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DLB’s Hermanson, Lesmann continue athletic careers

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Des Lacs-Burlington senior Erica Hermanson signs her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Minot State on Friday. Hermanson struck out 16 Thompson batters in the opening round of last year's Class B state softball tournament.

DES LACS — As peers and family members looked on, Des Lacs-Burlington student-athletes Erica Hermanson and Jameson Lesmann took the next steps in their respective journeys on Friday.

Hermanson will play for the Minot State softball team next season, while Lesmann will take the gridiron for Valley City State. Hermanson has proven herself as one of Class B’s premier pitchers, while Lesmann has made his mark as a wide receiver and defensive back.

“It’s exciting,” Hermanson said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to advance and play college softball.”

Added Lesmann: “I’m ready to get to work next fall. It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now. I’ve wanted to play college football, and now I finally get to fulfill that dream at Valley City State.”

Both student-athletes have helped their teams reach postseason play. In 2018, DLB finished as Class B softball runner-ups.

Jimmy Lafakis/MDN Des Lacs-Burlington senior Jameson Lesmann (center) signs his National Letter of Intent with parents Allison (left) and Karter (right) on Friday. Lesmann signed to play football at Valley City State.

Last year, Hermanson struck out 16 Thompson batters in the opening round of the Class B state tournament. The Lakers won that game 6-3, but lost 8-4 to Kindred-Richland in the semifinals.

“Our goal is to get to state and be state champions,” Hermanson said. “But we have to take it one day at a time and one practice at a time. We have to put everything toward what we are able to do and just play the game with what we’ve got.”

Lesmann helped the Lakers to a 6-4 finish this season. DLB earned its fourth consecutive postseason berth before falling 43-12 to Shiloh Christian in a Class A opening-round contest.

“We didn’t make it as far as I wanted to the past couple of years,” Lesmann said. “With the winning culture at Valley City, I feel like I can go there and get something accomplished.”

Both Lakers posed for photos with a plethora of family members and friends. The DLB library quickly filled with smiles.

“She’s very close with her friends,” Wade Hermanson said of his daughter’s decision. “They’re excited to have her around close to home, too. They can see more of her after she graduates.”

Added Brandy Lee, Hermanson’s mother: “The community has always been one of the biggest supporting parts of the entire game. They’ve supported her from the beginning. She started in the seventh grade, and she’s just excited that they will be able to continue to watch her play.”

Hermanson plans to study nursing, while Lesmann will pursue a career as a physician’s assistant.

“(Lesmann) has worked very hard to get to where he is,” DLB assistant football coach BJ Karhoff said. “He’s going to exceed, and he’s going to do well. He puts his mind to to things. He really goes after it.”

Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.

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