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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It started with war and instability. It ended with soccer and a love for coaching. Sam Mann was born in Liberia during a time of civil war. The country was unstable and his family was fighting to stay alive. It was unpredictable what would happen each day and Mann said he knew his family would be better if they could go to the United States. "My father came to the United States in 2000 and was trying to get my family over here," Mann said. "In 2002, my father was able to get us over to the states."
Annika Johnson and Lexie Decker were already looking forward to this upcoming Woodbury Area Royals girls hockey season. The two of them are going to be seniors this year as well as hold the captain and assistant captain roles. They will be responsible for how the team is led and they're excited about the opportunities that will be coming.
For the ninth straight year, Woodbury United Lacrosse will be hosting the Black and Blue Tournament from July 13-15 at the HealthEast Sports Complex. There will be about 90 teams, both girls and boys, and 5,000 people from across the Twin Cities as well as bordering states coming to a weekend filled with competition, fun and learning the game of lacrosse. Stephanie Carlson, the tournament director, is preparing for the largest tournament in the Midwest, but a weekend she looks forward to each year.
WOODBURY — Riley Frisk walked to the mound at the beginning of the game for Woodbury. After the seventh inning, Frisk walked off the mound with seven innings under his belt, two runs allowed and, most importantly, a 7-2 win. The rivalry was back after a little over a week of relaxation from baseball as Woodbury and East Ridge battled to start the second half of the legion baseball season.
During Joel Olson's high school years, he remembers stepping onto the Faribault High School football field each Friday night. He remembers looking up to his parents and friends wearing the green and white. It was home. Starting on July 2, Olson will be the new athletic director for Faribault's rival high school, Northfield High School. Olson will be wearing maroon and gold, but doesn't expect his parents to wear those colors.
It was two phone calls that brought two former teammates together for a summer of baseball. The first came on May 27 from Ellsworth Community College head baseball coach Travis Akre to Sebastian Holte-Mancera, an Ellsworth player and a former Woodbury High School catcher. It was a crazy 24 hours, but Holte-Mancera was excited to join the Lakeshore Chinooks.
During the summer, most coaches will host a camp to allow players to come and continue practicing. Mark Haesly does just this, but focuses on particularly one event in the track and field sport. Haesly has been coaching pole vault for 37 years at numerous schools, but currently at East Ridge High School. He's helped pole vaulters like Alec Wittman this season earn conference, section and state championships in the pole vault. "I came to him not knowing much about pole vault and he's been able to teach me everything," Wittman said. "I'm just glad I have him as a coach."
Culture. It's a word that can be used in many different ways, but Academy Force's new head coach Noah Dombrovski has one meaning behind it. Culture doesn't mean the different backgrounds of the student athletes or the races of each player. To Dombrovski, culture is surrounded by the love of the game of football. He's been able to experience this love since the fifth grade when he started playing the sport. Being a kid from Foley, Minn., there were two sports in the fall to participate in. Football or cross-country.
It was a typical Sunday morning and Norah Levenhagen was relaxing on the weekend. Then, her phone started vibrating. It was a FaceTime call from her father, Jeff Levenhagen, who was out in Hawaii with Norah's mother, Jennifer Levenhagen. She didn't think much about the call because she thought they were just checking in and saying hello. To her surprise, the call took a completely different direction. Jeff told Norah that she was one of 10 Minnesota softball players to be selected to the Hall of Fame Tournament in Oklahoma City at the end of June.
WOODBURY — Fight and grit. That’s the two words the players were introduced to while playing for Kevin McDermott on the Woodbury varsity team in the spring. Those words were passed down to the Legion team this summer and explained the game against Lakeville North to perfection.