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Winter Sports Preview

Girls’ Basketball

This year will be the first in a while without star point guard Sarah Kaminski who now plays at George Mason University.

According to senior Olivia DuBois, the team dynamic has changed.

“We  have a very young team,” said DuBois.

“Sarah brought a lot of maturity and so we’re going to have to work on teamwork more I think. Losing Sarah is going to be hard, but there were games last year where she fouled out, and the players returning stepped up and did what they needed to do.”

The young team she referred to is getting an addition this year as well. Chimali [Galaviz Day], who could not play last year because of transfer rules, will be eligible to play varsity this  season, a prospect that excites the team.

“It’ll be interesting to see what she adds to the team because of how she’s connected with the younger players and how they all play.”

Tip for spectators:

“If you’re on the fence about it, just come,” said DuBois.

“Just because of how young our players are, it would be good to come out and watch how these younger players build the team.”

 


Boys’ Basketball

A loss in the section final last year to St. Croix Lutheran kept the boys’ basketball team out of the state tournament, but they are ready to get back to playing. The team is young, consisting of mostly freshmen with some upperclassmen contributing seriously as well. But senior captain Jose Williamson says that their age doesn’t necessarily denote inexperience.

“Overall I think there’s a great balance on the team with upperclassmen leadership and fundamentals and also the younger guys’ craftiness and quickness,” said Williamson. All of these parts will have to work together for the team to accomplish their goals this season.

“The team puts in a lot of work during the offseason,” said Williamson, “which a lot of other teams can’t necessarily say, and that definitely has shown during these first few weeks of the season and couple scrimmages. And everyone is motivated. When your whole team realizes their potential and wants to win, practices aren’t just practices anymore.”

With the dynamic changing, the schedule has also been modified. The team will be playing tougher teams and is looking ahead to the section tournament. “Besides sections, I am looking forward to playing Apple Valley High School which you probably know has had quite the basketball reputation,” said Williamson, “and just going up against that level of competition is always exciting and it will be fun to see where we match up against one of the best 4A programs in the state.”

Tip for spectators:

“If you’re on the fence between coming to a game and staying at home and not showing your RedHawk pride, you will be missing out on probably the most exciting sporting event you will ever experience in your life,” Williamson said. “And I mean that very sincerely. So come out and join the RedHawk bandwagon to a state title!”

 

Alpine Skiing

The alpine skiing team lost only three skiers to graduation last year and has added many younger skiers to their ranks. “We gained around 10 middle school athletes this year,” said boys’ senior captain Gabe Satoskar. “Amongst these new middle school teammates are both very beginner skiers and prior D-team racers.”

In addition to new talent, some returning skiers could have strong seasons.

“In terms of talent,” said Satoskar, “Gabe Lessard and Sierra Takushi have a good chance to make state.”

In addition to winning races and going fast, Satoskar says the team’s atmosphere is an important part of their dynamic. “I’d place Zach Schuster as a teammate who brings a lighthearted and fun atmosphere to practice every day,” he said.

Tip for spectators:

“All of our conference races take place at Buck Hill, roughly a 30 minute drive from school,” Satoskar said.

“I’d say bring far more winter clothes than you think you’ll need, standing at the bottom of a hill can quickly get cold. However, it’s right next to the lodge, so you can always stop in to warm up.”

 

Wrestling

The wrestling team, a co-op between Minnehaha and DeLaSalle, has only four members from Minnehaha.

However, the team still looks to grow, thanks to a rising contingent from Nicollet Island.

With a new head coach and growing ranks, junior captain Isaac Rose says the results of the season ahead will be worth all of the hard work the team plans to put in.

“We just got a new head coach [Matthew Fimon] this year,” said Rose, “and he is expected to turn up the intensity with the team. We are looking for a very strong season for team growth and building a larger team.”

Even with these advantages, Rose said the team knows that they’ll have to earn everything they hope to achieve. “Wrestling is all about effort,” he said.

“If the team stands up and puts the work out that our coach is expecting of us, we will do well. We have started more weight training, but again, that only works if the effort is put out.”

