The Spartans had an incredible 2018 winter season that saw State Tournament appearances by girls' hockey, fencing, nordic and alpine skiing, and boys' swimming. Check out SPA Athletics News for winter athletic postseason recaps.
This spring, student-athletes look to continue the momentum from winter season. The athletic department welcomed four new head coaches to the SPA community and the teams have jumped into competition due to a late snow to melt. Check out the spring athletic team previews below:
Another new addition to the SPA spring coaching roster is Rob Thompson who will be heading up the boys' baseball program. Captained by Jesper Salverda '18 and Tom Patterson '18, the Spartans hope to make a strong run in the conference and extend their season deep into the postseason. Coach Thompson is excited about the opportunity to coach a great group of guys and to build a strong team environment.
The girls' golf team is poised for another successful season. The young team will rely on captains Emilia Hoppe '18 and Lily Nestor '19 to lead the group this season and will be coached by Amanda Dlugopolski who is entering her fourth season with SPA. Dlugopolski shared, "After working with such a great group of athletes last year, I am excited to sit down and establish goals, both as a team and individually." Be sure to check out the team when they compete at Somerset Country Club!
After just missing a State Tournament appearance last year, the boys' golf team is back and ready to make a run at the Conference Championship. Coach Chris Pope is entering his second season and will look to a new group of players to step up after graduating a large senior class. All-Conference player, Gus Grunau '18 returns for his senior season and an eye on making the State Tournament.
The United cooperative team between SPA and Visitation is eager to start their season and build on their strong 9-4 showing and Section Semifinal finish in 2017. The United will be led by Head Coach Andria Warner who is new the program this year. They will also look for leadership from returning All-Conference player Hayley Hoffmann '18.
The boys' lacrosse team is looking to make waves this season after wins last season over St. Paul, Shattuck-St. Mary, and Robbinsdale Cooper. Coach Mike Cunningham will continue to build on the success of this program and develop the new group of players joining the team. The team returns All-Conference player Duncan Fleming '20 to the team.
Last season, Spartan softball made a late-season push and made it further in the postseason than they had in several years. The team hopes to build on this momentum this season under the new direction of Liz Kocon who joined the SPA community this spring as the team’s head coach. Kocon is excited to become a Spartan this season, sharing that she is excited “to see how much each player grows and develops as both an athlete and a woman." The team will be captained by Sophia Rose '18, Olivia Williams Ridge '18, and Kathleen Bishop '20.
The Spartan tennis team finished last year’s campaign with a Team State Tournament appearance after hosting and winning the Section 4A Team Tournament. This year, the team is looking to make another run at State with a good nucleus of returning varsity players and some new faces who will be ready to immediately contribute. Coach Viet Pham is entering his 15th year coaching and is excited to see the boys continue to grow and develop.
Track and Field
The 2018 spring season will mark the beginning of a new era for SPA track and field: the program will welcome new head coach Kellan Minter. After coaching in the basketball program this winter, Minter will be joined by veteran coaches Rob Donnelly and Dave Montgomery, as well as new assistant Aly Grebner. On the track, the Spartans welcome back a strong core of mid-distance runners including Greta Sirek '18, Val Hart '18, Jak Kinsella '18, and Koji Gutzmann '19 and will look to build their depth in field events.
This spring, SPA will again host a trapshooting team. The team meets every weekend at the range where they work on their hand-eye coordination and timing, and compete against teams in their conference. At the end of the season, the Spartans will compete in the 2018 Trapshooting Championship for a chance to compete at the state tournament. This year's team is captained by Riley Tietel '19 who has been playing the sport for more than four years and shot a perfect score last season.
While not an official MSHSL varsity sport, SPA will field three ultimate frisbee teams this spring: two boys’ teams (Varsity and JV) and one girls’ team (Varsity). The team saw a huge increase in participation this year after an excellent inaugural year in 2017 when the Spartans had just one, co-ed team. This year, student-athletes look forward to continuing to develop the program, learn the game, and challenge their competition.