Archive for Matt Kane

Kern to help build men’s lacrosse program at Lewis University

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

DELANO — In his fourth season as a starting player for the varsity team, senior Sam Kern has been a key in helping the Delano lacrosse program grow into a competitive and well-respected entity in the state.

Wednesday afternoon in the commons area at Delano High School, Kern committed himself to helping another program grow roots in the game of lacrosse.

In front of friends, family, classmates, administrators and coaches, Kern vocalized his intent to play Division II lacrosse on the inaugural men’s team at Lewis University, a private Roman Catholic university located in Romeoville, IL, about an hour southwest of Chicago.

“I believe I will fit in well with the group,” said Kern, who will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in physics. “As a team of all freshman, I feel that we will all be really close. There is a great group of Minnesota guys going to Lewis.”

Sam Kern signs a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Lewis Univeristy Wednesday at Delano High School. Looking on are dad Phil, sister Emma, mom Melanie, sister Bella and brother Colby. Kern will first finish his senior season at Delano. Photo by Paul Downer

Sam Kern signs a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Lewis University Wednesday at Delano High School. Looking on are dad Phil, sister Emma, mom Melanie, sister Bella and brother Colby. Kern will first finish his senior season at Delano.
Photo by Paul Downer

Kern estimates 30-to-35 freshman will make up the first-year team at Lewis.

Kern is a natural leader, and has excelled at Delano in three sports — lacrosse football and basketball. He has state-tournament experience in the latter two, winning the Class 3A championship in basketball in 2018.

“Sam has had a phenomenal career here,” Delano Activities Administrator Ryan Tool told the gathering. “What’s even better is the strong student and good citizen that he’s been. So, we’re very excited for him to start his college career next year and be able to continue as an athlete at Lewis University.”

Kern was a starting running back the last two seasons on the football team, gaining 1,912 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns.

Despite his excellence on the gridiron, Kern always knew lacrosse was the sport he wanted to pursue after high school.

“I loved playing football, but I had no interest in playing at the next level,” he said. “Lacrosse has always been my passion.”

It shows.

Sam Kern’s two goals helped Delano top Buffalo in the season-opener Monday. After graduation this spring, Kern will head to Romeo, IL, where he will be part of the inaugural lacrosse team at Lewis University. Photo by Matt Kane

Sam Kern’s two goals helped Delano top Buffalo in the season-opener Monday. After graduation this spring, Kern will head to Romeo, IL, where he will be part of the inaugural lacrosse team at Lewis University.
Photo by Matt Kane

Coming in as a freshman, Kern stepped right into the high-stick midfielder position left vacant by the graduation of Kyle Moonen, who, is currently in his senior season of lacrosse at St. John’s. Moonen is one of the best products Delano lacrosse produced, and, so, too, is Kern.

“His productivity is second to none,” Delano coach Aaron Hagerdorn said of Kern.

Kern scored two goals Monday night in Delano’s 10-5 win over Buffalo in the season-opener. That gave him six goals and 21 points for his career (according to MN Lacrosse Hub).

“I will look back at Delano lacrosse and cherish all the opportunities and chances it has given me.”

Hagerdorn was in attendance Wednesday at the signing, as was Kern’s True Lacrosse Minnesota coach Joe Weichert.

As for the success Delano has had with Kern in the lineup, Kern credits the team-mentality.

“It’s always great look back and see how the team has progressed over the years. The greatest accomplishment as a team has been our team chemistry,” he said. “We seniors have been playing with each other since we were all 10 years old, and that has helped us tremendously.”

Team chemistry often begins with strong leadership, like that of which Kern has provided his teams throughout the years.

“He’s a natural leader. People follow him. He’s a good person, sets good examples, does what he’s asked to do and helps guys along the way,” said Hagerdorn.

Kern will join a Lewis team that will be coached by Joe Perruzzi. The Flyers will play in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with Alabaman-Huntsville, Indianapolis, Maryville, Montevallo, Shorter and Young Harris.

Matt Kane’s Final Four images

The Delano Herald Journal team was at the Final Four men’s basketball tournament. See what Sports Editor Matt Kane saw during the three games by clicking HERE.

FULLY COMMITTED

After impressive high school careers that came to an end at Delano two seasons ago, John Keranen and Andrew Kruse are seeing their dreams come true. The two have committed to hockey and a whole lot more at the Division-1 level

 

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

DELANO — High school athletes who are good enough to play at the Division-1 level commit themselves to a college or university, where, often times the playing fields take a front seat ahead of the classrooms.

Andrew Kruse and John Keranen are natural leaders, and both have worn a letter as the captain or assistant captain at, both, the high school and junior levels of hockey. Here, the two celebrate a Magicians goal against Janesville March 22. Photo by Matt Kane

Andrew Kruse and John Keranen are natural leaders, and both have worn a letter as the captain or assistant captain at, both, the high school and junior levels of hockey. Here, the two celebrate a Magicians goal against Janesville March 22.
Photo by Matt Kane

After stellar high school careers on the hockey rink, John Keranen and Andrew Kruse had those Division-1 dreams coming out of Delano High School in 2017. Uncommitted, both went the junior hockey route for two seasons (a typical path in hockey), and, this winter, both, saw those D-1 dreams come true.

While hockey will take up much of their time and focus, unlike typical college-bound players, Keranen and Kruse will not be allowed to push the academic half of being a student-athlete to the background. The United States Army and  the United States Air Force won’t allow it.

