Monday, September 30, 2013

Lehrke calls it a career

Minnesota State suffered a big loss this week when senior forward Zach Lehrke decided to hang up his skates due to a medical condition he has suffered throughout his life. The hope for Lehrke is that he won't have to suffer too much anymore.

Lehrke, who was the Mavericks' fourth-leading scorer the last two seasons and a key member of the power play, has tried to fight and play through his condition -- one that causes painful, seizing cramping in his legs and throughout his body -- but finally decided enough was enough.

While it seems like short notice, Lehrke and coach Mike Hastings both said Monday that Lehrke was having one of his best offseasons. In other words, he was planning to play. The Park Rapids native stayed in Mankato over the summer and got himself in great shape. Unfortunately, his condition often made life miserable for him, and he opted to end his playing career.

"I felt like this was the best decision for myself and my body," he said.

Read my story on Lehrke here.

Lehrke, who said his brother Tyler, a former Bemidji State player, also suffers from the mysterious condition, ("I don't know exactly what it is," he said.) didn't miss many games during his MSU career, however, the cramping did prevent him from finishing several games. He said he hopes to find a why to remain involved with the team during his senior season and plans to talk with Hastings and the other coaches about that in the future.


crossjcek said...

sad news for the team, fans, and especially for Zach. Hopefully he will be able to be involved this year. Thanks for the hard play, it will be missed this year!

Nathan Tish said...

Shucks. This seems like a good time for a die-hard Mavs fan to say God bless, and thanks for giving it everything you had, Zach.

Lehrke was one of the hardest workers on the ice over each of the past few years, and it reflected on the scoreboard.

I was in Duluth last year when we swept the Bulldogs, and I witnessed one of the memorable goals I've ever seen when Zach took a "hail mary" pass from Gervais (if my memory serves me correct) that nearly hit the ceiling before Lehrke went screaming across the blue line and in for a breakaway goal... I'm still hoping that shows up on a Youtube highlight reel someday!

I will definitely remember Zach as one of our hardest workers on the ice, and I'll never forget that particular goal up in Duluth. This is a significant loss for the team, but he's the sort of guy that could still provide an impact without setting foot on the ice this upcoming season.