April 2021 sports stories of the month

Selected by sports editor Austin Monteith and sports reporter Micah Friez, here’s a look at some of the most noteworthy headlines you might have missed -- or just want to revisit -- from April.

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Bemidji State senior Maggie Hallock (21) dances as she’s introduced ahead of an exhibition game against Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

April brought on the transition from winter sports to spring sports, which allowed for a whole new batch of stories to be told.

High school spring sports got underway for the first time in two years, a few Bemidji State teams made waves and plenty more off the field was worthy of headlines.

Selected by sports editor Austin Monteith and sports reporter Micah Friez, here’s a look at some of the most noteworthy headlines you might have missed -- or just want to revisit -- from April.

April 9: UND lands former Bemidji State goalie Zach Driscoll


After leading the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament in March, senior goalie Zach Driscoll found a new home along U.S. Highway 2 by committing to North Dakota as a graduate transfer. The Apple Valley native has plenty of ties to the Fighting Hawks and, thanks to the NCAA adding an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, will play his fifth season in Grand Forks, N.D. READ MORE

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Bemidji State goalie Zach Driscoll (33) blocks a shot against Lake Superior State in the first period Friday, March 19, 2021, during the WCHA Tournament at the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Events Center in Mankato. (Jason Wachter / The Rink Live)

April 10: Beavers win springtime friendly in return to the pitch

The Bemidji State women’s soccer team celebrated its return to the pitch with a 1-0 win over Minnesota Duluth at Chet Anderson Stadium. But, more than Erin Becker’s game-winning goal, the Beavers celebrated the chance to play the game again. READ MORE

April 14: Oak Hills basketball player becomes ukulele star with 2.9 million TikTok followers


Jex Nwalor has reached so much fame on TikTok that he’s even got a ukulele named after him. The Oak Hills student and basketball player found his niche in music, and he has racked up nearly 3 million followers -- all from his dorm room in Bemidji. READ MORE

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Jex Nwalor, pictured playing his ukelele, is an Oak Hills Christian College student with over 2.9 million followers on TikTok. (Submitted photo)

April 16: 13 Bemidji High School sports face challenging class, section realignment

The Lumberjacks are widely facing new challenges after 13 teams were bumped up a class by the Minnesota State High School League’s bi-annual reclassification. Bemidji was just a handful of students over the limit to stay in their class for many sports, and, aside from football, every team will compete in the highest class during 2021-22 and 2022-23. READ MORE

April 16: Bemidji sweeps Spuds in long-awaited return to the field


It had been nearly two years without a game, but Bemidji baseball returned to the diamond with a bang. The Lumberjacks swept Moorhead 10-0 and 9-4 on Opening Day, sending themselves well on their way to a now-8-0 start to the season. READ MORE

April 18: Chris Swenson wins NSIC title; BSU comes within stroke of team championship

It’s been over a decade since any Beaver did what Chris Swenson did on the links. The Bemidji State senior became the program’s first individual NSIC champion by carding a 3-under-par performance at the three-round conference championships, two strokes ahead of second. BSU was one stroke shy of first-place Winona State for the team title. READ MORE

April 29: Ethan Biehn shines as ‘catalyst’ of Bemidji’s late win

Ethan Biehn was firing on all cylinders for Bemidji baseball, wreaking havoc at the bottom of the order and then on the basepaths as part of a 9-4 BHS win. The Lumberjacks scored four runs in the sixth inning for some late breathing room, and Biehn even recorded the final out from the mound. READ MORE


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Bemidji sophomore Ethan Biehn (4) makes a catch on second base in the second inning against Thief River Falls on Thursday, April 29, 2021, at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

April 30: Nicki Son breaks 80, places 2nd at Bemidji invite

Nicki Son had a career day on her home course, recording a sub-80 score with a career-best 77 at the Bemidji Invite. She was one stroke shy of first place on the individual leaderboard, and her performance served as proof of her steady leadership atop the BHS lineup. READ MORE

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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