Plenty to cheer about in 2012

The year 2012 provided its share of excitement for New Prague sports fans. From state tournament appearances to outstanding individual performances, there was plenty to cheer about during the past year. There were also some heart-breaking moments, both in the loss of a longtime coach and in a lastsecond tournament loss. Here are my picks for the top sports stories in 2012.

1 - Longtime coach Matt Shetka dies. This story made the top 10 list for both news and sports. Shetka said last fall that this was his 33rd year coaching in the district, and he had done three sports each year, and would have 99 seasons at the conclusion of the current school year. He only made it to the 98th. He will always be associated with the school’s gymnastics program, which he built into a state power and won three state championships. He also led the girls golf team to two state titles. His influence on sports in this community went beyond those to sports and he will be missed. It’s also not surprising that he played a role in the next two items on the list.

2 - Girls golf wins state championship. The Trojans, led by sophomore Mackenzie Neisen, won their second state championship in three years in the state Class AAA meet, and Neisen placed second individually.

3 - Gymnasts finish 2nd at state. New Prague finished second to Melrose in the state Class A gymnastics tournament. Several individuals also competed, with Sarah Hoffman placing second on the beam.

4 - Boys basketball loses state bid at buzzer. The New Prague Trojans lost to Austin in the Section 1AAA championship game on a last-second alley-oop dunk.

5 - Parriott brothers compete at state. Brothers Morgan and Griffin Parriott qualified for the state Class AA wrestling tournament, with Griffin placing second at 113 pounds, losing to Kyle Gliva of Simley.

6 - Boys hockey beats Holy Angels. New Prague defeated Holy Angels in boys hockey for the first time in more than 22 years with a 4- 3 win on January 20.

7 - Adapted Floor hockey 6th at state. The New Prague Adapted Floor Hockey team placed sixth at the state CI Tournament in Bloomington. The team finished with a 10-4 record.

8 - Boys soccer team wins first game. The New Prague Trojan boys soccer team claimed its first-ever win in its four-year history with a 1- 0 win over Mankato Loyola on September 4

9 - Girls hockey second in section. The New Prague Trojan girls hockey team made it to the section finals for the first time in four years, but lost to Red Wing in the Section 1A title game.

10 - Girls gain soccer semifinals. The Trojan girls soccer team capped the best season in school history by advancing to the section semifinals.