Page 1







B1 • Thursday, December 7, 2017




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WINTER SPORTS 2017-18 Boys hockey..................................B2 Girls hockey..................................B2 Boys basketball...........................B3 Girls basketball............................B3 Boys swimming and diving......B4

Wrestling ......................................B4 Gymnastics ...................................B5 Dance team...................................B5 Nordic skiing................................B6


BHS Winter Sports Spotlight

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The Bemidji Pioneer


Jacks strive toward the top of tough 8AA section By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski BEMIDJI — The Bemidji High School boys hockey team plays in an extremely competitive Section 8AA, and this season is no exception. With Moorhead considered one of the best teams in the state and several teams not far behind, the Jacks hope to be the team with the first-place hardware in late February. “The section’s gonna be very tough,” head coach Eric Monsrud said. “You got Moorhead and Roseau and Brainerd and St. Michael-Albertville and those other teams down there. St. Cloud actually has a good club, too. It’s gonna be tough. Section 8 is gonna be a tough section to play in, and we know that as a club and we’re gonna be prepared for it.” The Lumberjacks lost last year’s top three leading scorers, Alex Pollock, Brady Tatro and Chase Hartje, and they don’t expect to have any individual players or a specific line that’s going to outshine the others. Therefore, every player who touches the ice is going to have to do his job in order for the team to keep the puck out of their own net, bury it in the opposing net and win games. “I think it’s gonna be a collective effort,” said

Boys Hockey Schedule NOV. 28 NOV. 30 DEC. 2 DEC. 5 DEC. 7 DEC. 12 DEC. 16 DEC. 19 DEC. 21 DEC. 27 DEC. 28 DEC. 29 JAN. 4 JAN. 6 JAN. 9 JAN. 13 JAN. 18 JAN. 26 JAN. 27 FEB. 1 FEB. 5 FEB. 8 FEB. 10 FEB. 13 FEB. 16

at Warroad W, 3-0 BRAINERD L, 0-2 BLAKE W, 3-0 MOORHEAD L, 0-3 DULUTH EAST 7 p.m. at Thief River Falls 7:30 p.m. at Rogers 3 p.m. at East Grand Forks 7:30 p.m. ROSEAU 6 p.m. Duluth Hilltopper Classic TBD Duluth Hilltopper Classic TBD Duluth Hilltopper Classic TBD at St. Cloud 7:15 p.m. SARTELLST. STEPHEN 6 p.m. at Crookston 7:30 p.m. at Buffalo 3 p.m. EAST GRAND FORKS 7:30 p.m. ALEXANDRIA 7:30 p.m. ST. MICHAELALBERTVILLE 3 p.m. at Roseau 6 p.m. at Grand Rapids 7:30 p.m. WARROAD 6:30 p.m. at Hermantown 3:15 p.m. at Moorhead 6 p.m. THIEF RIVER FALLS 7:30 p.m.

Monsrud. “I think there’s gonna be a bunch of guys that are gonna do it. We’re not just going to rely on one line to score. It’s gonna have to come from two or three lines. And defensively speaking, we’re not gonna score a ton from the point, but you’re not going to have defensemen that do score a lot. “But we’re gonna be good, we’re gonna be tough in our own zone, we’re gonna play tough and we’re gonna understand how to get pucks deep.” If there’s one certainty with the Lumberjacks lineup, it’s who’s going to strap on the pads between the pipes. Now a senior, Matt Fitzgerald was among the best goalies in the state last year with a 2.06 goals against

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are Andrew Dondelinger, Andrew Johanns, Brock Waldhausen, Matt Fitzgerald, Carson Kelm, Kyle Martens and Darius Stamps. In the second row are Blaine Sauer, Casey McNamara, Matt Gish, Kellen Tharaldson, Zak Justice, Trevor Loewe, Nick Mannausau, Ethan Lund, Vinny Tesch, Ryan Pogue and Chase Mock. In the third row are Cole Matetich, Michael Villireal, Josh Baker, Ryan Jones, Tate Hammitt, Ty Tobey, Hunter Olson, Michael Tews and Hunter Marcotte. In the back row are Dylan Perreault, Riley Berg, Ben Mackenroth, Thomas Olson, Taylor Andersen, Chase Fillipi, Joseph Fletcher, Tanner Hammitt and Reid Colley. average and a .922 save percentage. He finished the season with an 8-9-1 record in net. Fitzgerald also had three shutouts last year, a feat he’s almost already reached again this year having recorded shutout wins over Warroad and Blake. “We’re set for goaltending,” Monsrud said. “We have a good No.1 in Matt Fitzgerald, and our backup – we have a couple kids that are vying

