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Bemidji HS weekend notebook: Jacks boys golf team starts new season Friday

The Bemidji boys golf team will begin its campaign 1 p.m. today at Blueberry Pines and coach Eric Niskanen's lineup will feature players who were on the section squad last season.

"These players earned the right to open this season," Niskanen said.

The group includes seniors Kevin Larson, Joe Welle and Rylee Curb, junior Caleb Hanson plus sophomores Jake Hoffman and Trey Dale.

Joining Bemidji at today's meet will be Roseau, Warroad and Grand Rapids.

"I'm expecting to see some up-and-down scores but, overall, I am expecting quality rounds," Niskanen said. "I would think a couple of our guys should shoot in the 70s and I'd like to see us get off to a good, quick start."

The coach is working with 24 varsity candidates and predicts that many of them will see varsity action.

"We're very much ahead of the game compared to most years because of the weather," Niskanen said. "Usually, we haven't been on a course until our first meet. So far the kids are turning out good scores at the Bemidji Town & Country Club and there certainly is room for maneuvering within the roster. Any one of the 24 golfers could move up or down."

Next week sees the Lumberjacks playing at Alexandria on April 22, at the Pines on April 23 and at the Preserve on April 24.

Bemidji's softball team will take a 3-0 record into this weekend's action. The Lumberjacks will open their road swing 4:30 p.m. today at Chaska and Saturday's schedule sees Bemidji playing at Mounds View at 11 a.m. and at Tartan at 2:30 p.m.

Bemidji is coming off Tuesday's 11-6 home victory over Detroit Lakes but coach Brad Takkunen wasn't pleased with the overall effort of his players. He is, however, expecting better performances this weekend.

"I expect we'll see some very good teams with better pitching than we have played against so far," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "I'm excited to make the trip. It will be nice to have a chance to play Chaska since they were the only team to beat us in the regular season last year."

Takkunen hasn't determined his lineup for the weekend nor has he decided upon his pitching rotation.

"I'm leaning toward pitching either Brianna Glynn or Jess Yost against Chaska but I really haven't made up my mind," the coach said. "No matter who plays it will be important for us to focus on the fundamentals. Most Twin City teams play a good brand of ball and we will have to be ready to do the same."

The outdoor seasons for the BHS track and field teams begin today as the Lumberjacks visit Moorhead.

Both boys coach Steve Sneide and girls coach Chris Lehman are very happy with how their athletes performed during the three indoor meets and are eager to test their squads in an outdoor setting.

"This is a very fast track and we usually run some of our best times of the season at Moorhead," Lehman said. "I'm anxious to see how everyone performs."

Bemidji's next meet will be April 22 at Alexandria.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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