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Welcome to MavBlog • Providing Insite & Information on the Mavericks Since 1985Mankato, Minn.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Eric Peterson's family - here with Will (brother), Molly (mom)
and dad (Tom) - are in Cary, N.C., for the NCAA DII
Baseball national championship tournament
  Cary, N.C. --- Back in May of 2012 we documented nearly 50 instances in which multiple members of families had played a sport for Minnesota State.

Brothers and sisters, brothers with brothers, sisters and sisters, sons and daughters, etc. Shoot, the Swanson family started with Ken playing football, basketball and baseball at Mankato State Teachers College in the late 1940's and early 1950's before his granddaughters Amy and Angie played basketball for the Mavericks in the 1990's.

The Peterson family is currently continuing on with this Maverick Legacy tradition with a father/son combo of their own.

Dad, Tom, played hockey for the Mavericks from 1982-85 where he totaled six goals and 39 assists for 45 points in 83 games played under Minnesota State puck coaching legend Don Brose

Son, Eric, is a freshman second baseman with the Maverick baseball team currently vying for a national title in Cary, N.C.  The Eagan (Minn.) High School product has enjoyed a tremendous maiden season for Minnesota State having started 52 of 55 games while hitting .315 and picking up 2014 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Freshman of the Year honors.

The Peterson family also includes mom Molly (also a MSU grad), along with a couple of additional baseball/hockey playing sons in Gavin and Will. We ran into Tom today at the ballpark and he was nice enough to spend a few moments to ponder a few questions.

MavBlog:  How did you end up coming to Mankato to play hockey for the Mavericks?
TP: I had played high school hockey at Bloomington Kennedy and played two years of junior hockey before being recruited to go to Mankato.

MavBlog: What was it like playing for Brosie and tell us a little about your time with the program.
TP: It was a great experience. Don was a terrific coach and we had good teams while I was there.  Met lots of good players and friends to this day.

MavBlog:  Do you still follow Maverick Hockey?
TP: I do. It's fun to watch.  We were Division II-III when I played and it's fun to watch a program that's Division I.

MavBlog:  When did you graduate? What is your degree in?
TP: I graduated in1985 and have a degree in marketing and management.

MavBlog: How special is it that Eric is not only playing college baseball, but playing right down the road at your alma mater?
TP: It's a lot of fun - having had the opportunity for me to have played a college sport then to have my son play a college sport at the same school. We're fortunate. It was the coaching staff here and tradition of the program that led him here. They win and it's a great program.

MavBlog:  And how about the year Eric has had and that you are here in Cary watching him play in the NCAA DII national championship tournament?
TP: It's been unbelievable, tough to beat and can't really ask for anything more than this.  We're proud of him.

It's great to be a Maverick.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Add it to the Resume: College Graduate

David Backes played for Minnesota State from 2003-06 where
he totaled 46 goals and 73 assists for 119 points in 115 games

Before he became captain of the St. Louis Blues and before he became a two-time Olympian, David Backes was a college student.

No ordinary college student, mind you, because Backes was a electrical engineering student with a 4.00 grade point average who also happened to play NCAA Division I hockey.

A forward for Minnesota State, Backes played for the Mavericks for three seasons (2003-06) where he scored 46 goals and had 73 assists for 119 points in 115 games.

Selected by St. Louis in the second round of the 2003 National Hockey League draft, the two-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic pick was named a Third Team All-American his last year with the program in 2005-06.

After a short apprenticeship in the American Hockey League, Backes has gone on to rack up 357 points on 159 goals and 198 assists in seven and half seasons with the Blues. He has appeared in the last two Olympics with the United States men's hockey team. An accomplished pilot, Backes and his wife Kelly, are the founders of Athletes for Animals - a foundation that includes professional athletes from various sports with a "shared passion for rescuing an protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide."

He's accomplished a lot for such a young person, but one of the things left undone was getting his degree.

"I set out going to school to get a degree and I expected to finish.  I didn't necessarily expect pro hockey to happen and certainly not the the way it's happened"  said the Blaine, Minn., native.

And so this past Saturday, he ticked another item off the list. College graduate.

"My degree is in applied organizational studies with a non profit leadership certificate. It's pertinent to what Kelly and I are up to now."

With the sheepskin in hand, one wonders what's next for the former Maverick captain.

"Getting the degree was something that was high on the list.  Now it's sort of let's go find something else we can move forward with."

It's great to be a Maverick. 

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/02/25/3078397/backes-olympic-mission-to-russia.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Travis Checks Out

Graduate assistant Travis Langer traveled the country with
Minnesota State's volleyball, women's basketball and softball
teams the last two years.
When I came to Minnesota State 20 months ago, one of the first things I heard within the athletic department was the term "MavFam" and as an outsider looking in I was kind of skeptical about this term. I quickly learned what it meant. It's a group of people working together, to achieve greatness.

In my time as a graduate assistant in Athletic Communications I have worked directly with the women's basketball, softball and volleyball programs. These three teams in the last two seasons have been great, to say the least. The trio has combined for a record of 163-61, someone in my line of work's dream, covering nationally-ranked teams.

I have had the privilege to travel with each of the squads and the opportunity to really get to know the players and coaches. Some of the trips include a trek with the softball team to Arizona, driving a minivan full of five softball girls from Phoenix to Tuscan and back, trips to Kansas and Colorado with the women's basketball team in addition to a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference volleyball tournament trip to the Twin Cities, which was hosted by the seven-time NCAA national champion, Concordia-St. Paul (a team, by the way, which we beat in a five-set thriller earlier in that season in Mankato).

These aren't just athletes though. These ladies are the definition of student-athletes with all three teams boast well over 3.0 grade point averages and are extremely involved in not only our community, but the global community with a plethora of mission trips in their offseasons as well.

The MavFam extends far beyond these three teams, however. It's a department-wide family. It's a group of student-athletes, coaches and administrators working together toward being the best institution possible. The friendships I was able to build proved invaluable, me being a small-town, South Dakota kid, 550 miles from home.

I have also had the opportunity to enjoy a number of other great sporting memories, including a historic run by our football team with back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, the men's hockey team winning the Western Collegiate Hockey Association postseason tournament and bringing the Broadmoor Trophy to Mankato for the first time ever, the men's basketball team hosting back-to-back regional tournaments, something the women's soccer team, softball team and baseball team (hopefully) will also do.

This is not something many schools have the opportunity to do, and it takes a lot of work from a great group of people working behind the scenes. This is the group I have had been a part of for the last two years, and a group that the coaches and athletes also consider part of the MavFam, a group of people working together toward greatness.

From the bus trips with 25 women singing Pitch Perfect at the top of their lungs (my Beats headphones turned out to be a great investment, no offense), to the multiple regionals I have attended and worked, there is no doubt that the relationships, memories and lessons I will take from Minnesota State are things that will not only help me, but everyone else that dons the Purple and Gold achieve greatness.

Thank you!​

A native of Spearfish, S.D., and the owner of an undergraduate degree in public relations from Black Hills State (S.D.), Travis Langer worked as a graduate assistant in the Minnesota State Athletic Communications office the last two years.  He graduates Saturday with a master's degree in sport managament.