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East Ridge lands Bidwell to lead soccer program

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sports Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

One of Minnesota's winningest soccer coaches has landed at East Ridge High School.

East Ridge officials announced Thursday that Anthony Bidwell, who led the Eden Prairie High School girls soccer team to a state title in 2010, was named head coach of the Raptors boys program.

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"A social studies teacher at East Ridge, Anthony is thrilled to take on this position that couples his passion for both teaching and coaching," East Ridge Activities Director Trent Hanson said through a news release. "He looks forward to building a program that will attain excellence."

Bidwell served as the Eagles' girls coach from 2009 to 2011, where he compiled a 46-5-6 record, according to the release. His teams won two Lake Conference championships, a Section 2AA championship - to go with a section runner-up finish - along with the Class AA state championship.

The release states Bidwell's 2010-11 team was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Before coming to Eden Prairie, Bidwell coached the De La Salle High School boys team for six years. The news release states Bidwell hold the record for most victories by any head soccer coach in De La Salle school history.

Bidwell has won the Section Coach of the Year award in 2004 and 2010.

Under outgoing coach Phil Walczak, the Raptors ended the 2011-12 season with a mark of 8-8-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the Suburban East Conference. East Ridge was knocked out of Section 4AA contention in the quarterfinal round with a home loss to Woodbury.

The release states a spring meet-and-greet will be held with the new coach.

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Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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