Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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The Raptors boys basketball team won this season’s first Battle of Woodbury, 66-59, over the crosstown rival Royals on Friday, Jan. 3, at Woodbury High School.
In 2013, Reid Lyden continued to set the bar for all East Ridge wrestlers to reach for. As a junior last winter, Lyden earned fourth place in the Class AAA state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St.
Park’s Allison Gorres leapt into history this past year. Just a freshman last spring, Gorres earned all-state in the long jump, taking sixth place in the event at last June’s Class AA state track and field meet. Gorres’ mom Anne was also an all-state long jumper for Park High School. All-state honors go to the top nine finishers in each event at the state meet. “It feels really, really good,” Gorres said after the meet. “It was one of my goals coming into the year and it’s really fulfilling to do it.
Last year, longtime pals Brad Frost and Joel Johnson led the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team to a historic season. But not long ago the two friends and coaches were cutting their teeth in south Washington County. Last winter, the Gophers won their second consecutive national championship, beating Boston University, 6-3, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis to cap a perfect, unprecedented 41-0 season. “It was a magical run this year,” said Frost, the Gophers’ head coach, after the championship win.
The upstart East Ridge boys swimming and diving team made waves in 2013. The East Ridge boys ended the year riding a current 16-meet win streak. The Raptors went unbeaten last season and won the Suburban East Conference championship, then went on to place sixth at the 2013 Class AA state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center last March. East Ridge finished in sixth place in Class AA. The Raptors scored 120 points as a team.
Brady Hanson was on target in 2013. Hanson, a 2013 graduate of East Ridge High School, finished in a tie for second place at the Class AAA state golf tournament, shooting a two-day 146 at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids last spring. “We made it our goal to win state,” Hanson said after the tournament. “Even though I didn’t do that, it feels good to come really close. I knew if I worked hard and put in the effort I could possibly do it.
South Washington County mourned the losses Ally Trebesch and Matt Van Horn this past year. A standout gymnast, Trebesch died on Sept. 17, at the age of 13. As a seventh-grader, Trebesch reached her first state meet in the vault last season for Woodbury High School. She earned the trip to state with a personal-best 9.475 and a third-place finish in the vault at the Section 3AA Championships – the day after her 13th birthday. She was the first gymnast to reach state in head coach Julie Dornseif’s three-year regime as head coach. Dornseif was also Trebesch’s mom.
The East Ridge girls cross country running team made some big strides in 2013. The Raptors finished in second place in their fourth-straight Class AA state meet appearance at St. Olaf College in Northfield in November. “That is what we wanted,” East Ridge senior Bailey Ness said after the race. “We’ve been shooting for it for four years now. I’m really excited for my team. It’s a really good feeling.” East Ridge improved its finish in each of its four state meet appearances.
The Park gymnastics team ended 2013 strong. Park continued its lengthy run of success taking fourth place with a season-best 146.05 in its third-straight Class AA state meet in February at the University of Minnesota. “One thing you want to do as a coach is to have the kids peak at the right time,” Park head coach Mark Sikich said directly after the meet. “We made our mistakes, but I was incredibly proud of the kids’ efforts and what we did here today.
The Park boys basketball team got a monkey off its back in 2013. Park snapped a 68-game Suburban East Conference losing streak with a 55-54 overtime win at Hastings. Down nine points at the half, the Wolfpack rallied in the second half, outscoring the Raiders 27-18 after the break to force an extra frame. In overtime, Park outscored Hastings 10-9 to earn the opportunity to celebrate in Hastings’ gym. The win was the biggest by Park in some time.