Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Today's forecast includes a chance of snow but Bemidji baseball coach Mike Fogelson is hoping that the weathermen are wrong. He wants to be able to play today's game at Fergus Falls. 'We want to get back onto the field," Fogelson, whose team has been off since April 27, said. "We had a lighter week scheduled and then we had last Friday's games against Alexandria postponed. We don't want to lose another game because of the weather." BHS owns a 5-3 record and was playing well in its recent starts. "We want to pick up where we left off," he said.
Adam and Ben Holter combined for second place at first doubles and teammates Levi Richert and Craig Lindseth duplicated that finish at second doubles to lead the Bemidji boys tennis team at Thursday's Northwest Quad hosted by Thief River Falls. BHS placed third with eight points. Thief River Falls dominated the action and won with 20 points while Crookston was second with 12.
Dick Beitzel and Willie Stittsworth have been associated with Bemidji State University and its athletic program for decades. Both were professors at the university, Beitzel teaching chemistry from 1957 to 1989 and Stittsworth in the education program from 1967 to 1989.
Scott Engelstad is hoping for a break in the weather today as his Bemidji boys tennis team is scheduled to head to Thief River Falls for the annual Northwest Quad meet. Joining Bemidji will be the host team, East Grand Forks and Crookston. The Lumberjacks have been off since April 27 when they visited Detroit Lakes. A meet at Thief River Falls on April 29 was a weather victim and Bemidji has been dodging raindrops since then. "We could be rusty," Engelstad said.
The Bemidji boys track and field team recorded four individual event championships and also won the 4x400 relay at Tuesday's Brainerd quadrangular. The home team and Sartell shared the team crown with 200 points while Bemidji tallied 182 and Detroit Lakes 80. In the girls division the Lumberjacks collected one individual title, Allie Heifort in the shot put. Sartell captured the team title with 229.5 points and Brainerd was second with 169.17.
During the past eight days the percentages have caught up with the Bemidji softball team. "We had a great April as far as getting in games but the last week of April and so far in May it's been a struggle," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "And Tuesday was another example." On April 26 the Lumberjacks blitzed St. Cloud Tech 11-0 in St. Cloud.
After an unexpected few days off the Bemidji high school teams have a busy week in store, beginning today when the softball team hosts Grand Forks Red River and the track teams head to Brainerd. Because of last week's steady rain, the softball team has been off since April 26. In between the Lumberjacks saw Thursday's home game against Duluth East and Friday's game at Grand Forks Central become weather victims. Bemidji (7-2) will entertain Red River beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday sees BHS visiting Moorhead at 5 p.m. and the Jacks will head to Brainerd 5 p.m.
A shorthanded Bemidji girls golf team competed at Headwaters Golf Course in Park Rapids Monday and the Lumberjacks finished sixth in a 10-team field. Last Saturday at Grand Rapids BHS also was shorthanded because of prom. The result was an 11th-place finish in the 14-team field. "The school had advanced placement tests Monday so we only had four varsity girls play at Park Rapids," said BHS coach Jeff Nelson. "We probably would have finished 25 shots better had we had everybody but we did fine. I'm pleased with the way the kids played.
The weather was the big winner Friday although the Bemidji girls golf team was able to conduct its annual tournament at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. The rain forced postponement of a pair of home events, the softball game against Grand Forks Central and the baseball doubleheader against Alexandria. Also postponed was the track and field meet at Brainerd. That competition has been rescheduled for Tuesday. The softball game will not be made up while the baseball doubleheader will be played May 14.
Surrounded by his parents and others who have helped pave the way, Bemidji High School swimmer Matt Wilcox signed a letter of intent Thursday at the high school to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. next fall. Wilcox is coming off a senior season which was capped by the individual 100-freestyle championship at the MSHSL state meet. He also finished second in the 200 and helped the Lumberjacks place second at state in the 400 free relay and third in the 200 free relay. "It takes good coaching and many good people to get as far as I have," Matt Wilcox said.