Sorry, Gotta Run!

While the calendar may still say it is autumn, there’s no denying that winter is here.   With the falling of the leaves comes the eventual fall of Providence Academy fall sports teams.  There is one team, however, that is still fighting to keep their competitive season alive.   The PA Cross Country team has three runners – Emma Kelly ‘22, Maddie Kelly ‘20, and Riley Nechanicky ‘19 – going strong.  These girls have surpassed their high preseason expectations to make it to the Regional competition.

The girls had plenty of hurdles to clear on their quest to Regionals.  The Section Meet was the first step.   With 150 girls running, the odds were stacked against the three  PA athletes. Nevertheless, Nechanicky and the Kellys were not fazed – they had not come to lose. All of their hard work ended up paying huge dividends  as the  three  girls finished in the top 15. Maddie Kelly dominated, finishing in first place with a blazing 19 minute, 13 second race.  The PA girls team  placed second of the 21 total teams at the meet.  With such strong results, Nechanicky and the Kellys were able to move on to the next round: state!

The State Meet was held at St. Olaf College.  175 of Minnesota’s fastest female runners were there, all striving for strong finishes.  Continuing the trend, the PA girls again placed very well at this competition.  Maddie Kelly led  the way with a remarkable 10th place finish, earning  an All-State award. Riley Nechanicky and Emma Kelly continued to impress, posting competitive times as well.

For almost all sports, the State Tournament  spells an end to the season; it is the end of the road, no matter how well a team does.  The Cross Country team, on the other hand, just can’t seem to get enough.  Thanks to Nike, the three PA girls got the opportunity to continue their season.   Nike invited  Nechanicky and the Kellys  to a Regional meet in South Dakota because of their dedication, skills, and consistent success.   Unfortunately,  that meant  more practicing outside in the cruel,

A few PA girls having fun while running

unforgiving  Minnesota  weather.

Still,  the girls remained steadfast in their desire to continue.  Beaming with pride, Nechanicky stated, “We were still really excited to keep running.  Even with the colder weather we still love to run.”

In the end, the girls placed  tenth at the Nike Regionals Meet, last Saturday in Sioux Falls, SD, adding an exclamation  point to an already stellar season.  As the PA girls Cross Country team demonstrated time and time again, hard work really does pay off.

Tackling the Turf

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in sports related injuries at Providence Academy. Many people believe this is due to the new turf field. The turf field has grown in popularity among  grass sports such as because it reduces the costs of field maintenance. Although turf seems like it the most practical playing surface, it has some serious drawbacks, including player safety.

Sue Johnson, a physical therapist for Allina Health admitted, “It is common knowledge that turf causes more injuries”. Unlike grass, turf is extremely grippy. When someone lands in an awkward position or is tackled at a sharp angle, they are much more susceptible to an injury, because their knee moves while their leg stays in place.

Like many facilities, PA has seen more of these injuries up close and personal in the years since installing turf. “Before the turf was put in, there were like two ACL tears and within three years of the new turf there already have been eight,” stated Logan Blomberg, who has torn an ACL.

With the implementation of turf playing surfaces, some athletes no longer feel safe while playing their sports and consequently change the way they play. “When we play on turf we have to be especially careful because if we don’t there’s a high chance we’ll get injured”, said football player Jacob Gable.

When a player is aware of the risks associated with a turf field they are better prepared to avoid career threatening injuries while playing. Some tips to prevent injury are: to come to a stop slowly after sprinting, to wear supportive footwear to help prevent ankle sprains,  and to stay mindful of your feet.  With this awareness in mind, play on!

Run! Kick! Cheer?

With an estimated four billion fans worldwide, soccer is by far the most popular sport on the planet.  Providence is no exception.  The PA Lions’ soccer team regularly enjoys the support of its fans.  Soccer super-fan Riley Nechanicky, ’19 stated, “The team is really fun to watch!  I usually like watching soccer and I especially enjoy watching the boys soccer team this year!”  It is hard not to be following the PA soccer team now.  What really piques the interest of all PA fans is the surprising amount of underclassman with a strong smattering of the upperclassman.

Because of this, fans of all ages should come out to support the boys as they begin their trek into sections.

Some players to watch heading into sectionals :

Goaltender Sam Young, ‘19 is a four year varsity starter and a brick wall in net, he will be of utmost importance if this team is to go deep in sections.

Crafty defenders Sam Ferreira ‘19,  Zach Giesler, ‘19 and Connor McIntee ‘19 are the defensive backbone that must get the ball up field to the midfielders

Ball-handling guru Andrew McMonagle ‘19 has a crucial role with the team especially after the heart breaking injury to Daniel Caballero early in the season.

