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The graduation of eight varsity players has the Park Rapids boys tennis team entering a rebuilding season this spring. With only senior Alex Renner, juniors Scott Smith and Mitch Fossen, and sophomore Chris Shaw returning from last year's varsity team, the Panthers will be relying on first-year varsity players to put a competitive lineup on the courts. Renner returns at No. 1 singles after posting a 14-8 record in singles last season. Renner was the Mid-State Conference runner-up at No.
Park Rapids' Tyler Lehrke had a solid season in his professional debut for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees hockey team. Lehrke, a 2004 graduate of Park Rapids Area High School, scored nine goals and had 11 assists for 20 points in 50 games for the Killer Bees this season. Lehrke finished 10th on the team in scoring as Rio Grande Valley compiled a 25-35-6 record for eighth place in the Berry Conference standings. Rio Grande, which is located in Hildalgo, Texas, claimed the final playoff spot in the Berry Conference and was eliminated by Allen, the No.
Over the past 13 seasons, the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team has posted a winning record 12 times. Head coach Marion Goeden is counting on the Panthers to continue that winning tradition this spring. Fulfilling that goal could be a challenge since the Panthers return only four starters from last year's team that finished with an 18-7 overall record, including a 9-3 mark for runner-up honors in the Mid-State Conference standings. Leading the Panthers this spring will be the four returning starters: seniors Alyssa Carlson, Ashley Domino and Anna Grimes and junior Olivia Vaadeland. C
Three runner-up finishes in the relays led the Park Rapids girls track and field team to a third-place finish at last Tuesday's Little Amik II Invitational at Bemidji State University. The Panthers compiled 61 points to trail Bemidji's 98.50 and Bagley/Fosston's 77 in this 22-team meet. In the boys meet, the Panthers placed in all three relays to finish 20th with 7 points. Park Rapids ended up placing in 12 events in contending for the girls title. The 4 x 800-meter relay team of Lora Remus, Shelby Pierce, Summer Ellefson and Lydia Lutz took second in 10:18.47.
Park Rapids' Christian Ridlon and Chris Goplerud were among 22 players named to this year's Mid-State Conference boys basketball team. Ridlon, a senior center, earned all-conference honors after averaging 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds a game in the 10 conference games. Ridlon tallied 109 points, 77 rebounds, 18 steals and nine assists in conference play. Ridlon had a double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds) against Wadena-Deer Creek and scored 24 points against Crosby-Ironton. Goplerud, a sophomore forward, averaged 4.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in conference play.
After going 2-24 last season, Matt Brandt was looking for the Park Rapids boys basketball team to improve this season. Even though the Panthers finished with a 1-24 overall record, Brandt did see improvement from his players. The Panthers opened the season with losses to Staples-Motley (68-33), Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (69-57), Crosby-Ironton (62-40) and Pequot Lakes (70-37). At the Park Rapids tournament, the Panthers opened with a 74-43 loss to Sauk Centre before defeating Frazee 63-59 in the third-place game. That would prove to be the Panthers' only win of the season. Park Rapids
Jeremy Nordick wanted the Menahga boys basketball team to peak at the end of the season. The Braves did play their best basketball down the stretch as a three-game winning streak led to a 6-3 record in the final nine regular-season games. However, a loss to Browerville in the second round of the Section 5A West playoffs ended the Braves' season with a 13-13 overall record. On the positive side, the Braves were able to avoid any major losing streaks. Menahga only had four two-game losing streaks during the season. On the other hand, Menahga couldn't string a winning streak together.
Corey Hill had plenty of reasons to celebrate last season after the Park Rapids girls track and field team capped a historic season by winning the Section 6A True Team, Subsection 8-29A and Section 8A titles. The Panthers' head coach is hoping his team will have even more reasons to celebrate this spring. Even though the Panthers graduated six key performers, Hill is counting on the returning talent to produce another successful season. In the eight regular-season meets last season, the Panthers won five titles and finished second the other three times. The Panthers won the Section 6A
A pair of winning times and three third-place showings led the Park Rapids girls track and field team to runner-up honors at Tuesday's Little Amik I Invitational at Bemidji State University. The 4 x 800-meter relay team of Summer Ellefson, Morgan Olson, Kaylee Hilmanowski and Lora Remus took first in 11:03.39 while Remus won the 1,600 run in 6:08.75 to lead the Panthers. Mady Vaudrin clocked a runner-up 8.50 in the 60 dash and Emily Klingenberg took second in the triple jump with a distance of 29 feet, 4 inches.
Nic Lembcke wasn't counting on the Park Rapids girls basketball team going winless in his first season as head coach. Even though the Panthers didn't have success in the victory column after battling through a 0-25 season, Lembcke said the season was a success in terms of how the girls persevered and improved. "Going winless was difficult on everyone, but I was proud of the girls for continuing to work hard. Those who watched our games consistently saw us increase our shooting percentage, drop our turnovers and beat a press more effectively," said Lembcke.