Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, he is currently studying Creative and Professional Writing at Bemidji State. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.
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BEMIDJI -- Last year, a torn ACL kept Gabbi Takkunen from playing the game she loves alongside her Bemidji High School softball teammates. But Thursday, the junior’s growth was on center stage in the circle.
BEMIDJI -- It wasn’t always pretty, but the Bemidji High School baseball team got it done: 6-4 and 4-3 wins to sweep Grand Rapids at the BSU baseball field on Monday. “Just going up there and being a tough out (is huge),” BHS head coach Mike Fogelson said. “If we want to be really good, I think that’s one of the big steps that we have to take: getting up there and nine guys just grinding (it out). The more of that we do, the better we’ll be.”
BEMIDJI -- After Caleb Carlson traded his Lumberjack jersey for a Beaver jersey this season, the Bemidji State baseball freshman proved he didn’t have to go far to find success on the diamond.
BEMIDJI -- Strong winds were a big factor for the Bemidji High School softball team on Thursday, but it was much more apparent when the Lumberjacks were in the field as opposed to at the plate. Duluth Denfeld put the ball in play and forced BHS to make plays while fighting the wind. In contrast, Bemidji batters struck out 14 times on the afternoon to make the difference in an 11-9 Lumberjack loss at the BHS softball field.
BEMIDJI -- Bemidji High School softball head coach Brad Takkunen prefers junior Evette Morgan at shortstop. He may need to reevaluate things after Saturday. “She’s a very good ballplayer,” Takkunen said. “She’s multifaceted. Very solid at short, very good pitcher. To be honest with you, I’d like to find a way to keep her at short, but if she keeps pitching like (Saturday), I guess we’re going to have to use her, too.”
Numbers, expectations up for TrekNorth BEMIDJI -- The TrekNorth boys and girls track teams are as big as ever, and head coach Nicole Friend is optimistic about the season. “This year we have the largest track team that TrekNorth has ever had, with a roster of about 30 athletes,” said Friend. “With some good leadership from our returning athletes, I feel like we could be competitive and see some real success on the track and in the field.”
Flyers shooting for development BAGLEY -- The Bagley boys and girls golf teams will have a pair of all-conference golfers to lead the way for the Flyers this season. Senior Jarret Merschman and junior Griffin Brovold are coming off 2017 campaigns of 85 and 88.5 scoring averages, respectively, which landed them All-Pine to Prairie Conference honors.
CASS LAKE -- The Cass Lake-Bena baseball team is gearing up for the 2018 season with a new skipper at the helm. Blue Olson is taking over as head coach for the Panthers after former head coach Kenny Wittner retired following a 6-12 season in 2017, and Olson is looking to CL-B’s infield to lead the charge this year.
Flyers hoping for successful encore BAGLEY -- The Bagley softball team is fresh off an 11-win improvement and its first winning season since 2012, and the Flyers are looking to Cari Bonik to lead the charge from the circle this year. “When Bonik is in the circle pitching, our team has a great chance to win,” Bagley head coach Peter Larson said of the sophomore. “(The team is) improving both offensively and defensively.”
BEMIDJI -- A Harlem Globetrotters victory was never in doubt Wednesday night at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, but that didn’t stop everyone from watching -- and laughing -- from the edge of their seat all game long. The world-famous Globetrotters flashed their high-flying abilities on the court with alley-oop dunks and 4-point shots throughout the game, and they filled timeouts through crowd-pleasing hijinks with opponents, refs and children from the audience.