Girls hockey team honored on Awards Night
Bemidji's outstanding girls hockey team was honored Tuesday night at its annual Awards Night program. The event drew a large turnout which braved near blizzard conditions to reach the 1st Lutheran Church parish hall. Special guests were the 19 le...
Bemidji's outstanding girls hockey team was honored Tuesday night at its annual Awards Night program.
The event drew a large turnout which braved near blizzard conditions to reach the 1st Lutheran Church parish hall.
Special guests were the 19 letter winners on the varsity team that went 22-4-3, tying for second on the all-time single season win list.
It captured the Greater Minnesota Conference title for the first time in three years and reached the section final before bowing to Moorhead.
Coach Matt Menne served as emcee for the night, thanking his players, parents, coaching staff and news media for their continued support throughout the year.
Shane Veenker, who took over the B Team this winter, stated that "it was a privilege and honor to coach this group this season."
He pointed to its improvement from a team that went scoreless through its first five games to finish 6-8 on the year.
He introduced his players, giving each their participation certificate.
Menne and assistant Cara Samuelson introduced the varsity cast, citing the major contributions of each player and giving them their certificates.
Speaking for goalie coach Tim Port who was unable to attend, he praised the work of his two goalies, Lauren Bradel and Kaia Sele who were major factors in both team's success this winter.
They gave us numerous opportunities to win games we might otherwise have lost," he added.
He termed the squad as a "highly dedicated group that 'brought' it to every game all year and never lacked for effort."
"It was a team that gained great respect throughout the state as the year went along with many coaches expressing their surprise that it failed to reach the state."
"That will be our first goal in 2007."
Bradel, Sarah Erickson, Courtney Josefson and Karly Swenson were announced as All-Conference picks this year. Aryn Ball, Carijean Miller and Courtney Reutzel were named honorable mention.
Bradel, headed to St. Thomas next winter, was cited for being runner-up the goalie of the year award and one of the state's top five goal tenders. She also was an all-state academic winner and will play in the Chicago Hockey Showcase for Team Minnesota.
Bradel and Erickson also gained honorable mention on the Girls Hockey Coaches Association All-State team.
Team yearbooks were presented to all the varsity players.
Julie Boe introduced her cheerleaders who she described as "the most fun group I have ever coached."
The included Katie Mrazek, Lindsay Hanson, Alyssa Williamson, Bethany Larson, Jamie Welle and Carina Strelow.
Following the annual Captains' Roast, serious gifts of appreciation were given by the players to the three coaches thanking them for their efforts throughout the year.
Bethany Fluto was named MVP of the junior varsity and Andrea Goodyear the Most Improved Player.
Varsity award found Erickson named MVP with Kayla Colley the Most Improved Player.
Sele won the Lumberjack Award for her work ethic, dedication, teamwork and high academic standards.
The Hobey Baker Award as the team's top student/athlete went to Ball.
Josefson was returned as captain for 2007 to be joined by Erickson and one other to be named in the fall.
Two videos ended the evening before Menne returned to wish his seniors continued success and urging his returning players to remain active through the off season on the ice or in other sports.
"It's been a wonderful year," he closed.
Earning their 2006 hockey letters were:
SENIORS: Aryn Ball, Lauren Bradel, Amanda Johnson, Carijean Miller and Amber Hill
JUNIORS: Courtney Josefson, Kaitlan Dickson and Shauna Perrault
SOPHOMORES: Sarah Erickson, Karly Swenson, Kayla Colley, Nadine Swartz and Ellisa Port
FRESHMEN: Karly Engen, Alissa Johnson, Haley Johnson, Courtney Reutzel, Mia Kramka and Kaia Sele.
The only other banquet as yet announced is the boys basketball fete March 28, also at the 1st Lutheran.