summer to be here and I’m pretty excited,” freshman running back Reagan Ruffi said. Fall practice allows the whole team to come together and is crucial for the freshmen and newcomers to learn the…

Northern Star: Gabby Seyfer of the Duluth Figure Skating Club

She will be skating at a new national competition in Florida this June.

DULUTH, Minn. – Gabby Seyer, a rising sophomore at East High School, has made figure skating her life for the past ten years. Now, she’s one of only 18 girls in her level competing at the inaugural National Excel Festival in Coral Springs, Florida. “I’m excited about meeting new competitors from all over the country. So I’m kind of excited…