In perhaps the most storied boys golf program in Minnesota, one name appears on championship rosters more than any other. But even Andy Brink had to earn his spot.
As a seventh-grader in 1987, Brink casually waltzed up to a six-inch putt during a tournament and one-handed it. Not only did he miss, but Bemidji High School head coach Larry Perkins watched the episode from start to finish.
“He was really upset with me because he felt like I hadn’t given my best effort,” Brink said. “He didn't play me at the next meet. And in order for me to play varsity again, I had to requalify.
“But it was great. It was tough love. He wasn’t going to hand me anything, and he wanted to let me know that it doesn’t matter what you’re shooting, you approach every shot the same. And you never give up on a round. I learned my lesson the hard way.”
From then on, Brink was groomed into a five-time state champion.
The first four came as team titles with the Lumberjacks, and he locked up the program’s lone individual state championship as a senior in 1992.
BHS became just the second boys golf program in Minnesota to claim a still-standing record of four straight state titles. Only Brink and the Jacks have stretched the championship run to five years with an individual crown.
With another state championship in 1997, Bemidji became the first program to win the title seven times. Their 25 state appearances, most recently in 2001, are four more than the next closest program.
This is the latest installment in a series titled Lumberjack Flashback, highlighting some of the greatest spring sports teams, athletes and moments in Bemidji High School history.