Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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This week marks the end of the regular season for the Bemidji soccer teams and the tennis squad. The girls soccer team concluded its home campaign Monday against Crookston and will end the regular season Thursday at Detroit Lakes. The boys soccer team finishes the fall on the road. Monday it visited East Grand Forks and Saturday it will play at Moorhead. Bemidji's tennis faces Crookston at the Grand Forks Tennis Center 1 p.m. today and then heads to East Grand Forks for a 4 p.m. match against the Green Wave.
The Bemidji High School volleyball team posted a 2-3 record at Saturday's Willmar Invitational, going 1-2 in pool play and 1-1 in the consolation championship bracket. In their opener the Lumberjacks lost 25-15, 25-13 to Central Minnesota Christian. Jess Yost had five kills in the match. Bemidji also dropped a 25-20, 25-17 decision to Willmar. Meghan Wannebo finished with 11 digs while Yost had a pair of solo blocks and Jenna Sagedahl 12 set assists. Kellie Morehouse and Yost each had four kills. The Jacks entered the win column with a 25-22, 22-25, 15-8 victory over Renville County West.
Mitch Brown caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Hendricks with 11 minutes to play and Carey Woods ran for the 2-point conversion to help the Bemidji High School football team defeat Alexandria 14-7 Saturday in Alexandria. Saturday's victory upped the Lumberjacks' record to 4-1 while Alexandria suffered its first loss in five outings. Special teams and defense once again played pivotal roles in Saturday's victory as punter Jon Henry set the table for the winning score when his kick was downed at the Alexandria 3-yard-line late in the third quarter. Bemidji's defense forced a three-
Last week's 33-28 loss to Brainerd apparently did not sit well with the Bemidji football players. "The kids seem to have a different perspective this week in practice," said BHS coach Troy Hendricks whose team heads to Alexandria Saturday for a 3 p.m. game. "I think the kids responded to last week's loss with a chip on their shoulders. I hope and believe that means that the kids don't like losing." For the second consecutive week the Lumberjacks will face an unbeaten team.
The Bemidji volleyball team played its best match of the season Thursday and edged Grand Rapids 25-27, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 15-9 in Bemidji. "Grand Rapids was a very good team but we rose to the occasion," said BHS coach Teresa Colligan. "In terms of hitting, passing and our overall play, this was our best match of the year." Jess Yost and Allie Heifort spearheaded the offensive effort as Yost had 23 kills and Heifort 21. Jenna Sagedahl also was a key component as she contributed 55 set assists. Defensively Heifort had six blocks and Meghan Wannebo 34 digs.
For the past 31 years a group of Bemidji area friends has staged a reunion with grouse hunting as its theme. Traditionally, the event organizers target the second weekend of the grouse season as the day for the event because points can also be earned by bringing in woodcock and the woodcock season begins a week later than the grouse opener. The 31st annual "Grouse Out" was held Saturday and none of the hunters knew exactly what to expect when they hit the trails.
During late September, with frost and snow soon to arrive, any excuse for a round of golf is justified. Ivan Loeffler of Bemidji and Tony Doran of Pine River considered a free Saturday as a perfect excuse and they headed to Greenwood Golf Course east of Bemidji to see how many holes they could get in. "We had a coupon and we bought the all-day pass," Loeffler said. The decisions to play at Greenwood and to purchase an unlimited round both proved to be the correct choices. During the first 18 holes Loeffler, who is 46 years old, hit a perfect 9-iron on No.
Consecutive 3-1 victories over Roseau and Hibbing have enabled the Bemidji volleyball team to regain the .500 mark with a 7-7 overall record. The Lumberjacks will try to creep over the barrier 7:15 p.m. today when they entertain Grand Rapids. After tonight BHS has only one more home outing, Oct. 5 against Moorhead. The schedule also features five road trips including Saturday's journey to the Willmar Invitational. The other outings are Oct. 12 at East Grand Forks, Oct. 14 at Wadena-DC, Oct. 16 at Alexandria and Oct. 19 at Lake of the Woods. The sub-section playoffs will begin Oct.
Max Hazelton's goal from just inside the midfield line gave the Bemidji boys soccer team a 1-0 lead 51:40 into the action and the Lumberjacks added another tally in the final four minutes on way to Tuesday's 2-0 home victory over Moorhead. The win upped Bemidji's record to 10-3-1 and the Jacks, who play at Crookston Thursday, are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. Tuesday's contest was rough from start to finish but BHS was able to adapt to that style. "Moorhead was a physical team but we have guys who can play that way and we didn't back down," said Bemidji coach Rick Toward.
The game has been over for four days but football fans are still buzzing about Friday's battle against Brainerd which saw the visitors stop Bemidji 33-28. Some have classified the game as the best they have ever seen. Whether or not it ranks that high is personal preference but one thing is certain: the game held your attention from the opening kickoff to the final minute. "It was exciting," BHS coach Troy Hendricks said. "From the standpoint of offense it was a good football game.