2012: The year in Woodbury sportsIn 2012 record books were re-written, milestones were set, streaks were broken and championships were won. Old coaches said goodbye, new coaches were brought in and some longtime leaders were honored. Here’s a look back at some of the most notable events in area sports from 2012.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, Woodbury Bulletin
In 2012 record books were re-written, milestones were set, streaks were broken and championships were won. Old coaches said goodbye, new coaches were brought in and some longtime leaders were honored.
There was a litany of ups and downs, highs and lows and tears of joy and sadness shed throughout the year. For many of the area’s sports faithful, 2012 will not soon be forgotten, and for a select few, moments from the past 365 days will last an entire lifetime.
Here’s a look back at some of the most notable events in area sports from 2012.
Royals boys basketball team rallies to state
The year 2012 was a big one for the Woodbury boys basketball team.
The Royals reached the state tournament with a 68-66 overtime win over Roseville in the Section 4AAAA championship at East Ridge High School.
After the win, Royals head coach Scott Swansson called the victory a special accomplishment.
“It’s what you always think about and work for every year,” he said. “It’s always at the top of your list.”
Renard Suggs led the way in the win over Roseville with a team-high 28 points.
“It’s amazing,” he said at the time. “My whole life I’ve been working to get to this moment.”
Woodbury’s road to the state’s big dance included a roller-coaster ride in its three match-ups with Roseville. The Royals won the first game, but fell at home last month to the Raiders, who plucked the conference championship title from them with the win.
In the section final the two teams played to a 61-61 tie after regulation.
In overtime, Suggs got the Royals off to a four-point lead with two early buckets in overtime, including a fast-break dunk.
Roseville reclaimed the lead at 66-65 after draining another three-pointer and sinking two free throws.
That lead didn’t hold, thanks to Woodbury’s Diallo Powell, who brought the game to a tie from the free throw line, then hit the game-winner in the final minute on an assist from 2012 grad Connor McKeen.
Roseville’s last shot attempt, a deep three-pointer, clanked off the rim.
Fans stormed the court after the final buzzer sounded, as players leapt across the East Ridge court in celebration.
The Royals entered the state tournament unseeded and fell in overtime to No. 1-seeded Hopkins, the three-time defending state champions.
After surviving under a second-half Woodbury surge, Hopkins proved the superior team in the critical overtime frame Wednesday, winning 82-75.
“We all know we played one heck of a regulation and fell short in overtime,” said McKeen following the loss.
Shot making – especially from the free-throw line – proved to be Woodbury’s weakness in the loss. Woodbury shot 44 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the free throw line.
Norsten wins second state title, Lugg takes silver
In 2012, Woodbury swimmers Greg Norsten and Victor Lugg went out in style.
Both 2012 grads, Norsten won the state championship in the 200-yard individual medley, defending his title in the event, and Lugg finished in second place in the 50-yard freestyle at the 2011-12 state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
As a team, Woodbury took sixth place with 110 points, just back of fifth-place Edina and ahead of three Suburban East Conference rivals – Mounds View (109 points), East Ridge (107 points) and Stillwater (95 points). Eden Prairie won the Class AA state title with 314.50 points.
“I was ecstatic for our team,” Norsten said after the meet. “My goal for the team this year was to place in the top 10 and we ended up placing sixth. And we beat every team we lost to in our conference races at state. It was fun.”
In the 200 IM, Norsten blew his competition out of the water, winning by roughly half a pool-length and more than five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Norsten had a time of 1:49.76, which broke his own school record, was an All-American time and was just over two seconds off the Minnesota all-time record of 1:47.71, set by Eden Prairie’s Mark Solfelt in 2006.
As a junior in 2011, Norsten won the state championship in the 200 IM with a time of 1:51.87, breaking the Woodbury High School record and becoming the Royals’ first state swim champion since 1999 — when Woodbury’s Aaron Wood won the 100-yard butterfly as a senior. Wood, who also won state titles in the 200IM in 1997 and 1998, was the previous Woodbury record holder in the event.
