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This Week at Bemidji High School: Jacks earn fourth seed, home game for SB playoffs

The regular seasons have come to an end for four of the Bemidji High School spring sports teams and now the attention of those athletes and coaches turns to the tournaments.

The section 8-2A tennis team tournament opens today and the Lumberjacks, who were seeded No. 4 in the North-Sub-Section will head to Brainerd, to tangle with No. 5 Sartell around 12:30 p.m. If BHS prevails, it will take on top-seeded Moorhead later today.

In the morning round Alexandria (No. 2) faces St. Cloud Apollo (No. 7) and Brainerd (No. 3 ) will battle Detroit Lakes (No. 6).

The softball team also begins its postseason this week, and Wednesday the Jacks will be home for a 6 p.m. battle against either Alexandria or Sartell.

Bemidji (9-10) is the fourth seed and earned a home game and an automatic berth in the double-elimination portion of the Section 8-3A playoffs. Alexandria (No. 5) and Sartell (No. 12) will square off at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Bemidji and that winner will meet Bemidji at 6 p.m.

The Section 8-3A playoff scene switches to Brainerd for the rest of the tournament. Win or lose Wednesday, Bemidji will head to Brainerd on Memorial Day for a noon game.

After compiling a 4-7 record midway through the campaign Bemidji ended the regular season with five wins in its final eight games and that surge helped the Lumberjacks claim fourth place in the section seedings.

Brainerd is 16-2 and is the favorite in the 8-3A playoff picture although second-seeded Becker (17-2) also is in the mix for the title.

Big Lake (10-9) holds the third seed and Alexandria (12-8) is fifth.

The track and field teams concluded their regular seasons Monday at the Bemidji Invitational. The section meet begins May 28 with the preliminary round at Rocori and the Section 8-2A finals will be May 30 at Thief River Falls.

In a late addition to the schedule the Bemidji girls golf team will host its annual invitational Friday at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. Originally set for April 25, the meet was postponed because of snow and the Jacks are hoping that the weatherman will cooperate on Friday. The girls golf team also is in action today at Detroit Lakes.

The boys golfers will also travel to Detroit Lakes today and will be at The Pines on Wednesday. The Section 8-3A tournament for both the boys and the girls teams, will be next Tuesday, May 27, at Greystone in Sauk Centre.

Bemidji’s baseball team should have a home game in its section tournament which begins on Memorial Day. The Lumberjacks enter this week seeded No. 2 in the Section 8-3A rankings with 88.6 QRF points. Brainerd leads the section with a 90.6 QRF but some switching could occur Thursday when BHS hosts the Warriors in a doubleheader to conclude the regular season.

Alexandria has an 80.1 QRF and Moorhead completes the top four at 79.0.

As is the case in softball, the top four teams will qualify for the double-elimination rounds of the playoffs and will be home on Memorial Day. After the first day the tournament action will move to the home of the highest remaining seed.

Tennis faces Sartell

The Lumberjacks take a 10-3 record into the section tennis meet and two of the teams that defeated Bemidji — Moorhead and Brainerd — are in the section field. Before the Jacks can worry about those two clubs, however, they must take care of business against Sartell.

“We had many close matches during the year and we handled the pressure well,” said BHS coach Mark Fodness. “I think the guys would really like to have the chance to replay the Brainerd match (a 4-3 loss) because we felt we gave that one away and that loss knocked us down from the second seed to fourth.

“But we can’t overlook Sartell,” Fodness continued. “Sartell also lost 4-3 to Brainerd and the difference was that Brainerd won two of the three matches that went to three sets. If we get by Sartell we’ll just give Moorhead our best shot and see what happens.”

Section ticket prices

During the regular season, fans attending the Bemidji baseball and softball games could enter the contests at no charge. That will change, however, for the section playoffs.

Section 8-3A officials have established admission prices of $8 for adults and $5 for students for Wednesday’s softball game and the baseball game on Memorial Day.

School athletic event passes also will not be valid during the section playoffs.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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