Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Meg Phelps shot 43-45-88 at the par-73 course in Long Prairie to lead the Bemidji girls golf team to sixth place at Friday's 12-team Long Prairie Invitational. The meet was held on the course which will be home to the section meet later this spring. The Lumberjacks used Friday's round as an opportunity to become more accustomed to the playing conditions they will encounter at sections. "The course is long and you have to concentrate on every single shot," Phelps said. "There is a booby trap on every shot. If you keep it straight and hit the fairways you'll be fine.
In 1986, the Bemidji community hosted the Governor's Fishing Opener, and event organizers reserved a seat in Gov. Rudy Perpich's boat for an area fifth grader. The youngster who would win that seat had to earn it by submitting a letter explaining why he or she would want to spend a day on the water with the governor. For Bill Andersen, an 11-year-old student at Lincoln Elementary School, fishing was a hobby. Each year he would travel to Red Lake with his grandparents, and they would catch their share of walleyes.
Alex Schoneberger captured the 800 and the mile to lead the Bemidji boys track and field team to sixth place at Thursday's Section 8AA True Team meet in Brainerd. The home team took top honors with 795.5 points and Buffalo was second with 722.5. Moorhead tallied 691.5, Alexandria 686.5 and Monticello 638.5. Bemidji finished with 513, Sauk Rapids with 449 and St. Cloud Apollo with 267.5. "We did very well in the distance events and did all right in the mid-distance and sprints," said BHS coach Steve Sneide.
The rod and reel donation program in Bemidji is alive and well, according to Bruce Aalgaard who is among the donation program volunteers. Begun in 1995 by Aalgaard and Jo Clayton as an offshoot of the community's Take a Kid Fishing event, the rod and reel project has presented 713 completed outfits to area TKF youngsters. The goal is to provide 1,000 rod and reel combinations to area youngsters by 2015. Another 130 rod and reel combos are ready to give away at this year's Take a Kid Fishing event on June 15. "About half the kids (at Take a Kid Fishing) do not have their own rods and reels,
The good old days of fishing have returned to Leech Lake as the combined efforts of state and tribal officials have helped restore the fishery to its previous renowned status. A decade ago Leech Lake walleye populations were in decline and the drop prompted the 2005-10 Leech Lake Management Plan. The plan sought to improve walleye abundance and size structure through a variety of methods including protection of the female walleyes through the implementation of a protected slot, the reduction of the cormorant population, an aggressive stocking campaign and protecting the shoreland from human
In recent years the Bemidji softball team has held the upper hand over Moorhead but most of the games have been up for grabs into the late stages. "The typical game is about 7-2 or 6-3," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen.
A 2007 study indicated that the fishing industry in Minnesota creates 47,000 jobs and generates $2.8 billion in direct annual expenditures. Fishing also contributes more than $640 million a year in tax revenues to the treasuries of the state and federal governments. Those figures were recently announced by Minnesota DNR Fisheries Chief Dirk Peterson. The numbers are based on a study that analyzed the economic impact of Minnesota's 1.4 million anglers. "As an economic engine, fishing is more like a Mack truck than a mo-ped," Peterson said.
Bemidji needed only three pitches to score its first run Wednesday at Grand Rapids but the Lumberjacks' offense struggled the rest of the way and the home team saddled the Jacks with a 5-2 loss. Back-to-back doubles to open the game by Mitchell Hendricks and Tyler Follis gave BHS the early 1-0 advantage.
The Bemidji tennis team made only its second home appearance Tuesday but the home-court did not prove to be an advantage as the Lumberjacks lost 4-3 to Detroit Lakes and 4-3 to East Grand Forks. BHS coach Mark Fodness was hoping for better results although both matches could have gone either way. "Against Detroit Lakes there were four tie-breakers and we lost all four," the coach said.
Convincing people to attend an awards ceremony but not letting them know that they will be among those under the honored guests can be a difficult task. And accomplishing that feat with a set of brothers seems almost impossible. Bemidji High School officials, however, were able to complete that task Monday when Jerry and Frank Sargent attended the high school Hall of Fame and athletic awards banquet. Frank was coaxed into coming because Steve Johnson, a friend and former school board member, told him Jerry would receive some sort of recognition.