Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Fresh off Monday's doubleheader sweep at Detroit Lakes the Bemidji VFW heads to Fergus Falls today for a pair of games beginning at 1 p.m. Bemidji will take a 4-0 record into the twinbill following Monday's 11-3 and 28-14 victories. In Monday's nightcap Bemidji scored 10 runs in the second inning to forge a 10-2 advantage but saw Detroit Lakes answer with 12 runs in the next three frames to regain the lead. The VFW countered, however, with eight in the fifth and settled the issue with nine in the seventh. "The way I look at it, you are never out of a game," VFW coach Brad Johnson said.
Gordy Skaar had a sense of humor and Friday at the fundraising golf tournament that bears his name Skaar, who died in 1992, played a joke on the field of 200. The golfers did not have to contend with tornado-laden skies, large hailstones or buckets of rain. They did, however, have to adjust to winds in excess of 30 miles per hour which continually blew off Lake Bemidji. "In all the years of this tournament we never have had to cancel it because of weather," said Dick Robbins who was a committee member for 10 years. "Each year we ask Gordy to give us good weather.
Tuesday's doubleheader sweep of Roseau that didn't end until 10:30 p.m. may have taken a toll on the Bemidji Legion baseball team. Wednesday the Legion played "sluggish baseball", according to coach Mike Fogelson, in a doubleheader loss at Little Falls. The home team took the opener 10-3 and captured the rematch 7-2. "Little Falls is a good team and they got after us late in each game," Fogelson said. "Little Falls hit the ball and we struggled defensively.
The final numbers haven't been crunched yet but preliminary estimates indicate that last weekend's Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic generated about $30,000 for local charities. "It was a great day for the fishermen, the crowd and the charities," said tournament coordinator Bob Fitzgerald. The event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, was won by a pair of veteran local anglers - Bob Strand and Dave Hanson.
Everything is set for today's 33rd annual Wells Fargo/Gordy Skaar Memorial golf tournament which will be hosted by the Bemidji Town and Country Club. Each team consists of five golfers who will play a scramble format. The morning session, which begins at 7:30 a.m., will feature 13 teams while another 27 teams will tee off at 12:30 p.m. "This year we have more than 200 golfers registered," said tournament committee member Scott Robbins. "The field is larger than last year and includes many regulars plus some new golfers.
Mike Hruza was raised in the woods and on the water and even as a youngster he knew that his perfect profession would involve those environments. "When I was in high school I wrote in my senior yearbook that I wanted to be a game warden," Hruza said. And for 24 years and four days that's what Hruza was. "Many of the new COs (conservation officers) consider it a job but for me it was a lifestyle," Hruza, who retired a few weeks ago, said. "For all these years I was Mike the game warden. But now I'm not.
A trio of Cass Lake-Bena golfers began their state tournament experiences Wednesday at Pebble Creek in Becker. In the Class A girls division, Ann Aitken shot 43-47-90 and enters today's action tied for 12th in the 87-girl field. Kelsey Ross of Osakis took the individual first-day lead as the junior shot 36-39-75. A distant second at 40-40-80 was Kathryn Kennedy of Providence Academy. In the boys division, Dakotah Brunelle is tied for 26th with a 40-42-82.
Meg Phelps shot 42-48-90 Wednesday in the final round of the state Class AAA golf tournament held at Bunker Hills and the Bemidji junior finished her first experience at the state meet with rounds of 89-90-179. "Everything went very well," said BHS coach Jeff Nelson. Phelps agreed with her coach's assessment. "I had a good two days," she said.
Tyler Follis belted a 2-run round-tripper in the sixth inning to power the Bemidji Legion team to a 9-7 win over Nisswa in the second game of Monday's doubleheader in Nisswa. The home team took Monday's opener 12-2. Tuesday the Legion stopped Roseau 10-3 in the first game of a scheduled home doubleheader.
Meg Phelps carded a 43-46-89 Tuesday during the first round of the 36-hole girls state Class AAA golf tournament at the par 36-37-73 Bunker Hills Golf Course. "For her first round of the state meet, Meg played well," said Bemidji golf coach Jeff Nelson. "Before the round I thought the best we could hope for was about an 86 so an 89 is a very good score." Phelps, a junior, putted 36 times during her 18 holes. Her round included seven 1-putts but also five 3-putts and a 4-putt. The 89 puts Phelps in a tie for 43rd in the 88-player field.