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Depth was a main reason the Park Rapids girls track and field team enjoyed a very successful season last spring. Depth could be the key in leading the Panthers to an even more successful season this spring. Despite not having a senior on the roster last season, the Panthers defended the Section 6A True Team title with 902 points, finished fourth at the state Class A True Team meet with 308 points, earned runner-up honors at the Mid-State Conference meet with 114.50 points, captured the Subsection 8-29A title for the sixth year in a row with 233.33 points and repeated as the Section 8A cham
Matt Brandt thought the Park Rapids boys basketball team had the potential to win at least 10 games this season. Not being able to close out close games prevented the Panthers from accomplishing that goal. Even though the Panthers finished the season with a 1-9 record in Mid-State Conference games and a 3-22 overall record, Brandt was happy with the way his team ended the season. "As the season went along, there were signs of improvement, but our consistency in play really hurt us," said Brandt.
Lydia Lutz and Isaac Overmyer won the 3,200-meter races in leading the Park Rapids track teams at Tuesday's Paul Bunyan Classic at Bemidji State University. Lutz won the 3,200 race in 11:38.51 to break the meet record as the Panthers finished fourth in the girls meet with 41.50 points while Overmyer won the 3,200 race in 10:39.38 as the Panthers placed 11th in the boys meet with 23 points. A total of 22 teams competed. The Panthers ended up placing in nine events in the girls meet, which was won by Grand Rapids with 134 points.
When Bill Dent took over as head coach of the Nevis girls basketball team, he expected the Tigers would have a winning record. The Tigers lived up to those expectations by going 9-5 in Northwoods Conference play and 18-10 overall. "I thought it was a really rewarding season," said Dent. "We were very competitive and made a lot of improvement. It was a really fun year." Nevis opened the season with conference wins over Cass Lake (85-66), Kelliher-Northome (65-53) and Blackduck (56-26).
Park Rapids' McKenna Brand helped the North American Hockey Academy Red Team win the Junior Women's Hockey League's Challenge Cup U17 Division title last month at Rockville, MD. Brand scored three goals and had an assist as NAHA went 6-0-1 to win the Challenge Cup title. Brand had a goal in a 5-1 win over Belle Tire, a goal in a 5-3 win over Rochester, a goal in a 2-2 tie with New Jersey and an assist in a 5-1 win over Orangeville. NAHA defeated Honeybaked 3-1 and St.
Confidence was the main reason Park Rapids' Zach Lehrke had a solid season as a member of the Minnesota State University, Mankato men's hockey team. The 5-foot-8 sophomore forward played in 35 games and tallied 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points to rank fourth on the team in scoring. Lehrke's 13 goals shared the team lead as the Mavericks went 8-18-2 in WCHA play and 12-24-2 overall.
Matt Clark was pleasantly surprised with how the Park Rapids wrestling team performed this season. The Panthers went 16-8 in dual meets and had three wrestlers bring home medals from the state Class AA tournament.
Scott Kramer thought the Nevis boys basketball team had the potential to win 20 games for the third year in a row. Losing some close games prevented the Tigers from fulfilling that goal. The Tigers, who followed a 22-7 record two years ago with a 20-6 season last year, were competitive in almost every game, but had to settle for a 12-15 record this season. "Our season was a disappointment for us considering that we had come off of back-to-back 20-win seasons and we were returning a good nucleus," said Kramer. "On the flip side, we were very competitive.
Nic Lembcke knew the Park Rapids girls basketball team would be the underdog all season. Not only did the Panthers return a roster full of players who saw little or no varsity time last season, the competition featured players who were returning as varsity veterans from successful teams. That combination resulted in an 0-10 record in Mid-State Conference play and a 1-25 overall record for the Panthers. Of Park Rapids' 21 opponents, six finished with at least 20 wins, 13 had winning records, 15 finished at .500 or better and 20 compiled at least 10 victories. "Our biggest challenge goin
Even though the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team battled through another year of injuries, the Panthers did show improvement over last season. The Panthers had their best lineup for only the first two meets of the season.