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Bemidji High School line coach Bryan Stoffel works a blocking assignment with offensive lineman Will Bruestle on Monday. The Lumberjacks begin their season Friday at home against Moorhead. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper
Bemidji High School line coach Bryan Stoffel works a blocking assignment with offensive lineman Will Bruestle on Monday. The Lumberjacks begin their season Friday at home against Moorhead. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

BHS volleyball, football teams open season shorthanded because of injuries

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sports Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

At Monday's practice Kayla Hirt was watching her teammates from a riser between the varsity and junior varsity nets. Next to her was Jess Yost, her right foot tightly wrapped and taped.

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Heading into the season Hirt and Yost were projected to be the offensive leaders of the Bemidji volleyball team. One match into the fall, however, things have changed, at least temporarily.

Hirt is sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, an injury she sustained late in the summer while playing AAU basketball. When she will be available will be determined later this week when Hirt visits doctors at the University of Minnesota.

Hirt is taking an optimistic approach to the situation. She believes the tear is not severe and that she will be back on the court very soon. If the doctors determine otherwise, however, surgery could be the best option and that would sideline the senior for the entire season.

Yost was ready to become the team leader and assume the role of Bemidji's main weapon at the net.

Friday night at Perham, however, Yost headed to the net for a set and "came down wrong."

"I have a degree-1 sprain," Yost said. "It should heal in about a week and I'm hoping to play again Tuesday (Sept. 7 at home against Deer River)."

The injury came three pointss into the action and Yost spent the rest of Friday cheering her teammates. Her correspondence was rewarded as the Jacks responded with a marathon five-set victory, claiming the finale 16-14 after trailing at one point 7-2.

"I was so proud of them," Yost said. "They stayed focused and pulled out the win. I just tried to stay positive and cheer them on. I didn't want the way I felt to affect them in a negative way."

"That was a good test for us," said BHS coach Teresa Colligan. "It is nice to know that we can win a close match without our top two players. Having to play without Kayla and Jess could be a blessing in disguise. The rest of the girls had to pick it up and they did."

The Lumberjacks will open their home season Thursday when they entertain Detroit Lakes at 7:15 p.m. On Sept. 7 BHS will host Deer River and Sept. 10-11 the Jacks will head to Marshall for the Southwest State Challenge.

"I've never had any ankle problems before and I really want to play," Yost said. "But I don't want to make things worse so I'll sit out this week. And from now on I'll wear a brace."

Saturday found the varsity football team scrimmaging against East Grand Forks, Warroad and Thief River Falls and for the most part the Jacks controlled the scrimmage, according to head coach Troy Hendricks.

"We were a little sloppy at times with penalties and turnovers and we started out slowly," Hendricks said. "But we gradually improved and we were more aggressive and physical as the scrimmage went on."

On the negative side, senior wide receiver Cole Bardwell broke his collar bone when he hit the ground after making a touchdown catch and his return this season is questionable.

"You hate to see injuries to kids and it is especially tough when it happens to a senior who has worked as hard as Cole has and is as committed as Cole is," Hendricks said.

"But his injury creates an opportunity for somebody else."

The Jacks also have been without the services of senior wide receiver Ryan Rude who is bothered by a back injury. Rude is scheduled for another examination this week and more about his status will be determined after the exam.

Bemidji opens its campaign 7 p.m. Friday against Moorhead at Chet Anderson Stadium and Saturday's scrimmage was just what the players needed to help prepare for what is to come.

"It was nice to hit somebody different," Hendricks said of the scrimmage. "You are never completely ready for the first game but the scrimmage showed the things we need to work on. We'll do those things this week and that will help us get ready for Moorhead."

Lumberjack fans will notice something new when they head to Friday's game as the Bemidji bench has switched sides.

This year the BHS sideline will be on the Diamond Point side of the field.

The improvements made to Diamond Point Park prompted the sideline switch. The move also will provide Bemidji fans with better access to the concession stands and the stadium's other amenities.

All of the BHS teams will be in action this week. Monday saw the tennis team visiting Brainerd and the cross-country squads opening their campaigns at Moorhead.

The boys soccer team will enjoy the home spotlight today as it entertains Detroit Lakes at 5 p.m.

The girls soccer team heads to Moorhead at 5 p.m. while the swimmers visit Brainerd at 6 p.m.

Wednesday's lone local event is the VFW baseball team's annual dinner which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Bemidji Legion Club. The menu will include a chicken dinner and all fans are invited. Tickets are $5.

The high school squads return to action Thursday. In addition to the volleyball home opener against Detroit Lakes at 7:15 p.m. the girls soccer team will entertain the Lakers at 5 p.m. Bemidji's boys soccer team will visit WHA and the tennis squad will play at Coleraine.

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

All of the BHS teams will be in action this week. Monday saw the tennis team visiting Brainerd and the cross-country squads opening their campaigns at Moorhead.

The boys soccer team will enjoy the home spotlight today as it entertains Detroit Lakes at 5 p.m.

The girls soccer team heads to Moorhead at 5 p.m. while the swimmers visit Brainerd at 6 p.m.

Wednesday's lone local event is the VFW baseball team's annual dinner which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Bemidji Legion Club. The menu will include a chicken dinner and all fans are invited. Tickets are $5.

The high school squads return to action Thursday. In addition to the volleyball home opener against Detroit Lakes at 7:15 p.m. the girls soccer team will entertain the Lakers at 5 p.m. Bemidji's boys soccer team will visit WHA and the tennis squad will play at Coleraine.

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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