South sports teams look forward to the upcoming season

Louisa Lincoln, Sports editor

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Well, South High, it’s that time of year again! Pretty soon, there will be a foot of snow on the ground, the lakes will be frozen over, and 10 degrees will be the daily high temperature, if we’re lucky. It’s time to dust off those skis and skates, break out the basketball, and get ready for winter sports season!

Men’s Basketball

According to junior Devon Lumbar, the motto for the men’s basketball team this season is “play hard, and play as a team.”

While nothing has changed dramatically for the team this year, there are some subtle changes that have impacted the team. “[The coaching] is more hands-on,” Lumbar stated, “we spend a lot more time with the coaches, like over the summer we did more stuff than we have in the past.” Lumbar thinks that these workouts over the off-season have also contributed to making this year’s team more united.

The team’s main goal for this season is to “have a good overall season,” says Lumbar, “[we’re going to] play a lot of games, and win as many as possible.”

Women’s Basketball

After an extremely successful season last year, with an outstanding record of 25 wins and only one loss, the women’s basketball team is looking to rebuild this season. “This season we have a lot of younger girls that want to play on varsity,” said junior basketball player Alina Sanders.

Like every year, the team’s primary goal this season is to make it to the state tournament in March. “A lot of people are doubting that we’re even going to make it to sections,” said Tysha Harris, a junior. This skepticism is not discouraging the team, but they know that to reach this ambitious goal, they’re going to have to “work hard and have a lot of dedication,” according to Harris.

The women’s basketball season officially began on November 14, and their first came is coming up on November 28 against Cannon Falls.

Gymnastics

Senior Lucy Hennen of the South High gymnastics team said that this year, the team’s goals are simpler than ever: to win state. The season started on November 14th, with the team’s first meet, the conference preview meet, on December 3rd.

A lot has changed for the team since last season, according to junior gymnast Rachel Stiyer. “This year, there are 38 girls who are going out for gymnastics. So this could be the first time ever that we’re going to have try-outs. It’s a really big deal,” she said. Stiyer commented that the effects of the try-outs could be both positive and negative. “It’ll be good in that everyone who’s on the team will actually want to be on the team,” she stated.

Another one of the team’s goal is to defeat their conference rival, Southwest. “We really want to beat Southwest,” said Stiyer, “we came so close last year. This is our year.”

Men’s Swimming and Diving

After making it to the state tournament last season, the men’s swimming and diving team is looking to make a return trip.

“We had a lot of people leave last year,” said senior Emerson Hunton, ‘but we’re hoping for another good season.”

The team hopes to achieve these goals by “working hard, putting a lot of effort in, and having a good time,” as Hunton stated.

Hunton is especially looking forward to the dual meets with Southwest this season. “Our Southwest meets will be fun because their team got a lot smaller and our team has gotten a little bigger and we’re always really, really close,” he said.

 Men’s Hockey

In its second year, the Minneapolis Novas men’s hockey team is hoping for a successful season. According to junior Jack Larson, the team’s goals have changed since last year. “Since we won conference last year, we’re trying to go further in our post season,” he said.

The team has undergone several changes this year, including a new assistant coach, Alex Ward. “He’s a good coach, he’s a good hockey player, and he knows what he’s doing,” said junior Tony Pnewski.

Besides the new coach, the team also has official captains this year. According to junior Josh Huisken, the captains, Newt Fuller of Southwest and Zach Austin of Washburn, “provide leadership,” but their addition has not dramatically changed the team.” All of the upperclassmen are still being leaders and showing the rookies what to do, so it’s not just the captains,” Pnewski commented.

The team is looking forward to their first tournament over Thanksgiving weekend in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and is hoping to start the season off right with a win.

Women’s Hockey

Maggie Horstman, a junior on the Minneapolis Novas women’s hockey team, says that much has changed for the team since last season, most notably the change in coaching staff. “It’s completely different,” she stated, “they have a way different style of teaching us the game.” Overall, Horstman thinks that the changes this season are for the better.


This year, the team hopes to be more united, which will hopefully help them improve their record. “We want to be together more as a team, because last year we were kind of divided, so if we’re more together as a team, I think we’re going to achieve our goals,” said Horstman.

Along with a goal of improving their overall record and winning more games this season, the team also hopes to defeat their rivals, the St. Paul Blades, in their first game on December 1.

Adapted Floor Hockey

Adapted Floor Hockey coach Londell French says that this season, the team is dealing with significant senior losses. “We lost quite a few seniors,” he stated, “so a lot of the guys who are playing right now are sophomores, and we don’t have too many upperclassmen.”

The team is hoping to have a successful season, with a primary goal of “winning a play off game and make it to the state tournament. That’s goal number one,” according to French. Junior Karl Haight says that for him, the main goal is “just to win the state tournament!”

These are not easy goals, and French knows that it’ll take a significant amount of work to reach them. “Practice, practice, practice,” he said.

The team is especially looking forward their game against the South Suburban team. The team’s first game is coming up in January.

Wrestling

Junior and captain Brett Peterson says that this year, the wrestling team’s main goal is to do well in the sections tournament.

 

“[Our goal] is probably going to section finals as a team,” he stated, “last year in the semifinals we lost to White Bear Lake, but I think we’re going to be better this year and we can make it to the finals.”

This year’s team has a wide range of ability, with four returning section finalsts, but also many younger wrestlers from Minnesota Transitions Charter School and park board teams, according to Peterson.

The team’s first matches are coming up in the beginning of December.

Nordic Skiing

Katie Eckstrom, a senior and Nordic Ski captain, says that the season began with dryland training, and will move into actual cross-country skiing as soon as there is enough snow.

According to captain Leo Kendrick, also a senior, there are lots of returning varsity skiers, but also a large number of freshmen. Kendrick hopes that veteran skiers will be able to get new skiers “excited about the team,” and that the team will be able to be “as inclusive as possible, especially on out-of-town trips.”

The team will be traveling to Michigan again this year to ski at ABR Trails, a ski touring center in Ironwood, which Kendrick considers to be a highlight of the season.

He hopes the team as a whole will go to state, but if not, that many individual skiers are able to advance.

Alpine Skiing

Junior George Thome of the Minneapolis Alpine Ski Team says that the team, which is made up of students from South and Washburn, has a goal of beating Southwest. “It’s probably achievable because all of the seniors left Southwest,” he said, “and of course, everyone has the goal of going to state, but that’s hard to do, so we’ll see.”

The team has struggled with recruiting alpine skiers from South, however. Sophomore Alex Turner said that, “a lot of kids are afraid of skiing, but there’s plenty of kids who have never ever skied before [on the team].”

While the number of skiers from South is low, the overall number on the team is higher than in previous years. “There’s a lot of kids. I think we’re actually limiting the number because there are so many,” Thome commented.

Both Thome and Turner are looking forward to the invitational ski races, specifically the Wild and Buck Hill invitationals, along with the Giant’s Ridge weekend race, and sectionals.

Dance Team

This season, the dance team is looking at a very different season from last year. “It’s kind of a rebuilding year,” said sophomore dancer Amirah Ellison, “we have a lot of new dancers because most of them graduated last year, so a lot of our team is new dancers.”

Due to the large number of new dancers on the team this year, Ellison said that “I think the goal would just be to make sure that everybody gets a good experience, and that we just have a positive season.”

The team is still hoping to have a successful season, and is looking forward to beating Southwest in the city competition.