Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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The Raptors boys basketball team won this season’s first Battle of Woodbury, 66-59, over the crosstown rival Royals on Friday, Jan. 3, at Woodbury High School.
In 2013, Reid Lyden continued to set the bar for all East Ridge wrestlers to reach for. As a junior last winter, Lyden earned fourth place in the Class AAA state wrestling tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St.
Last year, longtime pals Brad Frost and Joel Johnson led the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team to a historic season. But not long ago the two friends and coaches were cutting their teeth in south Washington County. Last winter, the Gophers won their second consecutive national championship, beating Boston University, 6-3, at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis to cap a perfect, unprecedented 41-0 season. “It was a magical run this year,” said Frost, the Gophers’ head coach, after the championship win. “At the beginning of the year we didn’t set out to go 41-0.
The upstart East Ridge boys swimming and diving team made waves in 2013. The East Ridge boys ended the year riding a current 16-meet win streak. The Raptors went unbeaten last season and won the Suburban East Conference championship, then went on to place sixth at the 2013 Class AA state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center last March. East Ridge finished in sixth place in Class AA. The Raptors scored 120 points as a team.
Brady Hanson was on target in 2013. Hanson, a 2013 graduate of East Ridge High School, finished in a tie for second place at the Class AAA state golf tournament, shooting a two-day 146 at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids last spring. “We made it our goal to win state,” Hanson said after the tournament. “Even though I didn’t do that, it feels good to come really close. I knew if I worked hard and put in the effort I could possibly do it.
South Washington County mourned the loss of Ally Trebesch this past year. A standout gymnast, Trebesch died on Sept. 17, at the age of 13. As a seventh grader, Trebesch reached her first state meet in the vault last season for Woodbury High School. She earned the trip to state with a personal-best 9.475 and a third-place finish in the vault at the Section 3AA Championships – the day after her 13th birthday. She was the first gymnast to reach state in head coach Julie Dornseif’s three-year regime as head coach. Dornseif was also Trebesch’s mom.
Woodbury earned the right to play on the hardwood at Target Center for a second-consecutive season in 2013. To earn the trop to state, Woodbury tipped familiar foe Stillwater 52-44 – one year after Woodbury dispatched Roseville in the section title game. “I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said 2013 graduate and Woodbury forward Mario Franco after the game. In the section championship, 2013 graduate Renard Suggs led the way for Woodbury with 21 points, including five 3-pointers.
The East Ridge girls cross country running team made some big strides in 2013. The Raptors finished in second place in their fourth-straight Class AA state meet appearance at St. Olaf College in Northfield in November. “That is what we wanted,” East Ridge senior Bailey Ness said after the race. “We’ve been shooting for it for four years now. I’m really excited for my team. It’s a really good feeling.” East Ridge improved its finish in each of its four state meet appearances.
The Woodbury wrestling team made history in 2013. Woodbury locked up a spot in the Class AAA tournament for the first time in school history with a 32-27 win over Stillwater in the Section 4AAA championship last winter. Getting to the state wrestling tournament doesn’t happen overnight, though Woodbury made it seem that way. The Royals went from a 7-12 team in 2011-12 to a 19-6 team this past season that secured the No.
In 2013, Elizabeth Koprucki finished at the top of the mountain. As a senior at East Ridge High School, Koprucki wrapped up a dominant alpine skiing career with her first state championship title. Koprucki won the championship in her fourth state meet appearance in February at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. “It’s really nice to go out my senior year with a win,” Koprucki said after the win.