Throughout the 2012 season, Norsten — who committed to swim for the University of Minnesota — broke Woodbury records in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle.
“He’s definitely the most well-rounded and probably the greatest swimmer we’ve ever had,” Woodbury head coach Marty Hoven said after the state meet.
Lugg, who committed to swim for Illinois Wesleyan, broke two 20-year old school records and earned All-American consideration with his second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle and his fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. In the 50 free, Lugg’s 20.99 was just a hair behind Eden Prairie junior Aaron Greenberg’s winning 20.93 time. In the 100 free, Lugg had a time of 46.71. Greenberg won the race with a time of 45.65. Both of Lugg’s times broke Woodbury school records from 1992.
“I’ve been looking at the records for the past six years,” Lugg said after the meet. “I had my mind set on it and finally did it. It was very fulfilling finally taking it down.”
Swansson named Coach of the Year
Scott Swansson’s year couldn’t have gotten much better.
The Woodbury High School basketball coach was named co-coach of the year in Class AAAA by the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association.
He and Tim Theisen, the head coach of state champion Osseo, shared in the honor.
Swansson led the Royals to the Section 4AAAA championship and took the team to the state tournament for the first time in five years.
He turned the Royals’ season around from a 10-16 record in 2010-11 to 21-5 this year.
This March, Swansson won his third section championship and reached the state tournament for the third time in his 12 years as head coach. Woodbury also reached the state tournament in 2006 and 2007 under Swansson.
In all, Swansson has coached at Woodbury High School for 29 years. In addition to basketball, he has also been a longtime assistant football and baseball coach for the Royals.
Last year, Swansson – a native of Willmar and a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College – said he took his 94th team picture at Woodbury.
When he heard the news Swansson said he was “overwhelmed.”
“I didn’t expect that,” he said.
Roese becomes 400 state champ
Nate Roese made his mark on Minnesota track and field in 2012.
As a junior, Roese won the 400-meter dash state championship at last year’s state meet, running the race in a scorching 47.79 seconds, beating out defending state champion Austin Salargo, a senior from Hopkins, who had a time of 47.91. Roese, who also earned a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the state meet, finished second to Salargo at the state meet the previous year.
“I’m pretty happy right now,” Roese said after the state championship win. “This was my goal this whole year, along with beating Austin Salargo, who beat me last year. This was both in one. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Roese’s time was within .2 seconds of tying the all-time state meet record of 47.59, set by Randy Melbourne of Minneapolis Washburn in 1993.
The 400 championship wasn’t Roese’s only All-State finish at the state meet: He earned fourth place in the 200 in 22.15 seconds. The 200 winner was Keelon Brookins of Tartan, who finished in 21.90.
The All-State finishes were not simply season goals, but components of something bigger, Roese said at the time.
“I want to leave a good legacy behind at my school,” he said. “I want people to know about my accomplishments.
Robinette wins state vault championship
In 2012, Leah Robinette was East Ridge’s golden girl.
In her final high school meet the 2012 graduate won the state championship in the vault at the 2011-12 Class AA individual state meet at the University of Minnesota, becoming the first gymnast to win a state title from East Ridge.
“It’s amazing,” Robinette said after the meet. “It’s the best score I’ve ever had. I could tell after I stuck it. I’ll look back on this and have no regrets.”
In her first event of the night, Robinette uncorked a 9.825 for first place in the vault. The score was a personal-best for her and an East Ridge record. Fellow Section 3AA opponent Nadia Lorencz, a junior from Farmington, finished second in the event with a 9.7875.
Robinette’s vault — a 1/4-on, 1/4 off front tuck — was unique to her in high school competition and had a maximum score of 10.0. She began doing the skill three years prior and honed it in hopes of winning a state championship.
