Totino-GraceA Catholic High School in the Lasallian Tradition
From Varsity Cross Country Head Coach Katy Moen: Cross Country is unique in that every athlete can contribute to team success through varying levels of support and performance. We focus on the importance of an inclusive and collaborative team where every personality is embraced. This season I am looking forward to facilitating a meaningful experience for all through athletic performance, spiritual and personal development. I coach to motivate and inspire these athletes to push beyond the bounds of possibility to persevere, regardless of the obstacles in the way. I coach to show that the lessons learned through the sport of cross country can translate into relationships, classes, careers and spirituality.
From Cross Country Athlete Megan Kern: The best decision that I have made in high school up to this point is joining the cross country team freshman year. There is nothing better than walking out of a hard-working school day and spending an hour-long run chatting with some great people in lovely 60 to 70 degree weather with colored leaves crunching under one’s shoes. The Totino-Grace cross country team puts a big emphasis on the team. We spend lots of time bonding with each other beginning with the first week of cross country when we go on a four day long camping trip and continuing on through the season with a bonfire, an apple picking trip, a hayride, pre-race pasta dinners, and many post-race team dinners. We enjoy expanding our route dictionary by participating in our many “destination long runs” on the Saturday mornings that we do not have races. Cross country can be anything the athlete wants it to be - if an athlete wants to be competitive with other teams and with themselves or if they just want to have fun while getting fit, they can. Best decision hands down - great people, great fitness, great fun.
From Cross Country Athlete Kevin Dado: The past four years on the cross country team have been an incredible experience for me and one that I will never forget. From the start our team has been close-knit and supportive of each other. Running workouts and races can be tough, so it is nice to know that everyone is there to support and cheer for everybody else. Throughout all of the hard work, it has also been really fun hanging out with the team which makes the experience even better. I am super grateful that I was able to be a part of the Totino-Grace cross country team.
From Varsity Football Head Coach Jeff Ferguson: This season I’m looking forward to our athletes coming together to play as one in service to their teammates! I’m consistently impressed by the passion, commitment, engagement and unselfish attitude of each member of the program. One think I enjoy most about coaching is building relationships and trying to impact young people in a positive way and, in reality, getting back more in return.
From Football Athlete Charlie Waters: Joining the Totino-Grace football team is the best decision I have made up to this point in my life. It has shaped me into the man I am today. I learned so many life lessons from my coaches and the game. It's the ultimate team game where you learn to put others and the team before yourself. There is nothing like playing under the lights on a Friday night with all your classmates in the crowd. It has been an incredible experience play for TG. I have created so many friendships and stories from football that I will take with me forever.
From Varsity Boys Soccer Head Coach Bill Vance: This season we have a lot of work to do because we graduated 12 seniors and one of our most impactful players had a season-ending injury. Despite these challenges, this group of young men are really building a foundation of hard work and camaraderie. Something impressive about our athletes is their lack of ego; we enjoy playing the game of soccer and working together. I coach because I love working with young men who are willing to sacrifice for one another and strive toward the idea that we are much stronger together than when we work individually. I coach because soccer absolutely mirrors the joys and sorrows of life and these years are vital in the formation of men of faith, character, courage, and love. I coach because I love soccer and it has given me so much so I hope to give back to the game in a small way.
From Soccer Athlete Ben Jaeger: For the past four years, Totino-Grace boys soccer has forged me into a better teammate, brother and student. It was the first interaction that I had with the Totino-Grace community, and the friendships I've created through it go beyond the superficial level; we are brothers. In practices, we have been able to establish a work ethic that I not only can bring to the field, but can also shine with it in the classroom and in my summer-time job. The principal concept that we will all hold close to our hearts, though, is the skill that comes with celebrating successes and learning from hardships that we face together. We become one, whether that is uniting in prayer to God before the game, watching each other’s backs throughout everyday hardships, or holding each other up either in defeat or in success. That is what makes the TG boys soccer program so unique, and that is why I love it.
From Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach Matt Thibodeau: Fall is my favorite time of year! I love coaching these girls every year. The program includes a great mixture of students I know well and those I'm getting to know as new members of the team. TG girls soccer players are fantastic. In addition to consistently ranking as one of the top teams in the state, they are truly great people and students. Last year’s varsity team players average unweighted GPA was 3.85. I coach because I love soccer and I love the helping student athletes grow as players and human beings.
From Soccer Athlete Ashley Cordero: I am so very grateful to be a part of the Totino-Grace girls soccer program for the past four years. It truly has enhanced my high school experience by enabling me to form long lasting friendships through the sport that I love. The competitive and positive environment has pushed me not only as an athlete but also as a student to become the best version of myself both on and off the field. We make sure that our Catholic identity is carried with us to every game and that Christ is the center of our team. To me, this is a very special and important component to the program. It changes a soccer program into a family. I couldn't ask for a better experience.
From Varsity Girls Swimming and Diving Coach Olivia Rodriguez: This season I'm excited to meet new athletes and get to know a new coaching staff while fostering a great relationship between the TG and Fridley communities. Something great about our athletes is that, while we're two schools, we function and behave as one big, awesome team. The girls are incredibly hard working, inclusive and fun to be around! I coach because I am able to share something I love (swimming) with young people, and I hope to instill a love of that sport with them.
From Swimming/Diving Athlete Taylor Holewa: In my junior year I decided to join the swim team to try something new and to meet more friends. At the beginning of this experience I was very sacred but I overcame that fear by meeting so many amazing coaches and teammates. These friendships are friendships that will last a lifetime. I have grown through this new experience by maintaining school and sports and creating new opportunities for the future. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my fall season.
From Varsity Girls Tennis Head Coach Dave Wareham: This year girls tennis had more than 50 girls out for the season! In my nearly 12 years with the program, we've never had that many. I'm excited about lots of new faces and a great group of returning players continuing to build upon our culture of play that is the focus of TG tennis. With each new season comes a fresh start. I coach because it is rewarding to see the girls enjoy themselves - learn, compete, challenge themselves.
From Tennis Athlete Anna Harlan: Something I hear almost every day on the courts is the importance of family. The coaches are consistently reminding us that we are part of something bigger -- we need to step outside ourselves. If you have a bad day, we're here to help you out. If you're having a great day, we're here to keep it going. The coaches and my teammates are so supportive of everything I do, and their positivity and hugs help me through lots of hard days. Being a part of the tennis program at Totino-Grace has enhanced my high-school experience and taught me to put the team first and always support others. I am so blessed to be a part of this team and will carry the memories and lessons I've learned with me forever.
From Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Kayla Cole: I am excited about the teams learning, competing and growing together as teammates and as people. In addition to a large group of returning athletes we are welcoming the biggest group of freshmen in the three years I have been at Totino-Grace. The volleyball athletes at TG work hard, are excellent learners and come to the gym every day willing to improve and make those around them better. They are also tremendous people who work hard in the classroom and are leaders in our community. I coach because I love to see athletes improve as players and people and learn about themselves. Volleyball prepares girls for life. It prepares them for challenges, for relationships, for discipline and dedication. I coach at Totino-Grace because the parents, players and coaches are all committed to this growth and support each other in creating a learning experience for their athlete.
From Volleyball Athlete Izzy Sommers: Joining the Totino-Grace volleyball team was the best decision I could have made in high school. It gave me a family inside an already tight-knit school community. Over the past four years, my teammates have turned into my best friends. They had similar goals as me on and off the court which pushed me to be a better athlete, student, and Christian. When I look back to high school, I know that my best memories will come from volleyball and the life-long friends I have made through this program.
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