for that position. So right now goaltending is good for us.” Fitzgerald wears the “A” on the left shoulder of his jersey, while the “C” went to senior Ryan Pogue this season. On what he wants to get out of his final season as a Lumberjack, Pogue said, “Just to have a lot of fun with the buddies I grew up playing 10 years of hockey with and just have a great year.” And on a more team-

based note, he wants the team to earn a trip to the Xcel Energy Center in March. “Our goal is to make it back to the state tournament, but first thing’s first, we just have to take care of every game one game at a time and just keep moving forward,” he said. The success of the Lumberjacks this season will come down to younger players stepping into a varsity role and contrib-

uting to filling the scoring void left by Pollock, Tatro and Hartje. “I have high expectations for these kids,” said Monsrud. “These expectations that we have set for them – and some of these expectations these kids have set for themselves – they’re all attainable goals that they can achieve. It’s just a matter of sticking together, playing together and being a family and in the end we’ll be OK.”


Bemidji looks to replace leading scorers By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski

games, the offense came alive against Detroit NOV. 10 EAST GRAND FORKS L, 0-2 L, 0-6 NOV. 14 GRAND RAPIDS Lakes, resulting in BemiL, 1-4 NOV. 16 THIEF RIVER FALLS dji’s first win. L, 2-4 NOV. 18 WOODBURY BEMIDJI — The Bemidji L, 0-7 NOV. 21 at Roseau Sophomore Austyn High School girls hockL, 1-10 NOV. 28 at Warroad W, 4-3 DEC. 1 DETROIT LAKES Tobey had two goals in ey team had its top two L, 0-7 DEC. 5 at Thief River Falls the 4-3 overtime win, 7:30 p.m. DEC. 8 BRAINERD scorers in Rachael Holm 7 p.m. DEC. 12 CROOKSTON while defenders Jacie Lalli and Paige De La Hunt 6:30 p.m. DEC. 15 WARROAD DEC. 22 NORTH WRIGHT CO. 7:30 p.m. and Gracie Fisher added graduate this past spring, DEC. 28 Armstrong/Cooper Tourney TBD DEC. 29 Armstrong/Cooper Tourney TBD goals of their own. leaving the door open for DEC. 30 Armstrong/Cooper Tourney TBD Prior to the game the next group of players 6:30 p.m. JAN. 2 MOORHEAD 7 p.m. JAN. 4 at Park Rapids against the Lakers, Reito step up and produce in 1 p.m. JAN. 6 ALEXANDRIA JAN. 9 INTERNATIONAL erson said he the team the offensive zone. FALLS 7:30 p.m. had “a few players that “Our seniors last year 7:15 p.m. JAN. 12 at River Lakes 7:30 p.m. JAN. 16 ROSEAU have competed and gave we’re Rachael Holm, 7 p.m. JAN. 18 at Crookston 7:15 p.m. JAN. 23 at Detroit Lakes 110 percent throughout Paige De La Hunt, Ellie 4 p.m. JAN. 27 at Moorhead the first six games. We Hanson, and Madison FEB. 2 PARK RAPIDS 7 p.m. need the rest of our team Schultz,” BHS head coach Casey Reierson said. included No. 5 East Grand to see these on ice leaders “Most of our goals last Forks, No. 7 Thief River and follow suit.” After experiencing the season came from Holm Falls and No. 1 Warroad. and De La Hunt. We need “Having a tough sched- complete team effort they Photo courtesy of Lifetouch some girls to fill the role ule at the start of the year needed to top Detroit of putting the puck in the can be a positive and a Lakes, the Jacks hope they Pictured from left to right in the front row are Nettie Kimble, Becca Josefson, Gracie net.” negative,” said Reierson. can keep that momentum Fisher, Maggie Marcotte, Austyn Tobey and Brooklyn Delap. In the second row are At this point in the “Our girls can see the going into the next few assistant coach Laura Carleton, assistant coach Becca Gregg, head coach Casey Reierson, assistant coach Rob Aitken, manager Mckenzie Jordahl and manager year, it still isn’t appar- level of play they need to games. In just his second year Jordan Swenson. In the third row are Eva Laituri, Jemma Copiskey, Jacie Lalli, ent who will fill that role, be at, but they can also but that’s partly due to be disheartened by the at the helm of the girls Shannon McBride, Maddie Hanson and Meray Eichstadt.In the back row are Marryn the difficulty of the Jacks’ games that go into the team, Reierson said this Willberg, Kali Kelm, Alexis Leitner, Hannah Eller and Olivia Johnson. loss column.” year “has been just as schedule so far. and we have came togeth- that have been presented. new challenges and that’s After scoring just four busy as the first.” The six losses that led to an 0-6 start to the year goals over those six “My staff is amazing er to solve new problems Every year will present why coaching is so fun.”

