Spring Sports Preview: Wolverine baseball looks to return to state tournament

The Wolverines kick off the season Tuesday, April 5 at Sebeka.

Coach Kyle Dykhoff talks with the WDC baseball team.
The Wadena-Deer Creek baseball team gathers around to talk shop with head coach Kyle Dykhoff during a practice Wednesday, March 23, 2022, in Wadena.
Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal

WADENA — Expectations are high for the Wadena-Deer Creek baseball team to rise up to new levels this season when they return to the field.

“We bring back most of our pitching staff, a lot of the top guys in our lineup are back, so we’re looking at having an even better season than last year,” senior Josh Dykhoff said.

That’s hard to imagine after the team’s phenomenal season last year. The team returns to practice after a 25-4 record last year, which is the all-time record wins for WDC baseball. They had more RBIs (208), more doubles (75) and more strikeouts (224) than any other single season.

Their season ended after they advanced to the state tournament and lost in the Class AA quarterfinals to Plainview-Elgin-Millville. The team lost three seniors Tony Kreklau (who broke the record with the most runs scored (46)), Zach Shaw and Corbett Wensmann. But they hold onto a core group of seniors and juniors that should once again propel them to the big stage.

Carson Kern.JPG
Senior Carson Kern winds up for the toss to first base in practice at the WDC Elementary Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal

Coming out on top of the section can be looked at from a couple ways. They’re projected to compete with every team very well. They also have a target on their back – as every team they play knows that this is one of the must beat teams in the region.


“We’ll see everyone's Ace this year,” Dykhoff said.

“I think they’re definitely going to target us this year,” according to senior Braeden Redfield, first baseman. He, like Dykhoff, has been playing this game since age 3. Now after 15 years, they feel good about how they have all grown up together in this sport.

“We’re gonna be solid one through 15 this year,” Dykhoff said of the number of players they can rely on to get the job done.

While not much has changed for the team, they have moved out of 8AA and into 6AA this season. One top team to beat will be Pierz. New York Mills and Perham were the teams they had to beat last year in order to advance to state. Those games are likely etched into the minds of these players and anyone who was able to witness them.

The Wolverines practice before the state quarterfinal game at Putz Field in St. Cloud Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Pioneer Journal file photo

Head coach Kyle Dykhoff said the changes brought by the move are welcomed by the team as they want more of a challenge. They need it.

“We want to go back to the state tournament,” Dykhoff said. “The competitors we have here, they want the challenges that 6AA will present.”

St. Cloud Cathedral sticks out to the coach as a team to beat because it's a team that ended his junior and senior years of baseball. He’s never been able to beat them.

“I know we have the team to beat them if we end up playing head to head,” Dykhoff said.


A baseball player throws the ball.
Senior Chad Dickey tosses the ball in practice at the start of the 2022 season.
Michael Johnson / Pioneer Journal

The team has been working hard in the off season for this moment. Most are in other sports but they also spend extra time in the weight room. They’ve also been hitting the batting cages three times a week. Coach Dykhoff said it’s been fun in just the first week to watch the rust brush off the players.

This is Dykhoff’s 14th year of coaching. There are 28 boys out in ninth - 12th grade.

“For us, I think it’s good numbers,” Dykhoff said. “One thing I can say about 1-28, they all have quite a bit of baseball experience and they are all ball players and that’s exciting to me to have that depth.”

Assisting Dykhoff is junior varsity coach Zach Martin, assistant varsity or JV coach Kevin Tumberg. And once tax season winds down, Terry Tumberg will be returning to the field to assist as a volunteer coach.

The first game of the season is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 at Sebeka. The first few home games will be played in Deer Creek as the Wadena field will be undergoing some upgrades.

On April 8, the team heads to the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. They'll be playing on an all turf field against OTC. They stay the night to watch the Twins the following day.

“It’s an opportunity to play in a really nice facility,” Dykhoff said. “There is something about taking to the field in a really well groomed facility that just fires kids up and coaches as well.”


AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 5 @ Sebeka

AWAY: 6 p.m., Friday, April 8 @ University of Northwestern- St. Paul

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 11, against Pierz

HOME: 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, against Pillager

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 14, @ Parkers Prairie

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, against Sebeka

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Friday, April 22, against Menahga

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 26 @ Menahga

AWAY: 4 p.m., Friday, April 29, against South Ridge @ NYM

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 3, against NYM

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 6, against Parkers Prairie

HOME: 1 p.m., Saturday, May 7, against Watertown-Mayer @ DC field

HOME: 6 p.m., Saturday, May 7, against Perham @ DC field

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 9, @ Staples-Motley

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, @ Verndale

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, against Osakis

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 13, @ NYM

HOME: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, against BHV

AWAY: 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 20, at Henning vs. OTC



Carson Kern, P/IF; Josh Dykhoff, P/C/IF/OF; Payton Rondestvedt, P/SS; Braeden Redfield, 1B; Chad Dickey, OF


Brandon Wheeler, P/3B; Connor Davis, P/C/IF; Isaac Hamann, P/IF/OF; Evan Lunde, P/IF/OF; Tyson Barthel, P/C/IF; Clyde Magnuson, OF


Peyton Church, P/IF; Grant Seelhammer, IF; Simon Kreklau, P/IF/OF; Teshe Loer, OF; Gunner Olson, IF/C

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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