Most high school-age kids now hear of the year 1991 and think of it as "back in the day."
For boys' soccer players at Minneapolis Washburn, 1991 indeed was a long time ago, and what they hope to accomplish is a long time coming.
The Millers have not won a City Conference championship since the fall of the Halloween Blizzard, which hit a few years before current players were born.
The program has grown in popularity recently. This year, 90 players showed up for two-a-days camp.
The belief is there is enough talent to make a historic run.
"I think we actually have a legitimate chance this year, which is all you can ask for," coach Aaron Percy said.
The eight seniors on the roster have been on varsity since they were freshmen. As sophomores, Percy said, he put the group "under fire."
"They weren't ready to play, but the only way to get them ready was to put them in there," he said.
The team has progressively improved, from four victories in 2009, to eight a year later to nine last fall.
The team has a new goalkeeper and some up-and-coming sophomores whom Percy is eager to get into the mix.
Other than that, it's the same, seasoned crew.
"We're going to be solid pretty much everywhere," Percy said. "It's a nice problem to have."Ready for more
A year ago, Mound Westonka's girls' tennis team had a promising start with two victories in early tournaments. From there, the team's season went 0-for-the-Wright-County-Conference.
"Everybody, including the coaches, looked back at last year and thought, 'Boy, I thought we were better than this,'" White Hawks coach Rob Paul said. "I expect a little bit more."
The White Hawks' roster will be young -- two eighth-graders and a freshman likely will crack the singles lineup -- but the hope is to turn some heads.
"We're not going to rock the conference," Paul said. "But I think we have some good things to come. We have something to prove. We want to play some matches at a higher level and maybe scare some people. We can definitely play more competitively."Life in 'Death'
Wayzata's boys' cross-country team, ranked third in Class 2A, won't have to wait long to see where it stacks up.
The Trojans will race against Class 2A, No. 1-ranked Stillwater and top Wisconsin team La Crosse Logan at the Marshfield (Wis.) Columbus Invitational next weekend. Two weeks later, Wayzata is entered in an event in Ames, Iowa, that also features Class 2A, No. 2 Edina and Dowling Catholic, the top team in Iowa.
Such a schedule is a necessity in the mind of coach Bill Miles. The lowest-ranked team in the Lake Conference is Hopkins at No. 7. All five teams also are in what Miles refers to as "the Section of Death."
Wayzata finished third in Class 2A, Section 6 last fall, missing out on the state meet.
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