Girls Hockey Schedule


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The Bemidji Pioneer

BHS Winter Sports Spotlight

Thursday, December 7, 2017 B3


Lumberjacks feel good about 2017-18 Bemidji hopeful newcomers step up this season

Boys Basketball Schedule DEC. 1 INTERNATIONAL FALLS W, 83-35 DEC. 8 at Sauk Rapids-Rice 7:30 p.m. DEC. 9 at St. Cloud Apollo 12:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. DEC. 12 at Little Falls DEC. 16 SARTELL-ST. STEPHEN 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. DEC. 19 DETROIT LAKES DEC. 22 BEMIDJI INVITE TBD TBD DEC. 23 BEMIDJI INVITE JAN. 5 at St. Paul Johnson 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. JAN. 9 at Moorhead JAN. 11 GRAND RAPIDS 7:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. JAN. 16 at Grand Rapids JAN. 18 at Pequot Lakes 7:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. JAN. 23 at Staples-Motley JAN. 25 at Thief River Falls 7:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. JAN. 27 ALEXANDRIA JAN. 29 EAST GRAND FORKS 7:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. FEB. 2 at Superior (Wis.) FEB. 3 at Hermantown 2 p.m. FEB. 8 DULUTH EAST 7 p.m. FEB. 12 THIEF RIVER FALLS 7:30 p.m. FEB. 17 FERGUS FALLS 3 p.m. 7:30 p.m. FEB. 20 MOORHEAD FEB. 27 at Brainerd 7:15 p.m. 7:30 p.m. MARCH 1 at Detroit Lakes

By Micah Friez BEMIDJI — The Bemidji High School boys basketball team doesn’t have much experience at the varsity level, but BHS head coach Travis Peterson said that shouldn’t be a factor this season. “They’re ready to step in. They’re quite mature, actually,” he said of his newcomers. “Despite not having a lot of varsity experience, I think they have a lot of basketball experience. Kids know how to win. That’s gonna translate pretty well for us.” The Lumberjacks are coming off an 18-9 season from a year ago, but will have to fill the gaps left by seven departed seniors. Stepping in to fill those shoes this season will be a pair of seniors. “Leadership from the few guys that are back, that have varsity experience, is going to be key. We’re counting on our captains, Jace Peterson and Linaes Whiting, for that,” coach Peterson said. “It’s a long season, and we want to have fun. We’ve got a

really nice bunch of kids… There’s been a lot of positive energy in the gym, but also getting after it, too.” Bemidji has five seniors in total: Peterson, Whiting, Tanner Hatfield, Joel Lindsey and Dominic Needham. Whiting returns as the leading scorer, racking up 13.2 points per game as a junior last season. Jace Peterson totalled 4.9 ppg, while Ryan Bieberdorf had an average of 3.8. “We’re looking for kids to step into roles with confidence. That’s the message we’ve given them,” coach Peterson said. “To come in and play with no fear and give it their best shot.” BHS will likely have to compete with its speed this season, coach Peterson said. “A strength is going to

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are manager Maycie Malterud, manager Cody Rieger, Ben Hess, Jace Peterson, Quincy Wilson, manager Andrew Thompson and manager Laura Thompson. In the middle row are Nick Snell, assistant coach Mike Rettinger, assistant coach Rob Mahto, head coach Travis Peterson, assistant coach Steve Thompson, assistant coach Guy Schermerhorn, Silas Hess, Joel Lindsey and Kade Peterson. In the back row are Ryan Bieberdorf, Tanner Hatfield, Cobb Hubbard, Colten Jensen, Spencer Konecne, Dominic Needham, Cole Milz and Linaes Whiting. be our quickness. We’re guard-heavy, and we’re going to try and use that to our advantage,” he said. “I like our depth. We’ve got a number of kids who I feel comfortable putting out on the court. That’s surprising maybe to hear for a team that hasn’t had a lot of varsity experience. But, like I said, they’ve got a lot of basketball experience.”

