Boys Win State Championship; Girls Win Consolation Championship in 2012 MACS Tourney

Writer:  Ryan Mundy, October 28, 2012

It was a chilly start to the 2012 Minnesota Association of Christian Schools Soccer and Volleyball Tournament, but nothing was going to stop these players, as the volleyball team won the consolation trophy and the soccer team won the first place trophy, this past Thursday through Saturday.

“Our young people faired very well in the tournament,” said Stephen Helder, Athletic Director for the Crusaders, “and we’re so very proud of them.”

Interestingly, it was actually snowing on the first day of the tournament this year. The weather did not stop the crusaders, as it continued to improve as the tournament went on.

Both the soccer and volleyball teams played their best, with determination, and demonstrated a great testimony to the other schools that participated in the tournament.

The girls’ volleyball team came into the tournament as the underdog, possessing a 1-19 record, and being the number eight seed. Their determination and growth as a team showed otherwise.

The girls were faced with a tough opponent in the Owatonna Sabers on Thursday evening. After losing this game, the Crusaders set their eyes on becoming the consolation champions. This required them to win two more games, with the first opponent being Heritage. They won this game on Friday night, which placed them in the consolation championship on Saturday morning against the Chisago Patriots, who had beat the Crusaders twice in the past.

In this game, the eight seeded Crusaders appeared to have erased their underdog status. After three intense games, they defeated their opponent, and were awarded the consolation championship. With such a young team, Coach Kim Weber was proud, and the team appeared to exceed everyone’s expectations from earlier in the season.

“I have a volleyball team this year that over half of my girls are new to varsity,” said Weber, after a loss earlier in the season. “I couldn’t be more proud of each and everyone of them because they are growing not only in their volleyball skills, but in their character on the court with self-discipline, self-control, perseverance, and trust which in return they are hopefully growing in that respects off the court as well.”

The boys soccer team, on the contrary, came into the tournament with experience, and a reputation for winning, being this year’s number one seed. Six seniors were on Crusaders’ soccer team this year, and they were determined to win a championship in their final season. They were potentially their own worst enemy, according to Helder, which put a different kind of pressure on them.

In the first round of the tournament on Thursday afternoon, Rosemount defeated the number eight seeded Granite City/Twin Ports, 10-0, which placed them in a matchup with the Chisago Patriots, who had defeated their own opponent earlier.

The Crusaders easily won this game, 9-1, placing them right where they wanted to be, in the championship game on Saturday.

The Crusaders were sure to keep God first, even in the midst of all the excitement leading up to the championship game.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to give Him the glory,” said senior Nakwon You, who had 24 assists and scored 14 points this season.

The opponent was the Fourth Baptist Warriors, who was the second best team in the tournament. The Crusaders did not back down, however, defeating the opponent once again, 7-1, making them the 2012 MACS State Soccer Champions.

“I’m proud of the FBS soccer guys for finishing with a record of 17-1-1, and winning the state soccer championship for MACS,” said Coach Shawn McKinney. “They scored 26 goals this weekend and only had two scored on them, and one of those two was a penalty kick! What an awesome season!”

“I had an awesome year of soccer finishing out the year with a championship,” said senior Randal Larson. “Thanks for an awesome year everyone, especially the seniors. Now where’s my basketball?”

Daniel Foster was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, setting a school record of 39 goals and a total of 55 points in a single season.
For volleyball, Elizabeth Helder was named to the 1st All Conference Team, and Ashley Graves was named to the 2nd All Conference Team.

For soccer, Daniel Foster, Nakwon You, Nathan Rupe, and Jeffrey Fruetel were all named to the 1st All Conference Team, with Scott Fruetel and Christian Waits being named to the 2nd All Conference Team. Victor Goncharenko, who scored 9 goals in the tournament, was named to the All Tournament Team, along with Daniel Foster, Nakwon You, and Nathan Rupe. Sammy Johnson and Randal Larson received All Conference honorable mention.

Both the girls and boys are looking forward to the next season, which is basketball. There is a short break between seasons, but practice begins in less than a month. The boys are looking to win another championship in the MACS tournament which takes place at Fourth Baptist in early 2013. Congratulations to both teams on great seasons this year!

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