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PJ's Perspective: Woodbury celebrating 1998 football team, East Ridge football team has new helmets

Park High School’s head softball coach Bob Loshek recently returned from the North American Fastpitch Association national tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. His team, Wilber Lime, captured the men’s “AA” national championship. The Wilber Lime, out of Galesville, Wis., rallied for a 5-4 victory over Palazzo’s Java House of Des Moines to claim the NAFA AA World Series title.

Park High School is recognizing the 25th anniversary of the 1988 girls track state championship at its Hall of Fame banquet this year. Park will usher in its ninth class of athletic Hall of Fame inductees this November.

Woodbury High School is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its football team’s state title in 1998 this season. The school is planning on recognizing the team during Homecoming week.

The East Ridge football team changed the look of its helmets this season. The Raptors added a black stripe down middle of their gold helmets with the players’ number in black on the right side.

East Ridge High School is looking to select 10 Super Fans to work with its activities and athletics programs to support, lead and promote a positive environment for all students at each Raptor event. Each Super Fan selected will receive a free pass to each Raptors game for the entire year and have the privilege of attending a sportsmanship summit at Cretin-Derham Hall on Sept. 11. Visit the East Ridge High School website for more information.

Sources say Minneapolis Washburn star running back Jeff Jones, who has given the University of Minnesota a verbal commitment, was close to going to East Ridge High School this year, as his family was looking at homes in the area over the summer. Jones is ranked as the No. 2 recruit for in the state for 2014 by ESPN, behind Raptors’ center J.C. Hassenauer.

East Ridge 2012 graduate Leah Robinette is recovering from a horizontal stress fracture in her leg. Robinette, who won the state championship in the vault, becoming the first gymnast to win a state title from East Ridge, is now a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Sources said Robinette likely had the injury during her senior year of high school when she won her state title. Robinette had a permanent titanium rod put in her leg from her knee to her ankle this past November and is currently working hard to rejoin her team.

Newport’s Jeff Urbano, who works for Nike at the Mall of America, was chosen as a member for one of two Nike teams running in the 31st annual Hood to Coast Relay held in Oregon over Labor Day weekend. The Hood to Coast Relay is an overnight, long-distance relay race held traditionally in late August. It is one of the longest and largest relays in the world with (12,600 in Hood To Coast Relay, 18,000 total participants, including Portland To Coast Walk Relay and High School Challenge Relay). The course runs approximately 200 miles from Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mount Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon, through the Portland metropolitan area, and over the Oregon Coast Range to the beach town of Seaside on the Oregon Coast. Urbano was the only runner from the Midwest selected by Nike.

Park junior Marissa Leik and 2013 Woodbury graduate Olivia Hoffmann won the gold medal in the 110th NWIRA Championship Rowing Regatta on Lake Elmo earlier this August. The girls won their race by three boat lengths in the 2-kilometer Junior Women’s Pair Race and also finished second in the Junior Women’s Quad. Both girls row for Minnesota Boat Club in St. Paul, which is coached by Miriam Baer. Hoffmann is now headed to Cornell University in New York on a rowing/academic scholarship. Any students interested in competing in these events are encouraged to contact Baer at 651-228-1602.

East Ridge 2012 graduate Brandi Knupp is a member of the Luther College volleyball team in Iowa. The Luther volleyball team, under the direction of Danielle Lynch, returns 11 letter winners from last year’s team that posted an overall record of 15-17. Luther’s first home match will be Sept. 14 versus Knox College at 10 a.m.

Anna Solheim, a 2012 graduate of East Ridge High School, is a member of the Luther College women’s soccer team. The Norse are coached by Russ Schouweiler, who begins his fourth season at the helm of the program.

The Norse began the 2013 campaign in San Antonio, Tex., against nationally ranked No. 8 Trinity University and No. 6 Hardin-Simmons. Luther will begin its home schedule on Sunday, Sept. 8 when it will host College of St. Benedict at 2 p.m.

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.
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