The Bismarck Larks are excited to announce Monica Blake, Charlie Maurer, and the Larks NWLTV Broadcast Team for being recognized in the Northwoods League annual awards. The awards, which were decided by a vote of team officials at the League’s annual fall meetings last week in Rochester, MN are given annually to the League’s outstanding individuals.
Monica Blake, the former General Manager of Funatix Events, was named the 2022 Northwoods League Most Valuable Employee. Charlie Maurer was recognized as the 2022 Northwoods League TV Announcer of the Year. Additionally, the Larks broadcast team, led by the organization’s media team, was recognized as the top Gameday Presentation in the Great Plains.
Monica Blake, 2022 Northwoods League Most Valuable Employee
Monica Blake was named the 2022 Northwoods League Most Valuable Employee, after her work serving as the General Manager for Funatix Events, the affiliate event company of the Bismarck Larks. Monica also assisted the Larks gameday operations team during the season. Currently, Monica is the General Manager of the Minot NWL team and part of the ownership group.
“Everyone in the Northwoods League puts a ton of work into what they do each year, so I am extremely honored to be voted the NWL’s Most Valuable Team Member,” Blake said. “Working with the amazing people in the Larks organization has pushed me to be my absolute best every day.”
As the General Manager of Funatix Events, she is responsible for the growth and development of national and regional events. These events include one of the oldest rodeos in the world, the Mandan Rodeo Days, Bismarck’s largest three-day running event, the Bismarck Marathon, the only Christmas road race in the state, the Santa Run, and numerous company picnics.
To continue reading about Monica and her accomplishments as we recognize her as the 2022 NWL Most Valuable Employee, click here.
TV Announcer of the Year
Charlie Maurer was named the 2022 Northwoods League TV Announcer of the Year, after his work serving as the team broadcaster for the Bismarck Larks. Charlie was a member of the Larks media intern team and excelled as both the team’s home TV broadcaster and road radio voice.
Charlie, a student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, showcased excellent knowledge of the Larks, their opponents, the Northwoods League, and more. He led the team into new endeavors like broadcasting Larks games on ESPN+ and executed many new league-wide corporate partnerships like Stadium Mustard and DraftKings Sportsbook.
“Charlie [Maurer] was a leader of the broadcast and it’s exciting to know that he is being recognized for his work as TV Announcer of the Year,” Isaac Bugarin, said.
Isaac shared media team leadership opportunities with Joe Zollo during the 2022 season.
”He spent countless hours studying team stats, talking to players and truly finding unique stories about the team to share with the country on ESPN+ and beyond,” Bugarin said.
Gameday Presentation in the Great Plains
The Larks broadcast team, led by the media intern team, was recognized as the best Gameday Presentation in the Great Plains Division of the Northwoods League. Members of the team include Charlie Maurer, Dathyl Larsen, LaMark Wylie, Charlie Hammock, Elijah Grabrick, Clayton Van Horn, and Joshua Tigges.
Bismarck was one of the leaders in ESPN+ games, broadcasting 17 games on the official streaming partner of the league. In total, the team broadcasted 36 total games in 2022.
“We had a great broadcast team that was featured on ESPN+ throughout the summer. These seven individuals took ownership and took great pride in producing a consistent show for fans, parents, and baseball lovers across the country. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and all of their hard work throughout the summer.”
Since the franchise joined the Northwoods League in 2017, the broadcast team has consistently been recognized despite a change in leadership.
“I’m proud our team has been recognized for doing that at a high level each and every night,” Bollinger said. “Whatever the task, our people and culture strive for excellence in all we do. We see the broadcast, now streaming select games on ESPN+, as an incredible opportunity to gain valuable exposure for our players and communities while also showcasing the FUN, family-friendly environments we’ve created with our teams.”