I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position.
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Tuesday East Ridge 5, Apple Valley 1 As the East Ridge boys hockey team went onto the ice at Apple Valley Sports Arena on Tuesday night, there was only one thought that crossed each of the players' minds. They didn't want to make this night the last night of the hockey season. Once the puck was dropped, the Raptors played with that mentality all night. "We know how much this season means to the seniors and we didn't want to end it tonight," said junior Marco Troje. "It was great to see us get the win."
The PWER nordic ski team sent four skiers, while Math and Science Academy sent one skier to the state meet on Thursday afternoon. It was a day filled with memories for all five skiers and moments they will never forget, but it also allowed them to gain experiences that they can use in the future. "This season has been so much fun because you can see the growth of a skier from one meet to another," said head coach Drew Voegele.
Section Tournament The regular season has come to an end and the coaches came together for the seeds meeting for the section tournament. On Sunday, the brackets were finalized for the upcoming week of tournament play. East Ridge and Park will be playing in the 3AA section tournament. The Raptors received the last seed, No. 9, in tournament and will be in a play-in game on Tuesday, Feb. 19 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. East Ridge will travel to No. 8 seed Apple Valley on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Apple Valley Sports Arena.
It was a dream come true for seven skiers on the PWER alpine ski team as they each crossed the finish line at the state meet on Wednesday. For some this was their first trip to the state meet, while others were there previous years, but it was a great opportunity to build friendships throughout the week. "I always look forward to this week of the season," said head coach Scott Melander. "They are able to achieve their goal for the season and race in the state meet. I couldn't be more proud of these skiers."
An eruption came off the East Ridge wrestling bench and the Raptors fans in the stands as Ethan Pittman won his 182-pound match in the section finals against Hastings on Friday night. After the win for Pittman, the score changed and East Ridge was leading 35-13. The Raptors wrestlers knew history was going to be made at Eagan High School on Friday night. After three more matches, East Ridge had finalized a 38-25 win over No. 1 seed Hastings to reach the state tournament as a team for the first time in program history.
If a team reaches the state gymnastics meet once in a few years, it shows they had a strong season where every gymnast clicked at the right time. When a team reaches the state gymnastics meet for five straight seasons, it shows there's any expectation and a tradition that lies within the program to strive for excellence. For the East Ridge gymnastics team, this will be their fifth straight state appearance as a team. The tradition has been in place and now the gymnasts strive for excellence day in and day out.
Editor's note: This column is one in a series as three RiverTown Multimedia reporters take part in the Slim Down RiverTown weightloss challenge. I'm sure many people have heard of the 30-day Challenge as it's swept across the country over the last couple of years. If you haven't, it's really simple. It's a monthlong program where you can work on strengthening particular parts of the body or the entire body as a whole.
There was still two seconds left on the clock, but the six East Ridge players on the ice and the entire Raptor bench were smiling from head to toe. They knew history had been made on Wednesday night. After those two seconds expired, a line of Raptor girls came flying to goalie Emerald Kelley as she was tackled by all of her teammates. She didn't care because she knew it was a moment that was going to last forever.
It's section time for high school wrestling and the Woodbury and Cottage Grove schools are gearing up for a big day on Friday, Feb. 15 at Eagan High School. The seeds have been finalized and East Ridge, Woodbury and Park are on top of the section leaderboard. The main questions though is can one of these three schools knock off No. 1 seed Hastings as the Raiders have won the team sections tournament for XX years.
Park head coach Amanda Johnson knew it was going to be a different type of meet after seeing the results from the first race of the night on Friday. The Wolfpack took first and second place in the 200-yard medley relay, which showed Johnson that the boys really wanted to earn the victory that night. The boys had strong swims in every event, which resulted in a 106-77 win for Park. This was the first time in 22 years that Park defeated Woodbury in boys swimming and diving.