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Sportsline: Bemidji says goodbye to another veteran coach

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Bemidji paid its last respects this weekend to another veteran coach Ray Kavanagh.

The 75-year old grid coach died at his home after a long battle with cancer.

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The 1956 Moorhead State grad and football lineman began coaching at Benson and later moved to Roseau where he guided the Rams for many years before coming to Bemidji in the early 1970s to become an assistant under Red Wilson.

When Wilson retired following the 1972 season after guiding Bemidji for 34 seasons, Kavanagh was named his successor and remained at the helm through 1986 ending with a 94-41 record.

Twelve of his 14 teams ended with winning records with a school record 10-2 finish in 1978 when Bemidji reached the state semifinals before bowing to Fridley Grace in the "snow bowl" at Chet Anderson Stadium.

The field was buried with six inches of snow that day and left virtually uncleared, destroying Bemidji's quick offensive attack and favoring the Fridley team built around a 230 pound fullback.

His 1984 and 85 teams won nine times and his 1974 and 86 units had eight wins.

His final three teams won their playoff opener before bowing to Moorhead. His six playoff teams ended 5-6.

He also served briefly as assistant baseball coach under Des Sagedahl before succeeding another Lumberjacks coaching legend Jack Luoma as athletic director in 1987.

He spent six years as AD before retiring.

He was inducted into the Moorhead State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 for football and baseball.

Among is players at BHS were his two sons Kent and John who played for their father several seasons.

Booster Club

The first Bemidji High Basketball Boosters Club meeting will be held Wednesday at 5:30 in the Lumberjack Room at the high school.

The Booster Club consists of girls and boys cage parents and friends who work together to raise funds to pay for charter busing to away games, meals, coaches salaries and other expenses not covered by the school district.

Fund raising ideas mentioned for the year include a Winter Sports Book raffle, game raffle sales, Booster member sales, clothing sales and others.,

In order to make the seasons a success, everyone is urged to contribute.

The meeting is open to everyone but especially needed are families of players in grades 9-12.

Grade School meet

The elementary school district cross country championships will be staged Friday at the Middle School at 4:30,

Registration will take place at 4 at the soccer field behind the Middle School.

The K-3 race will be run at 4:30 and the 4-5 grade event at 4:45.

The second annual event will have an 800 meter route for the K-3 division and a 1200 meter race for the 4-5 grade runners,.

The races are for both boys and girls.

Any student in the Bemidji school district is eligible to run .

The top three finishers in each division, both boys and girls, will receive a Bemidji Cross Country T-shirt while all contestants get a certificate of participation.

For further information contact cross country coaches Ryan Aylesworth, Dennis Bartz or Steve Sneide.

Trail grooming

Trail grooming by the Bemidji Area Cross Country Ski Club shifts to the Hobson Trails nest Saturday with John Bastien as trail steward.

Each Saturday, club members and other volunteers have cleaned the area's ski trails preparing them for grooming for the winter season.

Workers should report at 9 a.m. prepared to work for three hours. The project is one of the year-round ways of keeping the ski tails in shape and earning some volunteer grant-in-aid dollars for the club.

On Oct.17 the clearing will be at the Montebello Trails between the city arena and Middle School.. Trail steward for that project is Bob Montebello.

JO volleyball meet

The first meeting for this fall's JO volleyball program will be held tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in the Lumberjack Room at Bemidji High School.

The Junior Olympic program is open to all girls in the Bemidji School District from grades 5-11.

Bemidji High JV volleyball coach Heather Anderson will direct the program this year.

Strange schedule

The Detroit Lakes football team will face a strange schedule next fall, meeting four North Dakota opponents.

The move came after the impending dissolution of the North Country Conference due to the closure of Duluth Central High after this year, dropping that league to four schools, one under the required five to qualify as a conference.

The Lakers will still play East, Denfeld and Grand Rapids next fall along with former league member Thief River Falls who switched to the Heart O' Lakes Conference this fall.

It had been thought that Bemidji might enter the league after being moved to Section 7-4A this year but apparently that will not take place.

DL's schedule in 2019 will include a home game with Faro Shanley and road contests at Bismarck, the newly opened Fargo Davies and Red River.

They were, at one time, included in the MSHSL mandated scheduling with Central Lakes Conference teams along with Bemidji, Moorhead and Fergus Falls. They dropped from that arrangement when they joined the North Country while Fergus was absorbed into the Central Lakes which continues to deny Bemidji or Moorhead entrance.

State polls

Bemidji is ranked 13 and Moorhead 16 in the weekly 3A volleyball poll.

Hibbing is eighth in 2A and Wadena 10 while Deer River is ranked fifth, Northern Freeze sixth and Baudette seventh in Class A with Nevis and Win-E-Mac drawing votes.

Elk River is 10 in AA and Sar tell first and Fergus Falls ninth in Class A in the state swim rankings.

The St. Cloud Cathedral girls, rated sixth in Class A. are the only northern team to appear in the state boys or girls soccer ratings.

In cross country. Moorhead is sixth, Willmar 10 and Alexandria 12 in the boys 2A ranks. Perham is first and St. Cloud Cathedral fifth in Class A.

In the girls rankings, Elk River and Moorhead are 9-10 in Class AA and Perham first in Class A.

Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria and Maddie McClellan of Perham are the top rated individuals.  Moorhead's Lukas Gemar has dropped to 10 in the boys 2A rankings.

In football, Wayzata tops the 5A standings with no northern teams listed

Mankato West leads 4A with Sartell fifth and Cloquet tenth.

Its Glencoe fronting the 3A standings with Perham fifth and Staples eighth.

In 2A, Caledonia is the leader with DGF seventh.

New Ulm Cathedral leads Class A where Fosston is second and Barnesville eighth.

The nine man rankings are fronted by KCC and Stephen/Argyle 1-2 with Verndale fourth, Ada fifth, Cromwell sixth, MIB seventh, and McGregor ninth.

Truck racing

ThorSpoort Racing of Huron, Ohio recently finished first and second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the LasVegas 350.

It was ThorSport's third victory of the season. The firm is owned by Duke Thorson, a former Bemidji resident, who was one of Bemidji High School's top tennis players for several years.

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