Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The Bemidji junior varsity tennis team hosted five squads Thursday in a doubles invitational and Bemidji's second doubles tandem of Cassie Bucher and Lauren Lund went 5-0 in the round-robin event. Joining the Lumberjacks were Brainerd, Moorhead, Roseau, Greenway-Coleraine and Grand Rapids. At first doubles Olivia Dickinson and Annika Johnson finished 3-2.
The Bemidji High School soccer teams will enjoy the home spotlight today when they host Little Falls in a varsity doubleheader. The girls will open the day with a 4 p.m.
The competitive fall sports seasons at Bemidji High School officially began Monday when the girls tennis team captured second place at the eight-team Pine City tournament. BHS scored 24 team points and trailed only Blake which had 31. Mounds Park Academy placed third with 22 and Staples-Motley tied with Rochester Lourdes for fourth with 18. Trailing the pack were Litchfield with 17, Holy Family Catholic with 12 and Pine City with five. The tennis team will be in action again Saturday at the Crookston Invitational.
Despite having only one week of practice the Bemidji girls tennis team impressed its coach Monday at the Pine City Invitational. "It was a long day but the girls played very well," said Lumberjacks coach Mark Fodness. "The format was a best-of-three with no adds and a tie-breaker for the third set.
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.
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.
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.
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.