Five of the six Ranger seniors who participated in the class of 2020’s first national signing event on Nov. 13 are or have been members of the Ranger girls hockey program, making that sport something of a theme. Ellen Nelson, Brieja Parent, Brooke Remington and Josie Bothun will all be active in NCAA women’s hockey next year — though strictly speaking, Bothun now plays for the Ranger boys team.

Lily Walesheck, also a Ranger hockey player, will focus on lacrosse in college. The outlier of the group is distance runner Max Charlsen, who recently became the best Ranger placer in the boys state cross-country meet for 25 years.

Acting as master of ceremonies, Forest Lake activities director Mike Hennen teased the boys gathered in the gymnasium stands about the 5-to-1 ratio of females at the table of honor, and also asked each new signee to expostulate on their favorite thing about being a Ranger, as well as asking them to announce any thank yous to parents, coaches and teammates.

Each of these Rangers has been to the state tournament or meet in their sports and each has garnered headlines and notice in this newspaper and others. Best of luck to all next year, though none of them have yet made their last appearance in the Ranger colors. In many ways, the best is still to come.

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