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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Woodbury High School senior Shanna Stevenson signed a National Letter of Intent to play tennis for the University of Mary in Bismark, N.D. The sister of former University of Mary football player Matthew Stevenson and former Marauders baseball player Michael Stevenson, Shanna Stevenson will join U-Mary after a successful prep career at Woodbury High School under head coach Michael Moran.
Three East Ridge High School seniors recently made commitments to play athletics at the college level by signing National Letters of Intent. Lindsey Lewis committed to St. Cloud State University to participate in swimming, Jessica Hammer committed to Adams State University in Colorado to play lacrosse, and Andriel Aimua committed to Concordia University in St. Paul for golf. The students signed their National Letters of Intent in a ceremony at East Ridge on Wednesday, April 16.
Kent Getzlaff has been hired as the head coach of the boys basketball program at Woodbury High School.
The Woodbury girls lacrosse team lost its first two matches of the 2014 season – 11-7 to Roseville on Monday, April 21, and 20-9 to Mounds View on Wednesday, April 23. In the season-opening loss to Roseville, Maya Schulte, Hannah Wise and Grace Wood each scored two goal and Catherine Henning added one goal. Schulte also had two assists and Wood had one assist. In the loss to Mounds View, Schulte, Kaitlyn Gillen and Taylor Kugler each scored two goals.
East Ridge sent a message there may be a new team to beat in Section 4 and the Suburban East Conference. Last year, the East Ridge girls lacrosse team lost 17-5 to Stillwater in the Section 4 championship game.
The East Ridge boys tennis team stayed undefeated with a 7-0 win over Suburban East Conference foe White Bear Lake on Tuesday, April 22, and a first-place finish at the eight-team SOWASHCO Invite on Saturday, April 26. In Tuesday’s match against White Bear Lake, East Ridge freshman Ben Van der sman won 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, junior Vishaal Gupta won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles, sophomore Nikhil Gupta won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and freshman Nitin Venkatish won 6-0, 6-4 at fourth singles.
With a 3-2 extra-inning win over Stillwater, Woodbury began the year 5-0, but a pair of Suburban East Conference losses to Hastings and Forest Lake snapped the Royals’ win streak. Woodbury beat Stillwater (4-5; 4-4 SEC) by a 3-2 score on Monday, April 21, on the road, then lost 9-0 to Hastings (5-3; 5-3 SEC) at home on Wednesday, April 23, before falling 6-2 at Forest Lake (4-0; 4-0 SEC) on Friday, April 28. In the win over Stillwater, Woodbury freshman pitcher Ashley Mickschl went the distance to improve to 3-0 to start her varsity career.
The East Ridge softball team is riding a three-game win streak. East Ridge went 3-0 in its past three games, outscoring opponents 34-5 to improve to 4-5 overall and 3-5 in the Suburban East Conference. The Raptors beat Mounds View 10-0 on Monday, April 21, Park 13-3 on Wednesday, April 23, and Stillwater 11-2 on Friday, April 25. “We are starting to play better softball all around compared to last week,” East Ridge head coach Afton Murray said.
Longtime football coach Gary Halvorson is among six former Royals greats who were named to the Woodbury High School Hall of Fame at the school’s third-annual Royal Rouser on Friday, April 25, at the Prom Center in Oakdale. Halvorson, who was with District 833 from 1976 to 2010, is the winningest football coach in Woodbury High School history and led the Royals to their only state championship in 1998. Known by many as “coach Hal” he also helped spearheading the movement to build Royal Stadium, which opened on Sept.
East Ridge High School has hired University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Famer Dean Talafous as the new head coach of its girls hockey program. Talafous, 60, was the head assistant for the girls team this past season. Following his fruitful collegiate career with Wisconsin, Talafous, a Duluth native, played 497 regular season games in the National Hockey League from 1974–82 for the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and the Atlanta Flames as a right winger. At the college level, Coach Talafous is known for his NCAA heroics in the 1973 NCAA Frozen Four.