Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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BRAINERD — As a concession to the weather, which included temperatures in the 90s, the coaches involved in Monday’s Brainerd Invitational decided to shorten the format to a single 8-point...
MOORHEAD — Jenna Truedson began her cross country season on a great note as the junior captured the individual title of Monday’s season-opening invitational at Moorhead. Her individual performance helped...
FERGUS FALLS -- Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is a private school in Fergus Falls and the student population traditionally fluctuates in numbers and student interests. The school's boys soccer program, however, usually is very strong and this season appears to be no exception. Saturday afternoon the Comets dominated the Lumberjacks and coasted to a 5-0 victory.
BEMIDJI -- During the off season officials of the Minnesota State High School League analyzed the student populations of the various schools which offer girls soccer. What they found is, according to enrollment, Bemidji is just barely among the top 64 programs in the state. That discovery resulted in the Lumberjacks being elevated from the Class A postseason tournament into the Class 2A ranks this year. To no one's surprise, Class 2A is dominated by the Twin Cities schools and rising to the top last year was Wayzata which won the state championship and finished the fall 18-2-2.
WILLMAR -- The 200 free relay team of Morgan Williams, Erin Arndt, Libby McRae and Danielle Hoven took first place and Kylei Grosfield captured the diving to lead the Bemidji High School girls swimming and diving team at Saturday's season-opening invitational hosted by Willmar. The Lumberjacks claimed third place in the seven-team competition with 371 points. Melrose captured the team title with 584. The 200 free relay unit completed the race in 1:46.27 while Grosfield earned 197.45 points for her six dives.
LITTLE FALLS -- It will take time for the Bemidji High School boys soccer players to mesh into a cohesive team but during the second half of Friday's game here the foundation of that process appeared to be built. The Lumberjacks spotted Little Falls a 2-0 lead in the opening half but rallied in the second stanza to force overtime. The Flyers, however, took advantage of a BHS mistake during the second extra period and handed the Jacks a 3-2 loss.
LITTLE FALLS -- Casey Palmer tossed a shutout and Rachel Bitter scored two goals to power the Bemidji girls soccer team to a season-opening 3-0 victory Friday at Little Falls. The Lumberjacks will make their home debut 1 p.m. today when they entertain Wayzata at the middle school pitch. After a scoreless first half BHS took charge and sparking the effort was Bitter who scored at the 57-minute mark and again 12 minutes later.
BEMIDJI -- An uneducated look at a roster with no seniors would indicate that the Bemidji girls cross country team doesn't possess the experience required to be an upper-echelon team in Section 8-2A. Head coach Ryan Aylesworth and his athletes, however, know better. "I think the girls are going to surprise people," Aylesworth said. "The girls Section 8-2A is very strong but I think a top-five finish is very realistic. And I also believe that we have an outside shot at doing something very special."
BEMIDJI -- A simple philosophy governs the coaching style of Troy Hendricks and his Bemidji High School football staff. "Each year the kids establish their expectations and the coaching staff will do the best we can to help the kids accomplish those goals," Hendricks said. "In past years the expectation of some teams was to make it to the section championship game. The goal, however, has grown over the years and this year the kids are not content just to get to the section championship game.
BEMIDJI -- When the Section 8A coaches analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents they probably will breathe a sigh of relief when they look at Bemidji's roster. The reason for that deep exhale is that Steph Frey, who owns or is part of nine school record performances, has finally graduated and is headed for the University of North Dakota. Lumberjacks coach Woody Leindecker, however, sees something entirely different when he scans the roster.