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Kuemmel's Corner: The winter wrap-up

After the winter that we have had, it is a minor miracle that we can actually see the grass on our fields right now. But before we get too far thinking about spring, I want to take a moment to look back on our winter season.

Our teams had a very successful winter, and many of our student-athletes distinguished themselves as some of the best in the state. The Thunderbolts floor hockey team had a tremendous season once again and took second place in the CI state tournament a few weekends ago — congrats!

One-act play was the section runner-up. Zach Silvis, Solomon Lankow, Edric Waindim, and Antonio Davis competed in the state wrestling tournament, while Brenna Sommerland (5th place on the balance beam) and Mandy Hafner represented Park in the state gymnastics meet.

Swimmers Nathan LeMay (50-yard freestyle), Dylan Purrington (100 breaststroke), and the 200 medley relay team consisting of Devin Schwartz, Dylan Purrington, Hogan Lawson, Nathan LeMay competed at the state meet as well.

Many of our teams and athletes gave back to the community by doing some type of service, including our boys' hockey CHECK and girls' basketball United We Fight fundraisers. Both groups worked with district rival Woodbury High School to raise funds for a worthy cause.

Park athletes also excel in the classroom. We had many individual students and teams earn academic honors. We had seven student-athletes earn All-State academic honors:

Molly Jensen in girls' hockey and basketball players Saren Croker, Lexi Gerber, Mallory Hoffman, Hannah Schluetter, Lindsey Strom and Annika Theurer. Girls' hockey (gold) and girls' basketball (silver) won teams awards.

Hannah Schluetter and Alex Towle earned the school's Triple A award, and Adison Steinke and Jake Kuemmel were named the school's ExCEL award winners. Five athletes signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their playing careers in college this winter. Charlie Gorres was selected to play in the senior all-star game for basketball.

While some schools may focus only on section or state championships as a sign of success, I believe we had a very successful winter season for the Wolfpack. Our coaches were able to create positive experiences for the students and teach them lifelong lessons, while still fielding competitive teams in one of the toughest conferences (if not the toughest) in the whole state.

Congratulations to all winter sports and activities on a successful season. I would like to thank all of the winter coaches and student-athletes for all of their hard work and dedication to Wolfpack athletics. Now let's hope for some good spring weather!