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Sportsline: Roseau girls hockey makes jump to Class AA

The Roseau girls hockey team will join its boys next winter playing in Class AA instead of Class A.

The boys have opted for the higher class since the two class system was first put into effect in 1998

The boys figured they had an easier path to the state through 8AA than 8A and proved their point by winning the section six times in that span.

They fell this year to Moorhead in the title game.

The girls will get away from Warroad by the move, losing to the Warriors three times this winter including the section title game.

The switch will last for a minimum of four years at which time it can be reassessed.

Roseau's departure will cut the number of teams in 8A to six.

Warroad authorities expressed disappointment in the switch removing the chance of the two neighbors clashing in the section final each year.

New mat room

The Detroit Lakes rapidly improving wrestling program got a shot in the arm.

After years of practicing in a cramped area the Lakers have a new expansive wrestling room, a 42 x 140 foot area which opened two weeks ago.

It replaces a 35 x 50 foot room were even the wrestling mat wouldn't fit. The new room houses three full sized mats plus wall mats similar in appearance to the wrestling room at Bemidji High.

In its formative years, the Lakers once practiced on the high school stage and later in the cafeteria, locations also familiar to Bemidji wrestlers.

They later moved to the former weight room where they have been for the past 10 years.

The new facility, constructed at a cost of &282,000 allows 55 wrestlers to work on the mats at one time compared with 35 at the old facility and brings the JV and junior high programs back to work with the varsity rather than being scattered through the elementary schools.

The school district paid $125,000 of the total cost with fund raisers providing the remainder.

Long time Bemidji wrestling fans can well remember the days in the J.W. Smith gymnasium, the frosty high school football Fieldhouse at 18th and Bixby, the Building A stage and the ag room and cafeteria in Building B among other places before the new high school was constructed.

Hanson honored

The UW-Stout hockey team had all six starters named to the UWAC all-conference first team or honorable mention.

Among them was Bemidji's Derek Hanson.

Hanson was a first line wing who had 15 goals and a team high 25 assists for 40 points.

The top line scored 48 of the team's 116 goals this winter.

Gymnasts honored

The Bemidji High School gymnastics team received a Silver Academic Award at the state meet banquet for having a team grade point average of 3.745.

A gold academic award goes to teams having a GPA of 3.75 or higher.

Bemidji Coach Don Papreck was officially inducted into the Gymnastics Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the event.

Aerials meet

At the recent St. Cloud Invitational, two level 6 entrants scored well with Hope Hickman receiving 7.9 on the vault, 6.9 on the bars, 8.525 on the beam and 8.325 on the floor for a 31.625 all around finish, good for fourth place.

Brittany Beck finished with an 7.2 in vaulting, 5.6 on the bars, 7.8 on the beam and 8.5 on the floor for a 30 point all around mark.

The results of the meet were inadvertently left out of an earlier story.

The next action for the Aerials will find the level 7 gymnasts competing in Fargo this weekend.

Spring sports start

The first five of the seven Bemidji High spring sports teams will begin drills tomorrow.

Opening drills indoors will be the boys and girls track and golf teams and softball team.

The heavy winter snow will prevent any outdoor activity for several weeks with only the track teams listed for completion at the BSU indoor meets, the Lions, Paul Bunyan and Little Amik I and II.

Ryan Aylesworth will begin his second season as boys head track coach while John Deden completes his overseas tour of duty with the National Guard.

Chris Lehman is back for his fifth year as girls head coach.

Veterans Jeff Nelson (22) and Eric Niskanen (15) will return to the girls and boys golf squads while Brad Takkunen starts his 14th season as softball coach.

The baseball team will open March 16 and the tennis team March 23.

Bagley connection

Jerry Riewer and Tom Wolhowe were stars on the Bagley High school basketball teams in the mid 1950s.

Both went on to college careers and spent their lifetime teaching and coaching at Staples and Starbuck.

Now both are proud grandparents of new members of the 1,000 point club with Derek Wolhowe clearing the mark last week with a 23 point night in an 87-83 win at Hawley to join teammate Jordan Riewer who went over the mark Dec. 16.

Grandpa Riewer, who coached baseball and cross country at Staples for three decades has retired though still teaching driver training.

1,000 pointers

Five other newcomers reached four figures this week.

Colby Owens of MCC hit 24 against RLCC to top 1,000, the 11th player at the school to clear the four figure mark.

And Jordan Christianson of Sauk Rapids reached 1,000 with a 12 point performance in a 66-56 loss to Little Falls.

Juniors Kayla Heisler and Camille Manders of Remer joined the club in back to back games, the schools' 12th and 13th players to gain that figure.

They joined Keith Kunnari of the boys team who reached that figure three weeks ago.

Manders reached 1,000 with 21 points in a 61 54 win over Pine River. Heisler hit 16 in a 79-65 loss to Floodwood.

Courtney Lynch of Apollo hit 1,000 in the Eagles 53-51 loss to Elk River in the 8-4A playoff opener.


Jessica Christofferson of Bemidji had an assist on the lone goal as the Minnesota Ice stropped the Minnesota Fire 5-1 in the Northern Minnesota all-star hockey game at Cloquet.

Christofferson and Haley Johnson skated with the Fire. Annie Swartz played defense for the Ice.

State polls

Hopkins, Mankato West, Pelican Rapids and Granada-Huntley still lead the state boys basketball poll.

St. Cloud Tech remains third in 4A, Apollo third and Grand Rapids sixth in 3A, Virginia seventh and Mesabi East 10 in 2A and Chisholm third, Park Christian fifth, Sebeka seventh and NCE ninth in single A.

In girls hockey, Stillwater and Blake are the division leaders with Cloquet eighth and PHM 11, Elk River 12 in AA. Warroad is second, Roseau fourth, Fergus Falls fifth, Crookston sixth, Silver Bay seventh, and Eveleth-Gilbert 14 in Class A

In boys hockey, Eden Prairie and St. Thomas Academy are the division leaders. Duluth East is fourth, Moorhead 11 and Elk River 12 in AA. Little Falls is second, St. Cloud Cathedral fourth, Warroad fifth, Alexandria sixth, Thief River seventh, Hermantown eighth, Virginia 12 and Hibbing 15 in Class A.