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East Ridge needed a big performance if it was going to beat eighth-ranked White Bear Lake - and it got one from Katie Flanders. Flanders, the Raptors' sophomore goalie, pitched a shutout against White Bear Lake, stopping all 20 of the Bears' shots in the game to help East Ridge win 1-0 and earn its first victory of the year. Flanders followed up the performance with 33-save game in a 2-1 loss to 13th-ranked Stillwater.
The East Ridge gymnastics team endured a tough draw to start the year when it opened the 2012-13 season with a Suburban East Conference meet against perennial power Roseville. The Raiders didn't disappoint, scoring 141.2 points while beating the Raptors, which scored 128.25 points. East Ridge gymnasts earned two first-place finishes in the meet. Junior Kelly McKenzie finished first in the vault with a score of 9.25 and freshman Megan Trollen earned first-place on the bars with a 9.125.
The New Life Academy girls basketball team began its season Friday night with a loss against Concordia Academy. For the young Eagles, chemistry is something that will build with each game. New Life Academy began building that chemistry on Friday night in the loss to Concordia Academy, falling 48-36, but second year coach Ruth Ann Pederson said she saw a lot of good things from her team. "We played great defense, and put on a lot of pressure," Pederson said.
It wasn't a perfect night for the New Life Academy boys basketball team, but the Eagles opened the season off with a win by beating St. Agnes 57-47 on Friday. "It is always good to get wins early in the season to build confidence and excitement for the season," said NLA head coach Doug Linton. The Eagles were led by senior guard Cam Duffy's 13 points. Duffy had plenty of help, though, as 11 different players scored for New Life Academy. Junior guard John Horner scored 12 points, while junior guard Alex Busch added nine coming off the bench.
Head coach Paul Virgin took a page from college hoops as the East Ridge boys basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with a Saturday afternoon matinee against Andover at '"The Perch." East Ridge started the year the right way, winning 75-71 over the Huskies in the non-conference contest. "It's always good to win," said Virgin, who is in his fourth year as head coach. "You're not going to feel bad about that, but I think there are a lot of things we need to work on. There's a lot the kids did really well though, too.
The East Ridge high school gymnastics team is coming off an impressive 8-1 season, which led to a second place finish in Section 3AA. Expectations for head coach Brittany Morris and the Raptors couldn't be higher for the 2012-13 season, but that will come with challenges. Especially after losing the team's best gymnast. East Ridge lost Leah Robinette to graduation. Robinette won the state championship last season in the vault. She finished with a 9.825 to take the top-spot, a mark that was a personal-best for Robinette and a school-record.
Last year, the East Ridge boys swimming and diving team finished on a high note. This winter, the Raptors hope the momentum carries over. Led by 2012 grads Matt Koken and Austin Davidson, the Raptors earned an impressive eighth place at last year's state meet. Koken and Davidson each reached the state finals in the maximum four events. Individually, Koken finished in fourth place in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly, while Davidson placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley and eighth place in the 100-yard backstroke.
Though the school is only 4 years old, the East Ridge alpine boys and girls teams could be two of the best in the state this winter. The alpine program was dubbed the PWER alpine team at its inception in 2009 - the Park, Woodbury and East Ridge teams practice together, compete in identical races and are administrated by the same staff, but race as individual high schools. Since the beginning, the East Ridge alpine teams have stood out. The Raptors are led by Elizabeth Koprucki, who is now a senior.
The East Ridge girls hockey team's season hasn't started the way most were hoping. With the departure of its head coach and an 0-4 start, the Raptors have had a rough start to the 2012-13 season.
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.