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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For Park head boys golf coach Hank Tressel, this year will be especially golden. The grandfather of boys golf is celebrating his 50th year of coaching -- the same year as his 50th wedding anniversary. But, what's been more enjoyable -- coaching or marriage? "When women ask me that question I always say marriage is more fun," Tressel said. "When guys ask I say, 'What do you think?'" At 75 years old, Tressel is believed to be the eldest head coach in the state. "People look at me and say, 'Well, as long as you've got your health, then fine, go for it,' Tressel said.
Brian Sprout always wanted to be a baseball coach. This year, he's getting his chance. Sprout, a two-time All-American player at St. Olaf College who spent seven years in the minor leagues, is a high school head coach for the first time this spring at East Ridge. Sprout said he wanted to be a baseball coach since he was a little kid. "I knew eventually I was going to be a coach, so every chance I got to learn something different I took it," Sprout said. "I tried to pick up different things from all kinds of guys everywhere.
For Cottage Grove native Tyler Shepherd, what began on the hills of Afton Alps led to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Shepherd, a 1997 graduate of Park High School and an All-State alpine skier for the Wolfpack, was the head coach of the U.S. ski cross team at this year's Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. This year marked the first time ski cross was part of the Olympics -- making Shepherd a sort of pioneer, something he said he is proud of. "It was a really cool experience for us as a team to be able to represent the U.S.
It definitely looks a lot like soccer, but it isn't. (And, no, it's not a typo.) Futsal -- a mostly unknown, but deep-rooted sport with a wide fan base -- hit East Ridge High School last week for Minnesota's first-ever Futsal State Championship. Futsal, which is derived from the Spanish "futbol de salon" or "half football" in English, was first played in Uruguay and was developed on the streets of San Paulo, Brazil. Futsal is played between two teams of five players, including one goalkeeper on each side.