June 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 June.

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Bemidji's Jacob Kelly (left) runs in the 110-meter hurdles during the Class AA state track and field meet Saturday, June 19, 2021, at St. Michael-Albertville High School. (Joe Ahlquist / Forum News Service)
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As spring sports hit their peak, plenty of new trophies and medals will make their home in Bemidji.

High school sports dominated the circuit, and the community came out for a number of events that ranged from youth to amateurs.

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 June.

June 2: Bemidji returns to the throne, wins long overdue Section 8AA title


Bemidji had waited long enough for a section championship, and that drought finally ended with a 5-2 victory over Alexandria in the Section 8AA title match. The team paid homage to the 2020 seniors that lost their season and to their former coach, the late Mark Fodness. READ MORE

June 3: Bemidji’s Filippo Buffo crowned Section 8AA singles champion

Filippo Buffo capped a 24-hour span for the ages in Bemidji tennis history. The Italian exchange student left no doubt in the Section 8AA individual singles tournament, blitzing through the field in straight sets and becoming the program’s first singles champion in at least 40 years. READ MORE

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Bemidji senior Filippo Buffo returns a volley in a singles match against Brainerd in the Section 8AA Team Tournament on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at the BHS tennis courts. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

June 4: Bemidji bucks trend, knocks defending champs from playoffs with 8-2 win


The Lumberjacks finally ridded themselves of a playoff plague, beating Little Falls 8-2 in a win-or-go-home Section 8-3A Tournament game. BHS beat the Flyers for the first time since 2004 and avenged season-ending losses against Little Falls in 2016, 2018 and 2019. READ MORE

June 10: Bemidji burned 10-9 in dramatic Cardinal comeback

In 97-degree heat, Bemidji was red-hot at the start of a Section 8-3A Tournament elimination game against Alexandria. The Cardinals slowly came back, turning the game into a back-and-forth thriller that finally ended against BHS. READ MORE

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Bemidji sophomore Isabelle Neadeau celebrates after scoring in the first inning against Alexandria in a Section 8-3A Tournament elimination game on Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Sartell. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

June 12: Red Lake’s Karen Guise in select company as state qualifier


Red Lake’s Karen Guise won a playoff hole at the Section 8A Tournament, rightfully earning her spot at the Class A state tournament. Guise, who is believed to be only the second Warrior girls golfer to reach state, tied for 26th at state after firing a 190. READ MORE

June 19: Lumberjacks rack up hardware at strong state showing

Bemidji’s track and field teams proved to be among the state’s best at the Class AA state meet. To highlight the bunch, the boys 4x800 relay team, Lauren Berg in 300-meter hurdles and Jacob Kelly in 110-meter hurdles all clinched top-five marks in all of Minnesota. READ MORE

June 23: Gigi Marvin, Matt Cullen hit the ice at Bemidji youth hockey clinic

Who better to learn from than a couple Minnesota hockey legends? Professionals Gigi Marvin and Matt Cullen came to Bemidji for a youth hockey clinic at the Bemidji Community Arena, with about 250 children between ages 5-14 attending the camp. READ MORE

Professional hockey player Gigi Marvin works on a drill during a camp hosted by Sanford POWER on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

June 25: Lumberjacks place 11th at clay target state tournament

Bemidji boasted its accuracy among the best of the best, placing 11th at the MSHSL clay target state team tournament. Taylor Kehoe led the Jacks by hitting 97 of 100 targets, and the team combined for a score of 468. READ MORE

June 29: The good, the bad and the wild of 2020-21 Bemidji High School sports

Take a look at all that was in BHS sports during one of the most unprecedented school years in memory. The Lumberjacks found plenty of ways to make history and win championships -- even amid a pandemic. READ MORE

June 29: Blue Ox draw packed crowd for community night

Many members of the community met the Blue Ox, Bemidji’s amateur baseball team, at a packed BSU baseball field. The celebration was met with an autograph session, kids running the bases and a close game to boot. READ MORE

Ranger Ganske has his foam finger signed by Babe, the Blue Ox’s mascot, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, during Blue Ox Baseball Sanford Family Night at the BSU baseball field. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Micah Friez is the sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he joined the Pioneer in 2015 and 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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