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With the nucleus back from last year's team that finished with a 6-20 record, Jeremy Nordick was expecting the Menahga boys basketball team to produce a winning season this winter. The Braves didn't disappoint. Sparked by a successful summer season, the Braves made major improvements by moving up to third place in the Park Region Conference standings with a 7-5 record and finishing with a 15-11 overall mark. "We did have high expectations going into the season. The kids had a pretty busy off-season of basketball.
Lacking numbers prevented the Park Rapids boys track and field team from contending for titles last season. Lacking experience could prevent the Panthers from challenging the top teams in meets this spring. The Panthers ended last season with only 13 athletes.
Steve Schreiber is hoping the 2009-2010 season formed the foundation to building the Menahga girls basketball team back as a Section 5A contender. The Braves finished with an 8-18 overall record, including a 3-9 mark in Park Region Conference play, under the first-year head coach. Schreiber is counting on Menahga to improve on that record next season. "Overall I thought the season went all right. We ended right around what I expected," said Schreiber.
Being moved to Section 8A this season proved to be a good fit for the Park Rapids wrestling team. The Panthers took advantage of being moved from Section 8AA by qualifying four wrestlers for the state Class A tournament and having nine other wrestlers place at the Section 8A meet. Seniors Jared Nash, John Drury and Kenny Weaver and junior Danny Pike qualified for the state meet with runner-up finishes at the section meet.
Kent Hjelseth expected the Nevis girls basketball team to produce a winning record this season. Going 18-9 exceeded the expectations of the Tigers' head coach. "We entered the season with a goal of finishing .500 for the season," said Hjelseth. "The players improved individually and as a team and exceeded my expectations." The Tigers finished third in the Northwoods Conference standings with an 11-3 record, just one game behind the 12-2 records of co-champions Pine River-Backus and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Having success during the regular season has become a tradition for the Park Rapids-Menahga boys hockey team. Unfortunately, the Panthers haven't been able to extend that success to the postseason. The Panthers followed another successful regular season with a loss in the Section 8A quarterfinals to finish with a 16-8-2 overall record. Over the last five seasons, the Panthers have won at least 15 games.
Advancing to the Section 5A West championship game proved costly for the Nevis boys basketball team. Nevis, the No. 3 seed, upset No.
Considering injuries kept the Park Rapids gymnastics team from fielding its best lineup most of the season, the Panthers scored consistently all season. Injuries resulted in the Panthers missing key gymnasts in eight of the 13 meets. Those injuries resulted in Park Rapids surpassing 120 points only once. On the positive side, those injuries enabled some younger gymnasts to compete at the varsity level.
Nolan Toft's four consecutive baskets midway through the first half gave Nevis the lead for good as the Tigers eliminated Menahga from the Section 5A boys basketball tournament with a 77-61 victory Thursday night at the Tiger Arena. Menahga, the No. 6 seed in the west half of the section, held the lead until the 8:17 mark of the first half before Toft sparked the No.
Chris Albee was looking for the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to continue to close the gap on the other teams in Section 8A. Despite matching last year's total of one win against section opponents, the Panthers did close the gap on the other teams in the section. Last season, the Panthers went 1-7 in the section en route to an 8-14 overall record. Park Rapids was shut out three times in those games while being outscored 47-7. This season, the Panthers had a 1-9 record against section opponents, but were only shut out twice in being outscored 33-13.