Spark-plug Matthew Wooden, ‘22 has the important job of giving the team extra energy and he is a very exciting player to watch.

The smooth offensively skilled forward Dylan Servais who has been described as “saucy” by numerous teammates, will be tasked with getting the ball in the net when sections comes around.

Even if you don’t share Riley’s love of soccer, you can still have a terrific time at the games.  As Logan Blomberg ’19 stated, “I don’t really like soccer, I like basketball, cross country, track, and football more.  However, I still really enjoy going to the soccer games with some friends.”

With most of the soccer games being played during the week, it can be very relaxing after a long day at school to watch a game.  No doubt about it, the fans’ cheering helps the boys play as well.  With all this in mind, why not come out to cheer on the boys soccer team!  There is only one game left on Saturday October 6th, before a very crucial sections run!  Come with your friends and watch the Providence Academy boys soccer team before it’s too late!

The 2018 boys Soccer Team

This Day in History: Ted Williams Becomes Last Player to Hit .400

On this day in 1941, left-fielder Ted Williams becomes the the last Major League Baseball player to hit above .400 in a season. In a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics, Williams reached base six times in eight at bats. This performance on the final day of the regular season raised his batting average to .406, making him the first ballplayer since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit above .400. To put this accomplishment in perspective, the average MLB player is batting .248 this season. By the time he retired in 1960, Ted Williams was known as the greatest hitter of all time and had an impressive career average of .344.

A Boston Red Sox legend, Williams was born in San Diego, CA, on August 30, 1918. His success at the plate did not come by chance: “all I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, ‘There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived,'” said Williams. By 1939, this dream became reality when he made his Red Sox debut. During his rookie year, “the Kid” finished fourth in MVP voting, with a .327 average and 145 runs batted in. 1941 was his best statistical year, though he again came up short in the MVP race, second only to Joe DiMaggio. Williams twice won the American League Triple Crown – 1942 and 1947 – with the highest batting average and most home runs and RBIs. Selected to the All-Star game 17 times, he was finally named American League MVP in 1946, winning the award again in 1949. According to PA baseball aficionado Joseph Fafinski, ‘19, on September 28, 1941 Williams “entered the day with an average of .3995535. Knowing that the league would round this up to .400, Red Sox manager Joe Cronin offered him the opportunity to sit out and preserve his .400 average. Williams decided to play anyways.”

Williams prepares for take-off (Boston.com)

An All-American in every sense of the term, Williams served his country as a naval aviator during both World War II and the Korean War. Not content to simply play baseball for the Marine Corps service team, as some major league players had done, he was a flight instructor from 1943-1945 and flew combat missions over Korea. Proud to fulfill his patriotic duty, Williams’ stats are that much more impressive considering he missed nearly five full seasons in his prime due to active military service.

Baseball Hall of Fame

Williams was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, his first year of eligibility. He passed away at the age of 83 on July 5, 2002, but continues to impact the game; his book “The Science of Hitting” is still read by many baseball players today.

As Williams himself said, “baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer”.

 

For More Information:

Baseball Reference

Baseball Hall of Fame

 

Catholic Schools Week-Boys Hockey

February 1st was a day of excitement when it came to the boys hockey game between Providence Academy and St. Paul Johnson. Providence made an amazing comeback, which pushed the game into overtime. Sadly, the final score was 7-8, resulting in a loss for the boys hockey team. However, the game for those watching was extremely exciting and viewed as one of the best Providence Academy comebacks of this year.

Many parents and fans brought the game to Twitter for those who were not present.  “The Lions SCORE!!! It’s 7-7 with 6:05 left in the 3rd!!” followed by “We’re going to OT tied 7-7 between the Providence Academy Lions and the St. Paul Johnson Governors!! #GoLions!”

Tensions were extremely high as a single score in an over time game means an instant win for either team, but even though the Providence Lions pushed their hardest, it wasn’t enough to make that game winning score during over time.

However, through all odds the players were able to step up their game and change the score from what at first was looking like a blowout to one of the closest games of the season.

“It’s 2-6 Governors over the lions in the 2nd,” tweeted a parent. Down many points, the Providence Academy Lions brought a 2-6 game to a 7-7 game before over time. Much determination and hard work was put into play to be able to do something of that proportion.

From a loss, the boys hockey team knows what must be worked on in order for them to win their next games.

A face off at the beginning of the first period.