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There are no Minnesota Baseball Association teams to call Woodbury or Cottage Grove home this summer. Take a look at the Miesville Mudhens roster, however, and you will see where some of the area's best ballplayers are playing.
East Ridge graduate Nate Roese ran the first 800 of his career at the tail end of his senior season with the University of Minnesota men's track and field team. But that did not stop him from becoming a NCAA All-American in the mid-distance event. Roese ran the 800-meter run just one time before the Big 10 championship meet. Deep down, he always felt the 800 might be his event. But until this spring, he never had the chance to prove it.
Woodbury boys' basketball player Michael Jones only needed one official visit to decide where he will play college basketball after graduating next spring. After the AAU season wrapped up in July, Jones had planned to take official visits to multiple Division I schools before committing to a program. But on his first trip to Davidson College in North Carolina, Jones made up his mind.
The television show "American Ninja Warrior" has sparked the popularity of a new sport in Woodbury and across the country. Just ask Lucas Paulson, a Woodbury 12-year-old who made a trip to Texas this July to compete in a national Ninja Warrior competition.
The close-knit nature of the fishing community helped unite four people three years ago with one objective: To catch the biggest fish possible. Cottage Grove's Blake Bednar teamed up with fellow Twin Cities residents Jakob Hals, Luke Hentges and Peter Warner in 2014 to create fishing videos under the name Northwoods Angling. The group met at fishing tournaments and on social media pages dedicated to the sport. Today, the group does regular YouTube videos under the channel Northwoods Angling. A quick look at those videos will explain what kind of fish they seek.
Bob Wilber grew up in a St. Louis-area household with a father who worked in Major League Baseball and a mother employed in radio and public relations. His upbringing might explain how Wilber's life has consisted of a career path found in many people's dreams. Earlier this year, the Woodbury resident published a new book, called "Bats, Balls, and Burnouts: A life of Sports, Marketing, and Mayhem" to chronicle the life he has lived while working in sports.
Woodbury's Emily Heslin and Maddie Gaffney are a year older and taking on new roles with the University of Minnesota women's soccer team this season. And they hope to help recreate the same success last fall when the Gophers won a pair of Big Ten titles. Minnesota won the Big Ten regular season co-championship after finishing with a conference record of 7-1-3, along with Penn State and Northwestern. Minnesota then won the Big Ten tournament title, ending the run with a 2-1 decision against Rutgers on Nov. 6 in Minnesota.
The Woodbury Legion Blue Post 501 baseball team needed just one more win against Burnsville Sunday to have a chance to defend its Division 1 state tournament title from last season. But Burnsville will instead be making the trip to the Legion state tournament after defeating Woodbury 6-2 in the Sub State 5 title game on Sunday, July 23 at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville. Burnsville had the advantage of coming through the winner's bracket of the double-elimination Legion tournament, which helped it throw one of its top pitchers, Henry Ristvedt, in Sunday's Sub-State finale.
Although each has one loss, the Woodbury, East Ridge and St. Paul Park Legion baseball teams have survived the first few days of the Sub-State 5 tournament in Burnsville.
Youth did not stand in the way of Woodbury wrestler Ryder Rogotzke achieving the biggest goal of his young wrestling career. In the first year that he was eligible, Rogotzke qualified for the 2017 Pan-American Schoolboy team to wrestle at the 47 kilogram weight class. The Pan-American Schoolboy Championships will be held this August in Chile.