The Minnewaska Area boys soccer team finished the 2022 season with a 7-8 overall record, which included a 5-4 mark in the Granite Ridge Conference.  The Lakers started out 0-3 and 2-5 before turning things around and going 5-3 over their final eight games, including a 2-0 loss to Prinsburg in the Section 8A Tourney opener.

Minnewaska Area earned its seven wins this year over St. John’s Prep (twice), Melrose Area (twice), Rocori, Pelican Rapids and Zimmerman.

The Lakers were shut out five times and held to one goal four other times, while Minnewaska Area recorded three shutouts and held opponents to one goal four other times.  In all, the Lakers scored 27 goals this season in 15 games while giving up 30 goals.

Minnewaska Area won four games this season by one goal and also lost two matches by one goal.

Senior Aaron Feigum had a season-high four goals and Blake Nelson added two during a 7-0 win over Melrose Area midway through the season, while senior Genaro Contreras Mondragon had all three goals for the Lakers during a 3-1 victory over Rocori late in the year and Feigum and Contreras Mondragon both had two goals during a 5-1 win over Melrose to close out the regular season.

The match against the Bluejays was also the last game for Minnewaska Area head coach Ted Hill, who had said earlier this season that he would retire at the end of this season.  He has been the Lakers’ head coach for 27 years since the inception of the program at MAHS in 1996.

He was assisted this season by David Vinje, Tony Feigum, Manford Foster and Jarrid Jergenson.

The Lakers will lose 10 players to graduation from this year’s team  Members of this year’s Minnewaska Area varsity soccer team were seniors Alicia Boysen, Genaro Contreras Mondragon, Aaron Feigum, Paige Boysen, Brooke Kolstoe, Rhet Kuehne, Caleb Mahoney, Noah Palmer, Preston Martin and Dalton Peterson; juniors Jose Contreras Mondragon, Ethan Curry, Blake Nelson, Thomas Poegel, Connor Quelle and Kody Ward; sophomores Tenzin Dahl, Ryan Greseth, Jackson Holmes and Riley Thorfinnson; and ninth-grader Connor Erickson.

History of Laker soccer

“In the early years, we played as an Independent (no conference affiliation), but the last five seasons we have been in the Granite Ridge Conference,” coach Ted Hill said.  “We have played a wide variety of opponents over the years (close to 50 different opponents).

“In our first year, we played in a one-class system that led us to face off against Blaine in our first tournament game for Section 4.  In our second year, soccer went to a two-class set up and we played in Section 6A.  Several seasons later, as more teams joined the MSHSL, we were moved to Section 8A. Last season was the first year of three-class soccer in Minnesota.”

•  The Lakers have had 17 first or second-team All-State players over the past 26 seasons and the team has won the State Team Academic Championship seven times in 27 seasons.

•  Coach Ted Hill, who was selected as the State Class A Coach of the Year last fall, has also earned numerous awards, including being selected as the section coach of the year eight times (in 4A, 6A and 8A).

In addition, he has served as a Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association (MSHSSCA) section representative from 1996 to the present, has been a member of the MSHSL All-Tournament committee since 1996 and is a member of the MSHSSCA Board of Directors where he has also served on the soccer advisory board.

It is not known at this time who will take over the head coaching position for the Minnewaska Area soccer program, although current JV coach David Vinje, who was the head boys coach at Alexandria for at least two seasons and the head girls coach at Willmar for at least three seasons, is among the possibilities.