Standing by in sports Sun., May 31

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Steve Thompson directs a timeout during a Feb. 8 game against Sartell-St. Stephen at the BHS Gymnasium. BHS announced Thompson as the program's new head coach on Wednesday. Micah Friez / Forum News Service

Thompson takes over at Bemidji

The Bemidji Lumberjacks have a new head boys basketball coach in Steve Thompson, an assistant coach with 13 years of experience in the program.

“This is something that I’ve always dreamt of,” Thompson said. “I’ve always wanted to be a head basketball coach, and now I’ve been given this opportunity in a community where I’m raising my family. I’m really excited about the chance to expand upon and build the program even further.”

A 1995 graduate of Deer River High School, Thompson started coaching at BHS in 2007 with the football, boys basketball and baseball programs. He worked under Travis Peterson for the past five winters, and now he stands as Peterson’s successor.

“I’ve been working hand-in-hand with Travis here for the last five years with the development of the program,” Thompson said. “From a transition standpoint, I think it should be pretty seamless as far as relationships with players, systematic X’s and O’s.”


Thompson plans to continue much of the same philosophies, acknowledging that they vary year-to-year based on a given team’s strengths and weaknesses, “but a lot of things will be very much the same.”

It’s a style that’s led to recent success. The Lumberjacks went 19-7 in 2019-20, losing in the Section 8-3A semifinals, which came a year after a 23-6 record and the program’s first state tournament appearance since 1985. - Micah Friez / Forum News Service

Detroit Lakes and Bemidji have met in the playoffs three times the past five seasons with the Lakers holding a 2-1 edge in those matchups.

DL ousted the Jacks in the first round in 2016 and 2018. Both teams meet twice in the regular season every year. Bemidji holds a 9-4 advantage in those games, including the past five meetings.

The Lakers’ most recent wins came in a six day span to end the regular season in 2018 by taking the regular season finale at home and winning on the road to start the playoffs.

Speed and Strength starts June 1

High school athletes got some welcome good news week when Detroit Lakes high school opened registration for the summer Speed and Strength program .

The program will begin Monday, June 1 at the DLHS football fields and will be open to all athletes in grades 9-12 during that 2020-21 school year. No middle school athletes will be allowed during the month of June.


Cost for the program will be $50. Sessions will run on a 4 day a week schedule and meet Monday - Thursday for 1 hour each day.

A number of guidelines are available for changes made to this summer’s program regarding health and safety. They can be found here , along with a link to registration.

Links are also available on Twitter @DLakesSports and @DetLakesHigh

DL youth football camp moved to August

Laker football announced a change to the youth football camp summer schedule. Due to the current restrictions on youth sports the camp for grades K-8 has been moved to August 3-5. Registration information will be communicated on Twitter @dlhsfootball and more information is available on the team’s website .

Laura Prussia is greeted at home plate after homering in one of the wildest games of the 2019 school year - a 13-12 thriller over Bemidji in the Section 8AAA championship game at Snappy Park a year ago this week. Robert Williams / Tribune



This time last year looked much different than spring 2020. Normally, we would be in the thick of the postseasons.

The DL softball team had the win of the year building an eight-run lead early only to watch it slip away to Bemidji, before rallying in the last inning to erase a three-run deficit and defeat the Jacks 13-12 in walk-off fashion advancing to the Minnesota Class AAA state softball tournament for the first time in program history.

Both Laker golf teams cruised at subsections. The DL boys defeated Pequot Lakes by 14 strokes. The girls ran away from the competition distancing themselves by 52 strokes over runners-up Perham. Sections were much the same with the girls capturing a 10th straight 8AA title; the boys won for the fourth straight year.

DL’s Isaiah Thompson and Frazee’s Paige Ziegler, Jaryn Johannsen and Joby Giefer all advanced to the state track and field meet where each would place in hurdles a week later: Thompson 13th, Ziegler 3rd, Johannsen 7th and Giefer 8th.

Pelican Rapids’ Maddie Guler, Abby Syverson, Chloe Paulson, Tatianna Wiley had the run of the state meet capturing gold in the 4x400m relay when Wiley moved up from third to first place with a dash to the finish line to win by 0.10 seconds.

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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