Welcome to the Up North Sports Report

Hello friends,

Being this is my first posting, I’ll introduce myself and tell you what you can expect to see in this space.

I’m currently employed at the Bemdji Pioneer as a sports reporter. But I do far more than just report here. I’m a designer of news pages (what you pick up every morning), photographer, editor, web designer, social media guy and lately a video producer.Bemidji Pioneer Sports Writer Eric Stromgren

I’ve been employed at the Pioneer since the summer of 2007 and my primary beat is Bemidji State University athletics and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. I’m also out around the community covering high school sports from time to time.

As a huge hockey fan, professionally covering Bemidji State at the 2008 Frozen Four is so far the major highlight of my career….come to think of it, hockey season is here next week! The Bemidji State women’s hockey team is at Mercyhurst and the men follow a week later with the home-opening series against Air Force.

I’m enjoying life in Bemidji and covering the events and personalities here. This is one of the great cities of Minnesota.

I’ve been in the journalism business for almost five years professionally. I guess it’s been longer if you count my journalism school experience.

I’m a 2004 graduate of St. Cloud State University, home to one of the best journalism programs in the midwest. When I was there, I covered Husky football for a season, a summer of Northwoods League baseball and some hockey games. The first hockey game I ever wrote about was in February of 2004 when Bemidji State played at St. Cloud State. The writer at the time had no interest in covering that game. Growing up in Duluth watching Minnesota-Duluth hockey games, I jumped at the chance to cover the WCHA.

Rob Sirianni, Andrew Murray, Joe Jensen, Tim Boron, Craig Dahl and the first time meeting BSU head coach Tom Serratore. I was such a rookie then. I don’t even think I asked a question … I just acted like a fly on the wall and took in the spectacle of the WCHA. A year from now, that spectacle will come to the shore of Lake Bemidji with the Beavers playing WCHA hockey in the new Event Center. Amazing.

Also during my collegiate years, I took a summer internship in my hometown at the Duluth Budgeteer News where I covered mainly community news and Grandma’s Marathon.

I landed my first job in 2005 at the Austin Daily Herald in southern Minnesota as a sports editor. It was an eye-opening experience in many ways. I covered high school sports there for about nine months, had some good times and left with no regrets.

I left Austin for the chance to cover hockey full time in Owatonna, about 30 miles north of Austin. I worked at the Owatonna People’s Press for almost two years covering the Southern Minnesota Express (now the Owatonna Express) of the North American Hockey League and high school sports.

While covering the Express, I watched some of today’s top college players before they were recruited: Jason Wiley (Mankato), Dusty Jackson (Denver), James Gaulrapp (Mankato), Mike Montgomery (Minnesota-Duluth), Brian Schack (Minnesota), Stu Bickel (Minnesota), Ryan Guentzel (Notre Dame), Scott Kozlak (Air Force), Tim Kirby (Air Force). All those players were coached by Pat Cullen – a former all-American at Bemidji State.

When summer 2007 rolled around, it was time for a change and Bemidji was the perfect fit: back up north and closer to my family and friends in Duluth.

Since coming here I have covered the stories of Bemidji State athletics, won some journalism awards for my work and have had some of my photography work appear in publications around the world.

In my spare time I try to keep as active as possible. I spend as much time as I can with the loved ones in my life, play golf around Minnesota, visit friends in Colorado on occasion, read, write and watch sports. During the winter months, I take time away from work to travel to St. Paul and write about the Minnesota Wild. I’ve been doing that since I started in the business and have had the chance to cover some Stanley Cup playoff games.

Enough about me.

Here in the Up North Sports Report, you’ll see a lot of things I can’t fit in the paper.

Sometimes I’ll blog live from events. Sometimes I’ll give you my take on Minnesota’s sports teams. I’ll talk hockey, basketball, baseball and everything in between. Sometimes I’ll share my experiences out in the Minnesota sports world. I’ll answer your mail (as long as it is in good taste) and interact with you as much as I can. Have a question you want to ask a coach or a player?- I may be able to make that happen. It’s pretty much anything goes.

Ultimately, you will see some sports news mixed with regular analysis coming from a regular Minnesota sports fan turned Minnesota sports journalist.

One thought on “Welcome to the Up North Sports Report

  1. I see the new BSU hockey arena (alias events center) is coming along nicely. Can you do a blog on sports related black holes? :-)

    Best wishes on this new venture!

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