Three teams make state and many individuals shine at state
By Matthew Davis
Sun Post Newspapers
Champlin Park boys and girls lacrosse teams’ venture to the state tournament marked the end of the 2013-2014 season for Rebels athletics.
It concluded a school year in which three teams reached their respective state tournaments. Several individuals finished in high spots for individual sports, and a few Rebels squads knocked at the door of state. Here’s a look back at the top ten highlights for 2013-2014.
1. Boys Basketball
Champlin Park’s 25-3 season with a Northwest Suburban Conference title looked destined for a trip to the Target Center. Only Osseo stood in their way with a 72-67 overtime defeat in the section title game. The Rebels even showed they could run with state Hopkins in an early-season loss, 103-100. Five players averaged double figures on a pin-point shooting squad that included Division II Northern State-bound Ian Smith.
2. Girls Basketball
A slow start turned into a section runner-up showing at tournament time for the Rebels. Led by Division I South Dakota State signee and 1,000-point scorer Lexi Alexander, Champlin Park became one of the most dangerous teams in Class 4A.
3. Gymnastics to State
The 2013-2014 Rebels gymnastics squad achieved what no prior Rebels squad had done before. This year’s Rebels put together a strong all-around team performance and took the section title en route to the program’s first state tournament appearance.
Champlin Park volleyball had only one team standing in their way all season – Osseo. The Rebels took second in the Northwest Suburban Conference and the section runner-up. Athena winner and Division II Concordia-St. Paul signee Mariya Sampson played a key role in the Rebels’ sucess.
5. Jeremy Johnson
Johnson set the school record in the boys high jump and won the state title at the Class AA track meet. One of the school’s most gifted athletes, Johnson helped the Rebels boys basketball squad to the section finals.
6. Boys Lacrosse
An undefeated regular season highlighted a successful spring for the Rebels boys lacrosse team. They claimed the Northwest Suburban Conference title and the section title. A second-consecutive trip to state came along with it.
7. Girls Lacrosse
Rebels girls lacrosse reached state for a second-straight season after a convincing run through their section tournament. They also took second in the Northwest Suburban Conference behind conference rival Armstrong.
With a strong pitching staff and improved hitting, Champlin Park made it to the section championship in Midway Stadium’s potential final year. The Rebels fell to eventual state champion Mounds View in the section title game.
9. Battle for the Paddle
Going 3-6 makes for a tough football season, but the Rebels did beat Anoka to keep the paddle in October. The Rebels won 21-10 over their rival with a couple of forced fumbles to spark the team.
10. Girls Track
Champlin Park’s girls track team shined with their young athletes this season in taking four for sectionals and having a substantial showing at state. Ninth-grader Allison Gerads took runner-up at state for the long jump.
Contact Matthew Davis at [email protected]