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Jacks tennis team shuts out Perham in opener

Dillon Shields returns a serve at #2 singles in Perham's opening match versus Bemidji.

Despite dealing with limited outdoor practice sessions because of the extended winter the Bemidji boys tennis team opened its season with solid performances as the Lumberjacks blanked Perham 7-0 Thursday in Perham.

"It was a good start to the year," said BHS coach Mark Fodness. "We haven't had much time on the courts this year and Perham has had less time. You never know what to expect but, overall, I was pleased with how everybody played."

Bemidji dropped only one set in the seven varsity matches and was never seriously challenged.

The Yellowjackets took to the courts on only their second day of hitting due to weather restrictions.

"Our boys played pretty hard for it being only the second day on the courts," Head Coach Kyle Knutson said. "We did some things well and also learned what we need to focus on."

Levi Rickert and Alec Hess posted 6-0, 6-0 wins at first and second singles and Robert Treuer cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at third.

Kole Pankow outlasted his foe 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 at fourth to complete the singles sweep.

In doubles action, Kyle Fodness and Adam Holter combined for a 6-1, 6-1 triumph at first. Craig Lindseth and Jack Boyer teamed for a 6-4, 6-1 victory at second while Zach Hewitt and Tim Poulus posted a 6-1, 6-2 win at third.

"I was impressed with our mental toughness and our attitude," Fodness said. "It was windy and raw, anything but ideal conditions. But nobody made any excuses.

"Sometimes when you easily win a first set you have a tendency to relax in the second. But we didn't. We kept pressing," Fodness said. "Everybody stayed focused and worked hard."

Bemidji is off until Tuesday when it visits Crookston. The Jacks will make their home debut Thursday against Park Rapids and Grand Rapids.

"This match was a great tune-up," Fodness said. "We had a little success and we gained a little confidence. Now we will analyze what worked and what we need to work on."

Perham's next match will be Friday, April 15, at 5 p.m., on the road at Minnewaska Area.

"Our goal is to continue to improve with each practice and with each match," Knutson said. "Bemidji is a pretty good team and they are always pretty tough for us but a couple of matches were fairly close. I am proud of our effort."

Bemidji 7, Perham 0


Rickert (B) def. Cresap 6-0, 6-0

Hess (B) def. Shields 6-0, 6-0

Treuer (B) def. Hersch 6-1, 6-1

Pankow (b) DEF. Shoeneberger 6-2, 4-6, 6-2


Fodness and A.Holter (B) def. Neeve and Pandon 6-1, 6-1

Lindseth and Boyer (B) def. Hofland and Andrene 6-4, 6-1

Hewitt and Poulus (B) def. Papenfuss and Botvet 6-1, 6-2


Chatterton and Armstrong (B) def. Schonenberger and Lehman 6-0, 6-1

Junior Varsity

Bemidji 7, Perham 0


Hokanson (B) def. Cresap 9-7

N.Holter (B) def. Shields 8-3

White (B) def. Hersch 8-6


Erickson and Korczak (B) def. Neeve and Pandon 8-2

Zaccanino and Thorson (B) def. Hofland and Andrene 8-5

Halberg and Sledge (B) def. Papenfuss and Botvet 8-0

Aamodt and Scholl (B) def. Shoeneberger and Lehman 8-6

Bob Williams contributed to this report.