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The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is changing dramatically next season, losing eight 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's Upper Peninsula with the Lake Superior State Lakers.
BEMIDJI -- To say the 2012 season disappointed Wayne Chadwick would be an understatement. "Had you told me at this time last year that we would have finished tied for last in the conference, I'd have laughed at you," Chadwick said. "It was pretty disappointing for all of us." The Bemidji State volleyball team won just two matches in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and finished with an overall record of 4-23. Nineteen times last year the Beavers were swept in straight games. At one point they lost 13 straight matches, going more than a month between wins.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji's first professional sports franchise will have plenty of local flavor. The city's yet-to-be-named Indoor Football League team was officially introduced to the community Wednesday at the Sanford Center. The team will begin play in February. "I may be from out of town, but don't get it wrong, this is Bemidji's team," co-owner and president Chris Kokalis said. "We want to make sure the community is involved in all aspects."
BEMIDJI -- The Indoor Football League is coming to Bemidji. Just a month after league officials visited the Sanford Center to make a pitch to potential ownership groups, the league...
BEMIDJI -- In a cryptic press release sent Monday morning, Sanford Center officials said a “historic announcement” will be made Wednesday at the Sanford Center, further fueling speculation Bemidji’s Indoor...
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.