Clutch when it counts

You don’t often see high school football kickers do what East Ridge junior Grant Ryerse did in the Class 6A football state tournament quarterfinals. He booted a 42-yard field goal with no time remaining to clinch a 31-28 victory against Wayzata. Playing hero brought extra satisfaction for Ryerse, who missed two of his three field-goal attempts the previous week. Though he missed both previous attempts from 40 to 49 yards this season, Ryerse made this try. He held up his right arm in triumph as teammates watched the ball sail through the uprights.

She pretty much says it all

Hill-Murray’s 40-game unbeaten streak and bid for three consecutive Class 2A girls’ hockey state championships bounced off Maple Grove goaltender Breanna Blesi’s pads or disappeared into her glove. Blesi blanked the Pioneers in the state tournament semifinals, stopping all 43 shots in a 1-0 upset. Her timing was as impressive as her performance. The Hill-Murray game was her first playoff appearance of the season. She rose to the occasion and sunk a would-be dynasty in the process. “I don’t really have anything to say except I love my team,” Blesi said afterward. They love her back.

Molding a spot in history

The Columbia Heights boys’ tennis team made school history this spring. The team competition in the state tennis tournament started in 1950 and 66 years later, the Hylanders finally joined the party. Coach Ya Yang molded players he could use in a variety of ways depending on the situation. The payoff came in the Class 1A, Section 5 championship match against Fridley. Several Hylanders put in unusual lineup spots delivered. Senior Michael O’Leary, playing No. 1 doubles, clinched the deciding fourth point in a historic 5-2 victory.