2011-12 Winter Preview: New coach to lead MSA Nordic team this winterThis winter, new Math and Science Academy head coach Bjorn Batdorf takes the reins of the Nordic program from Daniel Scheff, who led the Dragons the past three years.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
This winter, new Math and Science Academy head coach Bjorn Batdorf takes the reins of the Nordic program from Daniel Scheff, who led the Dragons the past three years.
Scheff spearheaded the additions of the track and field and Nordic skiing programs at MSA. Prior to this school-year, Scheff left MSA to pursue an athletic administration graduate degree in Colorado.
A charter school in Woodbury, Math and Science Academy serves students in grades six through 12. With a ninth through 12th-grade enrollment of 143 according to Minnesota State High School League guidelines — the school offers intense math and science experiences along with providing creative and challenging opportunities in arts, humanities and athletics.
Cross country running was the school’s first sport. Track and field came soon thereafter. Three years ago, in addition to boys and girls basketball, the Nordic skiing program began.
“We have a small, but growing team,” Batdorf said. “After a good season of cross country running, the kids are looking to improve on their result from last year.”
Last season, the MSA Nordic team’s season came to a close at the Section 4 Championships, without a skier qualifying for the state meet. At the Section 4 meet, the Dragons boys team took ninth place with 241 points — just behind of eighth-place East Ridge (247 points) and the girls team took 12th place with 52 points.
Gone from last year’s squad are 2011 graduates Kyle Osborne and Aren Siekmeier. Key skiers this season are expected to include: Maddie Ames, Jacob Siekmeier, Elise Lohmann and Ines Siepmann. Jacob Siekmeier had the best finish for the Dragons at last year’s section meet as well as earning All-Conference honors, while Siepmann had the Dragons’ girls top time at sections.
“We are looking for some big snow and then we will be working on learning to ski with smooth technique,” Batdorf said. “Of course, everyone is looking forward to the winter break trip to Giants Ridge where we will ski, eat, sleep and have fun.”