September Updates: Leonhardt, Bucky, Women’s Hockey

It’s been nearly a month (yikes!) since I updated this space, but it was mostly a leisurely one for me. Aside from having my wisdom teeth pulled (which was about as fun as one can have while being drugged in a chair for two hours) I took a handful of vacation days.

Which doesn’t quite excuse my lack of posting here, but it’s the one I’m sticking with.

Anyway, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on that hasn’t appeared in the print edition of the Pioneer, but here’s a few things I may have missed form across the Bemidji State athletics spectrum:

  • As you probably know, former Bemidji State tight end Brian Leonhardt made the Oakland Raiders’ 53-man roster this past weekend. In the story I said that BSU head coach Jeff Tesch thought Leonhardt was the first Beaver to make an NFL roster. I also wasn’t sure, but it turns out that’s not exactly true: Leonhardt is indeed the first of Tesch’s players in 19 years to make an NFL roster, but he isn’t the first BSU player. According to Brad Folkstad at in BSU Sports Information, Al Wolden played in three games for the Chicago Bears at running back in 1987.
    The Beavers have also had two NFL draft picks (T Dean Widseth to the Bears in 1946 and TE John Redebaugh to the Browns in 1970) as well as an AFL draft pick (C Dave Odegaard 1966 to the Houston Oilers) but it doesn’t appear that any of them played in any game action.
    The Raiders open the season this Sunday at New York. I’m not sure how much Leonhardt will play but if he gets in the game it looks like he’ll be just the second BSU Beaver to see live game action in a regular-season game.
    (Again, if I missed anyone that you know of, drop me a line.)
  • Bucky The Beaver won the mascot edition of Let’s Play Hockey Magazine’s 2014 Hockey Hotdish Tournament; which was a summer contest that had readers vote on various aspects of the “State Of Hockey.” Bucky eventually lost in the final four to the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, which was the eventual champion. But Bucky did beat out Goldy Gopher and Champ the Bulldog en route to the final four, so either people really like Bucky or everyone else just hates the Gophers as much as we think they do. (Although if you note Bob Peters somehow lost to Bob Johnson in the coaches bracket, take these votes with a grain of salt.)
  • As pointed out to me by BSU hockey superfan Brent Cizek, the BSU women’s team got a transfer from Minnesota-Duluth in Bailey Wright. The sophomore forward from Anchorage, Alaska, played in 30 games for the Bulldogs and scored 3 goals to go along with 2 assists last season.
  • BSU’s Community Appreciation Day is tomorrow from 4:30-6:30 p.m.. We’ll have a booth. I plan on being there for at least a little while so if you want to drop b y and talk BSU football, hockey or anything else I’d love to chat.