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Mustangs come up one-goal short in both floor hockey division finals

North Suburban too much for Mustangs in the CI Division while Dakota United wins PI crown

Anoka-Hennepin’s Mustangs adapted floor hockey teams came into the state tournament as favorites to compete for another championship and left with two narrow championship defeats in the two divisions PI (Physically Impaired) and CI (Cognitively Impaired).

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Anoka-Hennepin junior defenseman Hana France, left, sweeps the puck away from a Maple Grove player during an 11-3 state quarterfinal win March 11 at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Mustangs finished runner-up losing to Dakota United in the final 3-2.Photo by Bill Jones
Anoka-Hennepin junior defenseman Hana France, left, sweeps the puck away from a Maple Grove player during an 11-3 state quarterfinal win March 11 at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Mustangs finished runner-up losing to Dakota United in the final 3-2.Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka-Hennepin's Hana France fights through the defense to put a shot on goal. Photo by Jason Olson
Anoka-Hennepin’s Hana France fights through the defense to put a shot on goal. Photo by Jason Olson

Anoka-Hennepin's Tyler Ezell, middle, takes a shot on the Maple Grove goal during Friday's state quarterfinal at Bloomington Jefferson High School. Photo by Bill Jones
Anoka-Hennepin’s Tyler Ezell, middle, takes a shot on the Maple Grove goal during Friday’s state quarterfinal at Bloomington Jefferson High School. Photo by Bill Jones

In PI, the Mustangs came up short losing to Dakota United by a 3-2 score which won its first state title since 2006.

 

Joey Manion and Tyler Ezell scored the Anoka-Hennepin goals with assists going to junior Kai France as the trio were named to the All-Tournament Team. Mustangs goaltender Ben Schmitz made 36 saves.

 Anoka-Hennepin, the top-seed in the North section beat fourth-seeded Maple Grove 11-3 keyed by five goals from freshman Stevey France and a hat trick from Manion. Ezell had two goals and one assist and junior goalie Ben Schmitz picked up the win.

Third seed Brainerd-Pillager awaited the Mustangs for a return trip to the championship. Manion once again came up huge scoring all four goals in a 4-1 win with two assists from Ezell.

Schmitz made 12 saves for the win.

jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

 

Mustangs are state soccer champs

Mustangs stop Robins’ run on state titles with a 2-0 shutout for the PI final

One year after Anoka-Hennepin lost the state adapted soccer title in the PI Division 2-1 to Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka, it was the Mustangs turn to lift the state championship trophy.

It was fitting that Anoka-Hennepin’s leading scorer, sophomore midfeilder Tyler Ezell, scored twice to bring the Robins run of seven consecutive state championships to an end Saturday afternoon at Stillwater High School.

Anoka-Hennepin senior defenseman Jordan Perschong raises the State Adapted Soccer (PI Division) championship trophy after the Mustangs completed a perfect 9-0 season by shutting out seven-time defending state champion Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 2-0 Saturday.Photo by Jason Olson
Anoka-Hennepin senior defenseman Jordan Perschong raises the State Adapted Soccer (PI Division) championship trophy after the Mustangs completed a perfect 9-0 season by shutting out seven-time defending state champion Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 2-0 Saturday.Photo by Jason Olson

The Mustangs stopped the Robins by a 2-0 result to complete a perfect 9-0 season. This was the third time Anoka-Hennepin topped the Robins this season, including 4-3 in the season opener (Oct. 1) and 2-1 on Oct. 22.

Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka started the streak after the Mustangs, which comprises students from District 11 high schools, won it in 2007.

Anoka-Hennepin junior Kai France, right, leaps into junior Tyler Ezell, left, to start the celebration. Photo by Jason Olson
Anoka-Hennepin junior Kai France, right, leaps into junior Tyler Ezell, left, to start the celebration.
Photo by Jason Olson

“These kids, they’ve worked so hard this year and were really disappointed after losing to them last year,” Mustangs coach Sue Opat said. Several members of the team wore purple, the team color, in their hair. “So this year they’re feeling good. I’m feeling good. It’s pretty awesome.”

Ezell broke the game open in the first half with a goal on a rebound. The second goal came on a penalty kick after Hana France was fouled near the Robins goal 43 seconds into the second half.

 

Good thing Ezell worked on penalty kicks a lot. “It felt amazing,” he said about the clinching goal.

