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It's going to be difficult for the Nevis football team to duplicate last year's historic season. However, head coach Shawn Klimek is optimistic the Tigers can produce another winning season and contend for the Section 6 9-man title again this fall.
Cody Stevenson is counting on his 11 returning letterwinners to lead the United North Central football team to another winning season in his first year as the Warriors' head coach.
Stephanie Hanson credited mental fortitude as the key ingredient to leading the Park Rapids volleyball team to the Section 8AA championship match last season. The Park Rapids head coach is counting on that same mental toughness to lead the Panthers to another record-breaking season and a chance to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in school history.
Todd Fritze is counting on the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team to build on last year's success. A year ago, the Panthers went 6-2 in dual meets, finished second at the Mid-State Conference meet, placed fourth at the Section 8A meet and qualified an individual for the state Class A meet for the 24th year in a row.
During his 11 years as head coach of the United North Central football team, Jeremy Nordick led the Warriors to a 47-58 record, three conference titles and the Section 8AA championship in 2015. Nordick is looking to build another winning program as the new head coach at Park Rapids. A year ago, the Panthers finished with an 0-7 record in Midwest Red District play and an 0-9 overall record. Nordick is looking to turn that record around.
Over the last 10 seasons, the Park Rapids girls tennis team has sent either a singles player or a doubles team to the state Class A tournament. Head coach Brianne Morris is looking to improve on that trend this fall by sending the entire team to state for the first time in school history. The Panthers return a veteran group with eight starters and four other players returning with varsity experience. Having plenty of experienced players back has Morris counting on the Panthers to make a run at claiming that elusive section title.
Even though head coach Kerry Johnson would like to see more numbers, the Park Rapids boys and girls cross-country teams are in a better situation than a year ago. Entering last season, the Panthers had only three boys and three girls returning who competed in the Section 8A meet in 2016. Entering this season, the Panthers return five boys and three girls who competed at the 2017 section meet.
Hunter Malachek threw eight solid innings and Maple Lake used a six-run fifth inning to spark an 8-2 win over Midway in the second round of the state Class C amateur baseball tournament Saturday night at Shakopee.
When the new school season begins, a big presence will be missing at Park Rapids Area Schools. John Schumacher retired after 14 years as the activities director, serving his last day at the end of June. "Big Schu" took over as activities director in 2004 and retired after serving 31 years in various capacities for District 309. Jeremy Nordick officially replaced Schumacher in July. So far, the transition has been a smooth one.
Fred Nordstrom developed a love of biking at an early age. Eight decades later, Nordstrom is still an avid bicyclist. "I started biking in the 1930s. We lived on a farm in Iowa and I would bike to school every day," said Nordstrom. "I still bike twice a week with the Hubbard Bicycle Club. I've been very fortunate I've had good health to do this." To demonstrate his good health, Nordstrom completed a 90-mile bike ride to commemorate his 90th birthday. Nordstrom broke the ride into six 15-mile trips, completing the final leg on Monday on the Heartland Trail.