PA Hosts First “Super Soccer Saturday”

On Saturday, September 10th, Providence Academy and the Lions’ Soccer Booster Club hosted its first ever “Super Soccer Saturday” to celebrate the sport and Youth Soccer Day. 

The day was packed with fun, running from 9:00am to 12:00pm, with Lions games afterwards. 

The first activity on Super Soccer Saturday was an intramural soccer clinic for the “Cubs” (students in grades 3-5), and both boys and girls varsity team members volunteered to help the coaches run the program. It was a great experience for the aspiring PA soccer players to learn from the upper schoolers, who shared their love of soccer with them. 

Girls varsity soccer player Tatum Janezich, ‘25, said she volunteered not only to receive service hours, but also because, “I enjoy working with kids! It’s cool to help share the experience of being a soccer player with the younger ones.” 

Towards the end of the clinic, all of the younger soccer players broke into two teams—a girls’ team and a boys’ team—and played a very lively, but shortened game of soccer. Both teams even came up with their own chants to cheer each other on. The Middle School mini-scrimmages began shortly after the Cubs’ clinic, with both the girls’ and boys’ teams each playing an exciting match. 

The “Cubs” wrap up their clinic with a scrimmage. PAW Photo Credit: Maddyn Greenway

The players were not the only ones able to participate in the Super Soccer Saturday experience. Parents were able to watch their children play soccer while also enjoying the “Minnesota Carnivorium” food truck stationed at the fields and also the concessions. Even the varsity and JV girls’ teams gathered in community for a brunch that morning, to bond and fuel up before their own games against Wayzata High School and Heritage Christian Academy.

The girls’ junior varsity team played an exciting game against Wayzata High School, but unfortunately didn’t pull off a win. The boys’ varsity team faced off against Heritage Christian Academy, winning their matchup 2-1. And finally, the girls’ varsity team, who also took on Heritage Christian Academy, came out ahead with an 8-1 win.

Varsity boys’ goalkeeper Ben Martin, ’23, makes an impressive save. Photo credit: Jodi Lewis.

After the varsity game, to celebrate Youth Soccer Day, all youth players who wore a club or school soccer jersey received a free treat from the concession stand, which they could enjoy while they watched the Lions’ games. Many of the lower schoolers remained at Providence after their own soccer concluded to participate in this celebration and to cheer on the Lions.

The varsity Lady Lions in action on Mithun Field. PAW Photo Credit: Maddyn Greenway.

Fifth grader Annie Lee, who attended the Cubs’ Clinic, said that her favorite part of the day was, “The girls’ varsity game because my sister is on the team and I love watching the high schoolers play!” 

Overall, the PA Soccer Booster Club’s first Super Soccer Saturday was a success and a great experience for all players—lower, middle, and upper schoolers.

There is a possibility that this event will continue in future years, as Girls’ Varsity Head Coach Paul Cronin noted, “We would absolutely do it again. This is the first time we’ve done an event like this. It was very inspiring to see the older players serve as such good role models for all of the aspiring young players.” 

Perhaps the lower school students will someday be teaching young players how to play the sport they love, as varsity team members.

Lions Football Wins Home Opener

Blue, gold, and pink! The Providence Academy football team came out with an exciting win Friday September 9th, on their home turf, with cheering fans dressed in pink to support the Tackle Cancer mission of raising money for cancer research.

The Lions get ready for kick off against Spectrum High School. PAW photo credit: Gabby Hankel.

The PA Lions’ football team took on the Spectrum Sting on Mithun Field for a thrilling second game of the 2022 season. The players were anxious to get on the field for their first home game of the season, striving for a win to make their record 1-1. The team delivered, to the delight of their fans, with a 20-0 score. 

“We took the loss hard last week and all we did was prepare, prepare, prepare,” wide receiver Joseph Bergault, ‘25, remarked on the win. 

Spectrum’s defense caused a Lions touchdown to remain elusive throughout the first quarter, with the score remaining 0-0, but  Captain Stormy Knight, ‘23, pulled off the first touchdown of the game in the second quarter. 

From then, touchdowns were scored by Captain Eddie Dossantos, ‘23, and Colin Capouch, ‘25. 