Mustangs junior Tyler Ezell converts this penalty kick early into the second half. He scored both goals in the 2-0 win over the Robins. Photo by Jason Olson
Mustangs junior Tyler Ezell converts this penalty kick early into the second half. He scored both goals in the 2-0 win over the Robins. Photo by Jason Olson

Hanging onto a 1-0 lead at halftime, Opat said the message to the team was to trust each other and spread out.

“I thought we were bunching together around the ball so the message was to trust each other, know our abilities and play within our abilities and that seemed to work,” Opat said.

To return to the championship, Anoka-Hennepin scored a 9-1 win over South Suburban in the quarterfinal with Ezell, Mohammed Sahel and Stevey France each scored twice. Ezell and France each had three assists.

Anoka-Hennepin added a 6-0 shutout against Park Center in the semifinal Saturday morning with two goals each from Hana France and Ezell while Mia France added one goal and two assists.

Anoka-Hennepin junior Kai France (2) takes a shot on goal while being challenged by a Robins player during the PI Division state adapted soccer championship Saturday.Photo by Jason Olson
Anoka-Hennepin junior Kai France (2) takes a shot on goal while being challenged by a Robins player during the PI Division state adapted soccer championship Saturday.Photo by Jason Olson

Mustangs junior goalkeeper Joey Manion did his best to turn away any shots that found its way past a stout defense for his third shutout of the season. The Mustangs defense was more like a brick wall all season, allowing one goal or less 8-of-9 games.

The lone exception was the 4-3 season opening win over the Robins.

Anoka-Hennepin coach Sue Opat celebrates the PI Division state title. Photo by Jason Olson
Anoka-Hennepin coach Sue Opat celebrates the PI Division state title. Photo by Jason Olson

Mustangs sophomore Amanda Walen, left, clears the ball from danger Saturday. Photo by Jason Olson
Mustangs sophomore Amanda Walen, left, clears the ball from danger Saturday. Photo by Jason Olson

jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

 

Simply perfect, Mustangs take state throne

Three has been considered a number for perfection, and it fittingly played into Anoka-Hennepin’s state championship run for PI adapted softball.

In three contests this season, the Mustangs beat six-time defending champion Robbinsdale-Hopkins-Mound Westonka during the regular season. While the two didn’t meet in the Saturday, May 30 state championship game, the unbeaten Mustangs (14-0) beat the only two other teams that defeated the Robins in the tourney.

Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs PI Division coach Pete Kutches, middle, helped the team win its first state title. The Mustangs defeated Rochester 11-8 in the final May 30.   Photo by Bill Jones
Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs PI Division coach Pete Kutches, middle, helped the team win its first state title. The Mustangs defeated Rochester 11-8 in the final May 30. Photo by Bill Jones

After cruising in the quarterfinals, Anoka-Hennepin beat Dakota United and Rochester by three points each time in scores of 11-8. Both the Hawks and Raiders beat the Robins in the tournament, preventing a rematch with the Mustangs in the final.

The Raiders beat the Robins for the second time this season in the semifinals, setting up a showdown with the Mustangs. Ironically, the two finalists met to open their respective seasons on April 10 in a 6-1 win by the Mustangs.

Anoka-Hennepin scored almost as many runs as that first meeting in the first inning of the championship game with five. Joey Manion drove in two runs for the Mustangs as they held off the Raiders the rest of the way.

Manion also had a big game for the Mustangs against Dakota United in the semifinals earlier on May 30 in an 11-8 victory. The sophomore infielder drove in two runs on triple. Both Manion and Stevey France had two hits in the game.

Tyler Ezell had the big game for Anoka-Hennepin in the quarterfinals on May 29 when the Mustangs routed Osseo 17-1. Defensively, the Mustangs also had a strong-game with a couple double plays.

 

The Mustangs ended their streak of four-straight losses in their previous championship game appearances. Moreover, they did it in front of a home crowd of sorts at Coon Rapids High School.
Anoka-Hennepin’s co-op consists of Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids.

 Photo by Bill Jones

 

Mustangs garner third and runner-up at state adapted floor hockey tourney

Anoka-Hennepin (9-4) couldn’t solve longtime rival Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka, losing 4-3 in the state adapted floor hockey Physically Impaired Division championship game played at Bloomington Jefferson High School Saturday afternoon.

Mustangs sophomore Tyler Ezell takes a shot on the South Suburban goal in Friday's state quarterfinal at Bloomington Jefferson High School. Photo courtesy of Mark Trockman
Mustangs sophomore Tyler Ezell takes a shot on the South Suburban goal in Friday’s state quarterfinal at Bloomington Jefferson High School. Photo courtesy of Mark Trockman

The Robbins won its 11th state championship after the title game was tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 going into the third period. Mustangs sophomore Joey Manion collected the hat trick by scoring all three goals but it wasn’t enough as Robbins sophomores Andy Hanson and Chaun Johnson scored in the final period in the all-north title game.

