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This week at BHS: tennis team begins sub-section play Saturday in Sartell

This week marks the end of the regular season for the Bemidji soccer teams and the tennis squad.

The girls soccer team concluded its home campaign Monday against Crookston and will end the regular season Thursday at Detroit Lakes.

The boys soccer team finishes the fall on the road. Monday it visited East Grand Forks and Saturday it will play at Moorhead.

Bemidji's tennis faces Crookston at the Grand Forks Tennis Center 1 p.m. today and then heads to East Grand Forks for a 4 p.m. match against the Green Wave. Thursday the Jacks will host Thief River Falls in a make-up meet beginning at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday the tournaments begin in Sartell.

The swimmers and divers also have a busy week as they host Red River and Grand Forks Central today and compete in the section True Team meet Saturday.

The volleyball team entertains Moorhead tonight in its lone competition for the week while the cross country squads head to Alexandria Saturday. Monday the junior varsity and junior high runners competed at Thief River Falls.

"We'll have three days of practice and three opportunities to play matches before the sub-sections," said BHS coach Mark Fodness. "At practice we'll be brushing up on the fundamentals and making sure everyone is comfortable going into the sub-sections. We'll be talking every day about how we need to be mentally tough."

Unlike previous years when the North sub-section teams and South sub-section teams held their tournaments in separate locations, Sartell will be the site of both events. For the North, the tournament begins Saturday with the first two rounds of team play plus the opening sessions of the individual singles and doubles matches.

Saturday's survivors will return to Sartell on Oct. 12 when the sub-section and section team champions will be crowned along with the sub-section singles and doubles finalists. The section individual champions will be determined Oct. 14.

"The new sub-section format has us playing on Saturday, Tuesday and maybe Thursday," Fodness said. "For the teams that live close to Sartell it's probably a good format. But for us it has a real negative impact.

"For us the driving is going to be the biggest issue," the coach continued. "We'll probably get back well past midnight on Saturday and around midnight to 2 a.m. after we finish on Tuesday. The girls will be in school on Wednesday and then leave again Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Again, we'd be lucky to get back by midnight or 2 a.m. after Thursday's play."

Before the Lumberjacks worry about driving to Sartell they will play three regular season matches this week.

Today BHS will battle Crookston indoors at the Grand Forks Tennis Center and on the way home the Jacks will stop in East Grand Forks for a match against the Green Wave.

Thursday they will host Thief River Falls at 3:30 p.m.

"Playing indoors against Crookston will give us the chance to acclimate ourselves to playing under those conditions," Fodness said. "It's fun to play when elements like the sun and wind are not factors but it still requires a bit of an adjustment.

"All tournament play is indoors so Tuesday will be a good experience for us," Fodness added.

Bemidji will be home today beginning at 5 p.m. when it entertains Grand Forks Central and Red River.

The Lumberjacks are coming off a solid performance which saw them defeat Park Rapids, the defending section champion, 99-87 last week.

The Jacks won the final event, the 400 free relay, to solidify that victory. Other BHS winners were Maris Jahner in the 50 free, the 200 medley relay squad, Steph Frey in the 200 IM and 100 breast stroke plus Jana Hedstrom in diving.

Saturday Bemidji will compete in the section True Team meet.

Bemidji's volleyball team will take a 10-10 overall record into today's 7:15 p.m. home match against the Spuds.

In recent action BHS outlasted Grand Rapids 3-2 last Thursday but won only two of five matches Saturday at the Willmar Invitational.

Bemidji defeated Renville County West 2-1 and swept New London-Spicer 2-0 but also lost 2-0 to Central Minnesota Christian, 2-1 to Willmar and 2-0 to Renville County West.

Fresh off Saturday's 14-7 victory at Alexandria, the Bemidji football team will entertain Sauk Rapids-Rice 7 p.m. Friday.

The Lumberjacks will enter the contest with a 4-1 record, the lone blemish a 33-28 loss to Brainerd.

Sauk Rapids-Rice is 3-2 with victories over Little Falls (33-17), St. Cloud Tech (20-17) and St. Cloud Apollo (38-17) and losses to Sartell (12-6 in three overtimes) and Willmar (21-0).

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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