In addition to her state title, Robinette finished in fourth place in the all-around with a 38.1 score. Along with her 9.825 vault, Robinette scored a 9.625 on the bars, a 9.075 on the beam and earned a 9.575 in the floor exercise.
At the state meet, East Ridge first-year head coach Brittany Simmons said Robinette was a “phenomenal all-around gymnast.”
“Leah is a joy to watch, in competition or practice. She’s been an undercover coach. The girls have really looked up to her as a leader and for motivation,” Simmons said. “I’m going to miss her and watching the amazing things she can throw and do. It’s going to be hard not having her in the gym. But, we’ll always remember her – she’s going to be a Raptors legend.”
Woodbury grad David Eddy signs with Calgary Flames
A Woodbury record-breaker re-wrote history in 2012.
Woodbury 2008 graduate David Eddy signed a two-year contract with the Calgary Flames last year, becoming the first ever Royals hockey player to have an NHL contract.
Woodbury head coach Wes Bolin, who just finished his eighth year as Royals head coach and 29th overall, said he was “very proud of David” – a player Bolin said put Woodbury “on the high school hockey map.”
“This is certainly an exciting thing for him and for the Woodbury hockey community,” Bolin said at the time.
Eddy, a 6-foot, 195-pound forward, set numerous records at Woodbury High School. His 33 goals and 36 assists for 69 points in 2008 are all school single-season records. He also has the career-point record with 147, the career goals record, 71, and the career assists record 76, during his three-year varsity career for the Royals.
Prior to signing with the Flames, Eddy had just finished his junior year at St. Cloud University, where he scored 30 goals and added 35 assists for 65 points in 92 games in three seasons with the Huskies.
Eddy scored perhaps the biggest goal in Woodbury history. He netted the game-winning goal in overtime to beat Cretin-Derham Hall in 2007 and give Woodbury its first state tournament berth. In addition to being a star hockey player for Woodbury, Eddy was a standout football and baseball player for the Royals as well.
Woodbury inducts first-ever Hall of Fame class
A great number of multi-talented students and skilled coaches have walked the halls of Woodbury High School over the past 37 years.
Last year, they finally began to be recognized.
Woodbury High School inducted eight individuals into its inaugural Hall of Fame class for 2012 as part of the Homecoming week festivities.
“This is just the start of a really neat celebration. One that I feel is long overdue,” Woodbury Activities Director Jason Gonnion said at the time. “It provides a connection to the past. I think the tradition at Woodbury High School has been one of excellence – not only in the classroom, but it extracurricular activities as well.”
Longtime Woodbury basketball coach Del Schiffler, 1990 graduate Douglas C. Schneider, 1983 graduate Mary Vaaler, 1985 graduate Kathryn Hughes, 1984 graduate Chip Lohmiller, 1978 graduate Michael Robb, 1988 graduate Michelle Sherman and 1995 graduate Heidi Lundervold made up the inaugural Hall of Fame class at Woodbury High School.
Lyden makes history, becomes first Raptors wrestler to win state match
East Ridge sophomore wrestler Reid Lyden set the bar last year.
Lyden defeated Mound-Westonka freshman Sam Bennyhoff in the first round of the 2011-12 state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center at St. Paul to become the first Raptors wrestler in history to win a state match. He then went on to finish in sixth place, garnering All-State honors.
Lyden, who finished the year 39-6, said he felt good about being the first to win a match at state and to be the first All-State wrestler in East Ridge history.
“My main goal was first just to make it to state,” Lyden said after the tournament. “Then, I wanted to place in the top six, which I did. So, I’m happy with myself. It’s really hard to get All-State. It feels pretty good.”
In his first state tournament, Lyden, ranked eighth in Class AAA at 106 pounds, beat Bennyhoff, ranked fourth in the weight class, 11-7 in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, Lyden beat unranked Bemidji freshman Brian Mass with a 11-10 score. The two wins guaranteed the worst Lyden could do was sixth place, which earns all-state honors. On day No. 2, however, things went south.
