The weather is starting to warm up, but it’s still anyone’s guess as to when the softball and baseball teams will get outside, let alone play any games. The Mariner fields have pretty much been cleared of snow, but the ground still needs to thaw in order for the water to soak in and drain away.
The Mariner softball team will be in a rebuilding mode this season. They lost two pitchers, a shortstop, a catcher, 2 outfielders, a first baseman and a third baseman to graduation. This also translates to their five top hitters.
Head Coach Mike Guzzo and assistant Jeff Asmussen have their work cut for them as many positions start out up for grabs. Pitching looks like it will come down to Phoenix Lillis and Emma Lembott. The position of catcher looks to be a three-person battle between Allison Morris, Allie Kloster and Tori Stevens. The preliminary infield looks like Kaelyn Lenski at first, Jackie Larson at second, Rebecca Dilley at short and Katelyn DeRoiser at third, with all positions subject to change if someone isn’t up to the job. Sydney Topp, Erika Ernest, Kayla Klofstad and Allison Morris are also in the infield mix. Brooke McMillen looks to have one of the outfield positions with the other two undecided until the team can get outside.
It will be quite a transition period for this team when they finally take to the field after a lot of gym time. The lineup will be written in pencil — not ink— as they will probably take half a season to work the kinks out. On the bright side, there are fewer seniors this season and a lot of youngsters will be getting playing time and experience. Last year at this time the lakes were open and the ball fields were in use.
Both high school hockey teams from Lake County got together at Grand Superior Lodge for an end- of-season celebration. Both teams announced their end of the season awards. Winners were selected by the players.
For the girls’ goaltender, Cassie Swanson was named team MVP. Anna Carman was the leading scorer and offensive player of the year. Nea Rapo and Sommer Courneya were the most improved players and Brooke McMillen and Sarah Fjeran were the rookies of the year.
The North Shore boys named Tyler Schramm as the most improved player and captains Brock LeBlanc and Austyn Wasko as the most determined and hardest working players. Goaltender, Zach Duresky, who played every second of every game, was the defensive player of the year and leading scorer Luke Small was the offensive player of the year.
Section 7 took third place at the Great Eight hockey tournament for seniors. The tournament was won by Section 4.
The Western College Hockey Association earned 6 of the 16 spots in the men’s NCAA hockey tournament which begins today. Minnesota, St. Cloud, North Dakota, Minnesota State-Mankato, Denver and Wisconsin are all in. Quinnipiac of the ECAC is the top seed and the Gophers are number two. Massachusetts-Lowell of Hockey East is the only conference champion to win its post season tournament.
Boys’ basketball concluded the winter sports season by crowning four champions. Apple Valley won in 4A, DeLaSalle in 3A, Minnehaha Academy in 2A and Southwest Minnesota Christian