March 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 March.

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Bemidji State celebrates at the final horn following a 6-3 victory over Wisconsin in the NCAA East Regional semifinals at Bridgeport, Conn., on Friday, March 26, 2021. (Greg Vasil / Special to the Pioneer)

March was, in a word, crazy.

The winter sports season came to a climax during the month, seeing the Beaver men’s hockey team make a run to the NCAA Tournament and a number of high schoolers compete at the state level.

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 March.

March 6: Hammitt family repurposes John Glas Fieldhouse boards for their backyard rink


Bryan Hammitt’s passion for hockey has turned into an annual tradition in his backyard. The Bemidji State alum has repurposed the boards and nets once found in the John S. Glas Fieldhouse and converted them into an ice rink in his backyard. READ MORE

March 8: Blue-collar effort earns Bemidji 4-2 win over Alexandria

Tanner Rebischke came up with 31 saves, helping Bemidji boys hockey to a hard-earned 4-2 win over Alexandria. Even when the Cardinals were blitzing BHS in search of the game-tying goal down the stretch, Rebischke made a few standing-on-his-head, won’t-be-denied kind of stops to preserve the victory. READ MORE

March 12: When the sports world stopped spinning

March 12, 2020, was the day COVID-19 first crashed down on Minnesota high school and college sports. On the one-year anniversary, a look back at the mayhem that was and the resiliency shown ever since. READ MORE


March 12: Nick Youso, Bemidji hit historic benchmarks at state meet

Nick Youso claimed Bemidji boys Nordic skiing’s highest individual finish at the state meet in 22 years. The senior finished 14th as the Lumberjacks placed eighth, their best showing since 2007. Youso’s time of 21:09.5, plus Logan Jensen’s time of 21:37.3, gave them each all-state honors as top-25 placewinners. READ MORE

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Bemidji senior Nick Youso tucks as he glides down a hill during the classic race at the boys Nordic skiing state meet at Giants Ridge on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jed Carlson / Forum News Service)

March 21: Tom Serratore, Beavers happy to be invited to Big Dance

The NCAA Tournament selection show confirmed what Tom Serratore already expected: The Beavers’ long-awaited return to the Big Dance was here. Bemidji State earned an at-large bid to the national tournament as one of the final teams revealed on Selection Sunday. READ MORE


March 23: Cass Lake-Bena dominates Red Lake 77-31 for 8A East championship

Cass Lake-Bena boys basketball handed Red Lake its worst loss in four years, going on what felt like a game-long run in winning the 8A East subsection crown on its home court. The Panthers went on 13-1 and 19-0 runs in the first half, putting things well out of reach by halftime. READ MORE

March 26: Bemidji State stuns Wisconsin 6-3, advances to NCAA East Regional final

The BSU men’s hockey team busted brackets across the country by dominating top-seeded Wisconsin and sending Hobey Baker favorite Cole Caufield packing. Ethan Somoza scored twice and assisted on another goal in the statement win. READ MORE

March 26: Cass Lake-Bena claims 1st section crown since 2005, punches ticket to state

For the first time in 16 years, the Cass Lake-Bena girls basketball team celebrated as section champions. The Panthers topped Stephen-Argyle 65-55 for a perfect run through the Section 8A field, and CLB marched to state for the fourth time in program history. READ MORE


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Cass Lake-Bena girls basketball players celebrate after winning the Section 8A championship game against Stephen-Argyle Central on Friday, March 26, 2021, at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. (Hannah Olson / Bemidji Pioneer)

March 26: Alexandria’s talent, pedigree survive Bemidji in Section 8-3A championship

The Bemidji High School girls basketball team made an impressive run to the section title game and came one win away from a state berth. Alexandria, the 8-3A powerhouse and repeat champions, proved too talented for the rest of the section, but the Lumberjacks are setting their sights on bigger things long-term. READ MORE

March 27: Bemidji trio shines in program’s greatest state performance

Lauren Berg, Mady Schmidt and Tatum Offerdahl all did something that no Bemidji High School gymnast had ever done before this season. All three clinched top-15 individual finishes at the Class AA state meet, led by Berg tying for fourth on vault, in perhaps the program’s greatest day ever. READ MORE


March 29: Beavers split in first home games since 2019

For the first time in 702 days, the Bemidji State softball team found itself in its home dugout. The Beavers split a doubleheader against Minnesota Crookston with an 8-4 win and 4-3 loss, but the biggest victory of the day was their return to a diamond that had long been waiting for them. READ MORE

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Bemidji State senior Gabi Bingham runs to first base during game two of a doubleheader against Minnesota Crookston on Monday, March 29, 2021, at the BSU softball field. (Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer)

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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