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HOCKEY: Bemidji opens season Friday at East Grand Forks

BEMIDJI – The fall sports programs at Bemidji High School are in the midst of the postseason tournaments but on Friday the scene will begin its shift to winter when the girls hockey team opens its campaign at East Grand Forks.

Bob Brink is beginning his second season behind the bench and he was greeted by 25 skaters and four goalies. Among the players who will not be in uniform Friday, however, are seniors Jasmin Yerbich and Allie Hiefort plus junior Hanna Olson.

Those three veterans will be in St. Paul representing the Lumberjacks at the state volleyball tournament.

“It will be tough playing without them but this is an opportunity for the younger players to step up,” Brink said.

Also on the roster are seniors Karleigh Wolkerstorfer, Heather Bjerke, Erin Booth and Karlee Tower. The junior cast includes Olson, Emily Frazer, Jordyn Follis, Savannah DeLaHunt, Kelsey Isaacson and Savanna Hanson.

“Our upperclassmen, especially our seniors, bring experience and a winning attitude,” Brink said. “But, for the most part, the team is still developing into its own and it will be exciting to follow that development.”

The Jacks are coming off a 13-12-1 season and return the entire roster. How far BHS can advance this year remains to be seen but Brink wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jacks gain the state tournament.

“I think the program is at the point where we want to see how we stack up against the best opponents,” he said. “Our roster gives us good numbers for the varsity and junior varsity programs. Everybody will get playing time and, hopefully, that will help our development.

“But I think we have the ability to go all the way and win the state championship,” Brink continued. “We have the talent. It will take some luck but I think we can be right there at the end.”

Bemidji’s home opener will be Nov. 16 against South St. Paul at the Bemidji Community Arena. On Nov. 20 the Jacks will host Roseau at the Sanford Center.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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