In the 106-pound championship semifinal round, Lyden lost 8-4 to No.-1 ranked Albert Lea junior Trevor Westerlund. After the loss to Westerlund, Lyden dropped into the consolation semifinals or “wrestlebacks” where he lost to Alexandria sophomore Trent Piepenburg 4-2 in overtime for a chance at the third-place match. Lyden also suffered an injury in his match and forfeited fifth place, finishing in sixth overall at 106 pounds.
“I think that’s huge for our program,” East Ridge head coach Hans Horning said at the time. “It’s cool to get that attention and get those younger kids fired up about our program. He’s got two more years and has something to focus on for next year. But, it’s big for our program.”
Raptors girls runners take fifth in state
In 2012, the East Ridge girls cross country took another step forward.
Led by an all-state performance by sophomore Emily Betz, East Ridge finished in fifth place in the Class AA state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
After winning a third-straight Suburban East Conference championship and second Section 4AA title this past season, East Ridge was ranked third in Class AA heading into the state meet, only finishing second twice this season – behind No. 1 Eagan and No. 2 Wayzata in separate races.
Two years ago, East Ridge finished in sixth place after taking eighth the year before. At the state meet this year, Betz led the way for the Raptors with her 13th place finish overall and a time of 14 minutes, 33.1 seconds in the 4 kilometer race. At state, the top 25 individual finishers earn the All-State designation. After Betz, junior Bailey Ness was the second Raptors’ runner to cross the finish line, coming in 33rd with a time of 14:54.5. Sophomore Brenley Goertzen had East Ridge’s third-best time, taking 85th overall, in 15:25.7. Senior Taylor Jackson (15:27.3) and eighth-grader Megan Schiferl (15:28.8) took 87th and 93rd, respectively, to round out the Raptors’ scoring five runners.
Wayzata won the Class AA state championship with 50 place points, beating out second-place Eagan, which had 93 points. Edina (129 points) was third and surprise Forest Lake was fourth (161 points).
Individually, Shakopee senior Maria Hauger won a fourth-straight state championship with a record time of 13:42.
East Ridge totaled 163 place points to tie Lakeville South, however the Raptors nabbed fifth place on the tie-breaker, which is the finish of the team’s six runner. East Ridge junior Sandra Gramer had the Raptors’ sixth-best finish in 15:33.8 for 58th place. Lakeville North junior Mariah Gallagher was the Panthers’ sixth-best runner, taking 61st with a time of 15:35.2.
“Every single person counted,” East Ridge head coach Chad Cronin said. “That’s a good lesson to learn. They ran well today. We’re certainly proud of these girls. It was a great season.”
Hinzman hired as East Ridge activities director
In 2012, Jon Hinzman took the reins of a bourgeoning East Ridge High School athletics program.
Just weeks before the 2012-13 season began, Hinzman was hired as the new activities director at East Ridge High School. Hinzman took over the East Ridge activities director job from Trent Hanson, who was hired as an assistant principal at East Ridge last spring.
Most recently, Hinzman, 37, was a principal in the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District in Wisconsin. He has also been an athletic director for the Elmwood School District in Wisconsin.
Hinzman’s background also includes time serving as an assistant principal, special education teacher and basketball and football coach. He recently completed his superintendent licensure through the University of St. Thomas, adding to his educational specialist (principal) licensure also with St. Thomas, and a master’s of education in teaching and learning, and bachelor of science in special education.
Before being hired as activities director, Hinzman said he heard “a lot of positive things about East Ridge and the south Washington County School District.”
“There are a lot of great people in the area and it’s a growing community with very supportive people,” he said upon being hired. “That’s what led me to apply for this position at East Ridge. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to professionally and personally grow and connect with the great students, coaches, athletes, parents and community members.”
Rydberg represents United States in 2012 Paralympic Games in London
In 2012, Jon Rydberg’s hard work paid off.
