February 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 February.

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Derek Thompson has endured the death of his best friend and his father in the past year, but he's leaned on his faith to persevere through trouble -- all while ascending the record books at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

February was one for the record books at both Bemidji High School and Bemidji State. Plenty of athletes stepped up and made the shortest month count, packing the calendar with notable stories and milestones that deserve recognition.

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 February.

Feb. 4: Historic night vaults Lauren Berg into class of her own

Lauren Berg has largely authored the Bemidji High School gymnastics record book, and none of it has been more noteworthy than February’s record-shattering performances. Yes, that’s a plural “performances,” because she broke her own vault record twice in three days. READ MORE


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Bemidji’s Lauren Berg performs a front handspring front on the vault in a meet against Brainerd on Feb. 4 at the Gym Bin. She set a school record with a 9.75 for the routine. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Feb. 5: Lumberjacks assemble deep lineups for another tri sweep

The Bemidji High School wrestling team had its home crowd buzzing with a miraculous comeback win over St. Michael-Albertville, one of the biggest wins on a resume that now boasts a 25-2 record. READ MORE

Feb. 6: Faith, loss fueling Derek Thompson’s rise through adversity

Derek Thompson has endured the loss of his best friend and his father in the past year. But in the face of trouble, the Bemidji State men’s basketball senior has matured his faith into his refuge and strength, all while ascending the record books at BSU. READ MORE


Feb. 6: Owen Sillinger registers 5 points to lift Beavers in 7-2 win

Owen Sillinger had a career night for the BSU men’s hockey team, becoming the first Beaver in 15 years to bag four goals in a single game. He also assisted his brother, Lukas, for another strike as Bemidji State rolled over Ferris State. READ MORE

Feb. 20: Derek Thompson breaks single-game scoring record in dominant grand finale

Derek Thompson wasn’t finished making headlines in February, and he saved his best for last. The senior forward scored 45 points in the season finale, breaking the 18-year-old program record of 44 behind a dominant afternoon in the post. READ MORE

Feb. 20: Beavers earn 1st-ever sweep at Michigan Tech with 2-1 win


The Bemidji State men’s hockey team went into Houghton, Mich., and became the school’s first-ever squad to walk out of Michigan Tech with a road sweep. The Beavers beat the No. 18 Huskies 4-1 in the opener behind Zach Driscoll’s 47 saves, and then Ross Armour netted the game-winner in the finale. READ MORE

Feb. 23: Bemidji sweeps medalist honors at Buena Vista Classic

The Bemidji High School Nordic skiing teams couldn’t have asked for better at a home meet at Buena Vista Ski Area. Both teams claimed first place, while Nick Youso and Madeline Simula were medalist winners in the boys and girls races, respectively. Youso has now topped the boys field in three straight meets. READ MORE

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Bemidji’s Madeline Simula climbs a hill during the Buena Vista Classic on Feb. 23 at Buena Vista Ski Area. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Feb. 23: Heart-stopping thriller turns against Bemidji in OT loss


The Bemidji High School boys basketball team played perhaps its best game of the season, an instant classic against section-favorite Alexandria. Both teams hit clutch shots, and the outcome wasn’t decided until the overtime buzzer finally sounded on BHS. READ MORE

Feb. 26: Beavers top CSP, reach conference semifinals in another historic step

The Bemidji State women’s basketball team reached the final four of the NSIC Tournament by knocking off Concordia-St. Paul 71-70 in the quarterfinals. The Beavers made the semifinals for the first time since 2004 behind the dynamic duo of Trinity Myer and Rachael Heittola. READ MORE

Feb. 26: Bemidji unleashes 16 goals in shutout win

Scorekeepers of Bemidji High School boys hockey games were busier than they’ve been in a very long time. The Lumberjacks scored 16 goals in a shutout win over Willmar, their most goals in a game since at least 2005-06. Five different players scored multiple goals in the blowout effort. READ MORE


Feb. 27: Armour nets OT goal in 4-3 Bemidji State win over No. 3 Minnesota State

Ross Armour was the hero at the Sanford Center, scoring the game-winning goal for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team in a 4-3 upset win over No. 3 Minnesota State. The goal avenged an MSU overtime win by the same score from two days prior. READ MORE

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The Beavers celebrate after defeating Minnesota State 4-3 in overtime on Saturday at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
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