Woodbury opened the 2015 season with a rush, dominating cross-town rival East Ridge 8-1 back on April 6. Since then, the Royals have struggled. Woodbury dropped its third straight April 14, falling to visiting Hudson 7-6. Woodbury slipped to 1-3 on the season, having lost its previous two contests to Roseville (6-3) and Cretin-Derham Hall (10-5) before meeting Hudson in a nonconference contest. Hudson improved to 2-2. “We’re not very good right now,” Woodbury head coach Kevin McDermott said. “We’re not very good on the mound.
East Ridge played visiting Stillwater tight April 10, and had the tying run on second with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. But the Raptors couldn’t score that runner and dropped a 3-2 decision. Raptors head baseball coach Brian Sprout expressed his frustration after the close loss. “I wasn’t happy about a single thing,” Sprout said. “We did everything we possibly could to let them win the baseball game. We’re not playing baseball the way we’re capable of. We need to figure out how to do that. “They are not playing like they know how to play baseball,” Sprout said.
The Woodbury Royals have some key track and field athletes to build around to start the season, but are also looking for some newcomers to make strides. “We have a nice nucleus to kind of build around,” Woodbury head coach Jim Scott said. The Royals start with senior distance runner Nick Wareham, who earned all-state honors in cross country last fall.
Just two games into the young season, the Woodbury Royals have outscored the competition 35-6. East Ridge was the latest victim, falling 26-6 to the Royals at East Ridge High School April 8. That win followed Woodbury’s season-opening 9-0 victory April 7 against Roseville. It was the season opener for East Ridge. “We did just about everything right today,” Woodbury head coach Bob Samson said. “It was a lot of fun. Hitting like that is just a ton of fun.”
Head coach Bob Samson is entering his 29th year of coaching Woodbury softball, the last 16 as head coach, and he likes what he sees with this year’s Royals. Woodbury went 18-7 last season and 13-5 in the Suburban East Conference, finishing one game back of tying for the conference title behind a pair of 14-4 teams, Forest Lake and Hastings. The Royals then went 4-2 in Section 4 play and finished second before a season-ending loss to North St. Paul. “We’ve had good success,” Samson said.
East Ridge had a good softball team last spring and the Raptors aim to be even better this season. The Raptors have recorded back-to-back 13-10 seasons. East Ridge was 11-8 in the Suburban East Conference last spring and was ranked 15th in the state at one point. But second-year head coach Alton Murray felt the Raptors peaked a week too early a year ago, something she’d like to avoid repeating. The Raptors ripped off seven straight wins, and won 11 of 13 games from mid-April to mid-May. But they dropped three of their final four, including section losses to North St.
Besides James Tidd’s two titles, the East Ridge Raptors had a second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Seventh-seeded New Life Academy pounded the ball inside and sent visiting 10th-seeded Mounds Park Academy to the sidelines March 5 as the Eagles collected a a 50-37 Section 4AA quarterfinal win. New Life centers Valerie Hohol and Hannah Nelson combined for 29 points in the victory. Junior guard Michaela Kirkwood added 11 and senior guard Sydney Steele scored seven for the Eagles.
It was a splash of a night for the Park divers as senior Nicholas Germscheid and junior Bobby Heitman both dove their way to the state meet, finishing third and fourth in the boys Section 4AA diving finals at Stillwater Feb. 28. Germscheid scored a 381.75 to earn third, while Heitman was fourth with 343.15 points. Woodbury’s Nick Gartner was fifth with 340.05 points and East Ridge’s Bradley Ostrom was sixth with 336.25, with both just missing state qualifying. For Park record-holder Germscheid, it was slow and steady route to qualify.
East Ridge’s James Tidd and Garret Verhoeven each won two events as the Raptors qualified six individuals and all three relay teams for the state swimming meet. East Ridge racked up five individual wins and a relay victory in 12 events Feb. 28 in the 2015 Boys Section 4AA swimming finals at Stillwater. The Raptors set four new section records on the afternoon. Woodbury’s Will Ho and 200-yard freestyle relay team also advanced to state with wins.