McKenna Happke ’14 commits to NDSU

Mckenna Happke'15 signs with NDSU Nov.13th; submitted photo:  Happke Family
Mckenna Happke’15 signed with NDSU on Nov.13th. Submitted photo: Happke Family

November 13th marked the first day high school athletes throughout the country could officially sign a letter of intent to play college basektball. Providence Academy’s Mckenna Happke ’14 was among these privileged students, committing to North Dakota State University.

“I have dreamed about this since 5th grade. I never thought I would be a college basketball player,” states Happke.

Although the outcome was profitable for Happke, the college recruiting process is a long and hard one. Most recruiting happens in AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball, which is during the spring after the high school season concludes. Participants in AUU basketball generally play at a high level, with the intent to play in college.

Coaches do their recruiting at AUU tournaments because it’s easier to see the top players grouped together. Hapkke remembers when the coaches for NDSU watched her play for the first time.

“I was in Iowa at a tournament” said Happke. “At first I was nervous but they’re not just looking for scorers. They look to see if you’re a team player, and whatever else you have to offer.”

From that point, Happke started receiving letters from colleges, and her coach was contacted.

Happke states, “North Dakota State University and Loyola Chicago were my top two schools. Over MEA break my junior year, I made a verbal commitment to NDSU.”

Although a verbal commitment is non-binding, Happke kept her word and made it official on November 13th.

“I loved the coaches and the the campus,” said Happke. “The town the campus is in feels just like my hometown Coon Rapids. It’s all about where I felt most comfortable.”

On June 9th, just nine days after graduation, Happke departs for college. Team training for the upcoming season begins in the summer.

“I will miss all of my friends so much. I will try and come to as many grad parties as possible,” states Happke.

Even though Happke’s future is set for this summer, her last season with the Providence basketball program is just starting.

“Providence basketball has developed me into the person I am today. It has taught me to be tough, humble and realize how blessed I am,” states Happke. “I want to make it to State with my girls.”

Girls Volleyball: Until next year

The girls "huddle up" in their section game vs. Rockford. By; Beth Geurink
The girls “huddle up” in their section game vs. Rockford. By; Beth Geurink

For the fourth consecutive year, the Providence Volleyball team faced Rockford in their first section game Thursday October 24th. This was the second time the Lions played Rockford in the 2013 season, narrowly losing to them during homecoming week.

Heading into sections, the Lions needed a different method of approaching this team in order for a chance at victory.

“We thought anything could happen out there. This time we were trying to play smarter and more scrappy,” states Maria Agudelo ‘16.

The girls lost 0-3, but each individual game was extremely close. The girls only lost each game by a margin of 2-3 points, so the match was closer than it appears to be.

For six seniors, this game marked the end of their high school volleyball career.

“It was really cool to play with the seniors, because each one of them had special things to give to the team. I will miss their energy and attitude, they were always there supporting and helping me be a better player,” states Agudelo.

Alex Dobos ‘15 sympathises with the pain the seniors felt after the lost. “When we were walking into the game I wanted to play my hardest all for them because I knew that they depended on all of us to keep going through sections. Once we lost I was really sad that it was my last game playing with them, but I knew that we had tried our best,” said Dobos.

Dobos believes that this is the closest any PA volleyball team has ever been. The girls personally see this season as a victory, and hope it carry this attitude into future seasons.

“Our team chemistry was actually the best I’ve ever had with a team. None of us would get mad at each other, and we never gave up, and when we’re off the court, we usually had team dinners before games, as well as team breakfasts and sleepovers,” states Dobos.

Opinion: Rants and Raves

Thumbs-Up-Thumbs-DownThis post marks the beginning of a periodic installment in the PAW in which the PAW staff shares its opinions about absolutely anything…


Junior Fireplace – Poor Juniors, while the seniors get the luxury of warming up near their fireplace, the juniors are left to freeze. The fireplace on the junior side of the atrium has been broken the entirety of the school year, and there’s no sign of it getting fixed soon. Heading into a cold Minnesota winter, will the juniors dare venturing over to the senior side to sneak some heat, or will they somehow learn to adapt?

Miley Cyrus – Back in 2006, we were accustomed to Miley’s hair changing from her brown curly locks to her blonde Hannah Montana Wig. Ever since her drastic style change to short blonde spikes last summer, the world watched Miley go from Disney’s sweetheart to twerking’s biggest advocate. Hannah Montana was correct when she said “Nobody’s Perfect.” Her new risqué album “Bangerz” is breaking records. Are the songs catchy? Maybe. Does she deserve the attention? No. Finally, the public is becoming annoyed with her actions, and have put their attention elsewhere. We hope.

Vikings QB – Note to Minnesota pro sports teams: You’re breaking our hearts! After the Twins’ embarrassingly bad season, we could only hope the Vikings would have a better fate. The team has had three different starting quarterbacks this year and the season is only half-way over. Christian Ponder played the first three games, Matt Cassel started the next two, then it was Josh Freeman, and now we are back to Ponder. We have discovered that laughing about the situation is a good route to go. If a team is playing to win, this is not how you accomplish that. But wait, these are Minnesota sports teams and by now we should be used to this endless cycle of disappointment.

