MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The snow is gone, the sun is out and we’ve officially turned the calendar to April. That means the high school spring sports season is just around the corner.
It promises to be an exciting season for high school athletes, assuming Mother Nature doesn’t get in the way. That’s always the big gamble with outdoor athletics in Minnesota, especially in April, May and June. One morning of rain or one poorly-timed storm can derail a daily slate of activities.READ MORE: Minnesotans Look To The Sky
It’s also a busy time for student-athletes with planning prom, graduation parties and if the right opportunity presents itself, a run to a state tournament. It’s a little early to predict who will be the best of the best in various sports around the Twin Cities, but it should be a competitive spring when you look at last year’s spring state champions and what they bring back this year.
Baseball (Mounds View)
The Mounds View baseball team went on an impressive run to win the 2014 Class 3A state championship. The Mustangs won 15 straight games and won three state tournament games by a combined 15-1 margin to win the state title. That included a 9-0 victory over Eden Prairie in the state championship game. The squad returns two of its top players from last year in Wyatt Meyer and Charlie Callahan. The Mustangs are also expected to get big contributions from Henry DeCaster and Jeremiah Bonde.
Softball (Lakeville South)
The Lakeville South girls softball team won eight straight games to end the 2014 season with the Class 3A state softball title. The season culminated with a 3-2 win over Maple Grove in the state championship game. Mariah Uphoff provided the game-winning play in the contest. She reached on a fielder’s choice as a throw to home plate to stop the game-winning run was late. She’s back for her junior season on a squad that also includes four talented seniors.
Boys Golf (Edina)
The Edina Hornets should be considered the heavy favorite to repeat as state champions this year when the Class 3A Boys State Golf Tournament hits Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids in June. The Hornets edged Wayzata by one shot to win last year’s team title, and they bring virtually every player back from that squad. Edina will be led by Sam Foust, who finished in a three-way tie for second individually last year with rounds of 71 and 74 for a two-day score of 145. The Hornets also return seniors Kobie Boe, Bobby Terwilliger and Ben Olson, who all finished in the top 15 individually at the state tournament. Drew Engelking, also a senior, finished in a tie for 28th last year.READ MORE: Fallen Minnesota Officers Honored With NFTs: 'It's Like A Digital Tombstone'
Boys Lacrosse (Eden Prairie)
The Eden Prairie boys lacrosse team completed a dream spring season last year, beating Rosemount 13-11 to win a state championship. With a loaded roster back, the expectations should be just as high this spring. The lacrosse title was Eden Prairie’s third overall in their eight straight state tournament appearance. The Eagles are led by two returning captains who were both on the All-Tournament Team last year in junior J.D. Spielman and senior Sean Patterson. Spielman is also receiving heavy Division I interest to play football. Eden Prairie’s roster is loaded with the experience of 11 seniors and won its first game against Benilde-St. Margaret’st this week.
Girls Lacrosse (Blake)
The Blake girls lacrosse team is looking for an unprecedented sixth straight state championship this year. The Bears beat Maple Grove, Stillwater and Eden Prairie to win last year’s title. The team has plenty of talent back, but it all centers around senior Olivia Nolan. She scored five goals in last year’s state championship victory. Nolan is one of six seniors on that squad this season. The Bears opened their season with an 18-9 win over Holy Family Catholic this week. This year’s state tournament is June 9-13 at Chaska and Chanhassen High School.
Girls Golf (Wayzata)
The Wayzata girls golf team pulled away from the field for a 19-shot victory at last year’s Class AA State Golf Tournament. If the Trojans make it back, they should be considered one of the favorites again for the event at Bunker Hills Golf Course. Wayzata returns four of its top six players from last year’s squad. It’s a group that includes Jenna Nelson, Ellie Brandt, Madalyn Mrosak and Samantha Lee. Brandt finished the state tournament last year with a two-day score of 165 to finish in a tie for 28th. Nelson tied for 42nd, Mrosek tied for 43rd and Lee tied for 59th. It’s a talented group that should only get better as the spring season progresses.
Boys Tennis (Wayzata)
The Wayzata boys tennis team beat three formidable opponents last year, losing only five games in the process, to win the Class AA state title last year. The Trojans finished off the season by beating Minnetonka 5-2 in the title match. They should be heavily favored again this year to make a run at a state championship with four regular players back. That includes Nicholas Beaty, who won the AA Individual Singles title last year. Beaty is just a junior, while Wayzata will also be led by four seniors. Those include Henry Lee, Steele Kowalczyk and Nick Kasner, who were state tournament participants last year.MORE NEWS: Soaking Up The Sun, Safely: How To Best Protect Your Skin, And Spot Skin Cancer
Stay with the WCCO Prep Blog for updates on the spring high school sports season as it progresses, weather permitting.