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Sportsline: Range teams face further cutbacks

The Iron Range sports programs are continuing to face threats of consolidation or closure as populations in those communities continue to decline.

Nashwauk-Keewatin, a grid power in Class 7A in recent seasons, has ended its football program and will send its 18 players to Coleraine to combine with the Raiders.

Coleraine is facing its own problems and has combined with Grand Rapids in several sports and Nashwauk for wrestling.

Nashwauk won the 7A grid title for three straight years as recently as 2005.

AlBrook, Cotton, Cook, Orr and Tower-Soudan are all threatened with the end of their football programs pending the results of a $78 million school district referendum in November.

Nashwauk faced the alternative of dropping to nine man play had it kept its own team. The additions swell the Raiders ranks to 60 in the top for grades.

Cotton has paired with East Range Academy, a charter school in Eveleth, to maintain its grid team this fall. Tower has only 16 football candidates while Cook County of Grand Marais, which has long ruled the region, is facing a drop to nine man ball.

MIB turned out just 0 in its top four grades.

Even if the referendum passes, there will be major changes with a new consolidated high school built and Cook, Cotton, Orr, AlBrook and Tower-Soudan almost sure to close. Tower students would move to Babbitt-Embarrass High.

Jackpine Classic

The annual Jackpine Classic 5 and 10k runs will take place Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. starting and finishing at the Gillett Recreation Center.

The registration fee is $20 with donations also accepted for the BSU track program.

Entries may be sent to The Jackpine Classic 2009, BSU, Gillett Recreation Center, PR 227, Bemidji 566-01 or by E-mail to

Kippenhahn wins

Bemidji's Christel Kippenhahn topped the women's field at the Lakes Country Triathlon at Brainerd last weekend finishing the swim, bike and run event in 1:2942.

She ended 29 overall in a field of 332.

Guest gymnast

Jesse Wiley, a gymnastics coach/spotter from Big Lake, conducted a clinic at the Gym Bin last weekend to help train local gymnasts.

It focused on learning and perfecting high-end skills as well as giving competitive gymnasts of all levels the opportunity to train with a guest coach.

He also trained spotters so that gymnasts can continue to advance their skills in a safe environment.

The clinic was sponsored by the Bemidji Gymnastics Club.

Fall baseball

The 3rd annual BSU fall baseball league for players 12-18 begins today and will run through Oct. 11 from 1-6 p.m. at the BSU diamond and Sagedahl Field.

The league will feature instruction by the BSU baseball staff and junior and senior players.

Cost of the six week session is $140 payable to TB baseball, 933 Bunchberry Lane, Bemidji 56601.

The cost drops to $100 per player for five or more players from the same team.

The league will be divided into two divisions, 12-14 and 15-18.

Registration is still open for the 4 on 4 hockey program which will run from Sept. 14-Oct. 12 designed for boys and girls from mites through 14-under.

Contact Keith Huerd at 755-9531 for information or registration forms or use the youth hockey web site.

Cass Lake action

Upcoming action at the Veterans Memorial Grounds at Cass Lake includes the Labor Day softball tournament Sept. 5 for both men and women with a $135 entry for men and $110 for women.

Also as 3 o 3 cage meet will be held on the northeast parking lot with a $1 fee for each player.

The Cass Lake fall baseball program for players 8-12 will have its second week of drills Sept.1-2-3.

In each instance, contact Henry Harper at 335-2121 or 308-0865 for information or to register.

The Cass Lake fall basketball league will begin Sept. 7 with a $160 entry fee per team due by Sept. 4.

It will play a round robin schedule plus double elimination playoffs.

Send entry fees and a team roster to Harper at Box 219, Cass Lake 56633.

Courage North golf

Registration for the 18th annual Courage North golf tournament will close Sept. 11 with the meet to be played Sept. 16 with the shotgun scramble start at 12:30 with team handicaps assigned by the club professionals.

The entry of $100 includes green fees and a buffet dinner with carts available at an additional price.

Proceeds go toward area children and adults with physical disabilities and impairments who attend Courage North, a camp on Lake George

Further information and registration forms are available from Dondelinger's, the Country Club or Paul Bunyan Broadcasting.

Football fan bus

'The first fan bus for the Bemidji Lumberjacks football team trip will travel to Willmar Friday departing at 2:45 from the high school. Costs are $20 for adults and $16 for students 16-under. The deadline is Monday.

Other buses will go to the Alexandria, Fergus Falls and Moorhead games.