Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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 set three school records to power the Bemidji swimming and diving team to second place at the Section 8A True Team meet Friday at UND. Park Rapids captured the team title with 1,167 points while the Lumberjacks finished second with 1,161. Completing the team scores were Warroad with 940, Perham with 797, Fosston-Bagley with 734, Thief River Falls with 653 and Crookston with 447. The meet went down to the final event which saw Bemidji capture the 400 free relay in a time of 3:52.24 and Park Rapids finish second.
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.
The Bemidji boys soccer team is 7-1 over its last eight games and during that span the Lumberjacks have allowed three goals. The streak has extended into the first two rounds of the 8A tournament and Thursday BHS posted its second consecutive section shutout when it blanked Detroit Lakes 1-0 in Bemidji. Thursday's victory vaulted the Lumberjacks into Tuesday's section semifinals at Sartell which was the top seed from 8A South and and defeated No.
Wadena-DC hasn't lost a match all year and it continued that streak Thursday when it swept Bemidji 25-13, 25-12, 25-7 Thursday in Wadena. "Wadena played very well and we were inconsistent," said BHS coach Teresa Colligan. The loss dropped the Lumberjacks to 11-12. Saturday Bemidji will be in Alexandria for an invitational. The Lumberjacks are in a pool with North St. Paul, Alexandria and Elk River.
The difference between a win and a loss in high school football often can be traced to one or two plays. Bemidji, for the most part, has made those plays while St. Cloud Tech has fallen short. That is why the Lumberjacks enter today's 7 p.m. game at Tech with a 5-1 record while the Tigers are 1-5. "Tech, traditionally, is a football powerhouse but this fall it is having a lean year," said BHS coach Troy Hendricks. "Instead of finding ways to win football games Tech is finding ways to lose." The Tigers opened the year with a 28-27 double-overtime loss to Sartell.
Jessica and Cortne Solberg enjoy being sisters and that relationship has translated into success on the tennis court. "Cortne and I do summer tournaments as a doubles team and 99 percent of the time we win," said Jessica. "We expect to play well." During the Section 8AA individual tournament at Sartell the sisters have done just that and today they will represent Bemidji in the section semifinals. As the top seed in the North bracket the Solbergs had a bye in the first round of the section meet.
The Bemidji boys cross country team placed third of 11 teams Tuesday at St. Cloud Tech while the girls were fourth. Moorhead took the boys crown with 34 points and Willmar was second with 76. BHS claimed third with 78 and completing the top five were Cathedral with 86 and Little Falls with 164. Glen Ellingson of Moorhead was the individual winner in a time of 16:16. Andy Berube paced the Jacks in seventh place (16:43).
The Bemidji tennis team fell one victory short of the state tournament as the Lumberjacks dropped a 5-2 decision to Brainerd Tuesday in the 8AA championship match in Sartell. "When we started the season in August our goal was to advance to the section final and we did that," said BHS coach Mark Fodness. "We put ourselves into a position to be in the championship match and we feel good about that." Tuesday was a very long day for the Jacks. It started at 9:30 a.m. with the team semifinals and a 4-3 win over St. Cloud Apollo.
Bemidji girls soccer coach Kelly Schoonover knew her team had not reached its potential during a 7-10 regular season and she was hoping the Lumberjacks would hit full stride in the playoffs. Tuesday at home against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy BHS did just that. "During the season it seemed as if we shortchanged ourselves," Schoonover said. "But tonight we left everything on the field." That 'everything' included a stunned Comet team which was left in the ashes following an 8-2 BHS victory. Tuesday's win vaulted the Lumberjacks into Thursday's quarterfinals, most likely at Detroit Lakes.