Rogers Royals fall sports preview

Gunnar Bloom broke away for one of his 20 touchdowns for Rogers in the 2013 season. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Gunnar Bloom broke away for one of his 20 touchdowns for Rogers in the 2013 season. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The big fall sports season is here, and Rogers is a big part of the action. The following is a break down of the Royals fall sports teams.



Last year — 7-0 conference, 9-1 overall

Coaches   — Marc Franz (head), Mick Goudy, Ryan LaPointe, Ken Worel, B.J. Brent, Justin Oie, Josh Rogahn, Matt Webb, Jeff Peterson, Jeremy Hood, Burt Sepulveda, Durand Onell

Returning regulars — Gunnar Bloom (sr RB-DB), Trevor Schwartz (sr OL-DL), Jake Owens (sr FB-LB), Lance Lendl (sr TE-DE), Cole Flander (sr FB-DB), Andy Borchardt (sr QB-DB), Dennis Kemmetmueller (sr OL-DL), Andrew Piehl (jr OL-DL), Dominic Swawiniak (jr OL-DL), Cole Murray (sr TE-DE)

Also in the mix — Many players being evaluated, coach said.

Fast facts — Bloom set RHS records of 1,249 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns last year … Top tackler graduated but next four return: Schwartz, Owens, Flander and Lendl … Caleb Reese and Borchardt are the QB candidates …  Several O-linemen return from unit that allowed zero sacks last year … Sophs and JV’s were both unbeaten last year … Program has over 160 players, the most ever … Also getting a look as ball carriers are Isaiah Fofanah and Owens (two TDs each last year) along with Flander and juniors Blayne Kasper, Cole Hyde, Travis Limoseth, Adam Heyer and Drew Sagehorn.

Coach says — “We return 11 players who had significant playing time on offense and/or defense. There will be good competition for all starting roles. We’ve got our hands full sorting out players with the JV’s and sophs both unbeaten last year. … We’ll still spread the ball around like we always do, as we have a whole list of quality ball-carriers along with Gunnar.”

Outlook — Royals, riding 5 straight conference titles, will be hard to stop on the ground especially, and remain a top conference and section contender.


Boys soccer

Last year — 7-1 conference, 8-9 overall

Coach — Chris Miller (head), Bruce Schulzetenberg, Dan Wespetal

Captains — Mitch Steeves, Griffin Johnson

Returning starters — Steeves (sr M), Mike Biah (jr F), Trevor Klink (jr D), Johnson (jr M), Logan Olkon (jr M), Jake Post (jr M), Michael David (so D)

Also in the mix — Joe Schlottman (jr G), Jacob Lehrke (jr M), Ibrahim Serevy (jr M), and others from large group of juniors competing for spots

Fast facts — Steeves and Klink are the returning all-conference among six on last year’s first-place team. (Another, junior Mike Biah, moved to Champlin.) … Steeves had 10 goals, second on team … Schlottman made switch from football.

Coach says — “We’ve got some strong players. We should have a pretty good attack. Schlottman looks like a quality goalie.”

Outlook — Despite losing four all-conference players, Royals expect to be one of top conference contenders again.


Girls soccer

Last year — 7-1 conference, 11-7 overall

Coaches — Aaron Lindquist (head), Todd Dusosky, Nico Valazquez, Kristi Anderson

Captains — Miranda Anderson, Heather Kilber

Returning starters — Courtney Henderson (jr M), Jenna Breseman (jr F), Abbie Gearou (jr D), Anderson (sr F), Lydia Hubert-Peterson (sr G), Macy Peterson (sr D), Kilber (sr F)

Also in the mix — Many others look promising, some will emerge this year

Fast facts — Henderson (13 goals) and Breseman (7 goals) were top two scorers on  2013 conference champ, and Hubert-Peterson had 1.08 goals-against … Gearou (3rd year starter) and Peterson anchor defense … With 73 kids in 7-12, Royals have four teams for first time, catching up with section rivals Elk River, Anoka, and STMA.