Rydberg, the head girls tennis coach at East Ridge High School, was selected to represent the United States in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
It was Rydberg’s third Paralympic Games, which have been part of the Olympics since 1960.
Rydberg was injured in an accident when he was 13 months old and is now in a wheelchair.
Roughly two years ago, Rydberg got back into competitive tennis with the hopes of playing in the London Paralympics. Since then he worked hard, playing in numerous tournaments in the U.S. and internationally, to regain the form that had him ranked as the No. 1 wheelchair tennis player in the country in years past. Rydberg, 35, peaked at No. 11 in the world in 2007. He entered the Olympics ranked 27th in the world and No. 2 in the United States.
At the Games, in Men’s Singles, Rydberg won his first match – in the round of 64 – with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Agustin Ledesma of Argentinia, but fell in his second match – in the round of 32 – 7-6, 6-1 to France’s Michael Jeremiasz. In the Men’s Doubles competition, Rydberg and his partner Stephen Welch fell 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 to Brazil’s Mauricio Pomme and Carlos Santos in the round of 32.
In addition to his two Paralympics appearances in 2004 and 2008, Rydberg has played in three US Opens and is an 11-time United States Wheelchair World Cup team member.
He said the Paralympic Games were a special event.
“It’s always on the top of everyone’s list,” he said at the time. “All the top players in the world are there and it means the most to us tennis players.”
Koprucki finishes second in state; girls ski team takes fifth overall
Elizabeth Koprucki continued to ascend to the top of the alpine skiing ranks in 2012.
As a junior, Koprucki led the East Ridge girls downhill ski team to a fifth-place finish at the state meet, taking second place as an individual.
Koprucki finished 1.12 seconds behind the champion, Megan Danelski of Hermantown.
The state meet was the only Minnesota State High School League-sanctioned race Koprucki competed in all year that she did not win. In 2012, Koprucki won all four of the Suburban East Conference races in which she competed, in addition to the Section 4A meet.
The East Ridge girls squad competed in the team portion of the meet. They finished fifth in the eight-team field. Hermantown won the girls team portion.
In addition, individually, eighth-grader Jack Midtlien, who races for the East Ridge boys team, finished 29th in the state competition. East Ridge junior Morgan Maxwell, who along with Woodbury racers Sarah Niederhofer and Brittany Roth qualified for state individually, finished 30th overall in the individual portion. Roth and Niederhofer finished 57th and 58th, respectively.
New Life softball team’s streak of four-straight state titles ends
Though New Life Academy’s streak of four-straight Class A state championship titles came to an end last year, it was still another banner year for the Eagles.
Despite fielding a roster with no seniors and starting nine players at new positions, the New Life Academy softball team brought home hardware from the state tournament for a sixth-straight year.
New Life Academy — the winner of the past four Class A state championships and the only school in state history to win four state titles in a row —earned fourth place in the 2012 Class A Minnesota State Softball Tournament in North Mankato.
After beating Section 6A champion Sebeka 2-1 in the opening round of the state tournament, New Life Academy (17-9) was edged 2-0 by No. 1-ranked Cherry in the state semifinals. Cherry, which NLA beat in the state final two years ago, finished the year undefeated and as Class A state champions. After the emotional loss to Cherry, New Life suffered a letdown in the third-place game, falling to New Ulm Cathedral 9-2.
In 2012, New Life won a seventh-straight conference championship, going 9-0 in Minnesota Christian Athletic Association play, and earned a seventh-straight trip to the state tournament, beating 10th-ranked Minneapolis Washburn 5-3 for the Section 4A championship at Hamline University.
2012 was NLA’s seventh straight state tournament appearance. The Eagles’ streak of seven straight state tournament appearances is the second-longest in state history. Only one team — Winona Cotter – has been to eight straight state tournaments. Two teams — St. Bernard’s and Hermantown — have been to six consecutive state tourneys.
