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This week at Bemidji High School: busy September begins today with soccer, volleyball action

September is among the busiest months of the year for the Bemidji High School sports programs and the month will begin with a bang as 12 Lumberjacks events will be jammed into the next five days.

And this is the light week on Bemidji's September schedule.

By the end of the month the eight Lumberjacks teams will be involved in 62 events and will travel from Hopkins to Warroad and just about everywhere in between.

The hectic pace begins today when the girls soccer team visits East Grand Forks while the boys soccer and volleyball teams compete at home.

The girls soccer team takes a 1-2 record into the week while the boys soccer squad is 0-3 and the volleyball team begins the week 0-2.

The boys soccer team will be looking to break into the victory column Tuesday when it hosts Grand Rapids at 5 p.m. So far the Lumberjacks have dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Little Falls, a 5-0 verdict to Hillcrest and a 3-1 game to Detroit Lakes. All of those games have been on the road and they will hop into the bus again Thursday when the Jacks head to East Grand Forks.

Next week BHS will be home for a pair of contests as it will host Detroit Lakes on Sept. 9 and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Sept. 14.

After opening the fall with a 3-0 win at Little Falls the girls soccer team has dropped a pair of games, losing 3-0 at home to defending state Class 2A champion Wayzata and 2-1 in overtime at Detroit Lakes.

Another road game awaits the Jacks today at East Grand Forks but on Thursday they will be home, entertaining Crookston at 4 p.m. Saturday finds BHS heading to St. Cloud Cathedral but on Sept. 10 the Lumberjacks will begin a six-game homestand when they host WHA. The extended run includes matches against Grand Rapids, Moorhead, Duluth East, East Grand Forks and Brainerd.

The volleyball team struggled in last week's season opener against Perham but the Lumberjacks played better on Thursday during a 3-0 loss at Detroit Lakes. The defending Section 8-3A champions hope to continue that improved play today at home against Thief River Falls. The week ahead also sees BHS visiting Moorhead on Thursday and hosting Brainerd on Sept. 9.

Bemidji's cross country teams have been off since beginning the year Aug. 26 at the Moorhead Invitational. Behind Jenna Truedson's individual victory the girls squad won the eight-team meet. The Lumberjacks were third in the nine-team boys competition and senior Sam Carlson placed second individually.

This week sees the cross country teams at Thursday's Detroit Lakes Invitational and they will have another week to rest before running at Little Falls on Sept. 12.

A year ago the girls tennis team advanced to the section final where it suffered its only loss in a 14-1 campaign to St. Cloud Tech. Duplicating that feat will be difficult but so far the Lumberjacks are on track as they won the season-opening tournament at Pine City and are 4-0 in dual action. Bemidji will shoot for its fifth dual victory Thursday when it hosts Eveleth-Gilbert.

The swimmers dropped a 116-70 home meet to Brainerd last week and will try to bounce back Friday when they host Grand Forks Red River and Grand Forks Central at 6 p.m. On Saturday the Jacks will welcome Detroit Lakes, Mesabi East, Willmar and Moorhead for the annual Bemidji Invitational.

Completing this week's action is Friday's home debut of the football team. The battle against Sauk Rapids also will be the first football action on the new field at Chet Anderson Stadium.

Bemidji State University's women's soccer team will christen the field at 4 p.m. Friday against Missouri Western and, because of that game, the football kickoff has been pushed back to 7:30 p.m.

The Lumberjacks were very impressive in their 2013 debut as they throttled Grand Rapids 39-7 on Thursday. BHS scored 39 points in the opening half and those points came in a variety of ways. In the first quarter the Lumberjacks found the end zone with a pair of passes from quarterback James Hendricks to wide receiver Jaylen Ingalls, one of which was a 72-yard bomb along the sidelines.

Bemidji also scored in the first 12 minutes on a run by Tanner Boes and a 20-yard field goal courtesy of Will Annette.

In the second quarter the Jacks' defense was the story as the stanza featured an interception TD by Ben Christopher, another Annette field goal and a punt block by Robert Treuer that turned into a touchdown when Andrew Steffes pounced on the loose ball in the end zone.

"We were explosive in the first half. We made the plays and continually put pressure on Grand Rapids," said BHS coach Troy Hendricks. "We still have many things to work on but for the first game I thought we did many good things."

Friday's game will be followed by road trips to Fergus Falls and Sartell. Bemidji will return home Sept. 27 against Rocori.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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