BILLY HART, DeLaSalle • football
There’s a picture on Billy Hart’s phone that is far more meaningful than your typical selfie.
It shows Hart about to hit the ground early in the 2013 Class 4A semifinals, an instant before he landed, injuring his throwing arm. The injury forced him out of the game for the rest of the first half. When he returned after halftime, the Islanders were too far behind Holy Angels to mount a comeback.
“I look at that picture every day,” said the senior quarterback. “It’s my motivation to get stronger, faster, better.”
Hart’s offseason dedication showed through Friday when he passed for 196 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another in DeLa-Salle’s 62-12 rout of defending Class 3A state champion St. Croix Lutheran.
It was nearly two years ago at St. Croix Lutheran that Hart, then a 5-7, 155-pound backup, made his high school debut a memorable one. He came off the bench in the second half, rallying the Islanders to victory. Now, standing 5-11 and checking in at 195 pounds, Hart scarcely resembles that nervous sophomore. He admits he played well, but the continued drive to prove himself keeps his ego in check.
“I was in the weight room every day this summer, just wanting to get better,” he said. “That was probably one of the best games I’ve had, but I still could have done better.”
SOPHIE BABO, Orono • soccer
The return of Babo to the Orono roster — she played for the Minnesota Thunder Academy in 2013 — has vaulted the Spartans from being just another good team to one of the state’s best. She scored three goals last week and has seven so far this season.
TIANNA FRIESE, Maranatha • soccer
The junior forward is the second-leading goal scorer in the state following a career-best five-goal, two-assist outburst in the Mustangs’ 7-0 rout of PACT Charter. She has eight goals and three assists in three games.
JACKSON GREENWALDT, St. Michael-Albertville • football
The senior quarterback orchestrated the Knights’ 42-0 season-opening rout of Buffalo. He completed 11 of 14 passes (including two dropped passes) for 156 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score and passed for a two-point conversion.
NOAH HANSON, Lakeville South • cross-country
The extra training the senior put in over the summer paid early dividends as Hanson won the two-mile Dakota Classic at Eagan with a time of 10:30. He won going away, widening his lead and sealing his victory by sprinting the final 500 meters.
D’AIREUS MOCK, Columbia Heights • football
The elusive senior running back ran for 240 yards in just 16 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Hylanders routed St. Agnes 47-20 Friday. Mock has rushed for at least 140 yards in 10 of Columbia Heights’ last 11 games dating back to 2013.
RACHEL STARK, Minneapolis Washburn • volleyball
The all-around play of the junior outside hitter paced the Millers to a pair of season-opening victories. She had 31 kills, eight aces, 10 blocks – four of them solo – and 15 digs as Washburn downed St. Paul Como Park in four sets and outlasted Richfield in five.