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Aaron Morris believed the Park Rapids football team had the talent to compete for a spot in the Section 8AAA championship game this season. Despite finishing with a 3-7 overall record, the Panthers proved they could play with the best teams in the section. "It was fun to see the progression the kids made," said Morris. "The kids worked hard and they wanted to win.
Gary Vaudrin expected the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to rely on defense to produce wins this season. In the season opener last Saturday, the Panthers' defense received plenty of support from the offense in a 12-0 victory over Morris/Benson at Benson. Abby Fischer, Allie Bade, Christina Smith and Julia Renner scored two goals each as the Panthers outshot the Storm 71-2. Mady Vaudrin, Alex Pederson, Renner and Fischer scored in the first period as the Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
Gary Vaudrin has already coached one Park Rapids girls hockey team in a state tournament. After being named the head coach of the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls varsity team, Vaudrin's goal is to coach the Panthers in a state tournament. In 2009, Vaudrin coached the Park Rapids 12-under team to the state B tournament. Park Rapids ended up winning the consolation title that season. Eleven players from that team are now on the varsity. In addition to that group, Vaudrin has 13 other varsity players.
After competing at last year's state Class A girls swimming meet, senior Mandy Schirmers, senior Allycia Zinke, junior Emily Creager and junior Katherine Erickson were confident they would return to represent Park Rapids at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Sophomore Ellen Hoffman wasn't as sure about her chances of qualifying for the state meet. All five had outstanding performances at last Saturday's Section 8A meet at Detroit Lakes by breaking four school records and qualifying for state in 10 events. Erickson, Schirmers, Zinke and Creager kicked off the finals by winning th
Seniors Mandy Schirmers and Allycia Zinke, juniors Emily Creager and Katherine Erickson, and sophomore Ellen Hoffman couldn't have performed better at Saturday's Section 8A girls swimming and diving meet at Detroit Lakes. Those five Park Rapids swimmers and divers qualified for the state Class A meet in 10 events while Schirmers, Zinke, Creager and Erickson combined to break four school records. Despite those efforts, the Panthers couldn't defend their title as Bemidji claimed the section crown with 426.50 points.
Nevis' string of come-from-behind victories came to an end as the No. 1-ranked team in the postseason defeated the No. 1-ranked team in the preseason for the Class A volleyball championship Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Bethlehem Academy of Faribault, which entered the state tournament as the No. 1-ranked team in the state and the No. 1 seed, defeated Nevis 25-9, 25-14, 25-8 to capture its fifth Class A title in the last nine seasons.
Nicole Brandt had high hopes for the Park Rapids girls tennis team this season. Despite falling short of reaching their main goals, the Panthers still had a successful season by going 12-6 in dual meets and sending a player to the state Class A tournament for the fourth year in a row. Brandt was hoping the Panthers would earn the school's first trip to state. The addition of Staples-Motley and Pequot Lakes to Section 8A prevented that from happening. However, the Panthers were able to extend their state streak when sophomore Christina Smith advanced in singles.
After placing 12th in his state Class A cross-country debut in 2008, Nevis head coach Tom Stambaugh predicted Bryon Schuldt would be a state champion some day. That day came Saturday when Schuldt won the state Class A title in his final state appearance. Schuldt covered the 5,000-meter course at St. Olaf College in Northfield in 15 minutes, 55 seconds to edge the runner-up time of 15:59 by Blake senior Brandon Clark, who entered the state meet as the favorite to win the state title.
Stephanie Hanson strengthened Nevis' regular-season volleyball schedule to prepare her players for the post-season tournament. Playing tougher competition paid off Saturday night as the Tigers earned their second trip to the state Class A tournament by winning the Section 5A title at Pierz. For the fourth consecutive year, Nevis and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa battled in the Section 5A volleyball championship match. B-B-E defeated Nevis for the section title in 2008 before the Tigers claimed their first state berth by defeating B-B-E in the section championship match in 2009.
Lydia Lutz admitted she went out too fast in her previous four appearances at the state Class A girls cross-country meet. Lutz made sure to set a better pace in her final appearance at state Saturday at St.