Northern Heat

Northern Heat Changes for 2022

UpdatedWednesday February 2, 2022 byJason Brodina.

Northern Heat is Bemidji Youth Baseball’s traveling baseball program.  This program is designed for players who want to play more baseball in the summer, improve development of baseball skills, and compete at a very high level.  Teams are made up of the top 11-15 players in each age group. There are additional fees for playing on a Northern Heat team.  However, fundraising activities is a commonplace on these teams to help keep player fees down. 

The Northern Heat baseball program has long tradition of success in winning games, advancing and competing at the highest levels in Minnesota, developing players for the High School program, and teaching life skills to players through the sport of baseball.  

Changes are being made to the Northern Heat program for 2022.  Here is the following information:


The Northern Heat committee (Jason Brodina, Jeremy Ganske, Erik Dokken, Eric Berg, Shannon Miller) have put a lot of time and thought into changes for the 2022 NH traveling baseball program (and gotten input from many others).  If anything is unclear or you would like more info, please feel free to call or email and we will do our best to answer any questions or concerns.

New format Goals & Philosophy

  1. Create consistent coaching philosophy at all levels
  2. Close to equal playing time
  3. Practice together with 6-8 coaches (eliminate coaches having to be at every practice or practices with 1-2 coaches only, most of us have other kids as well)
  4. Create friendships, comradery and teamwork with different age groups, preparing for High School
  5. One team mentality with boys playing with multiple teams (Intact. Red, and White)
  6. Flexibility for travel schedule and commitment, a player may be invited to play on a White or Red to fill in for another player
  7. Teams will be constructed by ability not availability (players cannot choose which team to play on but missing a tournament is OK, flexibility with schedules is our goal)
  8. Accommodate other sports and activities (middle school sports, etc.)
  9. Focus on arm care/strength and fundamentals to prepare boys for High School Baseball
  10. Individual Improvement plans and throwing programs
  11. Prepare the group/team for high school baseball, not one age group
  12. Facilitate transition to full size fields
  13. Participate in other leagues to facilitate a longer less intense tournament schedule
  14. By having 10, 12, 14 AA team we can competitively play local 10, 12, 14 yo teams (TRF, Roseau, Warroad, Grand Rapids AA, etc.)
  15. At the 9-12 yo levels, the players will still play in night league at the junior & senior league levels, allowing them to play baseball with all the kids at their age level.
  16. At the 13-14 yo level, having having two equally split teams for Intact we can play in a competitive local league against 13-15 year old teams from nearby towns
  17. The plan is for each player to have the opportunity to play 30-40 games at the 10 yo level, up to 40-50 games at the 14 yo level.

Why the Changes?

  1. Coaching, it is becoming difficult to find enough coaches at each level to field teams.  This allows coaches to share the workload.
  2. Family commitment, having a group of 22-24 players allows teams to have replacement players if vacations or other sporting activities are planned.
  3. One Philosophy: by combining coaching groups we will have the opportunity to be consistent with our message and philosophy.  Each group of coaches will have the opportunity to learn from the group above who have experience at that age level, while also bring new ideas to the group.  Currently one age group is very dependent on that coach’s philosophy and plan.
  4. Teamwork, as a feeder program for BHS we want to prepare these boys to be a team…not individual age groups.  Focus them on playing together and having fun…..winning will be a result of this not the driver.
  5. Move away from Babe Ruth Tournament Trail.  Although Babe Ruth/ Cal Ripken has been very rewarding and gave us all some amazing experiences it also has some constraints.  With the tournament trail starting in early July our season has become every weekend from mid-May to July 4th.  This is a very large commitment for families and can create some burnout with the boys.  By being independent and playing in many different tournaments we can extend our season and have a less condensed schedule.  We also want to eliminate the last minute trip to regionals which can be a tremendous burden on families, but also very difficult to decline when a team only has 10-12 players. If a group wants to schedule a specific travel tournament we can plan ahead and make it happen.  Again, flexibility is the key.  One size does not fit all.
  6. The plan is to implement this program at each level (10UAAA,10UAA,12UAAA,12UAA,14UAAA,14UAA) this year and in the future.  Boys will alternate years being the young group or older group.  This facilitates leadership development and confidence…..success and failure.


2022 Travel Baseball


  • Team tryouts will be in first half of March
  • Team of 22-24 will be chosen by a group including coaches and non-coaches that will rate players based on hitting, fielding, pitching, speed, etc.
  • Team will consist of roughly half younger age players and half older age players


  • Indoor practice will begin in middle of March, 2 per week, per group
  • Team will be randomly split into two groups to accommodate limited indoor practice space

AAA & AA Team Selection

  • Mid to late April-AAA and AA teams will be chosen. 
  • Teams will be chosen by ability level not age
  • Entire group will continue to practice as one team

Night League (Junior, Senior, Intact)

  • End of April: Junior & Senior League will start
    • 10U & 12U will continue to practice
  • June 1st: Intact League will start
    • Intact teams will be chosen.
    • Group will be split into 2 even teams for intact league schedule
    • 14U will continue to practice


Hopefully we have touched on the main points.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

We are really looking forward to working with this group of kids and coaches this season. 


NH Committee


Northern Heat Committee Members:

Jason Brodina: 218-556-9667

Jeremy Ganske: 218-556-5421

Shannon Miller: 218-329-2306

Eric Berg: 701-739-2219    

Erik Dokken: 218-766-1642