Joel Bauman Leads Team to State Semifinals

Joel Bauman, a 6-foot-2, 190 junior running back from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, is one of the top two-sport athletes in the state of Minnesota. Bauman could finish his career as the state's top all-time rusher and he is one of the state's and country's top wrestlers. GoldenSports.Net recently caught up with Bauman to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Joel Bauman scored four touchdowns Thursday to lead the Fighting Saints (10-2) to a 47-14 win in their Class A quarterfinals win over Fosston at the Fargodome. Bauman rushed 36 times for 337 yards. It's the second time this postseason that Bauman has rushed for more than 300 yards. He scored on runs of 3, 12, 3 and 5 yards and had 21 carries for 204 yards in the first half. Bauman suffered a leg cramp in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.

They will play the winner of the Springfield-New Ulm Cathedral game at 10:15 a.m. next Saturday at the Metrodome in the quarterfinals and are just two games from a Prep Bowl title.

The Fighting Saints advanced to the state tournament with a 42-35 victory over Minneota, earning a second straight state trip. Bauman scored from 16 yards out with 11.7 seconds remaining to give the Fighting Saints the win. He finished with 47 carries for 269 yards and two rushing touchdowns (20 and 16 yards). Bauman threw a 36-yard pass for a touchdown on the halfback option.

Bauman has rushed for 2,508 yards this season. He rushed for 1,988 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore as he led the Fighting Saints to an 12-1 mark, losing to Goodhue in Class A semifinals.

Bauman is also an outstanding wrestler who won Greco-Roman national title as a second-year cadet in 2007 and was second as a first-year junior in 2008. He finished third in the state last year at the 189-pound weight class.

Bauman has a chance to break the Minnesota all-time rushing record, currently held by Tyler Evans with 7,503 yards. Bauman thinks that the record is attainable.

:Basically, what I am trying to do is to average 2,100 yards to break the record. I can just add on to that and try to break the record next season," he said.

Bauman attended the Minnesota-Northwestern game, and was able to get to three others games this year, despite a hectic weekend schedule.

"I've been working. I have a job. I try to take off as many as I can to get here and say hello to the coaches and get that scholarship," he said.

Bauman said that he is hearing from other schools besides Minnesota.

"I got a questioniarre from Oregon. Wisconsin and Boise State have contacted me," he said.

Bauman admits that he is uncertain of what sport he will play in college.

"I am looking for a football scholarship. If nothing comes my way in that, which I hope does not happen, then I will wrestle in college and pursue a mixed martial arts fighting career," he said.

Bauman is an excellent student who already has a college major in mind.

"Kinesology. The study of muscles. I want to be a chiropractor," he said.

Despite his wrestling prowess, Bauman is focused on the gridiron.

"I am concentrating on football for now. Once wrestling hits, it's pure wrestling," he said.

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