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Sportsline: Norton 60th Bemidji wrestler to place at state

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Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

When Dale Norton finished sixth at this year's state wrestling tournament, he became the 60th Jacks wrestler to earn a top six finish in the 55 years Bemidji has competed at the state.

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That number comes from the 207 Bemidji wrestlers who have qualified for the big meet.

Five have won state championships, brothers Jerry and Rick Lee in 1966 and 69, Nestle Grimes Jr. and Tom Grimes in 1975 and 79 and Joe Mayberry in 1999.

Another nine have reached the final before bowing.

They include Tom Detschman in 1963, Tom Grimes in 1978, Steve Knutson in 1984, Dan Soltau in 1986, Tim Allen in 1991 and 92, Mark Gunderson in 1998 Mitch Mistic in 2002 and Joe Miller in 2003.

There were 15 third place finishers, 14 fourth placers, eight who took fifth and nine who finished sixth.

Greg Skerik (216-48) and Joe Andersen (211-47) are Bemidji's all-time leading wrestlers. Corey Huber (154) and Gunderson (152) are the only others over the 150 mark.

Seven more have topped 100 wins.

Ken Schmoker, with129 wins, holds the top coaching mark with Jim Carlson registering 92 and Jim Cleveland 83.

Carlson's 92-25-1 mark is the top winning percentage.

Bemidji's top single season came under Rob Strand in 2005, a 24-3 finish.

The first Jacks' state entrants came under Jack Willhite in 1956 when twins Dave and Don Forsell, Darrell Bahr and Bernie Fossand gained the big event in Bemidji's first season on the mat.

Nestle Grimes Sr., Carl Warner, John Wrolstad, Bahr and John Detschman went the following year, Willhite's last before leaving for Madison and later emerging as the long-time wrestling coach at Grand Rapids and St. Louis Park.

He was succeeded at Bemidji by Schmoker who guided the Jacks for the next 19 seasons, earning him induction into the national Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame this spring.

NCTC bound

Fosston High baseball stars Steve Lyseng and Gavin Ross will continue their careers next season at Northland Community and Technical College at Thief River.

Also joining the Pioneers will be Warroad star Shawn Storey.

Lyseng, a center fielder and pitcher, is battling .500.

Ross, a first baseman and left-handed pitcher, carries a .550 batting average. .

Storey, a power hitting center fielder, is batting .357 for the Warriors this spring.

Hoge to Jamestown

Crosby-Ironton center Mark Hoge becomes the latest Brainerd area cager to take his game to Jamestown College next winter.

He follows the path of ex CI teammate C.J. Peters, Jordan Riewer of Staples-Motley and Justin Kangas of Mesabi East, recent Jamestown recruits.

Hoge, who led the Rangers to the state tournament again this year, was also being recruited for football but chose to play basketball instead.

He received a $15,000 scholarship from, the college.

The Jimmies went 20-12 last season. Winning the DAC league title and reached the NAIA final eight before losing.

Hoge played in two state title games and three section finals in his three-year Ranger career.

Jamestown bound

Also headed to Jamestown is 6-4 Grand Rapids forward Jared Sutherland, an Itasca C.C. transfer.

He led the Thunderhawks to the state meet in 2008 and 2009 and was the team's leading scorer his senior year.

He was named to the Northern Division All-Conference team this winter at Itasca.

Tech coach ousted

St. Cloud Tech is seeking a new girls basketball coach after the contract of Kris Hagen was not renewed after seven seasons at the helm.

Hagen leaves as the program's' all-time winningest coach with an 87-35 CLC record and 136-61 overall.

Included were seasons of 25-3, 24-5 and 28-2 from 2006-08, winning league titles all three years and guiding the 2008 team to the state.

The change was made allegedly, over complaints about his coaching style. He will remain as a social studies teacher at Tech and South Junior High.

New physicals

The North Dakota High School Activities Association has voted to make sports physicals an annual requirement rather than every two y0ears as previously required.

It also set June 15 as the earliest date an athlete can take the physical.

The change was made as a safety measure for the athletes with the Association feeling the two year period was too long between exams.

Minnesota requires physicals only every third year.

Playoff champions

Mankato, the regular season champion, came out of the loser's bracket to take the NSIC baseball playoff title as well Sunday.

Beaten by St. Cloud 9-4 in the second round, the Mavericks came back to beat Winona 20-4 and Duluth 7-5 to reach the final where they stopped Southwest 6-5.

Southwest had won three straight after an opening round loss to Winona, eliminating Duluth in the semifinals 4-2.

Mankato had won the regular season title on the final day, dividing a twin bill with St. Cloud to win by one game over the Huskies. Only the top six teams in the circuit reach the playoffs including Wayne State which went out in two games.

Softball Classic

The Leech Lake Softball Classic will be held at the Veterans Memorial Grounds at Cass Lake May 29-30.

It will be a double elimination meet with men's and women's divisions.

The entry is $150 on a first come basis. Cash or money orders should be sent to Henry Harper, Box 295, Cass Lake 56633 or call him at 335-2121.

The ASA sanctioned meet will pay the first three finishers in each division.

Cage tourney

An All-Indian 18-under basketball tournament will be played at Cass Lake-Bena High June 19-20.

It also will be double elimination with awards to the top three teams.

The entry is $150 also payable to Harper.

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Pioneer staff reports
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