Construction Noise – *Students taking test* – chainsaw blares. *Teacher giving instructions* – the jackhammer turns on. This school year, situations like these are the norm due to all of the construction at the school. Though this is only temporary, the noise the construction produces is a distraction to students and teachers throughout the day.


National Cat Day – On Tuesday October 29th, cat lovers around the world gave their feline friends appreciation on National Cat Day. Along with it trending on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook newsfeeds were filled with cat pictures, or owners’ “selfies” with their pet. “The more cats you have, the better off you are” was the motto of the night.

Fall Play– The fall play, “The Imaginary Invalid”, will take place at Providence on November 8th and 9th. The play stars Stephen Kopp ’15 who plays a severe hypochondriac. Get a group of friends together and prepare to laugh. Make sure to be there for Stephanie Palmer’s ’14 and Connor Killion’s ’15 sing-off.

No School – On November 6th, students will enjoy a day off from school due to parent teacher conferences. Students have the opportunity to catch up on sleep, homework and college apps. Everyone is excited for this “mini Friday” and will use this day off to hang out with friends. Just don’t get too comfortable. Your parents will come home from conferences at some point.

Leftovers – For those of you who are blessed with self control, or if you did some serious damage trick-or-treating, you are enjoying the benefits of your hard work. Candy wrappers can be found scattered across the hallway, and the general mood of the high school is noticeably better. Coincidence?

Have something to add? Click on “comment on this post” below and join the conversation!

Athlete Profile: Megan White, diving sensation

PA's dive team
PA’s dive team

Providence Academy’s sole high school diver, Megan White ‘16 is attracting attention for her success on the team.

The Providence swim and dive team co-op with Osseo because of the limited amount of participants involved in this sport. White and eighth grader Brynn Lampe are the schools only divers.

“It’s fun because you can meet more people, but the commute is pretty difficult. It’s forty minutes from my house.”

White has been diving before her family moved to Minnesota when she was in sixth grade.

“In New York, we belonged to a country club and I learned to dive there. I switched from playing soccer to diving with the school.”

In eighth grade, White began diving with the Providence/Osseo team. Ever since then, she has been a standout performer.

Diving and swim meets occur at the same time, but the methods of judging are completely different.

“For dual meets you have a six dive list and three judges give you a score. There is a different degree of difficulty for each dive; The harder your dive is, the more points it will be,” states White.

Once White is finished with her series of dives, all of her points are added up and put towards the team score.

The divers have only lost to Blaine this season. At an invitational, White came in seventh place out of thirty-five divers.

Looking ahead into sections and state, White is setting goals preparing for what is to come. The top forty divers make it to state, and Megan is working to be one of them.

“I really want to go to state, but it will be almost impossible because of all the good Wayzata girls,” states White.

The next dive meet is Thursday the 26th, against Centennial. Cheer on the swim and dive team in their final weeks before sections.

Delano puts an end to the boys soccer season

Cole Norell '15 keeps the ball away from the opponent  (By; Mr. Brian Adducci)
Cole Norell ’15 keeps the ball away from the opponent (By; Mr. Brian Adducci)

On October 8th, the PA boys soccer team walked onto the field to play what would be their final game of the season against Delano High School.

The Lions were seeded 9th in the section 6A tournament bracket, and Delano was seeded 8th.

The score remained 0-0 until two minutes left in the first half when Delano scored the first, and only, goal of the night.

Heading into their first sections game, the boys believed they were prepared for what Delano had to offer. After many rigorous practices, the team had a positive outlook for the game ahead.

“Preparation had gone the same as always,”  Nick White ‘14 reflected. “We were finely tuned as a whole and every player could predict exactly how the other would react to a certain play. None of us imagined it would be our last game, nor were we even prepared.”

The boys believe that the score did not reflect their performance.

“Our last game was very unfortunate. We were dominating the entire game and had many opportunities to pull of the W, it just didn’t click,” stated Sebastian Brown ‘13.

Luke Ziesmer ’14 agrees that the overall pace of the game was dominated by the Lions.

“We played well both halves but we got unlucky in the first with their goal,” said Ziesmer. “The only thing we could have done better would be finishing our scoring chances.”

When the last whistle blew, the reality that the season was over quickly hit the players. Eight seniors’ high school soccer careers were over, and the remaining teammates now have to wait 10 months to play again.

“Emotions ran high. As a senior I never imagined it would hurt as bad as it did. I don’t think it was just being a senior, but the brothers my teammates had become,” said White.

Comradery is evident within the team.”Whenever I had a bad day at school, I would forget about it at soccer. I will miss being with these guys six out of the seven days of the week, and leaving it all out on the field for each one of them,” stated Ziesmer.

This years’ regular season record was 8-6-2. This is a radical change from the 2011 season, when the team finished with a 1-14 record.

“Each player grew to know each other inside and out. Our record doesn’t show the degree of raw talent our team has, nor the potential we could have reached. We had to become the definition of a team Coach Brian had been looking for since his entrance into the program,” states White.

Next year, boys soccer will have eight empty spots to fill. The underclassmen will have to pick up where this year’s class left off.

Brown believes that he has tough expectations to live up to. “This year’s seniors were awesome. I learned so much from them, not only in skills but also from how most of them played with so much heart.”