This spring was anything but typical with the cancellation of the lacrosse, softball, baseball, tennis, synchro, track and field, golf, boys volleyball, clay target and adapted softball seasons.
June would typically be one of the busiest times of the year, balancing section golf meets, conference track and field meets, section softball and section baseball tournaments. Below is a brief portion of some of the teams covered in the Sun Current with more to follow.
Jefferson’s 23rd season under Scott Cater was set to begin a 13-game schedule between April 9 and May 21. A deep team with 11-of-18 players back scoring while building an 11-4 record in 2019. Jefferson had its top scorer back, goaltender, ground ball leader and two top faceoff guys back.
Senior captains included middies Benny Henry and Carson Jacobs, defenseman Nick Hofstad and long stick middie, Sam Wallace.
Henry led the middies with 22 goals and 21 assists for a team-high 45 points. Jacobs is a difference-maker on draws, ground balls and on offense and defense. Jacobs had 13 goals, 14 assists, 59 ground balls and won 18 face-offs while forcing 13 turnovers.
Wallace led the team with 68 ground balls, scoring seven times with the long pole to go with 30 takeaways to lead the Jaguars.
Hofstad’s quickness and ability to move the ball up the field quickly are a tremendous asset as he had 16 takeaways last spring. Junior attack Aydan Rathsabandith led the group with 17 goals and 15 assists.
Junior goaltender Jake McCarthy eyed the fourth year between the pipes for the squad after making 129 saves and posting an 11-4 record in 2019. “Jake’s the quarterback of the defense,” Cater said.
Senior attack Julian Kidd made the switch back from middie to forward where he scored 11 goals.
Holy Angels boys lacrosse
New coach Mike Cunningham didn’t envision his first season of boys lacrosse at Holy Angels to transpire the way it has.
Cunningham brought with him a collective group of coaches with more than 40 years experience including Jon Harris (former Kennedy assistant) along with Matt McEnery and Andrew Granchalek who joined Cunningham from the TriMAC program, a cooperative team composed of students from Minnehaha Academy, DeLaSalle, St. Paul Academy and St. Croix Lutheran).
Captains this season were senior defenseman Joe Kelly along with junior middies Sam Schaffer and Jeffery Robinson, looking to build off a 5-6 record in 2019.
Boys’ tennis coach Tom McNutt looked forward to the spring with four senior captains including Mark Rosen, Mason Meyer, Kyle Anderson and Chris Eastlund.
“We coaches feel so bad for the players, many of which worked very hard in the off-season to improve their games. We feel especially bad for the seniors, who won’t get another chance,” McNutt said, as they had six varsity players back this spring.
As for the four senior captains, the coach explained: “They are all excellent athletes, best of friends and just terrific young men. They all worked hard throughout the off-season and I was anxious to see how good they had gotten. This was going to be a fun season to coach with this group of captains.”
Freshmen Luke Swanson and Colin Carnish were two of the six varsity players looking for increased rolls with the varsity program.
Seventh-grader Bode Campbell was one junior player McNutt was extremely excited to be able to add him to the program after seeing the level of success he’s had in junior tournaments.
Jefferson boys golf
Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Metro West Conference in 2019, coach Matt Elsen had three golfers back with conference honors including senior captain Martin Olson. A third-year varsity golfer, Olson, was joined by junior Logan Bonney and freshman Parker Glass on the All-Conference Honorable Mention list last spring. Justin Johnson and Nolan Rassusen earned All-Conference honors before graduating in 2019.
Elsen said Olson’s consistency contributed to his all-around success in every match as a junior.
Bonney came into the season with high hopes of breaking into state this spring. “Logan’s an aggressive golfer who puts in a lot of time improving his game,” Elsen said. “He has a great short game and will look to put up great scores every round.”
Another senior, Jarette Helmer was another solid player who manages the course well and was another varsity contributor with big aspirations.
