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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WOODBURY — It two completely opposite games, but the same outcome for the East Ridge VFW team. The district playoffs started for East Ridge, Woodbury and Cottage Grove this weekend and the teams didn't disappoint with some strong games to start the opening rounds. "It was great to see this team stay strong towards the later part of the game," said Jereme Quinnell, East Ridge's coach. "I'm really proud of this team and being able to get the win in the end."
The VFW regular season is coming to a close and that means the district playoffs are coming up during the weekend of July 20-22 and extending into the following week. Woodbury, East Ridge and Cottage Grove will be three of the 14 teams in the playoffs with higher seeds including the No. 2 and 3 seeds for Woodbury and East Ridge respectively. Cottage Grove will go into the playoffs with the No. XX seed.
MINNEAPOLIS—It was the end of the All-Star game for Kaitlyn Rocco, from Woodbury, and Delaney Young, from Park, and the two of them were asked to go up to the podium for a moment. The two had no idea why they were going up to the podium and were slightly nervous. Once they went up there, they were told that the two of them were selected for Team Minnesota. "At first, we weren't sure what that meant," Rocco said. "Once they explained it, we became really excited to be a part of this border battle tradition."
It wasn't looking good on Friday morning with wet fields and about 90 teams coming to Woodbury to participate in the Black and Blue lacrosse tournament during this past weekend. Luckily, the fields dried up fast with the hot weather and the rain and storms stayed away for the weekend tournament allowing the teams to play competitively for three straight days.
It may be the end of July, but the East Ridge and Woodbury legion baseball teams are preparing for the most important weeks of their seasons. The two teams are getting ready for the weekend of July 27-29 when the district playoffs begin and the chance to play at state is on the line. Woodbury and East Ridge prepared for that weekend this past weekend in the Gopher Classic, which is a large tournament based in 16 different sites across the state of Minnesota.
Persistence. That one word summarized Saren Croker's recruitment throughout her high school career. Croker had her eyes on one school and one school only, the Creighton University Bluejays. It might've took a few years, but Croker was focused on becoming a Bluejay and she finally reached her end goal. "I told the head coach of Creighton's softball team that I was going to be on his team when I graduated high school," Croker said. "I wasn't interested in any other school. I just wanted to be a Bluejay."
It started with war and instability. It ended with soccer and a love for coaching. Sam Mann was born in Liberia during a time of civil war. The country was unstable and his family was fighting to stay alive. It was unpredictable what would happen each day and Mann said he knew his family would be better if they could go to the United States. "My father came to the United States in 2000 and was trying to get my family over here," Mann said. "In 2002, my father was able to get us over to the states."
For the ninth straight year, Woodbury United Lacrosse will be hosting the Black and Blue Tournament from July 13-15 at the HealthEast Sports Complex. There will be about 90 teams, both girls and boys, and 5,000 people from across the Twin Cities as well as bordering states coming to a weekend filled with competition, fun and learning the game of lacrosse. Stephanie Carlson, the tournament director, is preparing for the largest tournament in the Midwest, but a weekend she looks forward to each year.
WOODBURY — Riley Frisk walked to the mound at the beginning of the game for Woodbury. After the seventh inning, Frisk walked off the mound with seven innings under his belt, two runs allowed and, most importantly, a 7-2 win. The rivalry was back after a little over a week of relaxation from baseball as Woodbury and East Ridge battled to start the second half of the legion baseball season.
During Joel Olson's high school years, he remembers stepping onto the Faribault High School football field each Friday night. He remembers looking up to his parents and friends wearing the green and white. It was home. Starting on July 2, Olson will be the new athletic director for Faribault's rival high school, Northfield High School. Olson will be wearing maroon and gold, but doesn't expect his parents to wear those colors.