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The 1983 Park Rapids football team will be inducted into the Panther Athletic Hall of Fame during the 41st annual All Sports Banquet on Wednesday, May 23. That football team made history by advancing to the Class A championship game. After posting a 9-0 record during the regular season, the Panthers marched through the state Class A playoffs with wins over Crookston (13-9) in the first round, Cloquet (17-15) in the quarterfinals and Albany (14-6) in the semifinals before falling to Hutchinson (34-14) in the championship game.
After just missing sending an athlete to the 2017 state Class A meet, head coach Tom Smith is hoping at least one member of the United North Central boys and girls track and field teams will qualify for state this spring. At last year's Section 6A meet, Jake Clements and Annika Aho fell one spot short of advancing to state with a pair of third-place finishes. Clements capped off his senior season by placing third in the pole vault by clearing 12 feet, 6 inches while Aho placed third in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:24.68.
A senior-dominated lineup has head coach Bill Dent expecting another successful season from the Nevis baseball team. The Tigers return eight starters from a team that finished second in the Northland Conference standings with an 8-3 record and 14-7 overall. Nevis received the No. 4 seed in the West for the Section 5A playoffs and was eliminated in the first round with a 15-9 loss to Pillager, which went on to defeat Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in the section title game to advance to state.
With the delayed start to the season forcing rescheduled games to clog up an already condensed season, pitching will be at a premium for the Park Rapids baseball team this spring. Fortunately for the Panthers, head coach Dan Etter has plenty of pitching prospects to put on the mound.
Jeremy Nordick has been selected as the new Activities Director at Park Rapids Area Schools, replacing John Schumacher.
Jen McNamee inherits several talented athletes as the new head coach of the Nevis boys and girls track and field teams. McNamee served as a volunteer coach for the Tigers the last three seasons and was the assistant cross-country coach this past fall. McNamee also served as the head track coach for United North Central in 2000 and 2001. "I am most excited about working with a great group of student-athletes," said McNamee. "I love the sport of track and enjoy watching so many athletes improve individually each meet."
Getting past Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the Section 8AA tournament is the main challenge for the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team again this season. D-G-F has eliminated the Panthers from the section playoffs the last two seasons. Losing to D-G-F 4-1 and 2-1 in the tournament ended a 23-3 season two years ago while dropping two more playoff games to the Rebels by scores of 11-3 and 5-2 ended a 23-2 campaign last spring. Head coach Marion Goeden is counting on a veteran team to end that trend this spring.
With the return of five veteran seniors, head coach Scott Kramer expected another successful season from the Nevis boys basketball team. Those seniors didn't disappoint as the Tigers finished second in the Northland Conference standings with an 11-3 record, climbed as high as No. 4 in the state Class A poll and ended the season with a 23-6 overall mark after falling to Cromwell-Wright in the Section 5A North title game.
Led by a winning effort in the 4 x 800-meter relay and a runner-up showing in the 4 x 400 relay, the Park Rapids girls track and field team claimed runner-up honors at Tuesday's Beaver Relays at the Gillett Fitness Center at Bemidji State University.
Head coach Corey Hill is hoping not being the defending Section 8A champs will provide added incentive for the Park Rapids girls track and field team this spring. The Panthers saw their seven-year streak of winning the section title snapped by less than a point when Pelican Rapids dethroned the defending champs with 82.50 points at last spring's Section 8A meet. Park Rapids just missed winning another section title with 82 points.