Front Office Staff

Jeremy Aagard is in the midst of his first season as the general manager of the Honkers but is a veteran in the summer collegiate baseball world of front office executives.  Prior to joining the Honkers,  the Wadena, Minn. native led the Fayetteville SwampDogs of the Coastal Plain Summer Collegiate League since 2006.   Aagard served as the SwampDogs assistant general manager from 2006-2012 before taking the reigns as the general manager in 2013, a position he had held until joining the Honkers.  The SwampDogs were annually one of the top drawing teams in the Coastal Plain League, averaging over 1,500 fans/game during their peak and Aagard was the driving force behind many of the promotions and significant involvements in the community.  Along with being honored as one of the “Top 40 Under the age of 40” in Fayetteville back in 2011, Aagard was a consistent participant on community boards and committees such as Special Olympics and Kiwanis and was instrumental in bringing numerous other community events to the ballpark.

Along with returning home to Minnesota to help lead the Flock, Aagard is also returning to his roots of the Northwoods League as he received his start in summer collegiate baseball back in 2004 when he worked as the assistant general manager with the Alexandria (MN) Beetles.

Jeremy and his wife, Andrea, reside in Rochester with their two daughters, Alyvia and Jayci.


Hello Honker fans! My name is Kayla Piltz and I have the honor of creating the perfect night out for you and your group.  With this role I plan on making sure your night goes how you envision it.  I am also in charge of the merchandise in the store this summer.  This is not my first time in the Northwoods League.  I worked for the La Crosse Loggers for two seasons in their store, selling tickets, and their on field intern.  After a few short months out of the league as a group events sales associate at the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, I realized how much I missed it.  I welcomed this opportunity with open arms.  I attended Winona State University with a degree in
Marketing and a minor in Advertising.  I grew up around ball fields my entire childhood both playing, and watching, this incredible sport.  When I am not at the field I love playing softball, hanging out with my friends, family, and pet bunny, or spending as much time outside as I can.  I look forward to this opportunity and seeing all of you at the ballpark this summer!

Brandon Oswald is in the midst of his fourth season in the Northwoods League, including his second as the creative and social media director of the Honkers.  Oswald, a Sparta, Wisc. native and recent graduate from Viterbo University (La Crosse, Wisc.), began his NWL career in the summer of 2017 with the La Crosse Loggers helping spearhead the in-game entertainment.  He has since taken the reigns as the marketing and social media director for not only the Honkers, but serves in the same role for the Loggers and Mankato MoonDogs where he also creates all graphical content for the video boards located in their respective markets.


Ownership Group

The operations of the Rochester Honkers are owned by a 5-person ownership group entitled Bases Loaded Entertainment, LLC.  The ownership group consists of Kyle Smith, Chad Surprenant, Dan Kapanke, Chris Goodell & Ben Kapanke, who oversee the operations of the Rochester Honkers, La Crosse Loggers and the Mankato MoonDogs.

Kyle Smith is currently a principal and director of development of The Tailwind Group.  He spends much of his time generating new business opportunities in both the student housing and commercial sectors.  Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Minnesota State University, Kyle has not only been active in real estate development, but his business experience also includes aviation, health & fitness franchising and the food service industry.

Chad Surprenant is the current president and CEO of ISG, a Mankato-based engineering and architectural firm that has been a growing business in and outside of Mankato for over 40 years.  Surprenant, a Mankato, Minn. native, is an active member of the Mankato community serving in a variety of roles including:  Treasurer of the Greater Mankato Growth Board, Board Member of the Mankato Area Foundation, Mankato Area Youth Baseball Association and the GreenSeem Steering Committee along with serving as Chair of the Minnesota State University Civil Engineering Advisory Board and Director of the Cultivation Corridor Board.  He also served as past president of both the Mankato Golf Club and the South-Central College Foundation Board.

Dan Kapanke has owned the La Crosse Loggers Baseball Club in La Crosse, Wisc. since the team’s inception in 2003 and has been the driving force behind enhancing the city-owned Copeland Park facility.  A former politician, Kapanke served as a Wisconsin State Senator from 2004 through 2011 when he represented the 32nd District.  Prior to his leadership role in the political realm, Kapanke had been in the agriculture business for 20 years.

Chris Goodell (Team President) is in the midst of his 21st season in the Northwoods League, having spent time with both the Waterloo Bucks and La Crosse Loggers organizations.  Goodell, who currently serves as the team president of the Loggers, Mankato MoonDogs and the Rochester Honkers, served as the general manager of the Loggers organization from their inaugural season of 2003 through the 2018 season, helping build a stadium and team that is one of the top drawing teams in all of summer collegiate baseball.  Goodell was honored as the Northwoods League Executive of the Year on two occasions, in 2004 and in 2012, and was recognized as the La Crosse Tribune’s Sports Person of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

Ben Kapanke (Vice President, CFO) is in the midst of his sixteenth season in the Northwoods League and in his first year as the general manager of the La Crosse Loggers after serving the previous ten years as the assistant general manager.  Kapanke, who also holds the title of vice president/CFO of the Loggers, MoonDogs and now the Honkers, oversees the concession operations as well as the team’s finances for all three clubs while leading the Loggers day-to-day operations.  Kapanke got his introduction to the Northwoods League in 2002 when he served as an umpire after attending the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring.

Email for Ownership Group –





University of Hard Knocks

Slider has been the iconic mascot for the Rochester Honkers since the 1997 season. Known for exciting the crowd at Mayo Field, Slider has become famous for his dance moves at the start of every home game, and leading fans in the “YMCA”!  Slider keeps busy helping out with the on-field promotions, and working the crowds, but will always find time to spend with the younger fans and sign autographs.  Before each game Slider likes to stretch behind home plate, wave to the fans, and welcome the Dream Team of the Night.  In the offseason, Slider stays in mascot shape by running marathons and lifting weights.

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