Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
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The East Ridge girls' tennis team improved its record to 6-0 in the Suburban East Conference with two wins in dual meets last week. The Raptors' victories included a 5-2 decision against Mounds View on Thursday, Sept. 21. Wins in the singles lineup came from Regan Dolezal at No. 1 singles (7-5, 7-5), Megan Karrow at No. 2 (6-7(5), 6-1, 6-0) and Jordyn Brown at No. 3 (6-2, 6-1). At first doubles, Julia Travis and Kailey Courteau won 6-4, 6-1. At third doubles, Anna Tokheim and Abbie Marshall also won 6-3, 6-4.
A defense’s job is usually to keep its opponent from scoring points. But East Ridge’s defense did a little bit more in a 17-16 homecoming victory for the Raptors on Friday. Ryan Kim returned an interception 84 yards to give East Ridge a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter. And after Roseville threatened with a late touchdown, the defense stopped a two-point conversion attempt to lock down the victory.
Park girls' swimming and diving coach Amanda Johnson felt her swimmers put together their best meet of the season on Thursday, Sept. 14, against East Ridge. The Raptors won the Suburban East Conference dual meet 100-78, but aside from the score, the Wolfpack were happy with what they accomplished in the pool. "I feel like our girls have kind of stepped up in certain areas," Johnson said. "Although some of our girls swam off events today, their times were really good."
East Ridge girls' soccer player Madison Majewski announced her commitment to the Miami University women's soccer team last week. By all accounts, the RedHawks will be receiving a versatile player. Sure, the East Ridge sophomore plays as a center back defender during the club season at Minnesota Thunder Academy. But she focuses on the offensive side of the game during the high school season, splitting time between forward and midfield positions.
The East Ridge girls' swimming and diving team has made an appearance at the True Team state meet the past two years. And this year, with depth on the roster once again, the Raptors hope to make it three straight. The abundance of quality East Ridge swimmers has been no accident the past few years. With a large roster and so many swimmers joining club teams during the offseason, head coach Kathy Madden said it makes a big difference when athletes come in with a training base already built up.
The East Ridge girls' soccer team hopes its best soccer has yet to come. The Raptors made some adjustments that paid off during a four-game winning streak that was halted with a 1-0 loss to St. Peter at East Ridge High School on Saturday, Sept. 16. The winning streak included a 2-1 win at Woodbury on Sept. 12 and a 1-0 victory over Minneapolis Washburn on Sept. 13. The Woodbury win was sparked by a two-goal day from Aimee Kemper. With the win, the Raptors were able to claim the trophy that is contested by the two teams every year.
The Woodbury girls' soccer team feels it has made some progress through a 1-2 week. Coming into last week's schedule, the Royals had only scored three goals in five games played. Although it was a one-win week, Woodbury felt it generated more chances to score goals in three games this week. "We're starting to create a lot of opportunities," head coach Pat Malicki said.
The Park boys' cross-country team earned a top-half finish at the Rum River Invitational in Anoka on Thursday, Sept. 14. Park finished eighth out of 18 cross-country teams at the meet, hosted by Anoka High School. Justus Robinson finished in 37th place with a 5-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 28 seconds to lead the Wolfpack runners. Eighth-grader Parker Hahn was less than 10 seconds behind him, finishing 42nd with a time of 18:35
The Woodbury boys' soccer team is undefeated this season against teams not named East Ridge. The Royals finished 2-1 last week, with wins against Mounds View and North St. Paul. The only blemish of the season, however, came in a 5-0 loss to East Ridge on Sept. 12. After winning the first two games of the season, the Royals faltered for the first time this season against a state-ranked opponent.
The Academy Force football team made a late push in its home opener against St. Paul Johnson at East Ridge High School on Friday, Sept. 15. Although the three fourth-quarter touchdowns were not enough to come all the way back in the 46-32 loss, the Force were able to erase part of what was a 24-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter. St. Paul Johnson led 25-7 at halftime after a first half that included a 97-yard touchdown run by D'mearies Brooks. Academy Force's only first-half touchdown came from running back Sam Bissen on a 1-yard rush.