Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The trophy celebration was over and the Bemidji soccer players had headed to their improvised lockerroom under the press box when Tanner Koetter paused at the bench. The senior co-captain held his Section 8A runnerup medal and smiled. "I don't know about you but I think this thing is pretty cool," Koetter said. When the Lumberjacks battled St. Cloud Cathedral Thursday for the 8A championship at the middle school field Koetter and his teammates were not playing for second place.
After seeing his team start the season 0-2 Bemidji boys soccer coach Rick Toward issued a challenge to the Lumberjacks. "I told the players we needed someone to step up and become a leader. I told them we needed all 11 guys on the field to take charge," Toward said. It is obvious that the players heeded Toward's request as the Jacks finished the year losing only two of their final 18 games and finishing the regular season 12-4-1. Among the rewards for their efforts was a No.
Bemidji's football team ended a splendid regular season on a positive note Wednesday as the Lumberjacks capped a 7-1 campaign with a 7-0 victory at Sartell. BHS can now take a well-deserved rest as the Jacks will not play again until the second round of the Section 7-4A playoffs. That game will be at Chet Anderson Stadium on Oct. 30 against either Cloquet or Hermantown. Those teams meet Tuesday in the first playoff round and Bemidji, which was the section's top seed and earned a first-round bye, will take on the winner. Bemidji State University also hosts Northern State at 1 p.m.
The Bemidji football team ends its regular season 7 p.m. today at Sartell but, unlike most years, the outcome won't have much bearing on the playoff picture or the team's confidence heading into the postseason. BHS is 6-1 and already has secured the top seed in the Section 7-4A playoffs. The Lumberjacks will receive a bye in Tuesday's first round of play and will host either Duluth Central or Hermantown Oct. 30 in the section semifinals. A victory in that game would be rewarded with another home appearance Nov. 5 in the 7-4A championship game. Bemidji will be the section's No.
The Bemidji swimming and diving team continued its successful season Tuesday as the Lumberjacks downed Bagley-Fosston 120-63 in front of a Parent's Night crowd at the BHS pool. Bemidji won six events including the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. Kenzie Timms, Danielle Hoven, Steph Frey and Maris Jahner combined to win the 200 free relay in a time of 1:47.36.
Bemidji's trio of Jenna Truedson, Bailey Drewes and Kim Truedson finished strong once again and their efforts helped the Bemidji girls cross country team capture second at Tuesday's four-team meet at Greenwood Golf Course. Moorhead took the title with 27 points while BHS was second with 42. Detroit Lakes had 62 and Trek North 120. Lumberjack Jenna Truedson was the individual winner as she completed the 4-kilometer course in 15:15.22.
Max Hazelton scored 23 minutes into the first half and Connor McNallan stopped a penalty shot in the second period to power the Bemidji boys soccer team to a 1-0 victory Tuesday in the Section 8A semifinals at Sartell. The victory vaults the Lumberjacks into the section title game which will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Bemidji Middle School field. Fans planning to attend are reminded that, because it is the section championship, admission will be charged.
The MEA break traditionally signals the end of the regular season for many high school programs and that is the case in Bemidji this fall. The tennis team has already concluded its campaign as the Lumberjacks finished second in the 8AA team tournament and the doubles tandem of Cortne and Jessica Solberg placed third in the individual tournament. The girls soccer team saw its season come to a conclusion last Thursday when it dropped a 2-1 shootout decision at Detroit Lakes.
Steph Frey considers swimming a full-time occupation and the Bemidji sophomore knows how she wants to be compensated. "My goal is to rewrite the entire Bemidji record board and I want to do that soon," Frey said prior to Monday's practice. "If I can get all of the records now I can work on breaking all of my own records and that would be quite fun, too." During Saturday's Section 8A True Team meet at UND Frey began her record-breaking quest. Early in the meet she won the 50 free in a time of 25.37.
During each of the first two games this fall, against Moorhead and Fergus Falls, the Bemidji offense was burned by a turnover in the final minute of the first half which the opponents turned into points. Fortunately, the Lumberjacks were able to overcome those gift points on each occasion. Friday night at St.