“Parker is a fearless player who is a pure ball-striker,” Elsen said of Glass who is a freshman. “He will be a big factor in the Jaguars’ success this season.”
Junior Nolan Chau is another consistent golfer around the course and someone Elsen describes as a student of the game with a realistic opportunity to pick up Metro West honors.
Holy Angels baseball
Holy Angels were one of three final teams left in the Section 3-3A double-elimination tournament before eventual state champion St. Thomas Academy won out to set the stage for this spring.
The Stars were 14-10 overall and 4-3 in the Tri-Metro Conference and eying a strong 2020 with 14 seniors led by captains Reed Lewis (first base/pitcher), Jack Miller (left-handed pitcher), Griffin Olson (infield) and Cooper Smith (infield/outfield/pitcher).
Three seniors plan to play in college including Miller at the University of Jamestown, Smith at Gustavus and Jones at Augsburg. Olson is the Legion Boys State Representative with a 4.0-grade point average and someone coach Mike Rothstein says is a born leader.
Add junior Joe Longo who is considered one of the top 75 players in the state by Breakdown USA as an infielder, catcher, or right-handed pitcher.
Sophomore lefty pitcher Logan Olson is another potential top-level college player as is freshman catcher/outfielder Will Briggs.
Jefferson boys track
Captains for the Jefferson boys track and field program include Colden Longley, Peter Bjorklund, Hillary Makori and Tim Lueth.
Longley came into spring as the defending Metro West Conference champion in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs and went on to place fifth at the Class AA state meet in the 3,200 runs in 9:24.84. He continued that success into the fall cross country season before a hip injury cut his season short.
Coach Jon Leverenz said Longley was practicing on his own ahead of the track season and turned in, “some really good times all on his own that would do very well at the state meet the last three years.”
Two throwers placed at the conference championships last spring and were anticipated to equal if not improve on this spring including senior Pierce Oppong who will play football at Northern Illinois and junior Roosevelt Cage. Junior Isaac Freitag placed in the triple jump in the conference championship.
Sophomore Jack Teske was very close to placing at the meet in the 200, 400 and long jump as a freshman.
Freshman Max Clark is another sprinter to keep an eye on after competing with the varsity team as an eighth-grader in 2019.
Kennedy girls lacrosse
Kennedy girls lacrosse captains Maya Chesky and Cassie Drevlow were amid captains practices and strength training before the stay at home order went into place in March.
“They had already done numerous fundraising for the season from meat raffles to advertising and more,” coach Sheryl Raithel said. “Needless to say we are very disappointed by our situation this year. Captain’s practices were full as always at Kennedy and with the weather being nice, many of them were outside! The last few years have really made it hard with the weather and this year seems to be a lot calmer, but here we are.”
Chesky was named Kennedy’s Athena Award recipient and plays club lacrosse along with sophomore Susie Monson and freshman Kaysawn Carlson.
“We were anticipating a good year again,” Raithel said with two players on the All-Section 6 team including Monson and Olivia Morales. All-Conference honors went to Chesky, Monson and Morales in addition to honorable mention awards to Carlson and Drevlow.
Chesky, Carlson and Monson appeared to lead the scoring attack while Drevlow and junior Christina Persaud anchor the defense. Two goaltenders were vying for the starting role including senior Kat Campbell and junior Tran Lehuynh.
Raithel added new players she anticipated a breakout spring from including seniors Jenna Pepka and Maddie Eby, sophomore Sarah Conzemius and freshman Maddie Houtkoper.
Coming off a 15-8 record last season, Jefferson would look different in the dugout this spring after graduating seven seniors including pitcher Cloie Moore and catcher Jaycie Defries.
Captains this spring seniors Anna Schmidt and Haley Effertz along with juniors Jordan Fasching and Lauren Giesen.
Giesen added St. Ben’s standout Kate Deming to the coaching staff. Deming was a standout for the Jaguars and joins Maggie Wendt as new coaches on the staff. Wendt was set to coach the freshman team.