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Jacks set for section golf tourney

The Bemidji High boys and girls golf teams start their second season tomorrow when they play the opening 18 holes in the two day sectional meets.

The boys are at Greystone and the girls at Long Prairie.

While neither seems likely to challenge for the section titles, they both hope to survive the 18 hole cut and play in Tuesday's final round as they did in 2008.

The boys had been getting progressively better in recent weeks, dropping their team total to as low as 318.

But they will battle teams such as Alexandria, Fergus Falls and Moorhead, all capable of bettering 300 on a good day.

The girls, who broke 350 for the second time in their last outing, have been among the top five in most of their meets with two seconds and five third place finishes. They finished lower than fifth only at Hazeltine.

It has been a while since either won the section.

The boys, who dominated section play in the 80s and 90s last won in 2001, three years before the meets were switched from 18 to 36 holes.

That was their 13th section title since 1976 when the sport was divided into two classes.

The girls have won only four, winning back to back in 1994-95 and 2003-04.

The boys will advance the top six teams and top 12 individuals not on those teams for Tuesday's play.

Bemidji is shooting to be among the top six teams but could qualify several individuals to move on even should it not.

Coach Eric Niskanen will go with juniors Kevin Larson, Rylee Curb and Joe Welle, soph Kaleb Hanson and freshmen Trey Dale and Jake Hoffman who are close to making the Jacks a sectional contender with all returning next spring.

Larson has been in the 70s four times while Curb, Welle, Hanson, Dale and Hoffman have broken 80 once.

The girls will go with senior Kelsey Bretschneider, juniors Shelby Sauer, Emily Frosaker and Aimee Sandquist and sophs Meghan Phelps and Erin Phelps.

Phelps has three rounds under 85 and Bretschneider and Sauer one.

The girls advance only four teams and eight individuals not on those four to Tuesday' second round.

Alexandria is the defending champion in both divisions.

The girls won their seventh title last spring with a 712, topping Sartell by 43 strokes. Bemidji was third at 763. Bemidji's individual scores ranged from 191 to 209.

The Cardinals boys are also after their eighth crown but seventh in this decade.

They fired a 605 last spring averaging 75.5 shots per player. Bemidji finished sixth at 643 and failed to qualify an individual for the state. Larson, Curb and Welle return from that team.