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PJ's Perspective: NSIC player of week goes to Marks, East Ridge boys earn postseason hoops honors

Woodbury senior Renard Suggs posted on Twitter he is signing with the University of Wyoming of Gillette to play basketball. Gillette, a Division 1 junior college, is the school his older brother Rickey played for this past year. Suggs, a shooting guard, averaged a team-best 19.1 points per game this winter for Woodbury.

Woodbury head baseball coach Kevin McDermott returned to the team last week from a two-week suspension. Sources said McDermott was disciplined after being reported for using foul language toward a player.

East Ridge boys basketball players earned postseason honors at the team's recent banquet. All-Conference in the Suburban East went to juniors Brian Ishola and Jake Knupp. All-Conference honorable mention went to senior Conrad Sexe and sophomore Sid Tomes.

Woodbury graduate Nicole Dupay is serving on the Bemidji State University Student Athlete Advisory committee, which represents each of Bemidji State's 15 varsity intercollegiate athletic programs. The committee has 28 members for the 2012-2013 season. Members of the advisory committee represent the interests of the University's student athletes to athletic staff and University administration. Committees on individual campuses are also part of a larger network of committees, including conference- and national-level Student-Athlete Advisory Committees, which interact with and support one another to shape intercollegiate athletics policy and enhance the student-athlete experience. In addition, Bemidji State's committee organizes community service and other student-athlete involvement projects each year to connect Beaver student-athletes with the Bemidji community. Dupay, a junior softball player, is a nursing major at BSU.

Park graduate and current Bemidji State University senior Jaryd Marks was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Week last week. The conference honor is the first of Marks' career.

Marks, a first baseman and right-handed pitcher, posted a .593 batting average to guide the Beavers to a 6-0 week in NSIC play April 24-29. In 27 at-bats he recorded 16 hits, drove in 10 runs and added 10 runs scored. He totaled 20 bases and posted a .621 on-base percentage. The senior had a .741 slugging percentage and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage after 26 putouts and two assists. He recorded two four-hit games and two three-hit games during the week. In a game against Minot State University Monday, he went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. In 27 at-bats he had just one strikeout.

Woodbury senior offensive and defensive lineman Kyle Schmidt has signed to play football for the University of St. Thomas next year. Schmidt, 6-3, 265 pounds, was one of the Royals top defensive players this past year. The Tommies have won back-to-back-to-back undefeated conference championships (2010, 2011, 2012) and became the first team in league history to complete three consecutive 10-0 regular-season records. St. Thomas finished the year with a loss to Mount Union 28-10 in the NCAA Division III national championship game. Schmidt joins a long list of 2013 newcomers that includes players from five states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Oregon.

"This has been an amazing year for the program, and that success on the field translated throughout the recruiting process as well," said head coach Glen Caruso in a release. "It was a fun year recruiting, and our coaching staff was able to start strong and finish even stronger to put together this great class. Our assistant coaches continue to work tirelessly to identify, recruit and land the highest level of student-athlete. I think it's a testament to the staff's work ethic that we were able to land among our most talented and certainly deepest class in recent memory."

Allison Woodbeck, a senior at East Ridge High School, had been named to the University of Minnesota's Dance Team. Though East Ridge didn't have a competitive dance team this past year, Woodbeck has trained in dance for 15 years, spending over 10 of those as a competitive dancer. She has traveled across the country to national competitions winning many national championships with her teams and several titles as a soloist. Woodbeck has been the recipient of several dance scholarships, and in 2011 she qualified to compete at 'The Dance Awards' in New York City with the top soloists in the country. She will continue her dance career at the University of Minnesota as a member of the defending National Champion dance team.

East Ridge graduate John Hietpas and Woodbury graduate Mike Policano helped the St. Scholastica baseball team sweep Bethany Lutheran College by scores of 3-1 and 6-2 on Sunday to close out the regular season and capture the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) title. The Saints have won the conference regular season title every year since 1997. This year, the Saints finished unbeaten in league play for the second straight year and have now won 46 straight UMAC regular season games. Hietpas, a sophomore third baseman, batted .346 for the Saints this past season, with 11 RBI, 14 runs scored and 26 at-bats in 16 games. Policano, a sophomore first baseman and outfielder hit .462 in 13 at-bats with five runs scored and eight RBI.

New Life Academy 2012 graduate Dan Otto, a Cottage Grove native, helped the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse men's track team win the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) indoor and outdoor championship and the Division III indoor track and field national championship recently. Otto, a freshman, qualified for finals at the outdoor WIAC championship meet this past weekend and placed eighth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.25 seconds. He was the only freshman to make the finals in the event. Otto has also competed in the 400-meter hurdles and the javelin this season. There are two meets left for Div. III participants to qualify for the Div. III National Championship which will be hosted by UW-LaCrosse on May 23-25 this year. Otto's best time this year in the 110 hurdles is 15.16.