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BEMIDJI SPORTS HISTORY

Betsy McDowell, a pioneer and an official founder of Bemidji State women’s athletics, trailblazed competitive avenues for every single female athlete at BSU -- past, present and future.
The truth of the matter is that Minnesota football’s state championship dates back more than a century. Albeit unsanctioned, Bemidji High School has its fingerprints all over those early years, and buried beneath the confetti of recognized champs is one titan that defeated every team in its path.
On May 7, 1932, the Bemidji Daily Pioneer dedicated Page 2 of the newspaper for an advertisement of an upcoming Land O’ Lakes League game between Bemidji and Blackduck. Local downtown businesses got behind the excitement of Opening Day, offering a dozen goods and services to whoever seized their enticing prizes.
Mark Evenson was a central part of youth baseball in Bemidji before the dedication of the Mark Evenson Memorial Fields that now bear his name.

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When local sports fans hear that a game is at “The Chet,” chances are they know exactly where to go.
For the past four years, Jerry Phillips (BHS class of 1964) and Larry Higgins (1961) have invited interested BHS athletes from the 1960s to get together and reminisce about the heydays of BHS basketball and other highlights of their high school careers.
Prior to a fabled Hall of Fame career in the NFL and his strong-as-an-ox notoriety, Bronko Nagurski made his home in the First City on the Mississippi as a high school senior. Nearly a century later, he stands as Bemidji’s best-ever football player to never play for the Lumberjacks.
Jim Carrington, the baron of Bemidji sports and a 52-year scribe for the Pioneer sports department, died Saturday, July 2, at the age of 93. His legacy is comparable to that of Paul Bunyan in the eyes of many who competed under his dedicated watch.
Not only is Jim Carrington's impact in Bemidji gargantuan, but his effect on Minnesota’s sports reporting has reverberated for decades. But Jim also had an effect on many people personally. Stories that don’t ever get told. I want to share mine.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, at First Baptist Church in Bemidji.

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In the 50 years since its implementation, Title IX has given countless Lumberjacks and Beavers the opportunity to pursue sports they love. It’s not always been a smooth road -- nor has it always been perfectly equal -- but it’s a critical fight for the respect that Title IX promises.
While Bemidji High School and Bemidji State can’t lay claim to a huge presence in the NFL, the First City on the Mississippi has produced a few players who have reached as far as the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Since the early days of Beltrami County, baseball has been a favorite summer pastime for family get-togethers, county fairs, small-town rivalries and other celebrations.

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