If all sports dynasties must come to an end, don't expect to see it this fall for Woodbury girls' soccer.
"As a coaching staff, we like what we see," Bill Ebertz said.
If Ebertz and Pat Malicki like what they see, then opposing teams should brace themselves. Again.
The Royals have won 10 consecutive conference titles dating back to 2002. They've been to every section final game since 1998, winning 12 out of those 14 matches to earn a dozen trips to the state tournament. Woodbury has captured five Class 2A state championships since 1999, the latest coming in 2008.
"That's a pretty good string," Ebertz said.
That success is fueling current and future Royals throughout the system.
"It's fun when the new girls hear about it," Ebertz said. "It's nice to have that tradition. The players give that little extra because they realize there's a lot of tradition here. I think a lot of times you tend to get a little more out of your players -- and that's a good thing."
Senior captain Kristina White can attest to that. She has seen the effects of the varsity team's performance on the younger girls. She has even experienced it herself.
"We have 12 seniors, along with the rest of the underclassmen, that want to continue the rich winning tradition here at Woodbury High School," White said.
"Each year we have younger players who step up and fill the open positions."
That tradition and track record could also come with some negative side effects. The Royals entered the Class 2A state tournament last season as the No. 2 seed against unseeded Burnsville, which hadn't made it that far since 1996. The Blaze ended up winning 1-0 in a hard-fought game in which Woodbury created many scoring opportunities.
Were the Royals too comfortable?
"Burnsville had a very good team, and they were hungry," Ebertz said. "You could see they hadn't been to the state tournament. That's one thing when you go a lot. Sometimes -- I'm not saying they're not hungry -- but you maybe get a little complacent or a little this or that."
The concern this year might come with a somewhat inexperienced team, by Woodbury standards. The Royals return five starters along with a handful of others who saw some playing time. White cited speed, foot skills and knowledge of the game as the team's greatest attributes.
White, the team's leading returning scorer, and Lisa Huska will be counted on as scoring threats. Madison Gaffney, captain Bailey Lervick and Grace Rogers will also be looked upon to lead, although Rogers is still recovering from an injury suffered last spring during track and field.
The revamped team is looking better and better each day, and White is confident the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
"Coaches Malicki and Ebertz are masters at assessing players' skill levels and putting players into positions to help us achieve our goals," White said.