And even though the official season is only a few weeks in, it started long ago for BHS. “Guys are really glad to be back. We had a real strong summer, I thought, with our development,” coach Peterson said. “It’s been good. It’s been a lot of fun times in the gym… There’s been a lot of positive energy.” The Jacks kicked off the

season with a dominant 83-35 win over International Falls on Dec. 1. They look to keep their momentum alive for a 7:30 p.m. game at Sauk Rapids-Rice on Friday, Dec. 8. And although the season is just now kicking off, Bemidji’s biggest aspirations will be to carry momentum into postseason play. “Our goal every year is

to try and contend for a section title. I think we’re in as good of a place as we’ve been to do that this year,” coach Peterson said. “It’s been a long time since Bemidji has won the section. Last year we took a step in the right direction, but we don’t want to wait any longer to get to the state tournament.”


Lumberjacks embracing the chaos Bemidji looking to build off last season

NOV. 28 DEC. 5 DEC. 8 DEC. 9 DEC. 12 DEC. 15 DEC. 16 DEC. 19 DEC. 21 DEC. 27 DEC. 28 JAN. 4 JAN. 6 JAN. 9 JAN. 12 JAN. 16 JAN. 23 JAN. 26 JAN. 27 FEB. 1 FEB. 9 FEB. 10 FEB. 13 FEB. 20 FEB. 23

THIEF RIVER FALLS L, 67-57 at Hibbing L, 68-73 at St. Cloud Apollo 7:30 p.m. at Sartell-St. Stephen 2 p.m. PEQUOT LAKES 7:30 p.m. at Princeton 5:45 p.m. at Willmar 4 p.m. DETROIT LAKES 6 p.m. at Thief River Falls 7:30 p.m. NORTH ST. PAUL 8 p.m. (Bemidji Invitational) PARK OF COTTAGE GROVE 5 p.m. (Bemidji Invitational) STAPLES-MOTLEY 7:30 p.m. at Cloquet 5 p.m. at Sauk Rapids-Rice 7:15 p.m. BRAINERD 7:30 p.m. at Little Falls 7:15 p.m. GRAND RAPIDS 7:30 p.m. HOPKINS 7:30 p.m. ALEXANDRIA 4:45 p.m. DULUTH EAST 7 p.m. at Detroit Lakes 7:30 p.m. at Crookston 2:30 p.m. EAST GRAND FORKS 7:30 p.m. at Grand Rapids 7:15 p.m. MOORHEAD 7:30 p.m.

junior standout Rumer Flatness went down with a season-ending ACL injury. But now, Schreiber is looking for others to step up in her place in the wake of even more chaos. “We went into the season hoping to get to the section championship game, and we’re still hoping to get to the section championship game,” he said. “We might not have as many wins throughout the course of the year, but maybe we will. It’ll depend on if people can step up. “It’s not going to be one player that plugs that big hole. It’s going to be pieces of each one that plugs that hole. If we can get that taken care of, we’ll be just fine. We have a lot of good basketball players on our team.” The Jacks have five seniors on the roster: Samantha Edlund, Kennedy Mills, Ciara Cermak, Klaryssa Whelan and Morgan Schlee. Of the returners, Flatness scored a team-high 12.1 points per game. With the injury, however,

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are Katie Alto, Lindsey Hildenbrand, Ciara Cermak, Macy Flatness, Gabbi Takkunen and Kennedy Mills. In the middle row are Allison Beard, Rebecca Matheney, Samantha Edlund, Taylor Wade and Rumer Flatness. In the back row are assistant coach Morgan Beattie, manager Maddie Hirt, Klaryssa Whelan, Morgan Schlee, Mackenzie Nicklason and head coach Steve Schreiber. Whelan will come back with the highest average at 4.4 points per game. Edlund and Cermak followed with 3.4 and 3.1, respectively, while Mills scored 13 total points in two games before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. “We’re hoping for Sam and Kennedy to take the leadership roles that they’ve accepted over the summer,” said Schreiber. “I’m hoping Ryssa will step up and be the scorer that we’ve seen her be in JV. Allison Beard can definitely be one of those players, as well.” BHS started its season with a 67-57 loss to Thief River Falls. They returned to action at Hibbing on Tuesday, Dec. 5, falling



don’t know that there’s any reason why we should change our hope for a winning season and that section championship game.”

