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GOLF: BHS trio ready for state’s top competition

Bemidji High School golfers, from left, Damaris Berg, Bjorn Jorgenson and Taylor Offerdahl are set to take part in the Class 3A state tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12, at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. Offerdahl is making her third consecutive appearance, while Berg and Jorgenson will be making their debuts. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Despite each earning individual berths, three Bemidji High School golfers will be challenging Minnesota’s best alongside each other this week.

Senior Taylor Offerdahl and junior Damaris Berg will represent the BHS girls team at the Class 3A state golf tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12, and senior Bjorn Jorgenson will rep the boys squad.

“It’s nice being able to go down with some other people on the team,” Jorgenson said. “I can go to them for anything, if they have any advice on the course.”

Offerdahl enters as the veteran of the bunch, as she’s making her third straight appearance at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids.

“I know the course, and I know how to play it,” she said. “I’m hoping that my mental ability and my strength ability will help me out.”

Berg and Jorgenson, meanwhile, will be rookies to the state level. Berg said having a teammate alongside her will help with the whole experience.

“It’s a lot more fun,” she said. “… It’s great having someone else (so) we can chat. You don’t have to ride down by yourself, get nervous by yourself. She’s there to talk to.”

Jorgenson is in his first year with the Bemidji program, having previously golfed for Park Rapids. He said he’s excited to represent BHS in his state debut.

“I’m really excited to go down as a Lumberjack,” he said. “Especially to be able to go down as a Lumberjack for the last sport of my senior year.”

The trio qualified for state after successful Section 8-3A Tournament showings. Jorgenson reached with a fourth-place score of 146 on the boys side, while Offerdahl (163) and Berg (164) respectively finished in fourth and a tie for fifth on the girls side.

“It’s really exciting. Going as an individual is a big accomplishment,” Berg said. “Obviously, we wish we would have gone as a team, but as an individual is pretty big.”

They will have a practice round on Monday, June 10, and then the two-day state tournament will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-12. Offerdahl has set her sights on bettering her past performances.

“My goals are to beat the scores I shot the past two years, which I’ve beaten before,” she said, having two-day scores of 180 and 173 in her first two state appearances. “My main goal is to break 80. … I just hope that everything goes well.”

Jorgenson is scheduled to tee off from hole No. 1 at 8:51 a.m. Tuesday. Berg will start on hole No. 10 at 1:12 p.m., and Offerdahl will also open on the back nine at 1:21 p.m.

“I’m excited to play a new course,” Jorgenson said. “… I’d like to shoot low 70s at state. Just go out there, play golf.”

And although the Lumberjacks aren’t going down with the whole team, they’re still savoring the opportunity to compete as individuals at the highest level.

“I think it’s a great honor,” Berg said. “We’re representing our whole golf team. It’s pretty special.”

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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