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East Ridge boys hockey: Raptors win academic state title

The East Ridge boys hockey won the Class 2A academic state title recently for the second consecutive year.

The Raptors had a cumulative GPA of 3.71. The cumulative GPA was determined on the GPAs of the top 15 student-athletes on a team. The award is sponsored by the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association.

“Five years ago I was asked what my goal was and I said my goal was to hang a banner,” former East Ridge head coach Doug Long said. “They’ll probably take it (the banner) farther down the road than a state championship.”

Long announced the team had won the award during the team banquet and the parents gave the student-athletes a standing ovation for their achievement. There will be a banner ceremony next season to showcase the award, Long said.

Dylan French, Sam Kastner, Alex Pape, Joey Schutz and Zach Wahl all had GPAs greater than 4, due weighted grades from Advanced Placement courses. Weighted grades were treated as 4.0 GPAs for the award, Long said.

A total of 17 players had GPAs at 3.0 or better on the season.

The team also announced award winners from the season. Senior Tyler Guck earned Team MVP honors, while also getting selected All-Conference, All-Conference Goalie of the Year and a spot in the Great 8 Tournament, which showcases the state’s top seniors.

Jake Nicoloff and Derek Hammer received All-Conference Honorable Mention selection while Schutz won the Hard Hat award for the hardest worker on the team for the third consecutive year. Other winners included Jake Germann for most improved, Nick Maki for the Unsung Hero award and Rookie of the Year as a first-year varsity player went to Jarrod Ronquillo.

-Nick Gerhardt