There was a Bemidji connection on the bench for the Concordia College men's hockey team of Moorhead this winter. The Cobbers' head coach is Chris Howe, whose father, Dave, and grandfather, Bill, both played hockey in Bemidji. One of the Concordia assistant coaches is Nate Weossner, former Bemidji High School standout.
Bill Howe played football and hockey at Bemidji State. Dave Howe and his two brothers, Bob and Dick, all played hockey at Bemidji High School and Notre Dame.
Chris Howe was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference coach of the year after guiding the Cobbers to a 12-11-4 overall record and a 7-5-4 league mark. Just two years ago, the team had a 1-13-2 MIAC record.
Concordia made the MIAC playoffs for the first time since 2003 and advanced to the championship game before falling to Hamline 5-2.
Weossner, a 2003 BHS graduate, was a three-year letter winner and led the team in scoring his senior season. He went on to play junior hockey for the Borderland Thunder in Fort Francis and college hockey at Minnesota-Crookston before completing studies at Bemidji State. He coached Bemidji youth hockey and was an assistant coach in the Lumberjack boys program for two seasons before moving to Concordia this year.
The Timberwolves' Kevin Love has 50 double-doubles and rising.
A triple-double is less frequent. But a quadruple-double is a rarity.
Nevis scoring star Dylan Stenberg became only the fourth player in Minnesota history to achieve that feat when he had 28 points, 12 rebounds 10 steals and 10 assists in a win over Pillager.
The last to reach that total was Brady Fairbanks of Cass Lake in 2007.
Stenberg had reached triple-doubles three times earlier this year, missing the fourth in points against Red Lake, steals at Blackduck and assists against Remer.
Long wait goes on
Willmar has yet to reach the state boys hockey tournament since beginning the sport in 1972.
The top-seeded Cardinals will wait again after bowing to defending champ Alexandria 2-1 in the 6A title game. Alex was seeded fifth.
State swim meet
Northern Minnesota more than held its own in the Class A state swim meet but was nearly blanked in the AA competition.
Fergus Falls won the Class A title with 205 points, finishing one point ahead of perennial power St. Thomas Academy.
Sartell was seventh, Detroit Lakes 11th and Bemidji 12th while Willmar tied Virginia for 13th and Grand Rapids was 16th.
Sauk Rapids, Apollo and Eveleth-Gilbert also scored.
Mike Hurley of Fergus won the 200 IM and Jon Melgaard of DL led the divers and numerous others reached the top eight.
Minnetonka beat Eden Prairie by 5.5 points to take the AA title where Brainerd was 22, Duluth East 23, Alexandria 32 Duluth Central 37 and Moorhead 39.
An eighth place from the East medley relay and Brainerd's Bradyn Wilson in the breaststroke were the only top-eight finishes.
It was much the same at the state wrestling tournament where the north had one of its poorest showings in years.
Mitch Bengtson of Apollo retained his 119-pound title, the only northern finalist in 3A. Apple Valley outscored its three foes 196-28 to take the team title, blanking Prior Lake 70-0 in the semifinals.
The north had no finalists in 2A where Simley beat Scott West 39-18 in the team title match. It had outscored its first two foes 108-10.
In Class A, where the area usually shows well, Hayden Zillmer of Crosby kept his 130-pound crown and Kody Sorenson of Frazee and Alex Yeager of BGMR won their first crowns. Brady Davidson of Crookston bowed 3-2 in four overtimes in the 215-pound final.
Frazee won only five matches but four were falls enabling the Yellowjackets to tie Jackson County 28-28 for the title. Sorenson's fall at 189 established a nine-point lead. Jackson Co. had a fall at 215 and 4-1 decision at heavyweight, just enough to get even.
There were mixed feelings among coaches and fans at the state meet over the new three-day format.
It staged the team event on Thursday and the individual meet Friday and Saturday rather than spacing both over a four-day route.
Chief reasons were to save money and cut down the loss of class time.
It also was done to increase the turnout for the team event which bought out a heavy turnout on Thursday.
There are now 255 schools wrestling despite a stream of consolidations in the past two decades.
Apple Valley, the nation's top-rated team, had nine finalists in 3A and won seven titles.
Add St. Cloud Apollo senior Ibrahim Abdukar, a longtime Lumberjacks foe, to the ranks of 1,000-point scorers.
He hit 19 against Sauk Rapids to reach four figures and added 25 in the Eagles' final win over Tech which secured the Eagles the top seed for the 8-3A tournament.
Others reaching four figures recently were Alyssa Schmidt of Fosston and Brianna Spong of RLCC.
Spong joined teammate Michaela Casavan.
Schmidt leads the Pine to Prairie Conference in assists.
Sure sign of spring!
The Bemidji High baseball team will hold its annual Parent-Athlete meeting Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Lumberjack Room off the Commons.
All players in grades 9-12 are required to attend with their parents or guardians.
Plans for the upcoming season will be announced
Any player who did not a pass a required physical examination (if needed) earlier this year or did not submit eligibility forms must take care of those matters before beginning drills.
Baseball activity fees are also due at that time.
The young Jacks ended 13-9 last spring losing to Moorhead in the second round of the section meet.
They graduated only five players, just three of them regulars.
They return a deep mound staff that includes Ryan Stevens (5-0), Josh Solheim, (3-3), Matt Schneider (1-2), Cody Rutledge (1-1), Tyler Follis (2-1), Miah Graves (0-1) and Tyler Tatro plus several graduates from a strong JV unit.
Bemidji opens play April 7 hosting Brainerd.
The MSHCA all-state girls hockey teams had a strong northern flavor.
Hannah Johnston, Beth Olson, Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Kayla Gardner, Lisa and Layla Marvin and Karley Sylvester were named from Warroad
Leah Jensen of EGF and Shannon Kaiser of Crookston also made the Class A squad.
In Class 2A, Abby Nelson from Roseau and Caitlyn Hewitt and Morgan Illikainen of Grand Rapids were picked.
Johnson wins state
Mike Johnson, former Lumberjacks hockey and baseball performer, has guided his Sun Prairie, Wis. team to the state girls hockey tournament.
Johnson organized the team at Sun Prairie, a Madison suburb, four years ago.
Johnson was named Wisconsin Coach of the Year.,
One of his top performers is his daughter Josie who was named Miss Hockey for the state and 1st Team All-State on defense.
She has been accepted at North Dakota where she will begin her collegiate career next winter.
She becomes the first Wisconsin player to ever sign a Division I commitment.
Mike and his brother Gary were both two-sport performers with the Jacks and played against one another in youth baseball with Mike playing first base and pitching for the Braves and Gary in the outfield for the Lions.
The Leech Lake Boxing Club will sponsor a 12-bout Golden Gloves card Saturday at Cadillac's North Star Grill in Cass Lake.
The first bout will begin at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1 p.m.
Amateur boxers from Duluth, White Earth, St. Cloud, Winnipeg, Crookston and the host Leech Lake club will be on the card.
Cadillac's is located on Bingo Palace Drive.
Advance admission is $7 until Friday and $10 at the door. Call 335-6903 for tickets or 308-0865 for boxing info.