The Mustangs shutout their rivals to the south 3-0 in the second meeting of the season, Feb. 12 after the Robins doubled-up Anoka-Hennepin 6-3 on Jan. 27.

Anoka-Hennepin came in as the third seed and knocked off northern top seed Brainerd/Pillager 4-1 in the semifinals.

Manion scored all four Mustangs goals after Brainerd freshman Jacob Heikkenen scored moments into the contest for the early lead. Anoka-Hennepin sophomore goalie Ben Schmitz made 10 saves for the win to get back at the Warriors which beat the Mustangs twice in overtime during the regular season.

The Mustangs doubled-up No. 2 south division seed South Suburban Flyers 8-4 in the quarterfinals Friday evening. Manion picked up four goals and one assist and Schmitz made 25 saves.

Manion and Schmitz were joined by Kai France on the all-tournament team.

 
Anoka-Hennepin's Joey Manion splits between two Robbins players during the state championship game. Photo by Matthew Davis
Anoka-Hennepin’s Joey Manion splits between two Robbins players during the state championship game. Photo by Matthew Davis

CI Division

 

Mustangs earn fourth runner-up title in seven seasons

Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka extended its reign on the state adapted soccer title to seven straight state titles after scoring a 2-1 upset of north division top-seed Anoka-Hennepin in the Physically Impaired (PI) Division championship game played at Stillwater High School, Nov. 15.

Anoka-Hennepin sophomore Mia France, right, challenges for the ball during the championship game. Photo by Matthew Davis
Anoka-Hennepin sophomore Mia France, right, challenges for the ball during the championship game.
Photo by Matthew Davis

The runner-up finish was the Mustangs’ fourth time in the last seven years, having last won the championship in 2007.

Mustangs ninth-grader Tyler Ezell scored just 1:45 into the contest with help from Mia France only to have the rival Robins respond one minute later.

Robbinsdale scored the game winner with 8:35 remaining in what was a thrilling championship game, filled with several scoring chances on both sides.

Anoka-Hennepin had a game-tying goal on an indirect kick disallowed as it wasn’t touched before going into the net in the final minute of play.

To reach the title game, the Mustangs topped St. Paul Highland Park 9-1 with two goals each from Hana France and Amanda Walen. Ben Schmitz, Tyler Ezell, Kai France, Hailey Roering and Ashley Ezell each also scored.

The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs PI team poses with the state PI runner-up trophy. Photo by Matthew Davis
The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs PI team poses with the state PI runner-up trophy. Photo by Matthew Davis

Anoka-Hennepin continued the overwhelming offensive surge in an 11-0 semifinal win against South Suburban. Tyler Ezell highlighted the effort with five goals and three assists while Kai had four goals and three assists and Hana had one goal and six assists. Ashley had one goal and Joe Manion had one assist and had 16 saves in goal.

 

 

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Opat's Corner

Pete's Corner

 

Anoka-Hennepin PI Division coach Pete Kutches said all of his players are in constant contact with one another. He said many of them are three-sport athletes, playing adapted soccer, adapted floor hockey and adapted softball. Mustangs junior Jordan Peschong said all of the players on the team are friends. "It's like a family," he said.

"This is a very social thing for them. ... They are a very tight group," Kutches said. "I think that's what helps them. They stick together. They play for each other."

It paid off Saturday, as Anoka-Hennepin (15-0) -- a co-op between Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids -- knocked off Rochester (14-3) by an 11-8 final to win its first PI Division state title in program history. Mustangs sophomore Kai France held on to the ball as he fell to the ground after he tagged out a runner at home to record the game's final out.

"We've been trying so hard," Peschong said. "We just stayed together, listened to our coaches, and we got it. (This championship) just means the world to me."

 

Adapted softball shut-out win goes to Mustangs

Anoka-Hennepin Mustang Matt Stoher-Magnusson retrieves the ball to make the play at second as Osseo baserunner Lexi Willey races to the bag. At game’s end Anoka-Hennepin shut out Osseo, 19-0, upping the Mustang’s win-loss record to 6-3 for the season.AdptSBall1

Two young Mustangs teams compete with the best at state tourney

The Mustangs roster, made up of six freshmen or younger team members, finished the season with a 9-4-1 record after topping South Suburban 9-6 in the consolation final Saturday afternoon at Bloomington Jefferson High School.