New coach — Lindquist, who took Elk boys to state last year, is new Royals coach, succeeding Holly Sutton, who joined staff at Winona State.

Coach says — “This team has big drive. They push each other to get better every day. I’ve coached a lot of them in TRSA. We’ve got some speed. Our back line is solid and young midfielders look good.”

Outlook — Royals should be able to score some goals and contend for titles again.


Girls tennis

Last year — 7-2 conference, 15-4 overall

Coach — Debbie Conley (head), Mike Sporer, Sam Okland (JV)

Captains — Kianna Koeppe, Liz Rubbelke, Savannah Seiter

Returning starters — Samantha Fitzpatrick (so), Koeppe (sr), Amanda Penick (jr), Lauren Dunham (jr), Kaylie Conlin (so), Rubbelke (sr), Seiter (jr)

Fast facts — Fitzpatrick was 12-10 at  No. 1 last year, Dunham 9-11 at No. 2, and Conlin 14-2 at No. 4, while Koeppe was 15-4 and Rubbelke 14-2 in doubles … Conlin challenged Fitzpatrick and earned the No. 1 singles slot to start the season last Saturday.

Coach says — “We have strong singles and doubles. It’s a really deep team. … Kaylie improved a lot, from doing tournaments, taking lessons and being healthier. Kaylie and Sam will push each other. … That drops Lauren from No. 2, so she’ll be a strong No. 3 for us.”

Outlook — After just missing a conference title last year, the Royals should come back stronger overall; main graduation loss was outstanding 1-doubles team.



Last year — Boys 4th in conference, 5th in section … Girls 4th in conference, 9th in section

Coaches — Chad Kreuser (head), Janelle Packard

Captains — Boys: Carl Parent, Karl Gorecki, Ben Sylvester … Girls: Madison Mikolich, Jenna Karls

Returning starters — Boys: Caleb Burke (sr), Tyler Bethke (sr), Parent (sr), Gorecki (sr), Sylvester (sr) … Girls: Mikolich (sr), Leah Lyngen (8th), Karls (jr)

Also in the mix — Boys: Jared LeClaire (sr), Ethan York (sr), Collin Young (sr), Evan Huber (jr) … Girls: Katelyn Kemmetmueller (jr), Kaitlyn Benz (so), Sarah Janckila (so), Ellie Cargill (fr), Marissa LeClaire (fr), Hannah Teasdale (fr)

Fast facts — Burke and Bethke were all-conference in 2013 … Turnout of about 60 boys/girls is biggest the program has had …. Girls’ top runner last year, Dacoda Speidel, transferred to DeLaSalle.

Coach says — “The boys and girls set their goals. Both told me they want to win conference and go to state, and hang a cross-country banner in the gym for the first time. Boys also want all varsity members to break 17 minutes.”

Outlook — After graduating program’s lone all-stater (Reed Parent) the Royal boys hope to be a bigger factor team-wise. The Royal girls have never finished high with either team or individual, and are working to change that.



Team record — 3-6 conference, 12-17 overall

Coaches — Joy Knoblach (head), Hollie Jeska, Amanda Pederson, Jenny Olson, Estelle Kolles, Danica Reitzner

Returning regulars — Erica Folk (sr OH), Hannah Sjerven (jr MB), Maleia Ysteboe (so OH), Baylee Waldhnoff (sr S), Ellie Hoyt (so S)

Also in the mix — Addy Sachs (jr RS-OH), Hannah Sebald (sr MB-RS)

Fast facts — Returning are last year’s top two in kills, Ysteboe (192) and Folk (162), and Waldhnoff, leader with 32 aces and 363 assists ….  Folk also led with 268 digs and made all-conference.

Coach says — “We don’t have a lot of players, but they are all able to make an impact. We just need to stay healthy and strong as a team. … Ysteboe  came in with a back injury, so she is limited right now. We are doing the steps needed to get her back 100 percent.”

Outlook — Some good players are back to try get the team over .500. They need kill leader Ysteboe healthy.