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son, Schreiber believes in the rest of his core. “With Rumer, we thought we were a 16-20win team,” he said. “I

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73-68 to the Bluejackets. And although the Lumberjacks will be competing without Flatness on the floor throughout this sea-


By Micah Friez BEMIDJI — The chaos will be back in more ways than one for the Bemidji High School girls basketball team this season. The infamous Chaos Group — a five-player substitution of younger Lumberjacks sent in to cause turnovers and speed up the opponent — will have a different look this year. And BHS head coach Steve Schreiber said it’ll be harder to see coming, as well. “It’s going to be in a little bit different capacity,” he said. “We have plans of making some tweaks here and there, where maybe we’re not super predictable with it. And maybe it’s not only five girls who are in it… It’ll probably be less than we did last year, but a lot less predictable, as well.” The Jacks are coming off a 14-13 season a year ago, Schreiber’s first at the helm of the program. And this year, he hopes to build off last season’s campaign. “I really just want improvement. That was my push last year, and I felt like we really grew from the first game to the last game,” Schreiber said. “I didn’t think the improvement would be quite as steep this year, but now, with the new situation, it could be even stepper. Girls will have different roles that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.” That change in plans came during Bemidji’s season opener, when

Girls Basketball Schedule




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BHS Winter Sports Spotlight

Thursday, December 7, 2017


The Bemidji Pioneer


‘Growing numbers and growing talent’ By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski BEMIDJI — Following a solid year in which Sam Hendricks made a state tournament appearance in the 500-yard freestyle, the Bemidji High School boys swimming and diving team hopes to be bigger and better this season. “We have many guys who like to work hard, who support each other and who want to succeed,” head coach Kristen McRae said. “I feel we have a highly competitive group and they push each other. The best part about our sport is we don’t have a bench. All our guys will be able to compete and showcase their skills in meets and as coaches we will be able to see marked improvements.” This season’s captains are seniors Haakan Thorsgard, Gabe Goodwin and Hendricks, while the other returning letterwinners include senior Brock Michalicek, juniors Luke Yartz, Brekt Thorsgard, Jonathan Berglund, Al Goodwin and David Forte, as well as freshman Aiden Saari.

Boys Swimming and Diving Schedule DEC. 7 BRAINERD 6 p.m. 6 p.m. DEC. 12 THIEF RIVER FALLS DEC. 15 PARK RAPIDS 6 p.m. 6 p.m. DEC. 19 at Detroit Lakes DEC. 28 at Brainerd Noon JAN. 6 at West Fargo (N.D.) 10:30 a.m. JAN. 12 BEMIDJI INVITE 5 p.m. JAN. 16 at Thief River Falls 5:30 p.m. JAN. 20 Section 5A True Team (at Alexandria) 10 a.m. JAN. 23 at Fargo South (N.D.) 5:30 p.m. 6 p.m. FEB. 1 at Park Rapids FEB. 3 at Hibbing 9 a.m. FEB. 8 DULUTH EAST 5 p.m. FEB. 23 Section 5A Meet (at Alexandria) TBD FEB. 24 Section 5A Meet (at Alexandria) TBD MARCH 2 A State Meet TBD

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are Braden Olson, Teddy Sollom, Nikita Graves, Laurits Holmen, Nicholas Haubrich, Al Goodwin, Brock Michalicek, Haakan Thorsgard, Aiden Saari and Teagen Fenske. In the middle row are Kalden Michalicek, Garrisen Fredriksen, Jared Vannoy, Cameron Munter, Gabe Goodwin, David Forte, Jonathan Berglund, Kade Black and Xavier Michael-Young. In the back row are Freddie Petrowske, William Englehardt, Sam Hendricks, Daniel Tobon, Adam Laakso, Toby Glen, Luke Yartz and Brekt Thorsgard. Not pictured are Jared Port, Jaxon Leindecker and Sunny Charakuru. “Haakan Thorsgard is a great leader on the diving board for us,” McRae said. “He is experienced and has set his goals high. Sam Hendricks and Gabe Goodwin are really taking lead in the water

with setting the tone at practices and making the new guys feel welcome. Luke Yartz just works hard. He is a leader with his work ethic and he is very supportive as well. All the guys from the past

season are enthusiastic and eager to get back to training.” Hendricks was the lone swimmer at the state meet last March, taking 15th in the finals of the 500 free race with a time

of 5:08.16. This year, the Jacks hope to have a few more athletes join him. “With growing numbers and growing talent, I hope we are able to move up as a team at sections and get some more kids

down to the state competition in March,” McRae said. “So far practices have been a blast. Having fun and swimming fast go hand in hand...and I want the athletes to be proud of what they accomplish on a daily basis and have fun while doing it.” The Lumberjacks open the season Thursday, Dec. 7, in Brainerd. “We have many challenges ahead and an awesome group to coach,” McRae said. “Going to practice is a highlight of ours. When you like your teammates, when you enjoy who you work with, coaching is easy. We are lucky to be a part of this sport together.”


