Sports

Julie Brandt had to petition to start a girls lacrosse team in 2003

Popularity of lacrosse increasing so fast there aren't enough coaches

In 2003, Julie Brandt was interested in playing a spring sport, but her school didn’t have one that she liked. So she and her friends started a petition at Centennial High School to create a girl’s lacrosse team. Seven years later, Julie is currently the head coach of St. Paul’s fifth and sixth grade girls lacrosse league.

Quidditch game at University of Minnesota-Morris

Quidditch no longer a fictional game, now real-life "muggles" can play

It used to be only Harry Potter could catch the golden snitch, but now muggles can too thanks to some creative thinking from college students.

High school athletes fundraise as sports budgets continue to shrink

High school athletes fundraising more as sports budgets continue to shrink

Imagine high school without sports, yearbooks without athletes, Friday nights without the lights on at the football stadium.

Your Turn: Coaches

Tied for 1st place: Life is too hard

Ahmednur Abdi Hudle, 17, Ubah Medical Academy, Hopkins

My boys came over to my house Monday the week before school started.

Sports fans love their teams, but sometimes love hurts

It’s 3:30 p.m. on the Friday before the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints NFC Championship game, and I’m in the car driving 19½ hours to New Orleans for the game.

Swedish soccer tournament tests Twin Cities teen

Alec Davy, 16, knows what it is like to have more than 50,000 screaming fans cheering for him. He experienced it last July during the opening ceremony of the Gothia Cup in Sweden.

Davy, from Cretin-Derham Hall High School, plays with the St. Paul Blackhawk’s U16 team. It was one of about 1,600 teams from more than 60 countries who played this summer in the Gothia Cup, which is one of the world’s largest soccer tournaments for teens.

Scholarships can tempt injured teen athletes to play

As high school athletics become more competitive, many injured athletes rush their rehabilitation and come back early in hopes of achieving an athletic scholarship.

“College scouts, once they actually know that your injured, they’ll cut you off at that point, because than they can get someone who’s good and didn’t have a leg or an arm injury,” said Mychal Frelix, a linebacker and freshman at the University of St. Thomas.

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What skaters buy and why

Skateboarder Will Reierson spent $80 on a pair of trucks for his skateboard because they were the best on the market at the time, he said, but also because a friend recommended them. With hundreds of skateboard companies — national, international and local — ThreeSixty reporter Timothy Johnstad investigates why skaters buy what they do.

Complex laws confuse immigrant fishermen

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has done a lot to reach out to immigrants who like to fish and hunt. But some immigrants still find state rules and regulations confusing.

State officials have translated the rules and regulations into different languages, hired Hmong officers and stocked lakes with ample numbers of white bass, a popular catch among Hmong fishermen.

Even with significant efforts to educate immigrants, following state fishing rules and regulations can still be confusing.

Alex's colossal cross-country cycling odyssey

Starting on Sept. 21 of last year, 18-year-old Leo Alex Heegaard-LeGros set out from Minneapolis on a biking expedition lasted for about 2 1/2 months and passed through the plains, mountains and deserts.

Alex’s expedition that crossed five states — Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Utah – and lasted until Christmas. “I think I really decided to do it during the college application process,” he said.

One might wonder what possessed the recent high school graduate to embark on such an arduous excursion. Contrary to what the more outdoor-averse of us might think, Alex’s driving force wasn’t insanity.

Osseo senior living the hoop dream, signs with Gonzaga

Osseo Senior High’s Sam Dower Jr. is living the life of a future Division I college basketball player.

He is considered one of the best basketball players in the state, even the country. Until signing last fall with Gonzaga, he got messages on his cell phone from head coaches like the University of Maryland’s Gary Williams and University of California, Berkeley’s Mike Montgomer

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Teen biathlete guns for Olympics

Heart beating three times a second, Ben Greenwald stops skiing – but not to catch his breath. With his heart pounding in his chest, he pulls out a .22 caliber rifle and tries to keep his hands steady for an accurate shot.

He lies down in the snow and fires. He adjusts for four other targets and lets off as many shots. He hits all of them, and white metal plates flip up to cover the 4.5-centimeter black targets.

This is biathlon, a competitive sport in which athletes combine the skills of cross-country skiing and rifle sharp-shooting.

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Bronze medalist learned to row in St. Paul

The course Twin Cities native Micah Boyd chartered to land him on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Rowing team started in 1997 when he was a sophomore at Central Senior High in Saint Paul.

Eleven years later, the 26-year-old rower sat in the fourth seat of the U.S. Men’s Eight shell, or boat, as it battled with Great Britain and Canada in the final 500 meters of the 2,000 meter race. The U.S. team had the fastest time in the final 500 meters at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park in Bejing, and took the bronze medal.

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Visiting the house that Babe built -- one last time

This year, many sports fans, particularly baseball fans, are making the trip to one of the world’s most historic sporting, before it closes forever at the end of the season. Yankee Stadium. Legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris, and many more have played on the field of Yankee Stadium since it opened in 1923.

While a new Yankee Stadium is set to open next season, many Yankee fans don’t want to abandon, “The House That Ruth Built.”

Pushed to the breaking point

High school athletes continuously battle challenges to manage time, improve their game and be competitive. In the process, they have to hope they don’t push themselves too far too fast and wind up with a serious injury.

That’s exactly what happened to Stephen Weiss, an 18-year-old soccer player at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. He wound up tearing the medial collateral ligament in his knee when he came back too fast after the initial injury during a high school conference game.

Eden Prairie football coach stresses teamwork and preparation

Eden Prairie’s Mike Grant has a desk job as the high school’s athletic director during the day, but on Friday nights, he leads his top-ranked high school football team onto the field as their head coach.

Portrait of a Soccer Coach: "It's a family matter"

Sharon Swallen may be the Mounds View varsity girls’ soccer coach, but her players know her better as a “mentor, friend, big sister,” and sometimes, even a “mom.”

Blonde and youthful, Swallen is in touch with the fickle psyche of teenagers. She gently nurses a cup of coffee and explains how she manages four kids under the age of seven and an entire gaggle of girls.

“I am highly organized,” Swallen said, “and I really believe in communication. I’m straightforward, honest, and approachable. I work extremely hard and really take pride in our team on and off the field…I couldn’t ask anything of the players I wouldn’t do myself.”

Lessons from the Field

Genesis McCoy, a junior at Roseville Area High School, has learned a lot from her track and basketball coaches. “A good coach sets the tone and expectations from the start,” she says. “They point out things and say you’re not going to be doing those things or you will not play on this team.”

Other lessons are not so positive. Listen to ESPN for long and you’ll hear the commentators blaming coaches – including elite high school coaches – for teaching top young athletes the wrong lessons. Those millionaire athletes who are flashy and arrogant show bad examples of sportsmanship and take the attention away from the team effort, they complain.

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Summertime learning -- on the field and in the classroom

The National Youth Sports Program at the University of St. Thomas challenges inner-city youth’s minds and bodies with a mix of summer sports and academics.

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