In November, Keranen accepted an offer to play D-1 hockey and serve in the Army at West Point. Two months later, in January, Kruse committed himself to hockey and the service at the Air Force Academy.

“My goal was always Division-1, and I achieved that goal,” said Keranen. “I never expected it to be with Army, but I am very happy with my decision, and I am very excited for my future.”

Both, Keranen and Kruse, took a step back to consider the offers before accepting.

“Right away, I was like ‘Ooh, I don’t want to do that.’ As I learned more about it, I learned it was something I could deal with, and something that would benefit me,” said Keranen. “Although it will be a tough process, I decided it would be best for me to go through that, so I could provide for a family in the future rather than being in debt for school.”

Keranen’s decision greatly influenced Kruse’s.

“We are similar people, as far as our values and goals. I asked him questions, and I realized a military academy was a good fit for me and was something I wanted to do,” Kruse said, referring to talks with Keranen.

Those talks occured often, during their daily commutes together from Delano to the Richfield Ice Arena for practices with the Minnesota Magicians, a junior-level team in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).

“He was in the same boat as me, thinking this doesn’t sound very great, but we are both similar people in what we want to do in life,” Keranen explained of his talks with Kruse. “Once he heard what I learned form my visit (to West point), he was very attracted to what academies had to offer. I know West Point was full for players, so that wasn’t an option. Once he got that call from Air Force, he was pretty excited.”

Air Force began recruiting Kruse in December. A month later, Kruse was on board and committed to head west to Colorado Springs.

“They, obviously, had to look for players with the right character, as well as player who can play,” said Kruse, who had been in talks with other programs, but had not yet received another offer. “They thought I was someone who could have success there, and they liked the way I played. And my grades fit their standards, so it was a good fit.”

 

Read much more about Keranen and Kruse’s decisions and about Delano having four former players playing at the Division-1 level next winter in the March 29 print edition of the Delano Herald Journal.

Techams chosen for high school all-star series this weekend

Blogpic5Matt Kane
Sports Editor

Delano senior guard Derek Techam will play on the Maroon team in the 37th BlogpiccoachTecham2 hfannual Minnesota High School All-Star Basketball Series March 29-30.

Techam was one of 40 players selected for the series, which includes four teams. He will play for his dad, Terry Techam, Delano’s head coach, and Tigers’ assistant Jamie Longstreet.

Maroon opens the tournament Friday night at 8:30 p.m. against Gold at Halenbeck Hall at St. Cloud State. Saturday’s schedule will include games at 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. A halftime 3 point shooting contest will take place on both dates. The 2019 MBCA McDonald Award will be presented in a between-games ceremony on Saturday.

Delano represented in 2019 Hockey Hair team

There was plenty of flow on the Delano roster this state tournament, and those who make the decisions for the annual hockey hair team noticed. Check out the video HERE.

STATE HOCKEY: Delano tops North Branch for consolation trophy

Matt Kane
Sports Editor

MINNEAPOLIS — The 2018-19 Delano teamed ended its season the same way the 2016-17 team did, clutching the Class A state consolation championship trophy for a postgame photo at Mariucci Arena.

This current Delano squad claimed the hardware with a 2-1 win over North Branch before the lunch bell rang, as the Tigers and Vikings faced off at 9 a.m.

Delano poses with the Class A consolation trophy Saturday morning at Mariucci Arena following a 2-1 win over North Branch. Photo by Matt Kane

Delano poses with the Class A consolation trophy Saturday morning at Mariucci Arena following a 2-1 win over North Branch.
Photo by Matt Kane

The win was not an easy one for the Tigers, as they had to kill off a five-minute major penalty over the final 4:47 of regulation to secure the one-goal lead. In the final minute of that time, Delano faced a 6-on-4 situation after the Vikings pulled goalie Jake Turek for an extra skater.

Delano failed to clear the puck on several tries, but the Tigers did what they pride themselves on — blocked shots, a handful of them in that final minute. Goalie Aaron Kruse peaked his eyes around screens and through traffic, but did no feel a piece of rubber in the closing minute.

Kruse made 21 saves for the game.

Turek made 17 saves for North Branch.

Delano led 2-0 on goals by Michael Weber and Adam Brown. North Brach made a game of it with two minutes to play in the second period, when Joey Kerchner beat Kruse cleanly.

Brown figured in on both Delano goals, and finished with six points for the tournament. He set up Weber for the game’s first goal at 9:50 of the first period, and used his hustle and tenacity to poke a puck through Turek for a short-handed goal at 9:33 of the second.

This short-handed goal by sophomore Adam Brown in the second period held up as the game-winner in Delano's 2-1 win over North Branch Saturday morning at Mariucci Arena. Photo by Matt Kane

This short-handed goal by sophomore Adam Brown in the second period held up as the game-winner in Delano’s 2-1 win over North Branch Saturday morning at Mariucci Arena.
Photo by Matt Kane

Brown had two assists in the Tigers’ 6-4 opening-round loss to Greenway. He scored the first of his two goals in Delano’s 2-1 win over New Ulm in the consolation semifinal game Thursday.

Jacob Marciniak had the second assist on Weber’s goal in Saturday morning’s game. It was the second assist in as many consolation games for Marciniak.

Quinn Daly had the lone assist on Brown’s goal.

Not long after Delano accepted the consolation trophy at Mariucci, St. Cloud Cathedral raised the Class A championship trophy at the Xcel Energy Center following a 5-2 win over Greenway.

Mahtomedi defeated East Grand Forks 7-3 for third place.