Lumberjacks eye section title By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are manager Maddie Willard, Riley Faris, Cale Newby, Noah Leffelman, Seth Newby, Brecken Wilcoxen, Darren Roth, Robby Strand, Owen Seitz, Seth Sisneros and manager Sarah Bunich. In the second row are assistant coach Byron Willard, head coach Rance Bahr, assistant coach Jerry Cleveland, Dane Jorgensen, Anthony Mix, Chance Hinrichs, Jon Solum, Nicholas Mutchler, Nate Golden, Bryce Golden, Jason Snidow, Jamethin Booge, assistant coach Mark Smith, assistant coach Taylor Jurek and assistant coach Brian Solum. In the third row are Aidan Helwig, Will Faldorf, Alex Lazella, Dylan Cleveland, Justin Nelson, Clay Olsen, Caleb Bahr, Alan Wouri, Chase Smith and Joe Hudson. In the back row are Nic Geiger, Isaac Klajeske, Colton Hinrichs, Codie Desrosier, Hunter Schoenborn, Kaleb Beam, Ryan Yang, Peter Moen and Tyreece Smith.

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Wrestling Schedule DEC. 1 DEC. 7 DEC. 8 DEC. 9 DEC. 12 DEC. 14 DEC. 16 DEC. 22 DEC. 28 DEC. 29 JAN. 5 JAN. 6 JAN. 12 JAN. 16 JAN. 18 JAN. 20 JAN. 30 FEB. 2 FEB. 9

at Melrose PERHAM, TRF at Brainerd Invite at Brainerd Invite at Detroit Lakes at Grand Rapids at Anoka Invite at Foley Rumble on the Red (Fargodome) Rumble on the Red (Fargodome) RICK LEE INVITE (Sanford Center) RICK LEE INVITE (Sanford Center) BGMR HIBBING, PEQUOT LAKES FRAZEE at TRF Invite BRAINERD at Moorhead at DGF

1st 5 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10:30 am. 6 p.m. 4 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 5 p.m.



TBD TBD TBD TBD 7:30 p.m. 6 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 10 a.m. 5 p.m. 5 p.m. TBD


Good Luck! Bemidji High School For current updates on all the events please visit



opportunity it can to improve as the season moves along. “Early in the year, we focus on conditioning or cardio, things like that,” Bahr said. “Later in the year, we’ll be building on strength and basically treating every meet that we have as a practice and looking at things that we can improve on after every meet and focusing on that.”


mores and five freshmen. “We have a strong junior class,” said Bahr. ”The strengths for our team this year is our balance and our depth. We have over 40 kids out in the high school room, ninth through 12th grade. Several strong wrestlers at most every weight.” The Lumberjacks got the season started on a high note by taking first place at the nine-team Melrose Early Bird Invitational. Bemidji will use every


BEMIDJI — Seniors Jon Solum and Hunter Schoenborn are the only two seniors on the Bemidji High School wrestling team, but the Lumberjacks have high expectations for themselves heading into the winter season. “Our goal as a team is to place at the state tournament this year,” head coach Rance Bahr said. “We feel that we have a team that definitely can do that. There’s definitely some strong teams in our section that we’ll need to get through to accomplish that, but we feel that we can get there.” To get through to the state tournament, the Jacks need to come out of the Section 8AAA tournament on top, which means they’ll need to get past teams such as Willmar, St. Cloud Tech and Sartell-St. Stephen. Individually, the wrestlers expected to compete with the state’s best are Schoenborn and junior Chance Hinrichs. Schoenborn is ranked 10th in the 195-pound weight class, according to the Nov. 24 post on, while Hinrichs is eighth among 152-pounders. After the pair of seniors, the BHS roster is made up of 10 juniors, five sopho-






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The Bemidji Pioneer

BHS Winter Sports Spotlight

Thursday, December 7, 2017 B5


Young gymnasts to be tested on small BHS squad By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski BEMIDJI — The Bemidji High School gymnastics team will rely on young talent this season, as the roster features just two seniors, two juniors and no sophomores. “We have a very small team this year,” head coach Briana Fleischhacker said. “After graduating a large chunk of seniors, our numbers are down. So, if injury hits us hard, we may have a difficult time putting together our varsity squad.” The Lumberjacks’ constant goal, Fleischhacker said, is to break the team’s meet score record, which sits at an even 140 points. Last year, they came within a point of the mark, posting a 139.425 in Detroit Lakes. This year, Bemidji will rely on senior captains Tara Tesch and Brooke Hildenbrand to lead the less experienced gymnasts. “Our seniors and captains are the leaders of the team this year,” Fleischhacker said. “Tara Tesch and Brooke Hildenbrand. Along with them, our Junior Elizabeth Corradi brings experience to the team. “We had a young group of girls last year, and that