“The game got off to a slow start,” mentioned quarterback Eddie Dossantos, “but things picked up as we went on. Boys played well and hard and we came out with a W.”

The team’s supporters were decked out in pink to support the Tackle Cancer mission. Providence annually fundraises at one home game to help further cancer research. Along with raising money, it is also tradition to wear pink clothes and accessories to support the cause. 

Student fans, decked out in pink to support “Tackle Cancer,” wave “goodbye” to Spectrum High School, as the Lions wind down their win, 20-0.

The players were not the only ones ecstatic for the home opener. The fans, including those from the team’s co-op schools–Heritage Christian Academy, Maranatha Christian Academy, and West Lutheran High School–packed the stands and were extremely active in cheering on the Lions throughout the game. 

“I think we have really great team spirit,” exclaimed PA student Katelyn Clements, ‘24. She continued, “Everyone is joining in the cheers and is really rowdy.” 

The Providence community shined on the field, along with the players and coaches. Providence’s dance team performed during halftime, which energized the fans for the second half. It was also the annual Youth Night, where youth athletes were able to accompany Providence players onto the field during the announcement of the starting lineup. 

The Lions’ participate in their traditional “thank you” to the fans for their support during the game. PAW photo credit: Gabby Hankel.

The home opener built anticipation for the upcoming season, and the energy on Mithun Field and in the stands proved that the Lions have immense support behind them. With the Homecoming game on September 31 and the excitement surrounding upcoming theme games, the Lions’ season will surely be one to remember.

New Year, New Gear

December may be over, but winter sports are just beginning.  Winter sports usually start in the month of November, but due to fall spikes in COVID, a statewide mandate forced all winter sports to pause. But finally, after months of canceled activities, most school sports are starting.  The week of the eleventh, Providence students will return to basketball, hockey, and skiing. albeit with modifications. 

Masks are among the biggest changes to this year’s winter seasons.  The masks are going to be an extra layer between the players and the air they need when working hard. It also wouldn’t be a true COVID season without social distancing, but this poses an extra challenge to teams trying to work together while maintaining a six-foot distance.

The Providence boys Varsity basketball team during a game.

Basketball player Ellie Millerbernd ‘22 commented, “I think that it’s really hard to truly bond with the team as we have in the past. It’s more difficult to communicate with my teammates on the court and even the rest of the team on the bench because of the masks and the social distancing (even the seats are 6 feet apart). We can’t even high five each other. It will be a weird adjustment, but our team already seems to be making the best of it.”

For the girls’ hockey team, masks and social distancing aren’t the only things they need to adjust to.  Starting this year, the girls’ hockey team is co-oping with St. Paul Academy so that is just another thing they have to work through to try and be at their best. 

Hockey player Ava Wasserman ‘22 reflected on the changes of the season, “It’s tough for sure, only having two weeks of practice before playing our first game with the new girls.” 

The feeling of being disconnected does not just exist between teammates. As of now, there are no spectators at any of the games except for immediate family, causing a disconnection between the players and their usual fans. The dynamic is a far cry from having a full student section cheering for your every move to a small number of your usual fans. 

Heidi Wasserman, a PA mom who is one of the few able to watch her daughters hockey games, also commented, “With all these changes, I am just happy that the girls still get to play and still even have a season.” 

Some of the girls’ hockey co-op players pose for a masked pic

This sentiment rings true among the community.  Athletes are happy to be back in the gyms and hockey rinks, even if it means a shorter season, difficult social distancing protocols, and masks full time. Although the changes pose challenges, PA coaches, students, and parents alike understand how lucky Providence athletes are to still be able to play.

Varsity hockey player Josh Mogeni ‘22 affirmed, “We just have to make the best of it because we don’t have that much time left altogether, mask or no mask.”

No More Sports?

This year has been hard for all aspects of the world, but particularly in sports. A few weeks ago on Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz announced that due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, social gatherings, gyms, and indoor service at restaurants will be put on pause for the next four weeks. Unfortunately, this means that high school sports cannot happen.  

Although 2020 has been known for changing at the snap of the finger, the devastating news hit some athletes hard. 

