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East Ridge hires new tennis, golf coaches

In its third year of existence, East Ridge High School continues to tweak its staff.

Most recently, East Ridge hired Suzie Heideman as its new head boys tennis coach and Mark Retica as its new girls golf coach. Both teams play this Spring.

Heideman takes over the East Ridge boys tennis program from Brad Allan, who was with the team for the past two seasons. A former head coach for Greendale High School outside of Milwaukee, Wis., Heideman was voted State Coach of the Year in Wisconsin, and led her boys team to a state championship in 2005, according to a release from East Ridge activities director Trent Hanson. Under her leadership for six seasons, the boys and girls varsity squads at Greendale won an impressive five conference championships.

A standout tennis player herself, Heideman graduated from Mounds View High School in 1997 where she captained three varsity sports, competed in the state tennis tournament, and received the Athena Award. She brought her talent to the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, where her teams won four consecutive WIAC conference championships. During the spring of her senior season, the team advanced to the Div. III National Championships, topping off an impressive four-year rise to the top.

Heideman continues to play and competes in USTA League tennis at the 4.5 level, where three of her teams have advanced to the National Championships. Her family was named USTA Tennis Family of the Year for the Northern Section in 2003.

"As a District 833 community member, Suzie is excited to bring her experience, passion, and enthusiasm to East Ridge," Hanson said in the release.

Retica has served as a golf staff professional at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis., Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, and at the Hastings Country Club and, according to the release from East Ridge, Retica has been instrumental in developing junior programs at the facilities. Most recently, Retica served as an assistant coach and instructor for the Hastings High School boys golf program.

Retica competed in competitive golf at Forest Lake High School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He and his family are longtime residents of Woodbury, and are active in a number of amateur athletics in the community.

"Mark has high expectation for the girls golf program at East Ridge and looks forward to developing a team that values leadership, passion, knowledge and respect for the game," Hanson said.