It may have been six years ago, but the Delano girls' tennis team's first and only state tournament appearance remains a driving force.
The Tigers advanced to the Class 1A tournament in 2006. The next year, Delano was moved up to Class 2A. With elite programs such as Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in their section, their tournament appearances came to a halt.
Although they were just in sixth grade at the time, the eight seniors on the current Delano roster never forgot about that experience. They made it a goal to get back before they graduated.
And this year, they just might.
The Tigers are undefeated in eight dual meets and have victories over Breck, Eden Prairie and Orono. Three more victories will clinch the Wright County Conference title for the seventh year in a row. That seems a near certainty since they haven't lost a conference match in seven years.
"They set a goal to make it back to the state tournament," said coach Kim Finn. "None of them have a personal coach or an indoor facility in the neighborhood. It's determination, dedication and hard work that has gotten them to this point in their tennis careers."
Edina 7th-grader plays first
With a lineup getting healthy -- top singles players Maddie Boyer and Kelly Reger missed much of the first half of the season because of injury -- the Edina girls' tennis team won its own Invitational Saturday, defeating Lakeville North, Wayzata and Rochester Mayo.
Here's a sobering fact for tennis fans wondering when or if Edina's streak of 15 consecutive Class 2A team championships will end: When Boyer and Reger were out, the Hornets' No. 1 singles position was handled by a seventh-grader, Sophia Reddy, and the team never missed a beat.
In other words, Edina's streak is likely to continue with no end in sight.
Bright spot in Bloomington
It's been a difficult beginning to the season for Bloomington Jefferson's first-year head football coach Tim Carlson, but the Jaguars' 0-3 start has had its positive notes.
In Friday's 42-21 loss to Burnsville, junior receiver Matt DeBianchi caught seven passes for 227 yards and scored on receptions of 93 and 80 yards.
Dziedzic back as coach
Former Minneapolis Edison and University of Minnesota hockey player Joe Dziedzic has been named head coach of the Minneapolis Novas boys' hockey team.
Dziedzic was the 1990 Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year and also earned the Mr. Hockey award.
The Minneapolis Novas are the cooperative of all Minneapolis public high schools.