The Eagles competed in their first-ever state tournament in 2006 and were Class A runner-ups in 2007. Bouyed by starting pitchers Danielle Schmidt and Rebekah Schmidt, New Life won the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Class A State championships. Prior to New Life, New Ulm Cathedral was the last team to win three-straight championships — in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
NLA head coach Mick Ramey earned the Class A Softball Coach of the Year award for his team’s performance in 2012.
“I’m absolutely happy with where we ended up,” Ramey said. “The goal was to be over .500 and we certainly did that. It was a surprise to be at the state tournament and a lot of fun being there.”
Woodbury football team stuns Cretin-Derham Hall in sections
Throughout 2012, Woodbury football coach Andy Hill said his team was capable of beating any other team – if his Royals played to their potential.
Woodbury proved that when it mattered most.
The Royals – heavy underdogs after compiling a 3-5 regular-season record and drawing a sixth seed in the playoffs – stunned No. 9-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall on its own turf, winning 21-14.
The Royals utilized a revamped defensive system aimed at stifling the Raiders’ pulverizing running game and capitalized on the play of quarterback Sawyer Moon and running back Quran Al-Hameed.
Moon led all rushers with 110 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. Al-Hameed ran for 96 yards in 19 attempts and recorded one rushing touchdown; he also finished with 34 yards receiving.
The Royals, who averaged 6.4 yards per carry against the Raiders, finished with 335 yards of total offense.
Woodbury’s defense also dug in; the team won the turnover battle 3-to-1, with interceptions from Abiola Abodunde and Jake Schaffer, along with a fumble recovery by Geno DeMike. Ryan Winter also recorded two sacks in the game.
“We played a full 48 minutes,” Hill said at the time, calling the Cretin upset “a huge win for our program.”
The win over No. 3-seeded Cretin – a team that had beaten Woodbury 48-20 just two weeks earlier – propeled the Royals into the round of 16 in the newly formed Class AAAAAA section. The new alignment calls for first-round winners play “crossover” games in the round of 16 against teams from other sections.
In the next round, Woodbury fell 34-7 to Prior Lake, the No. 1 seed coming out of Section 3AAAAAA, a game shy of the Class 6A tournament.
Herold-Plakut leads trio of Royals, takes fifth at state wrestling tournament
Woodbury’s Justin Herold-Plakut led the way for the Royals at the 2011-12 State Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, earning fifth place in the 132-pound weight class with a 13-0 win over Spring Lake Park senior Phillip Horsager and taking home All-State honors – reserved for the top six wrestlers in each weight.
As a sophomore, Herold-Plakut finished the year 34-10.
“He came out in that fifth place match and definitely proved that he deserved to be there and to be looked at as one of the better wrestlers in the state,” Woodbury head coach Justin Smith said of Herold-Plakut at the time.
In his third state tournament, Herold-Plakut, who is entered unranked in the 132-pound weight class in Class AAA, beat unranked Little Falls junior Connor Scherping 4-1 in the opening round then beat Wayzata’s Collin Sohn 4-3. Day two of the 2011-12 state tournament wasn’t as easy, but Herold-Plakut endured and won the final match of his season to earn fifth place. In the championship semifinals, Herold-Plakut was defeated 13-6 by St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Mark Voss at 132-pounds, then he fell to Apple Valley senior Dakota Trom by a pin. Herold-Plakut bounced back, however, beating Horsager for fifth place.
Last year, Woodbury sent three wrestlers to the state tournament – Herold-Plakut, Ty Johnson and Ben Donnelly.
Donnelly, who earned fifth-place in the previous year’s state meet, was defeated 5-3 by Rochester Mayo junior Jake Hanson in his first-round match and his season was over.
Johnson, an unranked freshman 106-pound wrestler last year, lost 5-3 to Trevor Westerlund, an Albert Lea junior who was ranked No. 1 in the weight class in Class AAA, in his first state match.
