RAJA NELSON

Lakeville North • football

For the entire week of practice leading up to Friday’s 38-3 thumping of Prior Lake, the Lakeville North coaching staff emphasized poise and focus.

Raja Nelson forgot that message for a minute or so, taking an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that led to an early 3-0 lead for Prior Lake.

After that, the junior jack-of-all-trades was arguably the most focused player on the field.

He rushed eight times for 65 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yard first-quarter burst for a score that sparked a run of 38 unanswered points by the Panthers. He caught two passes for 96 yards and a third touchdown. From cornerback, Nelson made three tackles, including one behind the Prior Lake line of scrimmage, and intercepted a pass.

“He won our player of the game,” Lakeville North coach Brian Vossen said after the game. “He’s playing corner, he’s playing wide receiver, he’s playing running back, he’s on special teams. He’s all over the place.”

Nelson was contrite afterward about his early penalty but added that it helped him zero in for the rest of the game.

“I let my emotions get the best of me, but after that I got my head straight,” he said. “I realized we had to dial in, and we did that as a team.”

SOPHIA ANDERSEN

New Prague • volleyball

The junior outside hitter pounded a whopping 38 kills in a five-set victory over Waconia that clinched at least a tie for New Prague’s first Wright County Conference title since 2001. In five matches, Andersen had 94 kills, 62 digs, seven blocks and seven ace serves.

LAUREN CROWL

Eastview • volleyball

The sophomore right-side hitter continued her strong season by leading the Lightning to a runner-up finish at the Lightning Invite. In seven matches, Crowl had 78 digs and 70 kills, including a dominant 20-kill effort in a three-set victory over Apple Valley.

KALI FISCHER

Visitation • swimming

The junior showcased her versatility in helping the Blazers to the Class 1A True Team title. She swam on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, sandwiched around individual victories in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.

BEN GREENBERG

Blaine • soccer/football

The senior goalkeeper made 13 saves in consecutive shutouts in the Class 2A, Section 7 playoffs over Coon Rapids (5-0) and St. Francis (4-0). He followed that by donning a football uniform and kicking two extra points and a field goal in a 17-0 victory over Totino-Grace.

MANNON MCMAHON

Maple Grove • soccer

McMahon has committed to play hockey at UMD, but the senior has serious soccer skills. She had seven goals and three assists in two Class 2A, Section 5 victories last week. She has a point in 14 consecutive games, which coincides with the Crimson’s unbeaten streak.

GABBY STRAUB

Le Sueur-Henderson • volleyball

In 21 sets last week, Straub, a senior, racked up 90 kills and 60 digs. She reached the 1,000-kill milestone for her career on Sept. 20 and holds the school record in that category. She is 27 digs shy of reaching 1,000 for her career.

JIM PAULSEN

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