I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position.
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First, they were opponents. Then, they became teammates. Now, they are on the same coaching staff. It's been a long journey for Uthman Rabiu and Clayton Jennissen, but a friendship was formed and when the opportunity to coach together at Woodbury High School, they couldn't say no. "We both have that passion for the sport of wrestling," Rabiu said. "Now, we get to show that love and passion to younger wrestlers, which is great to see."
Last spring season, Cole Witherow was experiencing high school golf for the first time in his life with New Life Academy. Not only was he experiencing it, he was one of the top golfers for the Eagles. Witherow was surprised with how much fun he had and the friendships he easily made with his fellow teammates. After the 2018 season, he knew he wanted more within the summer months.
If you go to Brian Sprout's Twitter bio, it reads "family and baseball, that about sums up my life." And it's true. The East Ridge head baseball coach has loved the game since a very young age, and he's loved his family no matter what. "I remember sitting at home and watching the Cubs on WGN," Sprout said. "Baseball has been in my life for a very long time." It started when he went to a townball game in Lake City, Minn., and saw the lights and the sound of the bat. He knew this would be a game he could play throughout his childhood.
BURNSVILLE — It was two completely opposite games for East Ridge and Woodbury on Wednesday night, but ended with the same result. A win for each team. For Woodbury, the Royals got on the scoreboard early and often and had to hold onto that lead towards the end. For East Ridge, the Raptors faced a deficit and had to be patient with their comeback. "It's always nice getting the first win out of the way," said Woodbury's starting pitcher Adam Mazur. "Now, we have some confidence heading into the next couple of games."
This past spring, Max Meyer walked out to the mound wearing maroon and gold colors and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers across his chest. He looked around before pitching and saw the fans at Siebert Field cheering for the Golden Gophers. Even though Meyer may be at Minnesota, he bleeds royal blue and white and will never forget his home in Woodbury. "It's been a fun journey so far in my career," Meyer said. "I couldn't have reached this point without the support of the Woodbury community. I can't thank them enough."
It was always the dream. It was always the hope. And now, it's the reality for Sara Palodichuk. "I've always wanted to be an athletic/activities director," Palodichuk said. "I couldn't be more excited that I get to achieve this dream with East Ridge High School." After Joel Olson became the new Northfield High School activities director a couple weeks ago, the Raptors were looking for a new activities director and found Palodichuk. The former Middleton Elementary School principal will relieve her duties as principal and start to focus on her new job as a Raptor.
STILLWATER—It was a five-run fourth inning for Lake Elmo (Stillwater) and that one inning made it difficult for East Ridge to come back. The Raptors faced a 5-2 deficit heading into the top of the fifth inning and they made sure to keep it close with a couple runs. It was a 5-4 game until the bottom of the sixth when Lake Elmo scored three runs and made it 8-4. East Ridge couldn't come back from that four-run deficit and ended up losing 8-4 to the No. 1 seed Lake Elmo on Tuesday night.
Four wins. It sounds simple, but it's going to be a fight to the end. "This tournament is one of the toughest to play in because everyone knows what's on the line," said Ryan Scanlon, a coach for the Woodbury legion team. "We just need to keep fighting until the last out." That tournament is the sub-state playoffs for legion baseball. Woodbury and East Ridge will be playing on Wednesday afternoon to start an extended weekend of baseball for a chance to reach the state tournament.
WOODBURY — It was a quick night for both East Ridge and Woodbury last night as the two teams advanced further into the district playoffs. East Ridge had a memorable evening from its starting pitcher, Kennedy Sanneman, who pitched one of his greatest games in his career. "It was a fun night and a memorable night," Sanneman said. "I'm just glad I had a great defense behind me to help me throughout the night."
WOODBURY — It two completely opposite games, but the same outcome for the East Ridge VFW team. The district playoffs started for East Ridge, Woodbury and Cottage Grove this weekend and the teams didn't disappoint with some strong games to start the opening rounds. "It was great to see this team stay strong towards the later part of the game," said Jereme Quinnell, East Ridge's coach. "I'm really proud of this team and being able to get the win in the end."