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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Conditioning is a big part of soccer and the girls teams from East Ridge, Woodbury and New Life Academy have been focusing on that aspect all offseason. It's shown in the first few games of the 2018 season and the coaches are hoping it will show at the end of the season when section tournaments begin. "Our girls have been working hard this offseason to prepare themselves for the fall season," said Tim Bunnell, East Ridge's head coach.
The 2018 girls tennis season will have many new faces for East Ridge, Woodbury and New Life Academy. Many players either graduated or didn't return for the upcoming fall season, which gives these coaches new players and bright future for each program. "It's going to be a new team, which makes me excited to see what this team can do this season," said East Ridge head coach Jon Rydberg. "We have great leadership that will teach the new players the culture of East Ridge tennis."
The Woodbury and East Ridge girls' swimming and diving programs were represented by a handful of individuals last year at the state tournament. For Woodbury, it was Gabby Vitela in the 500-yard freestyle. For East Ridge, it was Chloe Wangensteen in the 100-yard breaststroke and Callie Kunz in freestyle. The goal this year is simple. Bring these swimmers back to state once again, but also bring back other individuals as well as the team. "We were so happy to have Callie and Chloe represent our school last season," said Kathy Madden, East Ridge girls swimming head coach.
Run. Run. And run again. That was the mentality for the Woodbury Royals on Friday night against Farmington. And it worked. "We found some openings in [Farmington's] defense and took advantage of them," said junior Brock Rinehart. "It's always great to see us put 49 points on the board in the first game." The Royals defeated the Tigers 49-28, but it was a second half push from Woodbury to solidify that first win of the season. In the fourth quarter alone, the Royals had five turnovers including a blocked punt return for a touchdown.
It was the home opener for the Woodbury girls soccer team and they opened with an exclamation point. The Royals faced a strong opening opponent and ended the night with a strong opening performance. "The girls weren't satisfied with the end result," said Pat, Woodbury's head coach. "They wanted to defeat this team." This team would be the Eagan Wildcats. The state champions from last season.
At Woodbury High School's baseball stadium, there seems to be an echo ringing in the dugouts of Royals baseball. As the Woodbury VFW team prepared for its last home game on Wednesday, July 25, there seemed to be a repeating name placed on the lineup card for the Royals. After the first three batters went up to bat for Woodbury, Nick Glaeser's name was called on the speakers. After his at-bat, the speakers echoed with the name of Alex Glaeser. Finally, the sixth batter in the lineup, Trent Glaeser, was called.
When the Woodbury boys soccer team started their pregame workouts on Thursday night, there was an important player missing from the lineup. Cade Keesling was using crutches to get around the field before the home opener against Hudson. Since Keesling was out for the game, head coach Joe Quintavalle decided to put sophomore Devin Padelford into the mid-fielder position. It was Padelford's first varsity game and he made it memorable right away. "I will keep this night in my head forever," Padelford said.
The Woodbury High School swimming pool was packed with fans and swimmers from Roseville, Cretin-Derham Hall, East Ridge and Woodbury on Thursday night. It was the first time the Raptors and the Royals had an opportunity for their girls to jump in the pool and swim competitively this season. The four teams competed in the conference relays, which focused on events based around relays. It was a great chance for the coaches to see how their teams were looking on turns and timing off the blocks.
It was a trip of a lifetime for the East Ridge Trap Team. A few weeks ago, in the middle of July, the Raptors travelled to Mason, Mich., to compete in the national tournament for trap shooting and clay target shooting. East Ridge finished in the top 50 at the tournament, but the placement wasn't the biggest takeaway from a weekend filled with new competitors. It was the opportunity to share a love and passion for the sport of shooting.
The clock struck midnight Friday, June 15, and Ben Carlson's phone became a popular place for many college basketball coaches. On June 15, college basketball coaches have the ability to contact high school players that will be going into their junior year. Carlson will be an upcoming junior at East Ridge High School starting in September, but he's had a summer to remember. "I had 14 or 15 different schools text and call me [on June 15]," Carlson said. "It's humbling to get these texts and phone calls from great programs across the country."