As the calendar shifted to 2021, and the Minnesota State High School League approved the start of high school activities, we have seen a number of our students participating in our programs this season at Pine River-Backus.

Throughout the course of the winter season, we have had students participating in wrestling, boys basketball, girls basketball, dance, speech, robotics and senior high Knowledge Bowl.

While many activities have looked different than in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been great to see our students participating in and experiencing success in activities. I am very thankful for the work that our coaching and advising staff has done throughout this year as they have successfully adapted to the different formats, in some instances even conducting activities virtually.

As we near the end of February, many of our programs are in the second half of their season and approaching postseason competition throughout March and April. Here are a few highlights of the winter activities season for Pine River-Backus:

First-year head coaches

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The Pine River-Backus boys and girls basketball teams are both under the direction of first-year head coaches. The boys basketball team has been led by Head Coach Jordan Ackerman and the girls basketball team has been led by Head Coach Tucker Sheley.

State rankings

Throughout the winter season both the Road Crew wrestling team and the Pine River-Backus girls basketball team have spent time ranked in the top 10 in the state in their respective classes.

Currently, the Road Crew wrestling team is ranked No. 8 in Class 2A by the Guillotine Magazine with a 19-3 record on the season. For individual rankings, Owen Carlson sits at No. 6 at 126 pounds, Caleb Ruhl is at No. 9 at 132 pounds, and Connor Tulenchik sits at the top of 170 pounds with a No. 1 ranking.

The Pine River-Backus girls basketball team was ranked No. 8 in the latest Class 1A poll as they won their first nine games of the year before suffering their first lost of the season to Esko, which is ranked No. 9 in Class 2A.

Additional activities information

For more information and updates on Pine River-Backus activities, feel free to follow our new social media pages:

I am looking forward to all our Pine River-Backus activities programs having a successful end to the winter season, and I am excited to have more opportunities available to our students in the coming months.

As we approach spring we are looking forward to increased opportunities for youth activities, the start of our spring sports season and the opportunity to hold a spring musical.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me via email at or via phone at 218-587-8029.

Go Tigers!

Tim Tungseth is activities director/youth sports coordinator for the Pine River-Backus School District.