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The East Ridge softball team began the year 2-0 with a pair of wins over Cretin-Derham Hall last week. Because of the foul weather this season, softball teams are playing double headers in order to fit as many games in as possible. On Wednesday, April 24, East Ridge welcomed Suburban East Conference foe Cretin-Derham Hall to East Ridge High School, but weren't friendly hosts, taking down the Raiders 8-2 in the first game and 2-0 in the second game. Individual statistics from the games were not made available. East Ridge (2-0; 2-0 SEC) took on Hastings on Monday and Mounds View on Tuesday,
This past week was rivalry week inside District 833 and the East Ridge baseball team earned early-season bragging rights. The Raptors faced off against Suburban East Conference and intra-district rivals Park and Woodbury to open the season and came away 3-0. East Ridge started the year with a 4-3 win over Woodbury on April 26 at East Ridge High School, then took down Park twice - 10-5 and 8-5 - on Saturday, April 27, in Lake City. On Saturday, East Ridge (3-1; 3-1 SEC) and Park needed an extra inning to settle their first head-to-head game of the year.
The South Washington County Thunderbolts softball team has started the season 2-2 and currently sit in a tie for third place in the eight-team CI South Division. The Thunderbolts registered wins over Chanhassen/Chaska/Prior Lake/Shakopee and New Prague and fell to Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville and Dakota United. Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville (3-0) sits in first place in the league, followed by Dakota United (2-1). The Thunderbolts opened the season with an 8-2 win over Chanhassen/Chaska/Prior Lake/Shakopee at East Ridge High School.
The East Ridge boys tennis team moved to 2-0 on the season with a 5-2 Suburban East Conference victory over Roseville on the road last week. East Ridge won three of its four singles matches and two of the three doubles contests for the win. Last year, East Ridge fell 4-3 to the Raiders, losing three three-set matches. "I'm proud of my guys for winning three of three tie-breakers," East Ridge head coach Suzie Heideman said. "I was very proud of my team." In singles, the Raptors' No.
Park Activities Director Phil Kuemmel said, at this point, he's taking a "wait-and-see" approach to the idea of leaving the Suburban East Conference for the Classic Suburban Conference. In March, Richfield High School chose to leave the Classic Suburban in order to be part of the new Metro West Conference, starting the 2014-15 school year. Last week, the Classic Suburban also voted to kick St. Thomas Academy out. The vote was reportedly held up by a conference bylaw, however, the CSC is now voting to change the bylaw and it seems likely St.
With the lousy weather outside, the East Ridge boys and girls track teams took things inside last week. The Raptors competed in the All-American Invitational at Knowles Fieldhouse on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus on Saturday, April 6. At the meet, the East Ridge girls finished fourth and the boys finished eighth out of 17 teams. Eastview won the girls meet with 71 points and Hudson, Wis., won the boys meet with 74 points. The East Ridge girls scored 51 points.
With the snow on the ground not quite yet completely melted, the East Ridge boys tennis team has spent a lot of time in the gym working on strength and conditioning as it prepares for the 2013 season. The Raptors are coming off a year that saw them go 13-4 overall. With the majority of last year's players returning this spring, hopes are high at East Ridge. "We won a lot of really tight matches last year, so expectations are up," second-year head coach Suzie Heideman said.
The New Life Academy boys golf team has a new head coach this year in Nick Novak. Novak said he fields a "young team with little experience," this spring. Last year, the Eagles finished fourth in the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference. The team said good-bye to 2012 graduates Jayme Nelson and Luke Berger in the offseason. However, returning to the team are key players John Kwen and Austin Whetmore. Novak said he believes the teams to beat this year will be Legacy Christian and Southwest Christian.
This spring, the East Ridge girls track and field team hopes to build on a record-setting 2012 season. A year ago, East Ridge sent three relay teams to the state meet and eight Raptors came away with All-State honors. Six of those eight athletes return to the squad this season. At state, East Ridge earned fifth-place in the 3200-meter and 1600-meter relays and an eighth-place finish in the 800-meter relay race at Hamline University in St. Paul. In the 3200-meter relay, current sophomores Emily Betz, Brenley Goertzen and junior Sandra Gramer are back.
The East Ridge boys lacrosse team will have a new look this season. The Raptors have to replace its top three scorers from last season. East Ridge 2012 graduates Connor Catterall, Daniel Wetterstrom and Connor Leferink combined for 45 of the team's 58 goals a year ago. East Ridge also needs to replace its starting goalie from last year, James Hones, also a 2012 grad. Eric Birkemeier is the top returning point scorer held over from last year's club. Birkemeier, a senior, had 11 points on seven goals and four assists. Junior Kilian Wilson will also likely be expected to step up offensively.