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They stood out in seasons started amid the pandemic, without the hope of state tournaments, and flourished all the same.
The former Minneapolis North star has been an assistant coach and trainer since retiring from a professional career that included mostly playing in Europe.
More than 100 athletes were named to Star Tribune All-Metro first teams this year in team sports. Here's the complete list by sport.
AMSA 2021: Late start, perfect finish: Stillwater synchronized swimming is Star Tribune All-Metro Team Champion
The perennially strong program, after not being able to compete a year ago, won its first state championship since 2003.
The Lightning's high kick and jazz teams repeated as undefeated state champions for the second year in a row, earning distinction as a Star Tribune All-Metro Team Champion.
The pandemic stole their 2020 season. But when given the chance to play this year, they rose to the top of their sports in the Twin Cities area.
The Greyhounds alum, with 30 years of experience as a player, coach and hockey volunteer, replaces Mike Randolph, who resigned earlier this year after leading the program for 32 years.
The former Blake girls' hockey mentor, who did not coach last season, led the Bears to four Class 1A state titles in a five-season span from 2013-17.
"Winning a state championship is pretty special," the Northfield senior said of his Class 3A victory at Bunkers Hills Golf Club.
Simley's Isabella McCauley, who also won the award in 2019, became the youngest Minnesota girl ever to play in the U.S. Open, held in San Francisco.