Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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A week ago the temperature was in the 60s, people were looking for their sunblock and golfers were flocking to the first tee at their favorite courses. Today there is snow on the ground and the week's forecast calls for more. Welcome to spring in northern Minnesota. The repercussions of winter's return began last weekend and are expected to continue at least through this week as the Bemidji spring sports teams struggle to find practice locations and opportunities to return to competition. The Lumberjacks tennis squad braved the elements last Thursday and matched shots with Grand Rapids and
Adam Holter and Kyle Fodness defeated Gunnar Askegaard and Trent Anderson 7-5, 6-4 at first doubles Monday, but the Bemidji High School boys tennis team couldn't muster any other victories as the Lumberjacks dropped a 6-1 decision at Brainerd. Despite earning only one win BHS gave Brainerd, which is considered one of the top teams in the section, all it could handle as two of the individual matches were extended to three sets and another could have gone either way despite going only two sets. "We lost 6-1 but lost two matches in three sets and another that went to a tie- breaker in the secon
The Blackduck baseball team opened the season with three victories as the Drakes blanked Kelliher-Northome 10-0 in their opener and swept Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 21-0 and 12-1 last week. This week the Drakes were scheduled to host Cass Lake-Bena (Monday), entertain Pine River Backus in a doubleheader (Tuesday) and visit Lake of the Woods (Thursday). In the season-opener against K-N Lucas Krabbenhoft went the distance for the shutout. Trey Volk and Brandon Beck each scored twice and contributed an RBI while Dylan Weisert and Shane Fenske had a pair of hits.
The Bemidji softball team split a pair of games Saturday at the Vadnais Sports Complex in St. Paul, falling 2-0 to Mounds View but recovering to belt St. Paul Tartan 15-8. The Lumberjacks managed only infield singles by Kellie Morehouse and Hanna Olson in the opener but they erupted for 20 hits in the nightcap. Taylor McLean was the hard-luck losing pitcher against Mounds View as the senior yielded only four hits.
Bemidji's depth proved valuable Friday at the Beaver Relays as the Lumberjacks girls track and field team breezed to the championship. BHS tallied 169.5 points while Bagley-Fosston was a distant second with 81.5. In the boys division the Jacks scored 129 and captured second place, losing by 4.5 points to Roseau which tallied 133.5. The meet was originally scheduled to be run outdoors but the extended winter forced most of the events inside at the BSU Rec Center. The change of venue proved to be to the liking of Bemidji's Bailey Drewes as the senior won a pair of events, nipping teammate Je
The extended winter has affected the spring Bemidji High School schedules as today's baseball games in the St. Cloud area and girls golf meet at Cragun's have been postponed and softball has been moved to a different venue indoors. The baseball team was supposed to play at Sartell and at Sauk Rapids today but the weather has forced a change in plans. The game against Sartell will be played May 5 at 4:30 p.m. in Sartell while the Sauk Rapids contest has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. May 14 in Bemidji. Another change finds the April 25 contest at Grand Forks Red River switched from a 4:30 p.m.
High water, cold temperatures and a snowflake or two are expected to greet area anglers who decide to don their waders and hit the streams for Saturday's Minnesota stream trout opener. The forecast calls for lows in the 20s, morning snow showers and a high of 44 degrees.
Thursday's weather conditions were not conducive to tennis but the Bemidji High School boys team braved the conditions and hosted Grand Rapids and Park Rapids. The Lumberjacks lost 6-1 to the Thunderhawks in the opener but recovered to down Park Rapids 7-0. "We thought about cancelling but I'm glad we were able to get the matches in," said BHS coach Mark Fodness.
The wintry weather conditions continue to haunt the area sports scene and today's forecast of cold, wind and possible snow has forced Bemidji State University track and field coach Craig Hougen to move some of the events of today's Beaver Relays to the BSU Rec Center. Originally scheduled as an outdoor meet, at least some of the events at the Beaver Relays will be held indoors.
Improving your golf game is something that usually occurs over time but in 2010 the improvement of the Blackduck boys golfers was quick and dramatic. "Last year we went from shooting in the mid-50s early in the season to the mid-40s by season's end," said Drakes coach Jeremy Berg.