The Beacon Sports
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Looking back on the first three weeks of the 2009 high school football season, Beulah’s 0-3 record may be deceiving. The Class AA team has played the No. 2 team in Class A in Hazen, and the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Class AA football in Dickinson Trinity and Devils Lake.
The Beulah volleyball team likes to give its fans their money’s worth. Four times already in this infant season the Miners have gone into extra points and opening their regular season action Sept. 1 against New England was no different.
Loy Ham knew if there was ever a time to change the way Miner football is played, the 2009 season would be it. After the loss of several key positions and a new two-year realignment plan in effect, Beulah took the opportunity to change its offensive and defensive scheme.
Seven miles, four quarters and 100 yards separate Hazen and Beulah this Friday for the right to claim another year of bragging rights and house the traveling Coal Bowl trophy once again. But in its 30th year, this Coal Bowl is unlike any of its predecessors.
The numbers are in and the results prove that the lake and surrounding areas were the place to be this summer. Visitation to North Dakota’s state parks is up 6 percent in the second quarter relative to the same period last year with over 311,000 people visiting as compared to 293,000 in 2008. Through the first half of 2009 park visits are up 4 percent. Camping numbers at state parks are up 5 percent.
The measure of a team’s season typically is determined by its record. In those terms the Beulah-Hazen Blackjaws amateur baseball team was less than a success going 6-10 overall this summer. Just don’t tell that to any of the players. To the men wearing the black and red jerseys it’s not the measure of the victories but the amount of joy they have still playing the sport they love.
When Bob Nelson helped jump-start the NorthStars Baseball Club with the approval of the Hazen Park Board in 2005, his vision was to eventually create a program that showcased the best athletic talent the Hazen and Beulah communities had to offer in order to be competitive with much larger areas in North Dakota.
Mother Nature has interfered with the Beulah American Legion baseball schedule time and again this season. But coach Reid Flaagan and his team made that irrelevant last week as the Cyclones concluded the regular season with a combined 72 runs in two days. Shortened inning sweeps over Hettinger and Dunn County, aided by some key losses by other teams, has set up Beulah to face Bowman County in the opening round of the Section 8 American Legion Tournament. The double elimination tourney began Wednesday and runs through Sunday in Mandan.