“Even though we were quarantined, we were still expecting to at least have one more team meeting and banquet before we said our goodbyes to our 2020-2021 PA football team,” stated Mark McCarthy ‘22. “I am looking forward to next year and hoping that things will be back to normal so we can have a full season.”

Olivia Klammer ’21 works out on the treadmill in preparation for her upcoming basketball season. Photo Credit to Evelyn Hemler ’20.

The winter teams did not expect this to happen so early in their season and were shocked as well as sad that they will not get to play again until next year. 

Not only, has this been hard on the student-athletes but also the coordinators and the coaches. This year has sent them for a loop with everything changing all the time.

I am typically one calendar year ahead with planning and scheduling,explained Athletic Director Mr. Daren Messmore. “This year has been a challenge with the changing of dates, length of seasons, and the new protocols.”

The winter teams have been told by their coordinators and their coaches to “control what they can control.” This is good advice when it comes to sports right now, they cannot control what happens during their season but they can control how they prepare for it. It will also not only help them get through the time apart from their team but to beat their competition when the time finally arrives. 

This was also followed by the fall cross country team when they had a few bumps in the season with half the team having to quarantine in the middle of the season and the different schedules than years past. 

Joseph Harlan ’24 dashes for the finish line at a cross country meet last fall. Photo credit to Mrs. Amy Hohenecker.

“The cross country team and I are most looking forward to getting back to our normal schedules and are hoping that there will not be so many restrictions put in place for the season next year,” exclaimed Mrs. Amy Hohenecker, head coach of the cross country team.

2020 has been about being resilient and adaptable. We will continue to keep moving forward and make the best out of each situation that we are blessed to be a part of,” glowed Messmore. 

 

Until Next Season!

The tennis girls started off the year strong, even though they were unsure of how the ongoing pandemic would affect their season. No worries though, they had one of the best seasons yet! With fall sports coming to an end, sections had come up too soon.

The team poses for a photo post-win.

 

It was decided that this year, instead of a single-elimination for both teams and individuals, the players would get double elimination but it was team only. They were upset but happy that there were even sections at all. 

Captain Annika Harberts-Ott, graduating class of 2024, said, “It’s disappointing that individuals are canceled because we all worked so hard but I’m excited about the team aspect.” 

The players were scheduled to play SPA for their first match on Tuesday, October 7th. Throughout the years, St. Paul Academy has been a tough opponent, the matches slightly out of their reach. The team played them for sections last year as well as throughout the season and it has become one of their main goals to beat them. 

The match against SPA was close but in the end, the opposition succeeded. The team was positive about it, planning to work harder in the offseason to try and win next year.

This year, tennis suddenly decided to co-op with other schools, the only co-op member, Lisey Langhus ’24 is so excited to be able to play tennis as there are not enough people for a team at her school.

Langhus says, “The best part was how even though we weren’t all winning, everyone was still cheering each other on.”

Unfortunately, the consolation match for the girls was canceled the day of, so unknowingly, that St. Paul Academy match was their last one, but there were still some practices and the banquet.

The banquet took place in Gym C on Tuesday, October 27th. Everyone was excited to be together as a team again, especially with Langhus and the coaches, who had never seen see the yellow halls.

The team dinner and awards were bittersweet, already starting the countdown of 8 months and 14 days until the next season.

Coach Alissa Wilkins said, “I am so thankful for everyone and will miss you guys. Make sure to keep in touch because it’s going to be all of us together next year too!” 

Katelyn Clements ’24, Olivia Eck ’22, Leighton Ferrel ’24, and Libby Bruce ’24 playing a fun doubles game.

Because the team has no seniors and all the spots are filled including exhibition, the team will stay the same this year and next year, which is great because the bonds between members can only grow stronger.

“My favorite part of the season was seeing all the new people on the team slowly grow and open up until we were one big family, especially because we have no seniors,” says Captain Olivia Eck, class of 2022

Langhus gave a special announcement Tuesday night, “I am so lucky that the team was all so welcoming and I was able to fit right in even though I don’t go to the same school.”

 Usually, everyone on the team had very mixed opinions but the one thing they all could agree on was how nice it was to still be able to play especially because of the circumstances. 

Eck agreed and remarked, “I would have been devastated if our season would have been canceled and the coaches did a great job of making everything normal and just as fun as last season!”