Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Meg Phelps begins her initial round at the state Class AAA girls golf tournament 8:15 a.m. today at Bunker Hills. Phelps will return to the course Wednesday for her second 18 holes. The Bemidji junior qualified for today's state meet by placing in the top-five at last week's Section 8AAA competition. Prior to making the trip to Bunker Hills, Phelps admitted that a state meet appearance came as a shock. "I didn't expect this," Phelps said.
Behind a pair of event championships courtesy of Analisa Huschle, the Bagley-Fosston girls track and field team captured third place at the state high school Class A meet. The Flyers finished with 44 team points and were only two points shy of second place which was won by Kasson-Mantorville. Luverne won the state with 54 points. Park Rapids tied for 16th with 17 points while Walker-Hackensack-Akeley tied for 50th with five points. Huschle successfully defended her state championships in the long jump and triple jump.
The Bemidji baseball team finished the year 13-9 and, considering the makeup of the team, coach Mike Fogelson was pleased with the season's results. "Of course we wanted to extend the season all the way to the state tournament but I'm very happy with the way the kids played," Fogelson said. "We had mostly younger kids in the lineup and, rightfully so, they received a ton of playing time which helped them develop." The Lumberjacks will lose three seniors who saw extended playing time, Matt Hietala, Josh Kane and Paul Voss.
The Bemidji VFW baseball team begins its season Monday at Perham and the home opener will be Thursday against Fergus Falls. The majority of this year's roster features 15-year-old players and the only returning players are Collin Leif and Mason Bellew. "Last year we had many younger kids that we pegged for this year's high school varsity," said VFW coach Brad Johnson. "The group I have now is young and I will have most of them for two years.
Bemidji's 4x800-meter relay team bettered its state qualifying time by more than one second and finished sixth in a very fast field at Saturday's state track and field meet at Hamline. The Lumberjacks were seeded third in the state field by virtue of their Section 8AA winning time of 7:58.50.
If familiarity translates into success, it was only fitting that veteran Bemidji anglers Dave Hanson and Bob Strand captured the championship of Saturday's 10th annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic on Lake Bemidji. A few years ago Strand retired from the DNR Fisheries Division and he was the Bemidji Regional Fisheries Supervisor when he decided to trade the company pen for a fishing pole. Hanson practically was raised on Lake Bemidji and he knows the habits and haunts of Bemidji walleyes as well as anyone. "I used to guide on Lake Bemidji 50 years ago," Hanson recalled.
The Bemidji track and field athletes failed to qualify for their event finals during Friday's state meet. The Lumberjacks will hope for better results today when Allie Heifort competes in the shot put at 9 a.m. and the boys 4x800 relay team hits the track at 9:13 a.m.
The track and field season at Bemidji High School will end this weekend as the Lumberjacks will send seven athletes to the state meet at Hamline. "The kids have worked hard all year for this opportunity and now I want them to reap the rewards," said BHS boys coach Steve Sneide.
Last week Cass Lake-Bena captured the sub-section baseball title by stopping Fosston 5-1 but Thursday the Greyhounds collected revenge when it mattered as Fosston defeated the Panthers 4-2 in the Section 8A championship game at the Bemidji State University diamond. Thursday's win vaulted Fosston into next week's state tournament while CL-B fell one game shy of a state experience for the second consecutive season. Cass Lake-Bena ended a memorable campaign with a 25-1 record while Fosston will take a 19-5 mark into its state tournament opener. Greyhound pitcher Gavin Ross confused the usually
The Bemidji Legion baseball team opened its season Tuesday night with a rain-shortened 4-1 victory at Thief River Falls. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was a weather victim. Tonight the Legion is scheduled to head to Brainerd for a twinbill but Brainerd was involved in the Section 8AAA baseball playoffs Wednesday and how it fared in that game would influence today's schedule. Moorhead and St. Michael-Albertville squared off in Wednesday's elimination game and that winner played Brainerd.