So far, 13 student athletes from the Detroit Lakes Class of 2020 have publicly announced their commitments to compete collegiately this coming fall.

The Laker football team leads the way with five players.

Quarterback Max Gunderson announced in December that he will be attending the University of North Dakota and joining the Fighting Hawks football team.

Gunderson helped the Lakers to a 9-1 record and a trip to the Section 8AAAA championship game passing for 719 yards and nine touchdowns and he rushed for 279 yards and four more scores.

He has family ties to the Fighting Hawks program. His uncle and former Laker Erik Gunderson played there from 1995-98.

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Gabe Hanninen had multiple offers before deciding on the University of St. Thomas football program this spring.

The Tommies are a program in flux after a decision on whether St. Thomas can move from Division III to Division I was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and no further information on the move is expected before June at the earliest.

Hanninen was the benefactor of two surprise postseason football awards in 2019 including a roster spot at the Minnesota Football Showcase game and being named one of five Minnesota Vikings Community Captains in a special ceremony at U.S. Bank Stadium in November.

Hanninen earned a spot in the Showcase game for his play on the field. The community captain award is for efforts in the school and community.

Concordia College football added three Lakers to its recruiting class of 60 so far. The 2020 senior class won 18 of 20 games the past two seasons and the Cobbers have been home to multiple Lakers recently including Ryan Cihak, Carson Tunheim and Charles Barnett.

Micah Solberg, Conner Walsh and Jackson Fields are the new faces on the roster.

Four DL golfers are playing at the next level.

Shelby Busker announced on National Signing Day in November she is moving on to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She joins her sister Sydney, who was a captain and four-year standout at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, in playing golf at the collegiate level.

Busker was a two-year captain for the Lakers and last summer’s Minnesota PGA Junior Golf ‘Sota Series player of the year.

Senior teammate Anna Cihak has signed with Minnesota State University Mankato. After her junior season, Cihak had the possibility of entertaining multiple collegiate offers in volleyball, basketball or golf, but a third place state individual finish made golf in Mankato a tempting option.

On the boys side, Hunter Burnside will play at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Burnside was the top Laker finisher at state last year.

Drew Schwan is the second Laker in recent years to play golf at M-State Fergus Falls.

Garrett Bakken will become the third DL soccer player currently playing collegiately after signing with University of Minnesota Morris. Bakken was a contributor on the soccer team since middle school earning all-conference honors and was a captain last fall. He was also a consistent swimming contributor riding out a couple tough years with dwindling participation numbers and helping head coach Carol Fischer bounce the program back this past winter.

Trisha Gebhart will compete in dance next fall at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Robert Williams / Tribune
Trisha Gebhart will compete in dance next fall at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Robert Williams / Tribune

Trisha Gebhart will compete in 2020 for the College of St. Benedict Dance team. She was a co-captain and four-year leader with Hope Hansen this season. DL captured the Mid-State Conference championship and Gebhart was one of six all-conference dancers. She joins former teammate Abi Skinner at the collegiate level. Skinner will be a senior at MSUM next fall.

Peyton Nordby continued a streak under head coach Bill Kvebak of the DL boys sending at least one runner to state cross country for the seventh year in a row. Nordby qualified in both his junior and senior seasons and will compete next year for Concordia College.

Jackson Hegg leaves Detroit Lakes as one of the most decorated athletes of the past decade and one that could have competed collegiately in three sports.

Hegg ultimately decided on Minnesota State University Moorhead track where she will compete in pole vault. The Laker girls track team has a vaunted history in collegiate vault thanks to the efforts of the University of North Dakota’s Kyley Foster.

Hegg could have made any number of gymnastics teams at the college level or diving after being one of the Lakers most consistent state performers in both sports over six seasons dating back to her eighth grade year.

More college commits are expected as summer approaches.

Robert Williams is the sports editor for the Tribune. Send story ideas to

Area athletes competing in college:


UM Crookston — Carter Mulcahy


Concordia – Grant Pederson, Adam Daggett, Maddie Guler, Charlie Rasmussen

Jamestown — Logan Pratt

MSUM – Jesse Bergh

Valley City State — Breanna Price


MSUM — Abi Skinner

St. Ben’s — Trisha Gebhart


Bemidji — James Huwe,

Concordia — Isaac Cihak, Carson Tunheim, Charles Barnett, Jackson Haire, Brady Sirjord, Micah Solberg, Conner Walsh, Jackson Fields

M-State FF — Jeff Newburey

MSUM — Jake Bettcher, Jake Richter, Matt Haire, Darius Woods-Steichen, Parker Syverson, Jenson Beachy

UND — Max Gunderson

St. Thomas - Gabe Hanninen


Bemidji — Aaron Schnathorst

Concordia – Ryan Paskey, Isaac Cihak

Grand Canyon University - Hunter Burnside

IUPUI — Shelby Busker

Nebraska — Kate Smith

NDSU — Maddie Herzog

UND — Abby Schramel,

MSU Mankato — Anna Cihak

M-State FF — Wyatt Blomseth, Drew Schwan

South Dakota School of Mines — Ben Unruh


UW—Lacrosse – Molly Lyngaas


Eau Claire – Jon Richards


Jamestown — Sydney Prussia

UM—Morris — Matteya Borah, Abby Wothe


Concordia — Lauren Tschider

St. Scholastica — Sidney Lundberg

UM Morris - Garrett Bakken


Alaska—Fairbanks — Syd Gulon

St. Benedict – Clara Livermore

California Baptist — Zane Freeman

MSUM — Lexi Yliniemi


UM Crookston — Michelle Swyter


BSU - Abby Syverson

Concordia — Connor Haugrud, Jake Kerzman, Tanner Olson, Michael Miller, Peyton Nordby

Gustavus — Elizabeth Kvebak

MSUM — Jackson Hegg

Minnesota — Shay Nielsen

NDSU — Brynnan Covington, Caitlin Covington, Ashley Hokanson, Bailey Evenson

UND — Jay Nielsen, Ellie Morgan

U-Mary — Paige Ziegler


MSUM — Teeya Doppler

Jamestown — Paige Oswald


MSUM — Braydon Ortloff

Northland CC — Payton Jackson