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Pat Miller: This week at Bemidji High School - festive week for Jacks

After last week when the Bemidji High School fall sports programs were involved in 23 events in six days, this week’s schedule of only 16 events seems like a light load.

The list, however, includes marquee home events for the boys soccer and the football teams.

Today’s original schedule saw the boys soccer team hosting Moorhead at 5 p.m. at the middle school but the game has been switched to 7 p.m. at BSU’s Chet Anderson Stadium.

The girls team will have its opportunity to play under the lights at Chet Anderson Stadium on Oct. 3 when it entertains Detroit Lakes.

This week’s other highlight is the annual Homecoming football game 7 p.m. Friday, also at Chet Anderson Stadium. A Homecoming contest usually provides enough incentive for a 100 percent effort from the players and the fans but this year’s game has extra spice because Rocori is the opponent.

The last time the teams squared off was in the 2011 Class 4A state championship game in the Metrodome and that night Rocori edged the Lumberjacks 17-10.

Although the personnel of each team has changed, the rivalry has been established and Friday’s contest should be entertaining and hard-hitting.

BHS enters the Homecoming game with a 4-0 record. The Jacks own victories over Grand Rapids (39-7), Sauk Rapids (45-22), Fergus Falls (52-29) and Sartell (31-24). Last week Bemidji trailed Sartell most of the night but James Hendricks’ 5-yard touchdown run with 1:06 remaining provided the winning points.

Rocori is 1-3 this fall. The Spartans dropped their first three games, losing to St. Cloud Apollo (27-15), Fergus Falls (32-12) and St. Cloud Tech (34-20). Last Friday, however, Rocori entered the win column when it topped Alexandria 26-21.

Under the lights

After playing six of its first nine games on the road the BHS boys soccer team began a five-game homestand Saturday when it outlasted Brainerd 4-2. The Lumberjacks will take a 4-4-2 record into tonight’s game at Chet Anderson Stadium and the week will also feature Thursday’s 4 p.m. game against Crookston and Saturday’s 1 p.m. battle with Sartell.

Both of those contests will be at the middle school pitch.

The homestand will conclude Sept. 30 at East Grand Forks.

The girls soccer team ended a grueling stretch Saturday when it fell 3-1 at home to Brainerd. That game culminated a part of the schedule which saw the Lumberjacks play five games in eight days.

They only have one game this week and that will be Thursday at Moorhead. Bemidji will enter that contest with a 6-6 record.

Cross country at U-of-M

This is the time in the fall when the cross country athletes hit full stride. Last Saturday the Jacks competed in the prestigious Milaca Invitational and this Saturday they will head to the University of Minnesota for the Roy Griak meet.

The Griak competition always attracts the top cross country programs in the Upper Midwest and success at that meet usually translates into success at the state competition later this fall.

The Milaca Invitational provided the perfect warm-up for the Griak and Bemidji fared very well in both the boys and the girls races.

Running against the largest schools at the Milaca meet, Bemidji finished third of 27 teams in the girls division and sixth among 31 squads in the boys race.

Jenna Truedson outran 179 other girls to take the individual title as the BHS junior completed the 4,000-meter course in 14:00.

Sam Carlson paced Bemidji in the boys race as he was third in the 207-runner field with a time of 15:50 over the 5,000-meter track.

This week’s cross country schedule begins with a mixture of varsity and junior varsity runners heading to Fergus Falls on Thursday.

Volleyball team hosts Hibbing

Bemidji will begin the week tonight at home against Hibbing and on Saturday it will return to the Twin City suburbs to participate in the Hopkins Invitational.

BHS begins the week with a 4-7 record and is coming off a 1-3 mark at the Apple Valley Invitational. At Apple Valley the Jacks lost 2-0 to Marshall and 2-1 to Waconia, defeated Apple Valley 2-0 and dropped a 2-1 decision to Bethlehem Academy.

Hibbing is 5-6, most of the matches coming against other Iron Range opponents.

Joining the Lumberjacks at the Hopkins meet will be Eastview, Elk River, Park Center, St. Michael-Albertville, Armstrong, Albert Lea and Red Wing.

Swimmers, tennis on road

Bemidji’s swimming and diving team will visit park Rapids tonight while the tennis team travels to Grand Rapids.

The tennis team is nearing the end of another very successful regular season. After tonight’s meet BHS has only one more competition prior to the start of the section tournament on Oct. 4. The lone remaining regular season action will be Oct. 1 at Crookston.

The Lumberjacks will bring a 12-1 record into today’s action and that figure includes a 6-1 victory over Grand Rapids in late August.

The swimmers and divers are 3-3 in dual meets and are coming off a 135-60 romp over Warroad.

Bemidji is only midway through its regular season and is gearing its training sessions to peak Nov. 8 at the section meet.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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