Matthew Davis / contributor
Park may not field the toughest wrestling team to beat, but a few individual Wolfpack wrestlers look to have monster individual seasons. "Individually, we've got some really good kids," Wolfpack coach Jim LaBrosse said. Senior captains Garrett Whitehead, ranked No. 6 for 170 pounds, and Peter Oyebanji at 145 expect to have big seasons. Fellow senior Josh Ruiz at 152 and sophomore Antonio Davis, No. 9 in 195, also have goals set high for big winter.
Park has been mixing things up on the ice of late with a new approach. Wolfpack girls' hockey coach Steve Morse has the players in new lines, playing a more up-tempo style than they've done in the past. He said it's been an adjustment for them, but he believes it will pay off. "We've got a lot of quick players. Speed will be an asset this year," Morse said. "The girls are going to have a lot of opportunities to get on the board."
With a strong core back, East Ridge will look to play deep into February this season. "Our goal is to get back to the section final and hopefully win it this time," Raptors coach Tom Kulenkamp said. Two returning Raptors had 24 or more points last winter. Senior forwards Siobhan Claugherty and Brehna Walz had 27 and 24 points, respectively. Both distribute the puck well, coming off 17-assists seasons.
Woodbury has youth on its side with a sophomore-heavy group for a program looking for a successful rebuild. "A few years ago, the majority of our kids in a playoff game against Hill-Murray were eighth- and ninth-graders," Royals head coach Chris Lepper said. "Now they're sophomores and juniors."
Park scored twice on power plays but couldn't get another late against South St. Paul in a 4-3 loss. Mackenzie Husaby and Tina Press netted power play goals for the Wolfpack (1-1) to tie the Packers 3-3 in the second period of their Nov. 14 contest in Cottage Grove. South St. Paul (3-0) went back ahead on a goal by eighth-grade defender Lillie Ramierz in the third period. Park had a couple power play opportunities again late in the third following hooking and holding penalties by the Packers. The Wolfpack went 2-5 overall on the power play.
East Ridge came a point shy of winning the Class 2A Section 3 girls cross-country championship meet Oct. 26 in landing a spot for the Nov. 4 state meet. The Raptors scored 94 points while Rosemount took the title with 93 at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley. Added to the drama, the Raptors earned the tie-breaker over Bloomington Jefferson, which also had 94 points. Visitation finished close behind with 95 points in fourth place.
Halle Mestery took eighth individually as East Ridge finished fifth as a team for the Suburban East Conference girls cross-country championship. Mestery clocked a time of 19 minutes, 46.5 seconds to secure all-conference honors in the meet at Tanners Brook Golf Club Wednesday, Oct. 17. The eighth-grader bested ninth-place Forest Lake freshman Amelea Hauer's 19:55.7 by almost nine seconds.
East Ridge lost its fourth straight in a 27-7 loss at Centennial to close the regular season Oct. 18. "They're going to be tough to beat in the playoffs," Raptors football coach Dan Fritze said. Centennial (7-1) has been gashing opponents with its running attack most of this season. The Cougars rolled up 285 yards rushing and three offensive touchdowns against the Raptors defense.