“One Shinning Moment” is the cheesy song that is played at the conclusion of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game, while a montage of slow-motion highlights recaps the drama of the last three weeks of college basketball.
It’s all of the good and bad sports clichés rolled into one, buzzer-beaters, rim-rockers, brick houses, heartbreakers and of course, Cinderella stories going to the big dance.
The prep spring sports seasons has its own storylines that could sell a ton of books.
Each spring we have kids that seem to come out of nowhere to do unexpected things, many times ending on the biggest stage of the season at a state tournament.
The spring sports season is a tricky one to cover with up to 10 teams to follow from eight schools.
It’s a busy time of the year and most of the stories unfortunately don’t make it onto our pages.
Each spring I seem to have the same thought, “That was quick!”
One moment I’m talking with activities directors about rescheduling events because of a foot of snow or other severe weather then late May it all comes to a head over a two-week span during sections and state, with state baseball marking the official end to the high school sports year.
Over the last week I’ve seen some of the more remarkable things take place that might not otherwise make it into the paper.
I recently took in a softball game at Anoka where the two seniors played their final home game and both led the team to overwhelming wins in a doubleheader evening. The inside of the dugout was decorated to mark the occasion with colored chalk and quotes from the Disney movie Frozen. I might have seen a couple snowflakes and the carrot-nosed snowman Olaf.
As if the team needed more motivation to score runs, coach Toni Jesinoski gave out one Starburst candy for a run or two Starbursts for a home run. Needless to say, her pockets have been full during the team’s ride to its first section title in program history.
After receiving the top-seed going into sections, they upheld that position with wins over the defending champion team from Elk River and got past Forest Lake in the section title game.
Watch out for Legacy girls golf to continue to be one of the top programs in the state for the foreseeable future.
The reigning Class A state champions return to state after a very convincing section meet that saw three individuals among the top five scores. Freshman Kayla Ruf and eighth-grader Sophie Gray not only led the team at sections but played a role on the state team last season and haven’t shied away this season. Gray’s older sister plays for Concordia University and was part of the group that really helped put the team on the state golf map.
The team will begin its title defense at Pebble Creek in Becker, June 10.
Both golf teams at Spring Lake Park have also compiled record seasons with the boys setting a program low round of 296 to win its first-ever section team title. The boys will return to Bunker Hills for state June 10-11. Pete Sienko earned medalist honors on the boys side and Aly Rogers on the girls side but the girls team finished second.
Of course we have track standouts, baseball teams that will turn heads and lacrosse teams compete for section glory as well so now is the time to take advantage of the sunshine and warmth and support your local high school in the stands or on the course. Soon enough we will again be forced to pull out the jackets, just as the fall tournament seasons swings through.
Jason Olson can be reached at [email protected]