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PJ's Perspective: Young stars for Bradley, Keenan commits to Pepperdine, and more

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Bradley University junior guard Michelle Young, a Woodbury High School graduate, was named the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week and the MVC Player of the Week last week. Young scored a career-best 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting in Bradley’s victory against Illinois last Friday. She also added six rebounds, four assists, one block and a pair of steals. Her 32 points tied for the eighth highest scoring output in school history and were the most by a Bradley player in a home game since 2004. Young, who is an elementary education (English) major and owns a 3.90 cumulative grade point average, is averaging a MVC leading 26.0 points per game and has helped the Braves to their first 2-0 start to a season since 2008-09. Young came on late in the year as a sophomore to emerge as one of the team’s top offensive threats and started the final 19 games of the year. In high school, Young averaged 22.1 points per game as a senior, setting the Woodbury season scoring record and earning all-state and all-conference honors. She was also named MVP of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game.

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East Ridge 6-foot-10-inch senior center Ryan Keenan committed to play Div. 1 basketball for Pepperdine University in Malibu, Cal., in 2014.

Keenan made the jump to varsity as a junior, playing 26 of 27 of the Raptors’ games in the 2012-13 season with highs of eight points and six rebounds. 

“The biggest thing over the past year for Ryan is that he’s really grown into his body and he’s comfortable with his size and strength,” East Ridge head coach Paul Virgin said. “From January to now his growth has been remarkable.”

This season, the Waves have seven new freshmen and one junior college transfer, matching the eight returners from last year’s squad that went 12-18 overall and 4-12 in the West Coast Conference, good for a tie for seventh place.

“I loved the fit and compatibility I had with the coaching staff, the players, the academics and the location at Pepperdine,” Kennan said. “It’s a beautiful campus and view is breathtaking. It’s my dream to play in the NCAA Tournament and playing for Marty Wilson gives me a shot to do that. He’s recruiting high-quality players and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Park High School graduate and current Kansas State senior Katya Leick scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds in her debut for the Wildcats on Nov. 10 — a 73-65 win over Charlotte. It was Leick’s first action in a K-State uniform since transferring from Nebraska in the spring of 2011. After sitting a year out because of transfer rules, Leick missed the 2012-13 season after tearing her ACL. Leick was an all-state player for Park as a senior, averaging 22 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.5 steals. An all-state honorable mention winner as a junior, she was also a four-time letterwinner in volleyball and tallied a letter in track and field for the Wolfpack.

Woodbury graduate Diallo Powell is making some noise as a freshman at Lake Region State College in North Dakota. According to the junior college, Powell is currently 20th in the country in steals per game at 3.2 a contest.

Vermont freshman and 2013 Woodbury High School graduate Kristina White was named America East Rookie of the Week after the opening weekend of action. White scored a game-high 18 points in her collegiate debut at Bryant on Saturday, Nov. 9. She also had four rebounds, went 3-for-7 from 3-point range and 7-for-9 from the foul line for the Catamounts in an 82-71 loss. White was a four-year starter for Woodbury and finished her career ranked third among the all-time leading scorers in school history with 1,595 career points. She broke six school records during her four years, including: most 3-pointers in a season (72), most 3-pointers in a career (202) and most steals in a season (132).

St. Scholastica senior and Woodbury High School graduate Shannon Carlson was named to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) all-conference women’s soccer second team last week. Carlson, who is a two-time first team All-UMAC choice (2010, 2012), earned second team accolades for the first time. Carlson finished third in the conference with 12 goals in league games. Her four game-winning goals were third in the conference overall. St. Scholastica fell to 16th-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in overtime to end the Saints’ season in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament last week. The Saints (18-3-1) will say goodbye to eight seniors, including Carlson.

Woodbury 2010 graduate and Florida State senior Kassey Kallman is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award which is chosen by a nationwide vote of NCAA Division I head coaches, national media and fans. The award is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate senior student-athlete in 10 Division I sports who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. 

Kallman was recently recognized as one of the best defenders in the nation when the senior captain became the first Seminole in school history to earn ACC Defensive Player of the Year accolades.The Woodbury High School graduate has started every game in the backline for Florida State in 2013 and ranks second on the team in minutes played. Kallman leads a Seminole defense that ranks in the top 25 nationally in goals against average (11th) and save percentage (24th), while their 11 shutouts are the third most in the ACC. In high school, Kallman earned All-State and All-American honors along with being named Ms. Soccer for Minnesota in 2009. She led Woodbury to two state championships. She has been a fixture in the Seminole backline since 2010 and has helped Florida State to back-to-back College Cup appearances (2011 & 2012), an ACC title in 2011 and a conference regular season championship in 2012. Kallman is currently in third place. To vote for her, go to www.seniorclassaward.com, click on Women’s Soccer and choose Kassey. You can vote daily from now until Nov. 25.

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Patrick Johnson
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.
(651) 319-4505
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