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Woodbury pushed itself toward the upper echelon of Suburban East Conference teams last season, finishing fourth in conference play before taking third in the Section 4AAA Tournament to end the season. Now the Royals are looking to make the next step. “We feel a lot more confident this year because we’re returning a lot of starters,” junior catcher Sebastian Holte-Mancera said.
East Ridge handed Woodbury a season-ending loss last season in the section semifinals. Woodbury got a little payback Monday night, handing the Raptors a season-opening 8-1 defeat on the strength of four home runs and an efficient complete game effort from the Royals ace. “They put some good swings on them,” Woodbury coach Kevin McDermott said. “We know (East Ridge is) a better team than that, but we got the big hits today.
New Life Academy is the gold standard for Class A softball in the state of Minnesota. The Eagles have won nine-straight section titles — a state record. They won four straight state championships from 2008-11 — also a record. New Life is the definition of a dynasty. But walk into Eagles Court for an early spring indoor practice and what you find might surprise you. There aren’t 50 girls trying out for a spot on the state’s most successful softball squad. There aren’t even 20. There are 13 girls who came out for New Life’s softball team this season. Two of them are eighth graders.
Step onto the field during a practice or game with Aime Caines and it’s all business. The East Ridge boys lacrosse head coach may be teaching a game, but the approach rarely changes — it’s a serious matter. “He’s a really serious guy. He doesn’t joke around in practices that much,” East Ridge 2014 grad Kilian Wilson said. “He’s really serious in the locker room. Even at practices, he’ll joke around with us in the beginning, but when we hit the field that mentality just shifts. … We work hard in practice.
New Life's state title defense is officially underway. And the Eagles appear to be in championship form. New Life shelled Providence Academy 21-4 in five innings Thursday night at Bielenberg behind its 19 hit outburst and a 12 run second inning. Sam Horner picked up the win on the mound, allowing two runs in four innings on five hits, while striking out three. Horner had a bigger day at the plate, going 3-for-5 at the dish with five RBIs, a double and a triple. He wasn't the only one producing. Eight Eagles collected hits, while eight drove in runs.
Evan Erickson said his game has improved in every facet since he graduated from Woodbury High School in 2012. It’s shown on the ice this season. Erickson hauled in multiple...
The athletic departments at all three District 833 high schools have to stretch their budgets a little further this year, as the district faces a budget deficit and uncertain future revenue. The athletic departments at East Ridge, Park and Woodbury traditionally receive capital outlay budgets each year to update long-term equipment such as uniforms, pads and helmets.
Madeline Amon was named the new head coach of the East Ridge volleyball program last week. Amon replaces former East Ridge coach Erin Nickleby, who resigned at the end of last season to spend more time with her children. ”I’m excited to have Maddie come on board and be part of East Ridge and continue to build the program,” East Ridge Activities Director Jon Hinzman said. Amon, a Louisville, Kentucky native, is a graduate of Bowling Green State University.
If the early returns are any indication, East Ridge junior Karina Joiner could be off to something special this season. Joiner set a fieldhouse record with an 8.26 in the 55-meter hurdles at the All-American Invite at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls March 28. That means Joiner ran the event faster than any woman has ever ran it at the Knowles Center, which regularly hosts Division III collegiate events. “It’s really exciting. It’s my first year setting records and things like that.
In New Life baseball coach Dave Darr’s first season in 2013, the Eagles were stuck inside for the first six weeks of the season. In 2014, New Life’s second outdoor practice came after its 16th game of the season. This year, the Eagles were outside right at the outset of the spring season. “It is nice to get outside early,” Darr said. “I think it pays off for the boys.