Gymnastics Schedule DEC. 8 DEC. 12 JAN. 6 JAN. 13 JAN. 19 JAN. 23 FEB. 3 FEB. 8 FEB. 17

PARK RAPIDS 6 p.m. BRAINERD 6 p.m. at Princeton 12:15 p.m. at Moorhead 11 a.m. at Fargo South (N.D.) 5 p.m. at Detroit Lakes 6 p.m. DETROIT LAKES 2 p.m. at Park Rapids 6 p.m. Section 8AA Meet (at Buffalo) Noon

same group now makes up a majority of our team. We are hoping all of our eighth and ninth graders continue to show varsity level skills and are ready to complete them with confidence now that they all have a year of competing for BHS under their belt.” The freshmen on the team include Lauren Lundquist and Sophie Morin, while Lauren Berg, Leah Lucas, Madysen Schmidt and Tatum Offerdahl make up the eighth grade class. Kaitlyn Tennyson joins Corradi in the junior-class duo. Although this year’s team is small and young, the Jacks do have experience to draw from. “Our strength is that all of our girls have a really strong gymnastics background,” Fleischhacker said. “This makes training new skills a lot easier and they pick up on new techniques quickly.” Tesch and Offerdahl are expected to lead the team on the bars this season. Schmidt will be a leader

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are Leah Lucas, Sophie Morin and Lauren Berg. In the middle row are Tatum Offerdahl, Tara Tesch, Kaitlyn Tennyson and Lauren Lundquist. In the back row are Brooke Hildenbrand, head coach Briana Fleischhacker, assistant coach Danny Schmidt, assistant coach Amy Carey and Madysen Schmidt. Not pictured is Elizabeth Corradi. on the floor, while Lundquist is one to watch on the floor, the vault, and all around. The balance beam event is up for grabs by any of the Lumberjacks, said Fleischhacker. The team’s goal for the

season is simply to keep building skills and get better at the sport. “As a team we are hoping to develop our confidence this season as well as get after that record,” Fleischhacker said. “We would love to send individuals to state again and

we are working towards walking away from every competition feeling proud of our performance.” The Jacks open the season at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 when it hosts Park Rapids at Bemidji High School. “We are starting this season with a few inju-

ries from the off season and illness which is difficult considering our small numbers,” Fleischhacker said. “But we remain optimistic that the girls we have are ready and willing to fight to be a top team in our section.”


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Pictured from left to right in the front row are Chantal Christofferson, Calista Liapis, Maggie Metson, Tayah King, Aren Steever, Mattea Carlson and Kasey Stokes. In the second row are Madisyn Gregg, Morgan Johnson, Bethany Chatterton, Kianna Cerven, Marissa Schulman, Jayda Moen, Abigail McBride, Kylen Fenson, Nevaeh Ophus and Madison Huber. In the third row are Aubrie Smith, Allison Declusin, Abbie Clague, Brianna Shaw, Tessa Large, Jordyn Cave, Ciara Reller, Piper Braun and Samantha Krueger. In the back row are JV coach Mariah Moen, JV coach Michelle Anderson, Tori Warne, Madeline Kuechenmeister, Shayla Montgomery, Paige Beighley, varsity coach Krista Grover and varsity coach Amanda Everhart. 877-755-5337 755 Paul Bunyan Dr NW, Bemidji 218-444-4663 755 Paul Bunyan Dr NW, Bemidji

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ronment,” Grover said. “We are also really focusing a lot on conditioning and strengthening the dancers as they’re getting a little bit older and their bodies can handle a little bit more.” This year, BHS will field varsity and junior varsity jazz teams, but combine all kick dancers into one varsity team. Along with the addition of eighth graders Piper Braun, Madisyn Greg, Taya King, Maggie Metson, Jayda Moen and Aubrie Smith, the coaching staff also has two new faces, assistant coaches Amanda Everhart and Michelle Anderson. As for the team’s goal for the season, Grover said the Jacks hope to finish in the top half of the teams at the section meet.


at Melrose at Rogers at Alexandria at Bloomington Kennedy at Anoka at Monticello Section Finals (at Forest Lake)


