I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position.
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The 2018 girls tennis season will have many new faces for East Ridge, Park and New Life Academy. Many players either graduated or didn't return for the upcoming fall season, which gives these coaches new players and bright futures for each program. "I'm excited with all the new faces on the team," said Tony Townsend, Park's head coach. "This year will be continuous learning to make these players the best they can be this year and for future years."
The Park and East Ridge girls swimming and diving programs have increased participation from last season, which makes the two coaches excited for the upcoming season. For Park, none of the swimmers and divers qualified for the state tournament. For the Raptors, they sent Chloe Wangensteen in the 100-yard breaststroke and Callie Kunz in freestyle. The goal this year is simple: Bring these swimmers back to state once again, but also bring back other individuals as well as the team.
Fight. Grit. Those are the two words that head coach Dan Fritze described this 2018 football team for East Ridge High School. The Raptors showed those two characteristics on Thursday night as the score went back-and-forth for the last half of the fourth quarter. Even though the final score didn't favor East Ridge as Champlin Park won 27-23, Fritze was glad the players never quit. "When teams are going back-and-forth like that, all you can ask for kids to compete and never quit," Fritze said.
It took one simple kick for the Park boys soccer team to be down not one, but two starters early in the Tuesday night game against North. The Wolfpack already were losing Hayden Boich after he received a red card in the previous game against Hastings. That red card disqualified him to play against North. Then, two minutes into Tuesday night's game, Johnathon Zamora was taken out of the game due to concussion symptoms. He wasn't able to pass the protocol on the sidelines and will have to be re-evaluated later this week.
The Woodbury High School swimming pool was packed with fans and swimmers from Roseville, Cretin-Derham Hall, East Ridge and Woodbury on Thursday night. It was the first time the Raptors and the Royals had an opportunity for their girls to jump in the pool and swim competitively this season. The four teams competed in the conference relays, which focused on events based around relays. It was a great chance for the coaches to see how their teams were looking on turns and timing off the blocks.
It was a trip of a lifetime for the East Ridge Trap Team. A few weeks ago, in the middle of July, the Raptors travelled to Mason, Mich., to compete in the national tournament for trap shooting and clay target shooting. East Ridge finished in the top 50 at the tournament, but the placement wasn't the biggest takeaway from a weekend filled with new competitors. It was the opportunity to share a love and passion for the sport of shooting.
The clock struck midnight Friday, June 15, and Ben Carlson's phone became a popular place for many college basketball coaches. On June 15, college basketball coaches have the ability to contact high school players that will be going into their junior year. Carlson will be an upcoming junior at East Ridge High School starting in September, but he's had a summer to remember. "I had 14 or 15 different schools text and call me [on June 15]," Carlson said. "It's humbling to get these texts and phone calls from great programs across the country."
It's hard to think that in a few months the ground will be covered with snow and the season of winter will be upon the state of Minnesota. In November, a curling league will start marking one of the first leagues provided on the east side of the Twin Cities. "It's a step in the right direction, and we are excited to provide this opportunity to the community," said Pete Westberg, one of the members that formed the league. "The sport of curling is growing and we want to have the ability to showcase this sport."
Back in May, two East Ridge and three Woodbury legion baseball players ended their high school years by accepting their diplomas and graduating. Even though their high school years ended, their high school baseball years haven't. The players had different reasons for joining the two teams, but in the end they wanted one more season to play for their local legion team during the summer.
BURNSVILLE — The number of teams are starting to shrink and East Ridge and Woodbury are still a part of the legion playoff tournament. Woodbury went 2-0 over the last couple of days to place themselves in the championship game on Sunday morning in the winner's bracket. East Ridge has gone 1-1 over the past couple days and the journey to the championship game is a little bit more difficult, but certainly not impossible.