Johnson earned another match in Friday’s consolation round or “wrestlebacks” however, because Westerlund (35-3) beat unranked St. Michael-Albertville’s Aaron Dick (35-8) in the quarterfinals. However, Dick beat Johnson by a fall in the wrestleback round to end the Royals freshman’s season.
Koken, Davidson reach state finals in four events
In 2012, East Ridge went out on a high note.
Led by Matt Koken and Austin Davidson, the Raptors boys swimming and diving team finished eighth in the 2011-12 Class AA Boys Swimming and Diving State Meet.
Both 2012 graduates, Koken and Davidson each reached the state finals in the maximum four events as East Ridge totaled 107 points. Eden Prairie won the Class AA state title with 314.50 points.
Individually, Koken finished in fourth place in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 42.30 seconds and took fourth place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.85.
As for Davidson, he placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:56.44 and also finished in eighth place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.24.
Davidson and Koken also teamed up, along with freshman Kent Rabideaux and sophomore Sam Scholz to place seventh in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:13.80.
Nate Wareham finishes strong, places seventh at state golf tournament
Woodbury’s Nate Wareham saved his best for last in 2012.
Wareham, a 2012 graduate, finished in seventh place out of 88 competitors in the Class AAA State Tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. Wareham shot a white-hot 1-under-par 71 on the final 18 holes of the two-day, 36-hole tournament to finish in seventh place – just six strokes back of the leader.
Wareham said he was surprised with how well he played in his final high school tournament.
“Given how hard the course was, that was probably my best round ever competitively,” he said after the match. “I thought I was playing well near the end of the year, but I just kept getting better.”
On the par-72 course, Wareham – a team captain and two-time All-Conference player for the Royals – carded a 77 on the first day and a 71 on the second day for a 148 total. Moorhead senior Ben Welle and Chaska senior Jon Dutoit tied for the Class AAA individual state crown with matching 142 scores.
Trio of Woodbury graduates help lead college soccer teams to Final Four
Woodbury graduates Eric Miller, Kassey Kallman and her brother Brent Kallman each helped their college soccer teams reach the College Cup this past year.
Kassey Kallman, an All-Southeast Region defender for Florida State, helped the Seminoles end the 2012 season with a 20-4-0 record tying the school mark for wins. The Seminoles went on to claim the ACC regular season title with an 8-2-0 mark while advancing to the College Cup for the second year in a row and sixth time overall.
Miller and Brent Kallman helped the No. 8-ranked Creighton men’s soccer team make its second straight trip to the NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup last year. It marked the first time in program history that the Bluejays (17-3-3) advanced to the College Cup in consecutive seasons. Creighton now boasts five College Cup appearances all-time (1996, 2000, 2002, 2011 and 2012). Creighton fell 1-0 to Indiana in the semifinals, a game shy of a national championship berth. Kallman, a senior defender, and Miller, a sophomore midfielder, and the rest of the Bluejays earned a spot in the Final Four after advancing past host No. 7-ranked Connecticut 1-0.
Puglisi dives to sixth place, earns second all-state honor
In 2012, Lauren Puglisi’s final season diving for Woodbury High School finished just like it did the previous year – on the podium at the state meet.
Puglisi, a current senior at Woodbury, earned all-state honors for a second-straight year – taking sixth place in the 2012 State Girls Swimming and Diving Meet.
Puglisi, who is nicknamed “Red” because of her long red hair, finished two spots better than her eighth-place finish last year – with a score of 366.75 points in the nine-dive competition. All-state honors go to the top eight finishers in each event.
“My goal was to do better than last year,” Puglisi said after the meet. “I wanted top five, but it didn’t happen. It was definitely a goal to keep my spot from last year and hopefully do better.”
Prior to state, Puglisi won every meet she competed in this fall. Most recently, Puglisi earned gold at the Section 3AA Championship meet with a score of 370.05 – 45 points ahead of the second-place finisher.
Last year, Puglisi finished in eighth place with 361.85 points.