Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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The Bemidji softball team outlasted the elements and Thief River Falls Thursday as the Lumberjacks posted a 9-6 victory in Thief River Falls. "What a brutal day," said BHS coach Brad Takkunen. "I have to commend the girls for dealing with the conditions. It was raining, wet and cold.
Today's weather forecast calls for a break in the dreary, wet conditions that have enveloped northern Minnesota for much of May. And the Bemidji High School teams hope the forecast is accurate. Thursday's rain cost the BHS baseball team another doubleheader as the weather washed away a scheduled twinbill at Grand Forks Central. In order to be at their best for the post-season the Lumberjacks need some games and today they are scheduled to host Alexandria in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.
It has been a confusing spring, even for the shiner minnow. "The water temperature was about 59 degrees at the end of April and now it is in the low 50s," said Donnie Ellis of Cass Lake who makes his living trapping minnows. "The shiners were close to spawning in April but the spawn has been put on hold because of the colder water.
The Bemidji track and field teams head to NDSU today for the 8AAA True Team meet while the softball team will try again to play a game, this time at Thief River Falls, and the baseball squad has a doubleheader scheduled at Grand Forks Central. The track teams have been off since May 4 when they participated in a meet at Brainerd.
Moorhead appears to be among the teams to beat in the section boys golf scene but Bemidji made up some ground Monday at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. The Lumberjacks shot their best round of the spring, 316, and finished second in the 20-team field. BHS trailed only Moorhead which carded a 310. "You always like to win on your home track but Moorhead played very well and it's tough to beat a 70," said Bemidji assistant coach Ron Laituri, referring to Ryan Buckellow of Moorhead who finished with his 2-under-par round. "We would have liked to see a win but we fell just a little short.
Bemidji's boys tennis team hopes to regain its winning form today when it entertains Detroit Lakes and East Grand Forks in a triangular beginning at 2 p.m. The Jacks are coming off a pair of losses Saturday as they dropped a 6-1 decision to Thief River Falls and fell 5-2 to Monticello. Coach Scott Engelstad used two different lineups Saturday in an attempt to find the best match-ups. Ben Holter was among Saturday's bright spots as he captured a pair of wins at first singles.
Golf is a challenging game under perfect conditions. When you add rain, wind and cold being on the course can be a miserable experience. Friday the Bemidji boys golfers challenged the weather and nine other teams at a tournament hosted by Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo. The round was played in a steady rain and officials mercifully decided to trim Friday's round to nine holes. The tournament is scheduled to resume today with another 18 holes. "I wasn't upset when they said we'd play only nine holes," said Max Hazelton, one of Bemidji's golfers. "It was 33 degrees, rainy and windy.
The 24th annual Bemidji Area Take a Kid Fishing event will be June 9 and organizers are meeting each week to make sure that everything is in place for another successful day. "Take a Kid Fishing is alive and well," said Joe Clayton, who has been instrumental in the event's longevity and success. "Through thick and thin we've persevered and prospered." When a project is centered around a worthy cause, its survival rate is high. But in order for the project to flourish, dedicated volunteers are required. "We still have people from the first day involved in this year's event," Clayton said.
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.