NOAH HERMANSON

Holy Angels • soccer

The sophomore's ball skills and shooting prowess make him a natural when it comes to taking big kicks.

Time was running down in overtime of the Stars' Class 1A championship game vs. defending champion Blake. As the likelihood of the game being decided on a shootout grew closer, Hermanson began to get nervous, thinking he might be called upon to shoot.

And he was, but not in the way he expected.

Teammate Shalim Montes Hernandez chased down a loose ball to the right of the Blake goal and played it out to Hermanson, who was moving forward. He never hesitated, hitting a left-footed shot that initially appeared to be going wide of the goal.

But it began to slice and eventually curved just inside the upper far corner of the net, over the outstretched fingers of the Blake goalkeeper, giving the Stars a dramatic 3-2 victory. It was the Stars' first state title in three championship game appearances.

"At first, I thought, 'Oh, shoot, I missed the net,' ''Hermanson recalled.

Watching the flight path, however, he noticed something important.

"It just kept spinning back in," he said. "As soon as it went in, my mind went blank."

KALEB BLAHA

Fridley • football

The senior quarterback led the Tigers back from a 27-7 first-half deficit to defeat rival St. Anthony 28-27 in the Class 4A, Section 4 final. He ran 19 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns and completed 12 of 18 passes for 115 yards and a TD.

EMMA FOURNIER

Maple Grove • soccer

In a 2-1 victory over Centennial for the Class 2A state title, the junior midfielder's first-half hustle resulted in an assist on the game's first goal. Then her precise 25-yard shot early in the second half was the game-winning goal.

KIRBY GILBERTSON

Park Center • adapted soccer

Park Center's PI Division team trailed 4-1 at halftime to Robbinsdale, which had defeaten the Pirates 28 consecutive times. Gilbertson, a junior, stepped up in the second half with five goals and an assist to earn a 7-7 tie and break the losing streak.

OSCAR SMYTHE

Edina • soccer

In the Class 2A championship against East Ridge, Smythe, a senior forward, knocked in a loose ball in front for the first goal and scored the winner with bouncing left-footer in the game's 63rd minute for a 2-1 victory.

ANALEE WEAVER

Stillwater • cross-country

Feeling strong, the junior opened up a lead with a little more than a kilometer left and maintained that lead to the end of the race, winning the Class 2A cross-country individual state championship in a 5K time of 17:46.1.

BROOKE WEICHBRODT

Concordia Academy • volleyball

The junior setter guided the Beacons to their fifth state tournament berth in six seasons. She averaged 33.2 sets in Class 2A, Section 4 playoff victories over Hill-Murray, St.Croix Lutheran and Holy Angels.

JIM PAULSEN