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Two minutes in, it looked as though East Ridge’s luck might be turning around. The fifth-seeded Raptors, who were outscored 19-6 over the last four games of their regular season slate, jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a powerplay goal from Ben Zocher less than two minutes into the first period of its Section 3AA quarterfinal at Rosemount Feb.
East Ridge started its first state meet appearance in the least enviable position. The Raptors started the state meet on the beam. “(On) beam you get really nervous,” Raptors junior Megan Trollen said. “Beam is probably not the best to start on. But I think we did really well considering that beam is really nerve-wracking.
Bulletin sports editor Jace Frederick sat down with East Ridge gymnastics coach Chris Muras this week to preview the weekend of state gymnastics action. The Raptors will compete in the state team meet Friday and have three individuals compete in the state individual competition Saturday.
East Ridge swimming has risen from a can’t-name program to a can’t-miss powerhouse over the last few years. To find the reason why all you have to do is watch, and listen. As the Raptors’ foursome of James Tidd, Kent Rabideaux, Pierce Firebaugh and Garrett Verhoeven streaked to another victory, and another Suburban East Conference record, in its 400-yard freestyle relay victory over Woodbury Feb.
Woodbury coach Wes Bolin exited the Royals locker room with a look of relief on his face. “Whew,” he said as the door shut behind him. His seventh-seeded Woodbury squad had just knocked off 10th-seeded Park 5-2 in a Section 3AA play-in game at Bielenberg Feb. 17. It was the Royals first section win of any kind since 2010. The Royals had lost in the section play-in round in each of the previous three seasons “It feels amazing,” Royals junior Sasha Choporov said of the postseason success.
Paul Henning went out with a bang. The Woodbury senior finished his final high school nordic skiing race on the biggest stage -- the state meet.
PWER sent four alpine skiers to state Feb. 11 at Giant’s Ridge. And those four skiers went 8-for-8 in delivering clean runs en route to solid finishes across the board. “I couldn’t have been prouder of all four of them,” PWER head coach Kevin Seipel said.
Royals gymnastics coach Peterson Pierre hopes to build Woodbury into a program that can compete with the best in a difficult Section 3AA field. Though the Royals aren’t there yet, as shown by their sixth place finish at the section meet Feb.
The Woodbury wrestlers solemnly stood alongside the mat at the end of the team Section 4AA awards ceremony Feb. 14 at Woodbury High School. Yes, the Royals were receiving medals and a trophy, but not the ones they had hoped for at the beginning of the day. The section title and a second state tournament appearance in three years was in the Royals grasp as they led White Bear Lake 21-7 with seven matches to wrestle.
Raptors head coach Chris Muras saw a different side of his team in the week leading into the section meet. The regular season was over, as was the time for messing around. It was go time. “Just the amount of hours that they have put in this week and the amount of just everything on every event, they weren’t doing that all season,” Muras said. “They were doing what they needed to do, and this week they came in and we’re like ‘OK, we need to do more than what we need to do.’ That from them is just amazing.” As was the result that mentality produced. No.