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Sydney Ries of Simley is off to a good start in the first winter sport to open the season, girls hockey.
Sydney Ries of Simley is off to a good start in the first winter sport to open the season, girls hockey.


Sydney Ries of Simley


Simley • hockey

The girls hockey season is only a few days old, and Ries already has seen plenty of pucks flying her way.

Simley is 1-1 through its first two games, but it's hard to fault the junior goaltender for the loss. Ries has already made 94 saves on 100 shots against two outstanding teams.

"Syd is a gamer, and when goalie coach Alex Cimochowski stated to the team about so many shots in two games and that we can't keep allowing that game to game, she kind of just grinned," Simley coach Jamie Kurowski said. "You could see it in her face that she was not concerned at all and in fact I believe silently was thinking, 'Bring it.'"

Ries made 48 stops in a season-opening 4-1 loss to Holy Family. Two days later she made 46 saves in a 4-2 triumph over Orono. Each of those teams won 20 games last season. Orono was runner-up in the Class 1A tournament; Holy Family lost in the Class 2A, Section 2 final.

"This young athlete is a very special young lady and has always brought a smile to those around her, but in games has brought a toughness that our girls have bought into because of her leadership," Kurowski said about Ries, who also plays soccer and runs track. "Sydney has always been a gifted athlete."

Gabe Aamot of Dassel-Cokato


Dassel-Cokato • football

Aamot made Saturday a big-play day. A senior outside linebacker, he was credited with only four tackles, but one was for a loss and he forced two fumbles and recovered one in a 14-7 victory over Minneapolis North in the Class 3A quarterfinals. "Gabe puts in a lot of film time getting him to the right spots on the field and is often rewarded with big plays," Chargers defensive coordinator Patrick Schuette said.

Libby Bakker of Maple Grove


Maple Grove • swimming

A junior, she broke her own school record in the 200 individual medley with a winning time of 2 minutes, 6.38 seconds, won the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.63 and swam a leg on the victorious 200 medley relay team in the Class 2A, Section 5 meet, where she was named swimmer of the year. "Libby is a calm presence on the pool deck even when under great pressure," Crimson coach Natalie Strauss said.

John Warpinski of Edina


Edina • football

The senior running back has become a workhorse for the Hornets during their seven-game winning streak. He carried the ball 37 times for a career-best 255 yards and two touchdowns as Edina ran over Stillwater 49-21 in the Class 6A quarterfinals. "His ability to secure crucial yards after contact and never getting tired allowed him to take complete control of the game," Edina coach Jason Potts said.

Lucia Freed of Robbinsdale Armstrong


Armstrong • swimming

Freed, a sophomore, won the 100-yard backstroke and 200 individual medley and swam a leg on the victorious 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, leading the Falcons to the Class 2A, Section 6 championship. Falcons co-coaches Blake Maus and Marina Rydbom teamed up to describe her: "Lucia is very dedicated and works hard every time she is in the pool. She is always ready and willing to learn and improve."

Savion Hart of St. Thomas Academy


St. Thomas Academy • football

Hart, a senior running back, rolled up 271 yards on 28 carries and scored five touchdowns in a 46-28 triumph over Owatonna in the Class 5A quarterfinals. He has rushed for 2,189 yards on 235 carries and scored 34 touchdowns this season. Hart also has 14 receptions with one touchdown.

Stella Swenson of Wayzata


Wayzata • volleyball

The outstanding senior setter, who has committed to the Gophers for college, capped her career perfectly by directing the Trojans to an unbeaten season (34-0) and their fourth consecutive big-class state championship. Swenson had 32 set assists and five kills in a sweep of New Prague in the championship match. "Stella possesses competitiveness that at no worse rivals any player I have ever coached," Wayzata coach Scott Jackson said.

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