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Athlete of the Week: Lafayette Bade, Elk River wrestling

ER Star News Athlete of the Week

by Jake Andersen
Sports Reporter
ER Star News

Lafayette Bade remembers watching practice partner Casey Schilz compete at the state tournament last season.

While he was thrilled for his teammate, he couldn’t help but think about how close he was to joining him. Wrestling in the 285-pound third-place match of the Section 7AAA tournament, Bade fell to Blaine’s Dylan Krump by fall. This marked a disappointing finish to his sophomore season, considering a win would have advanced him to face Tim Mandyck of Coon Rapids in a true-second match, with a trip to state on the line. Instead, Krump sent him home early, which didn’t sit well with the Elk River heavyweight.

“All I could think about was being successful and being on top and that I wouldn’t stop until I get there,” he said.

To prevent last year’s disappointment from happening again, Bade put the work in during the offseason. Preferring to hit the gym when no one was there, Bade and teammate Tyler Benson spent countless summer nights working out at The Gym 365 in Elk River until the wee hours of the morning. The workout habits continued into football and wrestling season with Bade being the first one to the school gym in the mornings, asking coaches to open the doors early. On top of that, he’d spend time working out after practices.

Furthermore, Bade saw a better opportunity for himself and the wrestling team by competing in the 220-pound weight class, meaning he’d have to cut 20-30 pounds following football season. This presented quite the challenge for the big man, considering he’d have to maintain a weight around 250 pounds as an offensive and defensive lineman on the football team.

Even so, Bade was up for the challenge. As matter of fact, he didn’t need anyone else to motivate him, but himself.

“With football, wrestling, track, school and anything in life, there’s always someone trying to get better than me, trying to beat me in life and that just bugs me a lot,” Bade said. “I can’t let that happen, so my brain works differently. I just want to work out and be better than everyone else. Not in a cocky or bad way, but in a way that drives me and makes me successful in life.”

With the football team making another state championship game, Bade got off to a late start with the wrestling team, but after taking two weeks off, he set out to cut the weight.

In a matter of a week, Bade lost over 20 pounds by going through intense workouts and practices, while managing a consistent diet. Normally, he’d eat whatever was put on the table, but this time around, he kept his portion sizes small, while eating leaner meats and a ton of fruit. Of course, drinking plenty of water and cutting out sugary drinks like pop was key to losing weight as well.

Bade told role model and Elks assistant coach Gary Clem about his plans to wrestle at 220 first and he wasn’t the least bit surprised to see him transform his body so quickly.

“He worked every day after practice and cleaned up his diet with one goal in mind: making the state tournament,” said Clem, who’s coached Lafayette since first grade. “He has to be told to go home from practice. He just works that hard (to accomplish what he sets his mind to).”

Initially, Bade had a tough time adjusting to a new weight class, losing his first two matches, but he said that things started to click when he took second place at the Cambridge-Isanti invitational on Jan. 6.

“It was a struggle right away. I was hard on myself because I wasn’t getting it. The speed was bad for me. I just wasn’t wrestling well because I wasn’t moving my feet (against quicker wrestlers) and wasn’t myself after losing all that weight. After busting my butt in practice and getting quicker, it started to come together, though,” Bade said.

Open Board Positions

Nominations are being accepted for two open board positions:

  • Vice President:  Serves as the director of the fundraising committees, as well as election judge.  The Vice President will also work on special projects as designated by the board.
  • Treasurer:  Responsible for making a report for each board meeting. Assists in preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, and make financial information available to board members and public. The fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31.

Positions will begin in May and have a two year term.  Voting will take place at the April 9 board meeting. 

Contact Craig Hemmesch with your nomination:
     Phone - (320) 298-0006
     Email  -

Sell those raffle tickets!

The goal is to have each family sell a minimum of one packet (15 tickets).  If you sell your 15 tickets, your name will go into one of two buckets for the opportunity to win $150.00!   In addition, the top seller in each of those groups will win $150.00!  Winners will be announced at the Old Timers Tournament on April 14!

   Bucket #1:  All Youth Wrestlers
   Bucket #2:  All Middle School & High School Wrestlers

  When will the sold tickets and money be collected?

  • Youth and Middle School will have final collections on March 22 & 27
  • High School will have a final collection at the HS banquet, March 25

Checks are accepted, made payable to Elk River Wrestling Booster Club.

Elks wrestling

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Thank you to everyone who contributed to this event!  A total of $720.26 was donated to The Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.  Details of the event is described in the letter to the right.

A special thanks to Totino Grace and Annandale/Maple Lake wrestling captains and fans for participating!

Elks Wrestling Booster Club Meeting


Monday, April 9
6:30-8:00 pm
ERHS, Health Room #170

Booster Club Board Members

Craig Hemmesch, President

Gary Clem, Vice President

Ericka Larson, Treasurer

Karen Pool, Secretary

Brandon Kidd, Sr., Member at Large

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Dates to Remember!

April 14, 2018 Old Timers Tournament  -  For more information, click on the Old Timers link on the left hand side of this page.

Please contact Paul Nelson at with any questions.

Can't find something?

Try clicking on TEAMS, then on the specific team (ie: High School, Middle School, Youth).  Information specific to your team may be posted to the team's page.