Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Ralph Lovering remembers scoring his only goal as a member of the Bemidji Lumberjacks boys hockey team. "We were in Hallock when I did it. We weren't supposed to win that game but we did by a goal." Lovering was reminiscing with Jim Smalley about that 1964-65 season Saturday morning at the BHS gymnasium lobby.
Kayla Hirt is an optimist but she also is a realist. And, after injuring her left knee two weeks ago at an AAU national basketball tournament in Georgia, Hirt was hit with a heavy dose of reality. "I had the ball at the top of the key and drove down the lane," Hirt, who is entering her senior season at Bemidji High School, said. "A defender cut me off and I changed direction.
Roger Bovee is a 1985 graduate of Bemidji High School and currently teaches industrial tech at St. Michael-Albertville. Even though he may have found a career a few hours south of his home town, Bovee is never bashful when it comes to telling people where he was raised. "I'm proud to brag about being a Lumberjack," Bovee said as he prepared to start his Lumberjack Scramble round Friday at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. "In my computer lab at school I have Bemidji High School mouse pads.
Volleyball practice officially opens Monday but a key member of the team will be missing when the Lumberjacks begin their drills. Senior Kayla Hirt injured her knee in late July while playing AAU basketball and the preliminary diagnosis is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Hirt, a senior, will likely miss the volleyball season and, if surgery is done, she could be sidelined for up to a year. "At this point we don't know how serious the tear is," said BHS head volleyball coach Teresa Colligan.
St. Paul RanView entered this year's state VFW baseball tournament with eight team titles in the 55-year history of the event. Collectively, Bemidji's District 9 had captured only two state crowns during the same span, one by Fergus Falls in 1960 and the other by Bemidji in 1985. "RanView had all of the state tournament championship history and experience," said Bemidji coach Brad Johnson whose team faced RanView Sunday morning for the 2010 title. "Joe Mauer won a state tournament with RanView. RanView is a regular at state and knows what it takes to win a title.
Geographically, Bemidji and Worthington are about as distant as two Minnesota communities can be. Worthington is nestled in the southwestern corner of the state while Bemidji is the showpiece of north-central Minnesota. Saturday morning at the state VFW baseball tournament in Austin another chasm between the communities was exposed as Bemidji dismantled Worthington in the winner's bracket final 16-0. Saturday's victory advanced the Vets to today's championship series. The first game is set for 11 a.m. and Bemidji would capture the state crown with a victory.
The Bemidji VFW baseball team continued it success at the state tournament Friday as the Vets advanced to today's winner's bracket final with a 7-4 victory over St. Paul RanView. Bemidji will meet Worthington at 1 p.m. today and that winner will be in the driver's seat for the state crown. The loser will move into the loser's bracket final and would have to claw its way back into the tournament championship series. Already in the loser's bracket are Red Wing and New Ulm which met Friday night in an elimination game, and Austin and RanView.
Matching outfits were on display at the Bemidji Town & Country Club Friday when more than 80 women participated in the 27th annual First National Bank/BSU Women's Athletics Golf Classic. The fivesome heading up No. 13 fairway modeled blue tops and white shorts. On the No. 14 green the style was white tops and blue shorts. The women ready to take their tee shots on No.
A 10-day layoff did not adversely affect the Bemidji VFW offense during the first round of the state tournament Thursday in Austin. The Vets turned six first-inning hits into as many runs and continued that torrid pace the rest of the way. When the dust settled Bemidji outgunned Forest Lake 17-10 and advanced to today's second round in the double-elimination tournament and a match-up against either St. Paul RanView or Proctor. Those teams met Thursday evening and the winner will face Bemidji at 2 p.m. today. "We hammered the ball," said VFW coach Brad Johnson.
Bemidji's MGA Junior girls golf team finished seventh at the state meet held Monday and Tuesday at Braemar Golf Course in Edina. Representing the Bemidji Town & Country Club, the squad carded rounds of 183-174-357. University-Les Bolstad Golf Course dominated the field once again, winning its sixth consecutive girls title. The team finished 153-155-308 and enjoyed a 36-shot advantage over runner-up Minnesota Valley of Bloomington which shot 179-167-346. Shelby Sauer paced Bemidji with rounds of 92-86-178. Individually she finished 18th.