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BEMIDJI -- Brian Leonhardt's former Bemidji State teammates like what they're seeing from the former Beavers tight end so far. They especially like the fact that they can watch him at all. "Oh yeah, we all watched him that first game," BSU senior fullback Brent Kondziolka said of Leonhard's NFL debut for the Oakland Raiders, a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 9. "He maybe had four pancakes in the time that he played. I was screaming at the TV, saying 'Throw it to Brian! throw it to Brian!'"
BEMIDJI -- Two exhibition games against Division I opponents highlight the Bemidji State women's basketball team's 2013-14 schedule, which was announced Thursday by BSU head coach Mike Curfman. The Beavers will travel to Brookings, S.D., Oct. 27 to take on South Dakota State before taking a quick trip to Grand Forks, N.D., for a Nov. 7 game against North Dakota. BSU traveled to North Dakota last season. The Beavers hung with UND and only lost by nine points, 76-67. The Beavers have also played SDSU in an exhibition contest, falling to the Jackrabbits 63-47 in 2010.
BEMIDJI -- It was the first practice of the football season and already Eric Medberry was evaluating the Bemidji State offense. "We've got a lot of positions up for grabs there so we're going to have to sort them out pretty quick," said Medberry, BSU's offensive coordinator. "We're going to give all these young guys a chance to compete and see who's going to rise to the top."
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State basketball team hasn't played a Division I opponent since 2001. That year, the Beavers traveled to Minneapolis to take on instate foe Minnesota in an exhibition game. The Beavers fell to the Gophers 71-58, but it was a good learning experience for a team that would eventually make it to the NCAA Division II tournament that year. This season the Beavers get to play another Division I foe and while it may not have a big name like the Big Ten opponent in Minneapolis, they'll be taking on a perennial mid-major powerhouse.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji is one step closer to having an Indoor Football League franchise. Curtis Webb, Sanford Center executive director, said Thursday he couldn't divulge many details but there are people interested in starting a team. "Things are looking very positive," Webb said. "We're moving forward with one ownership group." Webb wasn't at liberty to discuss specifics but said the "ownership group" as of now is a single owner, although the person is looking for more interested parties.
BEMIDJI -- Jeff Tesch is ready to have some fun. One wouldn't think "fun" would be the operative term for Bemidji State's head coach entering the 2013 season. After all, the Beavers lost 3/4ths of their offense, including a record-setting dual threat quarterback, an All-American tight end, three linemen and an entire receiving corps. The Beavers finished 7-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference last year and won a Northern Division title with that group. Thinking about replacing those players might give most coaches a massive summer-long headache.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is changing dramatically next season, losing six teams and adding six more. With that in mind, The Pioneer will be giving readers an in-depth look at the WCHA this summer so fans can familiarize themselves with the new members (and become reacquainted with the old ones) before the season begins in October. Our series continues this week in Michigan with the Ferris State Bulldogs.
BEMIDJI -- When members of the Bemidji State football team report back to campus today, they'll have a good idea of what is expected of them. After all, head coach Jeff Tesch, entering his 18th season at the helm for the Beavers, has been remarkably consistent since taking over head coaching duties in 1996 -- just three losing seasons in an 18-year span. The Beavers were picked to finish sixth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference this season after finishing fifth in the league last year with a 7-4 record.
ADA -- The Bemidji Blue Ox amateur baseball team fell just short of making the Minnesota Class C state tournament. The Blue Ox, playing in the losers' bracket at the Region 10C tournament in Ada, couldn't contain the Moorhead offense and fell to the Bulldogs 9-2. The loss eliminates the Blue Ox from playoff contention; meanwhile Moorhead will join Roseau as Region 10C's representatives Aug. 15-18 in Maple Lake and Delano.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is changing dramatically next season, losing six teams and adding six more. With that in mind, The Pioneer will be giving readers an in-depth look at the WCHA this summer so fans can familiarize themselves with the new members (and become reacquainted with the old ones) before the season begins in October. Our series continues this week with the Bowling Green Falcons.