The Nordic ski teams begin their competitive seasons today as the Bemidji High School boys and girls squads host the Bemidji Relays at the middle school trails.
Among the teams expected to join the Lumberjacks are Brainerd, Deer River, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Trek North.
Today's action is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. The junior varsity athletes will ski a 5-km skate course. The varsity teams, however, will participate in a relay competition which features boys, girls and mixed teams doing laps of classic and skate.
"We are the only race in Minnesota that follows this type of format," said BHS coach Mark Walters.
The varsity athletes will be divided into "A" and "B" teams and each team will feature a team of two boys, a team of two girls and a mixed team, all competing in a relay format.
Each skier will do a lap of classic skiing and a lap of skating and each lap will be about three kilometers.
Bemidji's first team will include Tony Sagedahl and John Buckanaga as the boys skiers, Laura Yourd and Alicia Papke-Larson as the girls skiers and Bailey Drewes and Adam Holter as the mixed squad.
The Lumberjacks' other team will feature Sam Dwyer and Kyle Sagedahl, California Thorson and Mari Eggebo plus Kim Truedson and Andy Berube.
"Our kids are all very competitive and I think they will come up with quality times and performances in this relay meet," the coach said. "The varsity skiers are ready to strut their stuff and compete. For the new kids this will be a learning experience and the first of what will be many baby steps this season."
The girls basketball team will try again for its first victory of the season today when it entertains St. Cloud Apollo.
The junior varsity is scheduled to play at 4 p.m. and the varsity game will follow.
BHS is 0-4 after dropping Tuesday's 53-51 home decision to Hibbing. The other losses have come against Sauk Rapids (42-38), Thief River Falls (67-39) and Grand Rapids (45-22).
Next week sees the Lumberjacks visiting Moorhead on Tuesday to complete their pre-Christmas schedule. On Dec. 27-28 BHS will take a long road trip to play in the Albert Lea Invitational.
The Lumberjacks will host Fergus Falls 3 p.m. today at Nymore Arena in their second home appearance in as many days.
Thursday Bemidji (6-0-1) had a successful home debut when it thumped Thief River Falls 5-2 at The Sanford Center. Matt Serratore and Tyler Follis gave BHS a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza and goals by Jake White and Max Hazelton in the second period helped the Jacks forge a 4-1 advantage after 34 minutes.
Steve Heller capped Bemidji's scoring in the third period.
Jeremiah Graves had 21 saves in the Jacks net.
Today's game is the final pre-Christmas outing for the Lumberjacks. They will return to action Dec. 28-30 at a tournament hosted by Duluth Denfeld.
In Thursday's preliminary the Bemidji junior varsity downed Thief River Falls 2-1 in overtime. Garrett Lind scored 12 minutes into the third period to tie the game and Zach Rickers notched the game-winner 2:42 into overtime.
Junior Varsity Hockey
TRF 1 0 0 0 - 1
Bemidji JV 0 0 1 1 - 2
First period: 1. TRF, Pederson (unassisted) 16:52
Second period: No scoring
Third period: 2. B, Lind (Rickert, Rickers) 12:07
Overtime: 3. B, Rickers (Rickert) 2:42
Saves: Holmes (TRF) 16-12-7-2-39; Schram (B) 8-3-1-0-13
Penalties: Thief River Falls 3 for 6 minutes; Bemidji 2 for 4 minutes
The wrestlers head to Frazee today for an invitational. The Jacks are coming off Thursday's 43-29 home loss to Grand Rapids which is ranked seventh in the state Class AA wrestling poll.
The Lumberjacks won six matches against the Thunderhawks. Logan Crosby won by a pin at 119 as did Jake Crosby at 125 and heavyweight Alex Johnson.
At 112 Brian Maas was a 16-5 winner and Craig Maas posted a 14-6 victory at 135.
Bemidji's other individual win came at 189 where Brenden Fredrickson nipped Brandon Hess 4-1.
Today's action closes the pre-Christmas schedule for the Jacks. They will return to the mat Dec. 29-30 at the West Fargo Invitational.
Bemidji's girls hockey team visits Brainerd today in a 2 p.m. start and the squad is looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
Thursday night BHS fell 5-1 at East Grand Forks despite outshooting the Green Wave 35-21. Becca Gregg had Bemidji's lone goal as she converted feeds from Janie Johnson and Allie Heifort early in the third period.
That goal drew the Lumberjacks within 3-1 but the home team countered with a pair of goals later in the stanza to ice the win.
Bemidji will take a 3-9 record into today's game. The Jacks will also be at International Falls Tuesday in their final pre-Christmas outing.