Champlin Park’s volleyball team won the consolation championship at the Class 3A state tournament. The Rebels are pinning hopes for a return largely on junior Sydney Hilley. Part of the Star Tribune All-Metro team last fall, Hilley recently competed in Lima, Peru, with the USA Youth Junior National Team.
Alive and kicking
North metro soccer represented well a year ago. Maple Grove took an undefeated record into the boys’ Class 2A state tournament. On the girls’ side, Park Center (Class 1A) and Centennial (Class 2A) each placed third in their respective state tournaments.
But the Anoka boys earn top honors with an improbable Class 2A victory. Longtime Tornadoes coach Pete Hayes cannot recall a tournament entrant with six losses leaving as champions.
Keep an eye on the Mounds View girls’ team. Julia Anderson, twins Emily and Rachel Boyer, Emily Nash and Mariah Northrop were freshmen that logged big minutes back in 2012. Now they are seniors looking to leave a greater legacy than the one state tournament appearance they have mustered to this point.
Longer runs ahead
Girls’ cross-country moved its races from 4 kilometers to 5K this season, equal with the boys and putting Minnesota in line with most states. Centennial qualified for the Class 2A state meet as a team. Among individuals, Blaine’s Sarah Olson took 30th overall and fourth among eighth-graders.
On the boys’ side, Centennial’s Reed Kurak took 23rd overall at state. Kurak also won the Northwest Suburban Conference meet.
Mounds View junior Alexandra Kopiecki won the Class 2A, Section 5 title and earned the consolation title at state last fall.
The Spring Lake Park coaching staff brings several decades of experience to the football program. Jeff Schlieff oversees a staff of four former head coaches: Doug Ekmark, Ben Geisler, Nick Nitti and Bob Jackson. Back in 1991, Jackson coached the Panthers to a state title.