Brainerd Professional Athletes Enjoy Being Home in the Summer
As professional athletes, Joe Haeg and Josh Archibald are always on the road, continuously striving to get better at their craft. So, whenever Haeg and Archibald get a chance to come home to Brainerd, they relish in what the area has to offer.
“It’s kind of funny because when you grow up here, you take all of this stuff for granted,” Joe Haeg, Offensive Lineman for the Indianapolis Colts, said. “You’re like, ‘I can’t wait to go to college or go somewhere else,’ then the second you get there, you’re like, ‘man, I want to go back to Brainerd,’”
“You miss home, you miss the lakes, and all the people.” Josh Archibald, Arizona Coyotes Right Winger, said. “We get back once maybe twice a year depending on what our schedule is.”
Haeg and Archibald were home to participate in the Wounded Warriors Celebrity Softball game, but they can’t stay home forever.
“I’ll be headed back in the next couple days, I only came back for a couple weeks just to embrace the area; you got to love it this time of year,” Haeg said. “I got to get back to Indy and get ready for this season.”
“Looking forward to getting back, starting the season with Arizona,” Archibald said. “We made a few trades, but I think we’ll have a good core group and a good group of guys, so I’m really looking forward to being back there, and I’m just having fun up in Brainerd while I’m here.”
As two guys who have played for Brainerd High School, they had some advice for any current high school athletes in the area.
“You just got to work hard, you got to commit yourself to something whatever that is, even if it’s not athletics,” Haeg said. “Whatever your goals are in life, strive for them, work hard for them, and be committed to them.”
“Never give up, keep working hard – you never know where it will take you,” Archibald said. “If you have to take the long way you take the long way, but you never give up on your dreams and goals, and you will get there eventually.”
Archibald saw his dreams come true when he won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017.
“That’s definitely a childhood dream come true, so to be able to be a part of that was something special,” Archibald said.
Haeg and Archibald will return to the Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Coyotes respectively, but they will always show appreciation to where it all started in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Haeg and the Colts begin their season August 9th with a preseason game against the Seahawks, and Archibald’s preseason with the Coyotes begins September 16th.