Jake Birdwell, left, and Spring Lake Park coach Jim Stern savored a moment.
Jake Birdwell, left, and Spring Lake Park coach Jim Stern savored a moment.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Reward overwhelms risk for champion golfer

June 19
Jake Birdwell of Spring Lake Park was contemplating being conservative off the tee down the stretch of the Class 3A golf state tournament. It didn't coincide with his identity.
Tatumn Nyen of Chanhassen scored big goals in the section final and has more lacrosse ahead in the state tournament.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Chanhassen star nets a memory in girls lacrosse

June 12
Tatumn Nyen scored the tying and winning goals in the game that got the Storm to the state tournament.
Devin Jordan of Eden Prairie set personal bests in three events in the Class 3A, Section 2 meet.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Eden Prairie track and field star runs, jumps, wins

June 5
Devin Jordan set personal bests in three events and broke the school record in two of them at the section track and field meet.
North St. Paul’s Madelyn Anthony has struck out more than one batter per inning and also driven in 40 runs this softball season.

Prep Athletes of the Week: North St. Paul softballer is understated force

May 29
"A quiet player," her coach calls Madelyn Anthony, but she's 11-2 in the circle and hitting .551 with power.
Will Whelan of Centennial

Prep Athletes of the Week: Pitcher having a season in the (strike) zone

May 22
Centennial's Will Whelan, committed to the Gophers, began with a 17-strikeout game and aims to end with a state tournament trip. In the zone? That's 52 strikeouts and six walks by a pitcher who says he used to be "all about velocity."
Emily Moes of Lakeville South

Prep Athletes of the Week: ACL injury changed lacrosse star's life

May 16
Lakeville South standout Emily Moes had time to consider "balance in life," and regained health has her scoring big for the state' s No. 1 team.
Mahtomedi’s Thomas Meader played a round “I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Prep Athletes of the Week: Nine holes in 30? For Mahtomedi golfer, it's just a start

May 8
Thomas Meader opened with a 60-foot eagle putt and strung together four birdies on his way to a winning 67. "It's something I will remember the rest of my life," he said.
High Schools
May 1
Alissa Wernz has been in Maple Grove’s starting lineup since eighth grade.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Maple Grove softball captain aims higher

From her No. 3 spot in the lineup, Crimson star Alissa Wernz sees a team that can make a run to the state tournament — and win it.
High Schools
April 24
Sawyer Hoffman of Farmington

Prep Athletes of the Week: Patience pays for a south metro pitcher

After waiting behind seniors last season, Sawyer Hoffman of Farmington threw a two-hitter in his first start of 2023 after pitching mainly on the JV last year.
High Schools
March 20
JaKahla Craft of St. Michael-Albertville lined up a shot during the state tournament.

Prep Athletes of the Week: STMA's JaKahla Craft is far more than a fallback plan

A junior, she provided her girls basketball team key help in the state tournament.
High Schools
March 13
Kaizer Nelson of Minnetonka made a stop during the section final.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Minnetonka goalie Kaizer Nelson nets a state title

After a season of setting school records, Nelson wound up with the Class 2A championship.
High Schools
March 8
Keaton Walock has been in goal for 23 victories, 10 of them shutouts, this season for Northfield.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Northfield goalie Walock lives dream

Keaton Walock and his teammates will play Wednesday in the Class 1A boys hockey tournament.
High Schools
February 27
Reagan Kelley celebrated with her coaches Saturday at the Class 1A gymnastics state meet.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Perseverance pays for gymnast who almost quit

Reagan Kelley of Watertown-Mayer/Mound Westonka repeated as Class 1A all-around champion in a sport she once considered giving up after back and shoulder injuries.
High Schools
February 20
Edina sophomore swimmer Jiarui Xue has the state’s fastest time in the 500-yard freestyle.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Edina swimmer takes on any challenge

Jiarui Xue is fastest in the state in the 500-yard freestyle and strong in other events, giving his coach options for piling up points in team competitions.
High Schools
February 13
Ella Boerger leads Andover in scoring this season with 38 goals and 29 assists.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Andover hockey standout wants one last title

Ella Boerger has won two Class 2A state titles and considers her runner-up year just not good enough. She just finished a 10-game stretch in which she scored 23 goals for the Huskies.
High Schools
February 6
CJ O’Hara (1) leads Park Center in scoring at 18.9 points per game.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Park Center's O'Hara contributes to perfection

Senior wing CJ O'Hara leads the undefeated Pirates basketball team in scoring and has "turned up his intensity on defense." He also just hit a career scoring milestone.
High Schools
January 30
In six years on the Edina varsity, Uma Corniea has compiled the most victories by a girls goalie in state history (98) and has recorded the most shuto

Prep Athletes of the Week: Edina girls goalie No. 1 in the net

Uma Corniea, a three-time state champion, is Minnesota's career leader among girls in wins and shutouts as she nears the end of a six-year varsity career.
High Schools
January 23
Liam Farniok and his Minneapolis Southwest teammates ended Minneapolis North’s Minneapolis City Conference winning streak.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Farniok, Minneapolis Southwest bust streak

Liam Farniok led the Lakers to a boys basketball victory that ended Minneapolis North's 75-game conference run.
High Schools
January 16
Marisa Witte of Minnetonka has won all three of the Lake Conference meets this season.

Prep Athletes of the Week: Minnetonka skier remains at peak

Junior Marisa Witte became her team's best at the 2022 state meet and still tightly grips that position.
High Schools
January 9
New Prague’s Joey Novak is 22-1 in the 195-pound weight class this season.

Prep Athletes of the Week: New Prague wrestler aims high and wide

Senior Joey Novak seeks two state championships: one for himself and one for his team.