BHS Thursday preview: Jacks wrestling team ready for home showcase
Wrestling fans are in for a treat this week as Bemidji will be home for back-to-back events today and Saturday.
Tonight the Lumberjacks will welcome Hibbing for a dual and Saturday they will stage the annual Rick Lee Invitational.
"We're excited to have a home meet today and host our tournament on Saturday," said BHS coach Rance Bahr. "The nature of wrestling is to have more than 75 percent of your schedule on the road and travel every weekend. It's nice to finally be able to stay home for a weekend."
The coach believes that the next few days could be very productive for the Jacks.
"Hibbing has some solid kids in the lineup but I think we match up very well against them," Bahr said. "I expect us to be in a position to win the meet.
"Saturday I expect us to be in the top three," the coach continued, "and advance many wrestlers to the finals."
Tonight's action begins at 6 p.m. with the varsity and junior varsity competing simultaneously on different mats.
Bemidji's projected lineup includes Tyler O'Beirne (103), Brian Maas (112), Logan Crosby (119), Jake Crosby (125), Craig Maas (130), Dylan Hardy (135), Colton Doty (140), Kade Johnson (145), Kodi Craft (152), Dustin Greenman (160), Tyler Molitor (171), Brenden Fredriksen (189), Nick Maggert (215) and Alex Johnson (heavyweight).
Saturday's lineup will be similar although Molitor and Fredrikson are expected to move up a weight and Bemidji probably will have an open weight at 189.
"Saturday will be a long day but it will be a fun day," Bahr said. "We'll set up Friday with the help of the parents and the booster club and be ready to go Saturday morning."
Saturday's Rick Lee Invitational
9 a.m.: First round of junior varsity (auxiliary gym)
10 a.m.: First round of varsity (main gym)
11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Second and third rounds of junior varsity (auxiliary gym)
Noon-2 p.m.: Second round of varsity consolation and championship semifinals (main gym)
2 p.m.: Junior varsity finals (auxiliary gym)
2:30 p.m.: Varsity consolation semifinals (main gym)
3:30 p.m.: Varsity third-fifth rounds (main gym)
5 p.m.: Varsity finals (main gym)
The Lumberjacks will shoot for their sixth consecutive victory 7:30 p.m. today when they entertain East Grand Forks at The Sanford Center.
BHS is coming off Tuesday's workmanlike 6-0 victory over Crookston, a win that upped the Lumberjacks' record to 12-1-1.
The goals came off the sticks of six different players as Steve Heller scored in the opening period, Will Bruestle and Matt Serratore connected in the second and Tyler Follis, Jordan Heller and Tyler Tatro iced the victory with goals in the third.
Bemidji's dominance was further evidenced by a 42-9 edge in shots. BHS goalie Jeremiah Graves needed only nine saves to collect his fifth shutout of the winter.
Graves is among the state leaders in all of the major goaltending statistics. He ranks third in goals against average at 1.22, fourth in save percentage at .939 and is tied for fourth with 10 victories.
EGF enters tonight's action with a 7-6 record. Among the losses is a 4-1 setback at the hands of Bemidji in the season opener.
Steven Heller had a goal and an assist Tuesday to increase his team-leading point total to 21. He also collected his eighth goal and shares second place on the squad with Serratore, Jordan Heller and Follis.
Max Hazelton leads the Jacks with 10 goals.
Serratore has 17 total points while Hazelton, John Forseth, Jordan Heller and Follis have 16, Tatro 15 and Easton Halbert 14.
BHS will shoot for its second victory of the week tonight when it heads to Duluth East.
The Lumberjacks are coming off Tuesday's 55-53 home triumph over Cloquet. BHS led by 14 points late in the game but had to overcome a late Cloquet rally.
Jess Yost had 28 points for the Jacks (4-6) and Caitlin Hadrava added 15.
Duluth East is 7-4. Early this season the Greyhounds defeated Cloquet 84-52.