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Home runs by Kevin Hale and Gavin Hitchcock sparked a 15-hit attack as the Nevis baseball team opened the season with a 19-7 victory over Lake Park-Audubon Thursday afternoon at Nevis. Hale went 2 for 2 with a pair of home runs and six RBI while Hitchcock went 3 for 4 with five RBI to pace the Tigers’ offense. Austin Becker went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBI and Gavin Becker went 3 for 3 with four runs, two stolen bases and an RBI.
Marion Goeden wasn’t sure what to expect from the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team offensively this season. The season opener may have provided some answers. Ten different players contributed a hit as a 15-hit attack sparked a 15-5 five-inning victory over Bagley Thursday afternoon. Park Rapids also capitalized on eight Bagley errors and six walks to coast to the win. The Panthers strung together seven hits in scoring six runs in the second inning to take control.
Struggling to score against Section 8A opponents resulted in the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team getting the No. 8 seed for the playoffs, being eliminated in the quarterfinals for the fourth year in a row and finishing with a 12-15 overall record. Except for a 10-1 win over Bagley/Fosston (the No. 10 seed in the section with a 2-19 record), the Panthers went 2-11 and were outscored 57-22 in the other 13 regular-season games against section opponents.
Mark Waller is hoping to follow one of the best seasons in school history with another successful season as he takes over as head coach of the Park Rapids baseball team. A year ago, the Panthers shared the Mid-State Conference title with Perham with an 11-1 record and contended for the Section 8AA title after entering the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the north. The Panthers won their first three playoff games before finishing third after a 10-3 loss to Perham and a 6-5 loss to Hawley.
Charlie Dormanen will be counting on contributions from first-year varsity players to help the Menahga baseball team improve on last year’s 4-8 Park Region Conference record and 7-13 overall record. The Braves graduated six seniors, led by Park Region Conference players Bob Lusti (.382 batting average, 10 RBI, 4-3 record, 3.28 ERA), Levi Schwartz (.361 average, 10 RBI) and Ray Mueller (.246 average, 11 RBI). Being counted on to lead the Braves this season are the six returning letterwinners: seniors Nick Meyer and Kyle
Despite having six key players to replace, Marion Goeden is counting on the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team to produce a winning record for the ninth year in a row and make a run at contending for the Mid-State Conference and Section 8AA titles. Leading the Panthers to a 16-8 record last season were the six seniors: Lauren Naeve, Bailee Jerger, Shania Johnson, Charity Ridlon, Morgan Dean and Christina Smith. Naeve was the Panthers’ starting catcher for four seasons and ended her career with a school-record 567 puto
Battling to win the season opener set the tone for the Park Rapids girls basketball team. The Panthers opened Mid-State Conference play with a 42-41 overtime victory over Crosby-Ironton. That sparked an 8-2 start to the season, a home game for the Section 8AA tournament, a playoff victory and a 17-10 overall record.
Jordan Yliniemi’s fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash led the Park Rapids boys and girls track and field teams at Tuesday’s Paul Bunyan Classic at Bemidji State University. Yliniemi clocked a 24.81 in the 200 dash in leading the Panthers to 14th place in the boys meet with 11 points. Hunter Jewison placed in two events by finishing sixth in the 1,600 run in 5:12.88 and taking eighth in the triple jump with a distance of 36 feet, 2 inches.
Andrew Lachowitzer has a tough act to follow as he takes over as head coach of the Park Rapids boys track and field team. The Panthers have to replace nine athletes who scored points on the varsity last season. Among that group are Austin Carlson, Kurt Fritze and Bryce Brovitch. Carlson competed in three state Class A meets in the 400-meter dash, capping off his senior season with a runner-up finish.
Corey Hill is counting on the Park Rapids girls track and field team to rely on talent to offset a lack of numbers to repeat as Subsection 8-29A and Section 8A champions. The Panthers return 19 athletes who competed at last year’s subsection meet, 15 athletes who competed at the section meet and seven athletes who competed at the state Class A meet.