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Night games highlight 2011 Bemidji State football schedule

The Bemidji State football team's schedule for the 2011 season is loaded at the front with home games.

The Beavers will play five of its first seven games at Chet Anderson Stadium and three of those games will be night games played under the lights.

The home opener is Aug. 25 against Minot State in the annual Beaver Bash and it will be a Thursday 7 p.m. game. Southwest Minnesota State comes to Bemidji on Sept. 17 for a 6 p.m. game and defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth comes the following week on Sept. 24 for a 6 p.m.

Minot State will join the NSIC in the 2012-13 season and this fall's meeting will mark the last as non-conference opponents. The game is also part of BSU's Community Appreciation Night and there will be fireworks over Lake Bemidji after the game.

BSU opens the NSIC season Sept. 10 at Augustana and returns home the following week to face SMSU in the Shrine Game.

Homecoming is two weeks later against Concordia-St. Paul on Oct. 8 and the annual Battle for the Axe trophy game against MSU, Moorhead is the following week on Oct. 15.

The end of Bemidji State's 2011 season will be played on the road with three of the last four games away from Chet Anderson Stadium.

BSU's schedule features three teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last season in Augustana, UMD and St. Cloud State (Nov. 5).

The Beavers are expected to begin spring practice today and the practices will run until the Green and White Spring Game April 21. The intrasquad scrimmage will be held at 7 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium. It is free and open to the public.

The Beavers will host a youth football clinic at The Chet prior to the spring game. Registration will run from 4-5 p.m. and the clinic will be conducted from 5-6 p.m.

The 2010 Beaver football team finished the season 7-4 overall and 6-4 in NSIC play, tying for fifth in the league standings with Winona State University. Under Tesch, BSU has recorded 12 above .500 seasons in his 15 years at the helm. Tesch added 33 student-athletes to the BSU roster for the 2011 season on signing day in early February. Of the 33 commitments, 16 signed National Letters of Intent, one is a transfer and 16 inked offers of admission to attend Bemidji State.