BOYS GOLF: Bemidji finally returns home, showcases progress at BTCC invite
Bemidji endured another long spring inside, but those days are over at last. The Lumberjacks took to their home course at a drizzly BTCC on Monday, continuing their strong early-season form.
BEMIDJI – The Bemidji High School boys golf team endured another long spring inside, but those days are over at last.
The Lumberjacks took to their home course at a drizzly Bemidji Town and Country Club on Monday, continuing their strong early-season form. Coming off a first-place finish at the Park Rapids invite on Friday, BHS took third in an 18-team field, posting a team score of 319 strokes.
Moorhead (304) took the top spot in the meet, followed by Detroit Lakes (313). The Jacks also had a second team compete at BTCC, which took 13th place.
“It's good to see the ball again,” said senior Nick Yavarow, Bemidji’s top scorer at both tournaments. “The spring has kind of sucked, but finally being out and playing tournaments is good.”
Yavarow led the Lumberjacks with a 4-over-par 76 on Monday, tying for eighth overall among the individual field. Juniors Ryan Daman (80, tied for 17th) and Carter Fish (81, T-22nd) were the next-best finishers for BHS. Weston Seitz (82, T-28th) rounded out the Jacks’ top team score.
Moorhead’s Matt Gramer and Wadena-Deer Creek’s Cole Woods split medalist honors with even-par scores of 72.
Nick Carlson (84, T-39th) and Eli Tuomala (86, T-48th) also competed for Bemidji’s top squad.
“Their best (team score of 306) was Park Rapids on Friday, and that's even with (Daman) shooting a higher score than he normally does,” BHS head coach Seth Knudson said of his top group. “They have room to even go lower than that. But we have work to do. Today was 319, and so we’ve got to go out and work so we can consistently shoot those (low) scores.”
Randall Erickson and Graham Fish (both 85, T-43rd) led Bemidji’s second team. Logan Wilcox and Cal Barnes (both 91, T-72nd) completed that team score, with Austin Riewer (93, T-79th) and Noah Mannausau (114, 102nd) also competing.
The Lumberjacks have only been able to play on the full BTCC course for a short while, so they’re still getting used to components of the game that can’t be practiced on a driving range.
“That's always a tough thing, hitting inside and doing what you can,” Knudson said. “You take trips to Fargo and go hit at Suite Shots and stuff like that. You do what you can, but it's hard. Our course has not even been open for a week. And some of the things they're struggling with, putting and chipping and things like that, we just haven't had a lot of time to work on it. So hopefully now we can get grinding on that stuff and get better.”
For Yavarow, the Jacks’ captain and the only senior on the roster, the next few weeks before the Section 8-3A Tournament will be crucial to develop subtle skills that have atrophied over the long winter. He’s only got a short window left to maximize his high school golf career, which increases the sense of urgency.
“All the work we're putting in is showing,” Yavarow said. “(Friday) shows us that we can go that low, and I know that we still have quite a bit that we can still go even lower. We’ve just got to get all the guys going. But it’s a little bit of a breakthrough as a team, feeling good shooting that low. … You want it more knowing that you can.”
Bemidji returns to the links for the St. Cloud Tech invite at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, in St. Cloud.
Team Results (Top 10)
1-Moorhead 304; 2-Detroit Lakes 313; 3-Bemidji 319; 4-Pequot Lakes 321; 4-Roseau 321; 6-Barnesville 325; 7-Staples-Motley 327; 8-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 328; 9-Grand Rapids 331; 10-East Grand Forks 336; 13-Bemidji B 352.