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Classmates turned friends enjoy round of golf at Lumberjack Scramble

BHS 1972 graduates (left to right) Darlene Dorr, Liz Swanson, Cindy Howe and Sharon Larson watch teammate Arliss Baird try to sink a putt on the No. 1 green during Friday's Lumberjack Scramble. The women came up with the idea of forming a team during a recent class reunion. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - Friday was a perfect day for a round of golf - high temperatures in the mid-70s, a very slight wind and a sunny sky.

And the Lumberjack Scramble at the Bemidji Town & Country Club was the perfect excuse to grab the clubs.

Reservations for the Lumberjack Scramble need to be made early. The event attracts a crowd of more than 300 BHS fans, coaches and former athletes, and during the previous 17 years of the Scramble more than $400,000 has been raised to supplant each program's budget.

Friday's event was no exception. The morning session was filled and at 1 p.m. a second wave of golfers headed for the tee boxes.

Among the golfers playing in the morning were five 1972 BHS graduates who didn't have the opportunity to participate in the school's athletic programs.

Darlene Dorr (Bahr), Cindy Howe (Ziemann), Sharon Larson (Melhus), Arliss Baird (Milks) and Liz Swanson (Luoma) met a few weeks ago at their class reunion and the idea to form a team for the Lumberjack Scramble was hatched.

"They did not have women's golf or any other sports for women when we were in school so we decided to make our own team and play in the Scramble," Dorr said.

"The tryouts were Friday. And we all made the team," Baird added.

Although everyone is welcome at the Lumberjack Scramble, "Dorr and Company" formed one of only a few all-women teams in the event. And they were pleased with their round.

"We shot 4-over-par 76 and I think that is great," Swanson said.

"I thought shooting 76 was fabulous for us," Baird said. "There was no pressure for us to do better. Grandmas don't have to win (the Lumberjack Scramble) to have fun."

Prior to this summer's reunion the women were classmates but not necessarily close friends.

"We weren't all in groups that hung out together in high school," Dorr said. "In fact, we all had different groups of friends."

"I called Arliss 'Sylvia' all day on Friday because I thought that was her name," Howe admitted.

"They say Sylvia is a sexy name so I didn't correct Cindy," Arliss added.

Friday was the first time this group of 1972 graduates shared a round of golf. But it probably won't be the last.

"We had so much fun we have to make this an annual event," Swanson said.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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