Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Most of the area volleyball teams begin section tournament games Thursday while Bemidji will wait until Friday before it opens its postseason. The Lumberjacks were ranked third in the North 8-3A and will open their tournament 7 p.m. Friday at No. 2 Alexandria. If the Lumberjacks (14-14) can defeat the Cardinals they will return to the court 8 p.m. Tuesday, most likely at St. Michael-Albertville. SMA is the top seed from the South sub-section and will play either No. 4 Sauk Rapids or No. 5 Apollo Friday. If SMA and Bemidji both win the Jacks would head to St. Michael.
Bemidji defender Tony Smith was honored at a ceremony in the Twin Cities Monday by being named to the All-State Class A boys soccer honorable mention team. Smith was nominated by his coach Rick Toward who submitted his name to the Lakes to Prairie Conference coaches. The coaches submitted his name and qualifications to the Section 8A representatives who, after weighing everyone's qualifications, selected Smith and three other players to the All-State team. Smith is the fourth Lumberjack during the past five years to earn All-State laurels.
The season has ended for three of the Bemidji high school fall sports teams but for the volleyball, football and cross country squads the road to the state tournament begins this week. The swimming and diving team continues its regular season with weekend meets at Grand Rapids and Buffalo. The Lumberjacks will begin their taper early next month as they prepare to compete in the section meet on Nov.
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.