SPORTSLINE: Senior Hockey tournament set in Bemdji next weekend

The Bemidji Senior Hockey Association will sponsor its fifth annual Invitational tournament next weekend. The meet is for players 50 and older with games to be played Friday through Sunday at the John Glas Arena. Players from Minnesota, North Dak...

The Bemidji Senior Hockey Association will sponsor its fifth annual Invitational tournament next weekend.

The meet is for players 50 and older with games to be played Friday through Sunday at the John Glas Arena.

Players from Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado will participate ranging in age from 50 to 85.

The public is invited to witness the games with admission through a donation of a non-perishable food item to the Bemidji Food Shelf program. Boxes for these donations will be available at the entrance to the BSU arena. Last year the tourney raised more than $1,000 in foodstuffs for the program.

In a move begun last year, players register individually rather than as teams. They are then rated and assigned to teams in an effort to balance the competition. There will be more than 80 players this year with six teams battling for the title.


There will be three games Friday starting at 5 p.m., three Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. and three more Sunday starting at 9 a.m.

The Bemidji contingent will include Bob Aitken, Bryan Grand, Tom Kaplan, Keith Holman, Will Najjar and John Sorenson on the Falling Stars.

Jim Ballan, Bob Hagge and John Heineman play on the Golden Nuggets.

Jim Clarke, Alan Killian and Bob Lehmann play on the Gray Blades.

Jody Borowski is on the Hooking Hacks, Roger Hellquist and Dave Johnson on the Rusty Blades and Tim Port, Curt Hendrickson, Jim Humeniuk, Gary Port and Rob Zavoral on the Stuck Sticks.

Tim Port, Borowski, Aitken and Lehmann will tend goal for their four teams.

Clarke is tournament director.

Special Oly meet


The Bemidji Special Olympics Team will host the Area 2 Special Olympics Aquatics Competition March 2 at the high school pool. The races will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help run the meet. This event is the first of four area competitions Area 2 will host each year including athletics, bocce ball and bowling.

Needed are 35-40 volunteer helpers to serve as timers, starters, escorts and Red Cross certified lifeguards. All volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Contact Melanie Hyoheisel at 877-201-9984 or by e-mail at .

Sayonara HOL

The highly regarded Heart O' Lakes Football Conference has officially ended.

Growing disparity in enrollment has taken its toll.

Frazee and Agassiz Valley opted to move to the new Northern Plains Conference while Roseau and Perham left to join the Northern Lakes leaving only four teams, too few to maintain a league.

Breckenridge, DGF, Pelican Rapids and West Central will seek new alliances. They may have to apply to the Minnesota State High School League to gain entrance in another league for the 2008 season.


Spuds girls dwindle

Despite continued success in the Section 8AA and Greater Minnesota hockey races, Moorhead continues to struggle for numbers in its girls hockey program.

Of the 10 teams in the section, Moorhead has the fewest number of players -- 16 -- and no longer can field a JV team. Bemidji has the largest turnout, 36.

The 16 is the lowest number Moorhead has had in its 12 seasons of play. Brainerd is the next smallest with 20.

The difference is in the youth programs, where Bemidji is strong and growing stronger each year. Moorhead's numbers in the girls ranks are declining.

Of Moorhead's 86 youth players in the 14-U ranks and younger nearly half (41) are 8-and-under.

Cost is listed as one of the reasons for the dropoff together with the tendency to view female athletics as less important than male athletics, certainly in sports that are more physical in nature, said Spuds Coach Jim MacFarlane.

He cited Duluth, which has four high schools but has dropped to a single high school team.


McFarlane would like to see 25-30 girls at each age, level but skates between 15 and 20 right now.

Cage tournament

The Grand Forks Amateur Basketball Tournament (formerly the Grand Am) will be held March 23-25 with an entry of $175 before Feb. 19 and $200 afterward.

The deadline is March 9. Divisions will include Recreation, Commercial, A, Open, 30+, 40+, 50+ women's Open and Recreation.

Contact Dan Cwikla at the Center Court Fitness Club at (701) 746-2790.

BYBA meeting

The monthly meeting of the Bemidji Youth Basketball Association will be held Wednesday at 6:30 at Lueken's North Deli.

All parents of Bombers cagers are invited to attend and take part in the work of the basketball group that promotes play for boys and girls in grades 5-9 to complement their elementary and Middle School seasons.


For further information, call Wally Treat.

New transfer rules

The MSHSL has recommended major changes to the transfer rule.

The major component is a one-year ineligibility for athletes who change schools without a change of residence. It was approved unanimously by the League' s Board of Directors.

The changes now go before the MSHSL's 48-member legislative body, which will vote on it March 16 with a two-thirds vote needed for passage. If approved, it would take effect March 30.

Currently, athletes can transfer once without penalty. The second transfer carries a half season's ineligibility.

The change means that once a student starts ninth grade, he or she would be ineligible for one year it should the student transfer without a change in residence by the family.

The new rule will apply to both public and private schools and will be in effect only for varsity athletes.


Atchison hits 500

Willmar's girls basketball coach Brad Atchison recorded his 500th coaching victory in the Cardinals' 61-35 win over Little Falls, only the fourth girls basketball coach in the state to attain that mark.

Another is Carol Visness of Kittson County Central, who has 554. Ironically the 500th win came one game after Atchison lost his 200th game when Willmar fell to St. Cloud Tech.

Matmen honored

Twenty-nine Grand Rapids wrestling alumni were honored during the Skip Nalan Invitational last month. Among them were present Rapids coach Dan Jinks (1973), assistant coach Tuffy Hoard (1966), Nalan's son John (1983) and well-known referee Don Kuusinen (1963).

Special recognition was given to the first Rapids mat coach Glen Swenson, who was inducted in April into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Miller gains final

Bemidji heavyweight Chris Miller of Itasca Community College reached the finals of the Jamestown Invitational before bowing 6-2. He won three matches to gain the final with two falls and a 1-0 decision. Teammate Aaron Young captured the 184-pound title for Itasca, the only community college to take part in the event.

What To Read Next
Get Local