The wrestling team works out in a number of different ways: weight training, cardio training and conditioning, among others; they’ll need it all for the season ahead.

Tip for spectators: “I would love to see more fans,” Rose said.

“It’s more of an art than it may seem on the surface. Most people are dissuaded simply by the mental image, but you need to see it yourself to truly understand why we put in 13 hours a week, and an unimaginable amount of effort.”

 

Nordic Skiing

With snow as scarce as it has been in the early stages of this winter, the nordic ski team have found themselves running a lot to stay in shape until they can get out and ski.

“We’re not the running team,” said senior captain Elizabeth Cripe, but she realizes there is still plenty of time in the season. “We have a lot longer season that some of the fall or spring teams, because we go over christmas break. We do a lot of intensive training. We train twice a week before school, every day after school and over distance 3 hours on saturdays and lots of times we see good results from that.”

The results will certainly be seen as soon as there is enough snow to start skiing, along with how the team will shape up this year.

“We have a lot of up-and-coming skiers, but they’re a lot younger, so this year is more a kind of training in,” said Cripe. “We have a really strong group of sophomore boys. For the girls’ team, we’re pretty staggered. So this year, we can do big things.”

Senior captain Ole Roof echoed her sentiments and emphasized a focus on team dynamic.

“I’m looking forward to having a good time with my teammates and developing a new team,” said Roof.

Until the snow comes around, the team has a strategy for dealing with the hard training days. “We have a chocolate milk tradition on the nordic team,” said Cripe, “because Tuesdays and Thursdays we do strength and then we go do our workout. It gets pretty long so we like to bring chocolate milk for ourselves. We love chocolate milk and snow.”

Tip for spectators:

“It’s fun to cheer,” Cripe said, “but wear a lot of clothes because it gets cold standing there. We have a lot of parents that come all the time, but that’s not nearly as much fun. You can stand in one spot and see everyone on the team race, which is nice.”

 

Girls’ Hockey

Like many other Minnehaha winter sports teams this year, the girls’ hockey team is young and optimistic about the upcoming season.

The addition of a new coach, Sara Lind (‘12) and greater turnout than in recent years promise to make this season exciting for Minnehaha United girls’ hockey.

“We’re able to have a fourth line, which we’ve never been able to have before,” said senior captain Ellen Seibel.

“I think it’s exciting that we have a lot more people who are interested.”

Much of the interest is coming in the form of eighth graders and freshmen from Minnehaha and the other schools in the “United” co-op: St. Agnes, DeLaSalle and Providence Academy.

Along with being excited, Seibel is hopeful about the upcoming season.

“We’ll be a lot stronger this year, with how it’s started off,” said Seibel.

“We got a lot of good players that have come in and helped out the team. Hopefully we’ll get more wins than last year.”

Tip for spectators:

“It’s a lot of fun,” Seibel said. “People don’t come because there’s not checking in girls’ hockey, but without checking, you can show off your skills more because you’re not worried about getting hit. I think it’s a different aspect than boys’ hockey, but still entertaining.”

 

Boys’ Hockey

Looking to turn the past few “rebuilding years” into hard results, senior captain Jake Lundquist said this is the year to achieve the team’s goals while scoring a few along the way.

“I think we have a deeper team,” said Lundquist.

“We’ve got guys who have been playing with each other for a long time now. We only lost a few guys.”

One of those players, however, was Josh Radtke, the team’s leading scorer.

Yet even with a big part of the team graduating, Lundquist is confident.

“I think depth is going to hold us in games,” said Lundquist.

“It’s all going to come down to how we play against the good teams on our schedule like the Brecks and the SPAs and all those other teams that are top 5, top 10 teams in state. Depending on how we can play in those games, we can really dominate other teams we play.

“I think we can see a different team in the playoffs this year. Not a one and done team like we have in the past few years.”

Tip for spectators:

“Come out and watch every single game,” Lundquist said.

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About Elliot Dorow Hovland

Elliot is a sophomore staff writer and, along with Kenny Kiratli, the co-creator and co-host of the Minnehaha Talon Podcast. Elliot plays on the soccer, hockey, and golf teams and is interested in engineering and the environment.

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