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This whole basketball thing isn't new to Doug Linton. Linton is entering his 14th season as the head coach for New Life Academy boys' basketball team. The Eagles finished last season with a 16-12 record and hope to improve on that this season. The Eagles lost a few key players who won't be all that easy to replace. The Eagles lost Alex Heiser, Dan Otto and Cody Linton to graduation last year. Heiser scored 1,000 points in his career. Linton expects senior point guard Cam Duffy, senior forward Zach Prefer and junior guard John Horner to lead the team this season.
A pair of East Ridge standouts will be taking their talents to the next level next year. East Ridge seniors Margaret Eggert and Jenna Karrow each signed letters of intent to play Division I college sports as part of National Signing Day ceremonies. Karrow, the 2010 state diving champion and 2011 runner-up, signed to dive for Miami University of Ohio and Eggert, an outstanding outside hitter for the Raptors' volleyball team, signed to play Division 1 volleyball for the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
The youthful East Ridge girls hockey team fell to 0-4 to start the 2012-13 season with a pair of non-conference losses to Eagan and Apple Valley last week. After losing 6-0 to Shakopee and 7-0 to North St. Paul to start the season, the Raptors suffered a third-straight lopsided loss, 6-0 to Eagan - which was ranked 10th in Class AA at the end of last year - on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Bielenberg Sports Complex, before playing Apple Valley close on Thursday, Nov.
Last season, East Ridge sent two competitors to the state meet, taking fifth as a team in the Section 3AA meet. This year, however, the Raptors stepped up their game. Based on finishes at the Section 3AA championship meet, the East Ridge girls swimming and diving team will be sending nine girls - five competitors and four alternates - to the 2012 Class AA State Swimming and Diving Meet this week. Last season, East Ridge diver Jenna Karrow and 2012 graduate Rachel Treadway were the lone Raptors to qualify for the state meet.
It was a season to remember for the New Life Academy volleyball team, but it still wasn't enough to upset a state powerhouse. The third-seeded Eagles fell 3-0 to fifth-ranked and second-seeded Mayer Lutheran in the Section 4A semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Heritage Christian Academy to end the season. New Life, which finished the year 19-10 overall , including playoff wins over North Lakes Academy and Maranatha Christian Academy and a second-place finish in the conference, fell 25-15, 25-12, 25-16 to Mayer Lutheran. It was the second time Mayer Lutheran beat the Eagles this season.
The East Ridge volleyball team's season came to an end last week. The Raptors lost their Section 4AAA semifinal match against second-seeded North St. Paul 3-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. The East Ridge volleyball team's attempt at a second-ever run to the state tournament ended as it was swept by North St. Paul on Tuesday night - a win away from the section title game. The Raptors lost by scores of 17-25, 18-25 and 21-25. East Ridge finished the season 17-13 overall. The Raptors were the No.
After a first round win in the Section 4AAAA tournament, the New Life Academy Eagles ran into a buzz saw in the form of South St. Paul, losing 43-0 Thursday night. The New Life Academy football team opened its tournament schedule Tuesday night against St. Paul Johnson and defeated the higher-seeded Governors 26-15, as senior co-captain Matt Michaud became the first New Life Academy player to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark. Michaud ended his stellar season with 1,263 yards on 157 attempts, averaging just over 8.0 yards per carry.
With two big wins in the Section 4AAA tournament, the East Ridge volleyball team is two wins away from the state tournament. The East Ridge volleyball team began tournament play on Tuesday night at home against 11th seeded White Bear Lake with a clean sweep. The sixth-seeded Raptors defeated White Bear Lake 3-0, by scores of 25-12, 25-13 and 25-13 in front of the home crowd at the Raptors' Nest. Senior Tess Kelzenberg led her team with 11 digs and three aces to get the East Ridge faithful thinking about a state tournament run.
The plan stays pretty simple for East Ridge when its offensive line performs well - give the ball to running back Nick Leach and good things happen. That's exactly what happened for the second-seeded Raptors (5-4) Saturday in the Section 5AAAAA semifinals against sixth-seeded Tartan (3-7) at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Leach, a junior, rushed for 164 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns to help the Raptors lock down their first trip to a section title game with a 36-22 victory. "Nick's our go-to guy," East Ridge head coach Mike Pendino said.
It's becoming a habit. After reaching its first-ever section soccer final last year, the New Life Academy girls soccer team reached the Section 4A championship game for a second-straight year last week, only to be done in by South St. Paul once again. Last year, South St. Paul dashed the Eagles' hopes of a state tournament berth with a 1-0 win in the Section 4A final. In the game, top-seeded South St. Paul scored the game-winning goal with 13.1 seconds remaining on the clock. This year, the top-seeded Packers didn't have to wait as long to celebrate.