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BEMIDJI -- Much like last season, the Bemidji State football team has something to prove this year -- at least, in the eyes of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference coaches. Conference coaches picked the Beavers to finish sixth overall in the 16-team conference and fourth in the NSIC Northern Division according to the preseason coaches poll released Tuesday. "In some ways I think it's a pretty fair assessment," BSU head coach Jeff Tesch said of the poll results. "Considering who we graduated and what we're returning on offense, we have a lot of unknowns."
ADA -- After one round of the Minnesota Baseball Association Region 10C tournament Saturday afternoon, both area teams still alive in playoff competition will be fighting off elimination. The Bemidji Blue Ox and Cass Lake Reds each dropped their first-round contests and will have to win losers bracket games today to avoid an early playoff exit. The Blue Ox fell to the Ada Athletics 12-4 Saturday afternoon while the Reds lost a close 3-2 game against the Crookston Reds earlier Saturday.
It was about halfway through his solo hike of the Superior Hiking Trail that Cody Bartz had his first major stumbling block. Literally. "At one point, my shoe just ripped apart," Bartz said. "I had these lightweight trail running shoes. I thought they would at least hold up for the trip." Naturally, the fact that the shoes -- which were almost new -- didn't hold up could have been disastrous. Bartz was hiking the 275-mile trail by himself; he had just more than 100 miles to go until reaching the end.
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 re-acquainted with the old ones) before the season begins in October. Our series continues this week with the new team from the Last Frontier: The Alaska Nanooks.
BEMIDJI -- When the Bemidji State women's soccer team returns for its 2013 season opener Sept. 5 against Missouri Western, head coach Jim Stone thinks the Beavers will come back better-prepared, physically and mentally, for the rigors of the upcoming season. And maybe the Beavers will have picked up a little Spanish along the way. Starting Tuesday, BSU soccer team will embark on its first-ever foreign trip when they'll travel to Costa Rica for eight days.
BEMIDJI -- By the time he won the 2013 Birchmont Men's Championship final, Bill Carlson was exhausted. The Fargo native and North Dakota State junior golfer defeated Andover resident and future Bemidji State golfer A.J. Oster 1-up to claim his first-ever Birchmont title Saturday afternoon at Bemidji Town and Country Club. "I felt like I was under stress for 10 hours today," Carlson said. "It will be nice to sit down."
PERHAM -- Despite an early loss, the Bemidji VFW baseball team is still alive in the Minnesota District 9 tournament. After receiving a bye in the tournament, the No. 2 seeded VFW squad fell to third-seeded Fergus Falls 9-5 Friday morning. The loss dropped Bemidji to the consolation bracket in the double-elimination tournament. That meant the VFW had to play Thief River Falls later Friday to stay alive.
The men's college hockey landscape will probably look a little strange this season. Two new conferences - the Big Ten Hockey Conference and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference - are starting from scratch. Another - the Central Collegiate Hockey Association - no longer exists. Bemidji State is right in the middle of this change. As a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference, the Beavers will see a league they joined just three years ago lose seven members and gain six more.
BEMIDJI -- Missy Tabery's emotional victory at the 2012 Birchmont Women's Championship division wasn't easy. Tabery, playing in her first-ever final as the No. 9 seed, went back and forth with Elizabeth Storm before Storm sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole to send the match into overtime. Tabery went on to win the match on the first extra hole. The Wadena native was excited to win last year but it was rough. Her dad passed away during the tournament but she was able to overcome it and win it all.
Pat Miller firstname.lastname@example.org BEMIDJI - Aaron Leintz of Bagley will be stepping into unchartered water Monday when he heads to the first tee for the start of his initial qualifying round of the Birchmont Men's Championship division. A year ago Leintz captured the Junior Championship crown but this year represents his first time in the Men's division.