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James Sanchez has an ambitious goal for the Park Rapids-Nevis gymnastics team. "This program is on an upward trend and I want to continue that," said Sanchez, who takes over for Rebecca Penning as the Panthers' head coach. "I heard this was one of the dominant programs in the area in the 90s and my goal is to get it back to that status."
There isn't a closer rivalry than the one between the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Detroit Lakes girls hockey teams. In the last 18 regular-season meetings, these two Mid-State Conference and Section 8A rivals have gone 8-8-2 with nine of those games ending in ties or being decided by one goal. Three of those games were decided in overtime.
Matt Clark is going to have a tough time filling seven key weight classes this season. The Panthers graduated four state qualifiers and three other starters from a team that went 14-4 in dual meets, advanced to the Section 8A championship match and set a school record by qualifying six individuals for the state Class A meet. The group of Justin Dravis, Nolan Booge, Jared Sunram, Jacob Bittmann, Logan Johnson, Zach Nelson and Logan Veo combined to go 183-63 with 113 pins last season and ended their careers by combining for 740 wins and 483 pins.
Alyssa Peterson hit nine 3-pointers and scored 32 points in leading the Menahga girls basketball team to a 64-52 win over Pine River-Backus in the season opener Tuesday night at Menahga. Megan Hendrickson and Cierra Ahlf chipped in double-doubles for the Braves, who led 40-23 at the half. Hendrickson scored 17 points and pulled down 13 rebounds while Ahlf had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Leah Schwartz dished out five assists and Martha Peterson had four steals. Menahga made 11 of 30 3-pointers in the game.
Kaisa Coborn's steal and assist on Rilee Michaelson's layup in the closing seconds lifted the Park Rapids girls basketball team to a 70-68 win over Crosby-Ironton at Crosby in the Mid-State Conference and season opener Tuesday night. Michaelson finished with 19 points while Coborn had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead a balanced scoring attack by the Panthers, who led 41-40 at the half. Jaiden McCollum added 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals while Paige Johnson chipped in 10 points and seven steals. Kendra Coborn dished out seven assists.
Tori Carrier hit two free throws with 18 seconds left to give the Nevis girls basketball team a 41-39 win over Blackduck in the season opener Tuesday night at Blackduck. Blackduck jumped out to a 12-0 lead before the Tigers responded with a 21-0 run. Blackduck ended the half with a 9-2 run as Nevis led 23-21 at the half.
Spring Grove did something no other 9-man football team had managed to do in more than nine years.
Lexi Hinkley-Smith's two goals in the second period sparked the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to a key Section 8A victory over Crookston Friday at Thief River Falls. Smith gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead and assisted on an insurance goal in the third period as the Panthers rallied for a 4-2 win over Crookston in the first game of the Ralph Engelstad Holiday Classic.
Head coach Brad Neyens is expecting an improved season from the Nevis girls basketball team. Last season, the Tigers finished 3-11 in the Northwoods Conference standings for seventh place while going 4-21 overall. Nevis was the No. 8 seed in the North half for the Section 5A playoffs and opened with a 66-56 loss to No. 9 Bertha-Hewitt.
Jeff Overmyer just missed reaching his goal in his first season as head coach of the Park Rapids girls basketball team. Overmyer is confident the Panthers will reach that goal this season. A year ago, the Panthers went 1-7 in Mid-State Conference games and 11-13 overall to earn the No. 10 seed for the Section 8AA tournament. Park Rapids opened the playoffs with an 86-69 win over No. 7 Pelican Rapids before falling to No. 2 Staples-Motley 66-44 in the second round. That gave the Panthers a 12-14 overall record, just missing Overmyer's goal of a .500 season.