Lumberjacks Girls Hockey: Former Beaver Robertson ready to take over at BHS
BEMIDJI — A new era of girls hockey at Bemidji High School will begin Friday as Jackie Robertson will make her debut as the Lumberjacks’ head coach.
Robertson is an elementary physical education teacher in the Bemidji School District and was a four-year letterwinner for the Bemidji State women’s hockey team. She also was the junior varsity assistant coach last year and comes into the varsity head coaching job excited about her players and the team’s potential.
“This is a very good group. We have good players at each age level and that will make it exciting for this year and for the future. The girls have also responded well to the new coaching staff,” Robertson said.
Kailee Jaeger returns as the top junior varsity coach and she will be assisted this winter by former Lumberjacks forward Janie Johnson. Robertson’s varsity assistant coach is Jim Jensen.
“It has been an adjustment dealing with the behind-the-scene things that need to be done,” Robertson said of her transition to the head coaching ranks. “On the ice everybody is still learning but we are getting the kinks out.”
The team will have about two weeks of practice time before it opens the season Friday at home against East Grand Forks. All of the home games this winter are scheduled for the Bemidji Community Arena and Friday’s contest will begin at 7 p.m.
The varsity roster features 14 returning letterwinners including six seniors. Bemidji also returns five juniors, including four letterwinners.
Completing the early-season varsity roster are three sophomores, three freshmen and an eighth grader.
“We lost our top scorer from last year but I believe we have the kids who can step up and assume that role,” Robertson said. “Defensively we have four girls who played full-time last year and another who took a few varsity shifts.
The returning seniors include defensemen Hanna Olson and Kelsey Isaacson, forward/defenseman Savanna Hanson, forwards Jordan Follis and Savanna DeLaHunt plus goalie Emily Frazer.
Among the returning juniors are forwards Megan Dondelinger and Madelyn Tews, forward/defenseman Sylvia Grimm and defenseman Mackenzie Hietala.
The sophomores who are back are defensemen Heather Olsen and Janessa Johnson plus goalie Leighton Rockensock.
Freshman forward Rachael Holm also returns.
“I’m looking forward seeing how the girls perform on Friday,” Robertson said. “It’s going to be fun to begin the year.”
Friday’s game is the first of three home appearances to start the winter. The Lumberjacks will also be home Nov. 12 against Grand Rapids and Nov. 15 against Thief River Falls.
After visiting Roseau on Nov. 19 BHS will host International Falls on Nov. 21 and Warroad on Nov. 26.