DEC. 16 JAN. 4 JAN. 6 JAN. 12 JAN. 13 JAN. 27 FEB. 3


BEMIDJI — The Bemidji High School dance team has many underclassmen on the roster, but what they lack in experience, they make up for in hard work, focus and work ethic. “Things are looking really well,” head coach Krista Grover said. “The girls are looking great. We have a young team. We pulled up a lot of eighth graders this year from the middle school, but they’re all doing really well. We’re pushing them hard. We have two new coaches on staff this year, and it looks like it’s going to be a really good year. We’ve got a lot of strong dancers, and we have a lot of determined, focused dancers.” The Lumberjacks’ captains this season are Shayla Montgomery and Mattea Carlson — who also captained last year’s squad — as well as junior Calista Liapis. Although the first meet isn’t until Dec. 16 in Melrose, the Bemidji team has already been practicing for weeks in order to get both its kick and jazz routines as sharp as possible before competition. ‘We’re focusing a lot this year on our team mentality and keeping positive attitudes and keeping a positive, growing, encouraging envi-

Dance Schedule


By Ryan Pietruszewski rpietruszewski


Thursday, December 7, 2017

BHS Winter Sports Spotlight


The Bemidji Pioneer


Nordic skiing teams aim high after successful 2016-17 season

Photos courtesy of Lifetouch

Pictured from left to right in the front row are Daniel Roberts, Zac Fouquerel-Skoe, Paulo Tinsay, Thomas Saxton, Nathan Vleck and Nick Youso. In the middle row are assistant coach Nina Lubarski, Soren Dybing, Logan Jensen, Sam Schultz, Joel Roberts, Riley Schollett and head coach Mark Walters. In the back row are Hayden Holmes, Nick Palmer, Kyle Dahl, Timothy Youso, Ryan Turner and Sam Hodgson.

BEMIDJI — After making its first appearance at the state championships in nearly 30 years last winter, the Bemidji High School girls Nordic skiing team will look to its younger members in the hopes of booking a return trip. The Lumberjacks took 16th in their team debut at state following their second-place finish at the Section 8 meet, but will be missing some of the skiers that propelled them to state. “We’re definitely (in) a little bit of a deficit on the girls side because we graduated so many seniors last year,” Mark Walters said. “But we did retain I would say two out of the top four last year anyway that are returning. Hopefully with their leadership and role modeling, it’s going to really help get some of the younger girls to step it up a little.” Sadie Hamrin will return to Bemidji for her senior year after finishing 80th at the 2017 state championships at Giants Ridge near Biwabik. Along with Hamrin other state skiers back in the fold for the Jacks include junior Kinley Prestegard (100th at state), sophomore Gwendolyn Youso (130th) and Sara Pollock (158th). The Bemidji boys team did not qualify for state as a team last season, but the Lumberjacks will be bringing back both of their individuals that competed at the meet. Seniors Soren Dybing and Timothy Youso will

Nordic Skiing Schedule DEC. 9 DEC. 12 DEC. 16 DEC. 20 DEC. 30 JAN. 2 JAN. 6 JAN. 9 JAN. 17 JAN. 20 JAN. 23 JAN. 30 FEB. 6 Falls) FEB. 14

carry multiple years worth of state-tournament experience into the 201718 season. Seniors Sam Hodgson and Nick Palmer, and junior Zac Skoe will also add experience as upperclassmen on a team that, just like the girls team has many younger members. Additional practice would be beneficial to the less seasoned members of the BHS teams, but a recent lack of snow in Bemidji has not created the best training circumstances for the team. “I’m not really sure what’s going to come out of some of the freshmen or some of the newer people to the team,” Walters said. “Time is going to tell. We’re definitely at a snow shortage here at the moment, but it’s early. Another week of this might be a little stressful.” While the skiers have to make do with dry-land training, Walters says he is aiming for Giants Ridge once more. “The goals we have for the team are to try to get both teams as one of the top two teams in the section,” Walters said, “and see if we can get returning teams to the state meet for sure.”

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Pictured from left to right in the front row are Shanna Eberwine, Ella Martin, Maggie Brown, Demi Fisher and Lily Krona. In the middle row are Kinley Prestegard, Sara Pollock, Damaris Berg, Mia Pettermann, Isabelle Meyer and Mara Carrasco. In the back row are head coach Mark Walters, Gwen Youso, Alyse Stone, Meg Nijenhuis, Sadie Hamrin, Peyton Oelrich and assistant coach Nina Lubarski.


at Ely TBD at Detroit Lakes 10:30 a.m. MONTEBELLO RELAY 10 a.m. at Grand Rapids TBD at Brainerd 10 a.m. at Fergus Falls 1 p.m. at Mesabi East 10 a.m. at Detroit Lakes TBD at Little Falls 10 a.m. BUENA VISTA MEET 10 a.m. at Moorhead 2 p.m. at Alexandria 2 p.m. Section 8AA Meet (at Fergus 10 a.m. AA State Meet Noon


By Austin Monteith amonteith

2017 BHS Winter Sports Spotlight