Freshmen teammates Kai France and Joey Manion scored eight of the Mustangs’ nine goals against the Flyers. France scored five goals and Manion added a hat trick. Kai’s older sister,Hana France, a sophomore, scored the other goal.

Kai France, the Mustangs’ lone all-tournament team honoree and leading scorer with 35 goals, scored both goals in the quarterfinal loss to Rochester and goalie Ben Schmitz, an eighth grader made 22 saves in front of a big crowd in the stands.

“We still have a really young team and in that first game against Rochester we didn’t play well,” Mustangs coach Sue Opat said. “We aren’t used to playing in that setting [with so many people watching].”

Opat said the team settled down before making a run through the consolation bracket. “We played really well against Minneapolis South and a really good first period against South Suburban then held on the rest of the game,” she said. The Mustangs handed Minneapolis South an 8-2 loss in the consolation semifinal Saturday morning.

Kai and Hana each scored twice to continue the sibling connection for the Mustangs that is sure to continue in the seasons to come.

Opat commented that Kai is the scorer of the group but Hana’s determination is unmatched and junior Mia France gives the Mustangs a three-sibling attack. “Hana is such a spark plug on the floor. She’ll go up against anybody for the puck. She just keeps going and going,” Opat said after Hana scored 12 goals, third best on the team after Manion’s 18 goals.

Blaine senior defenseman Andrew Peterson shared captain duties with Schmitz, the freshman goalie from Andover. “Andrew’s leadership is unbelievable,” Opat said about Peterson who played a defensive role in front of Schmitz who made 162 saves. “He’s really our voice on the floor, he helped motivate others and got people in the right positions on the floor.”

Eighth grade center Tyler Ezell also provided some stability from defensive stops to setting up or scoring goals. “He really ran the whole floor for us this year,” Opat said.

Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka captured its fourth straight state title after defeating south division top-seed Dakota United 8-3 in the championship game. The win gave the Robbins its fifth championship in six seasons.

 

Mustangs soccer teams place third and fourth at state

Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs’ adapted soccer season came to an end at the state tournament at Stillwater High School Nov. 15-16.

The Mustangs (physically impaired) team rebounded from a 6-0 semifinal loss to Dakota United to win the third-place trophy over South Suburban 5-2.

Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs freshman winger Kai France, right, tries to get around a St. Paul Highland Park player during the Mustangs 10-0 win the state quarterfinal at Stillwater High School Nov. 15. France had two goals in the win. The Mustangs captured the third-place trophy with a 5-2 in over South Suburban Nov. 16.

Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs freshman winger Kai France, right, tries to get around a St. Paul Highland Park player during the Mustangs 10-0 win the state quarterfinal at Stillwater High School Nov. 15. France had two goals in the win. The Mustangs captured the third-place trophy with a 5-2 in over South Suburban Nov. 16. Photo by Bill Jones

Freshman Joe Manion scored twice and senior goalie Andrew Peterson stopped 29 shots for the Mustangs. Also scoring were sophomore Hana France, freshman Kai France and senior Tyler Ezell.

Mustangs coach Sue Opat said the team continued to improve all season, finishing with a 6-3 record.

“They were a great passing team,” she said. “I’ve never seen a team that puts so much effort into games and practices. They improved a lot this year because of all the hard work.”

Opat said Anoka-Hennepin simply ran into a very good Dakota United squad in the semifinals.

 

Couple that with a couple players not feeling well and the result was a loss.

“I’m not taking anything away from Dakota United, we would have needed to play a perfect game in order to beat them,” Opat said.

Anoka-Hennepin opened state with a 10-0 win over St. Paul Highland Park in which it had 39 shots.

Hana led the way with four goals followed by Manion with three, Kai with two and Hailey Roering with one goal. Peterson and Manion teamed up for the shutout. The same pair posted 28 saves in the semifinal loss to Dakota United.

Hana led the team in scoring with 19 goals and Ezell had 10 goals.

Peterson had 96 saves and goalie Ben Schmitz had 53 saves and both were described as the team leaders by Opat. “They were always trying to get the team fired up and were both positive teammates,” she said.

Peterson and Schmitz were named to the all-tournament team. Hana, Ezell and Peterson were named to the all-conference team.

Amanda Walen, back, tries to move around a Southern Stars player during the state quarterfinals. Photo by Bill Jones

Amanda Walen, back, tries to move around a Southern Stars player during the state quarterfinals. Photo by Bill Jones

 Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

From  My ABC Sports Zone

  PI Softball 2012

 

Anoka-Hennepin upset previously undefeated Dakota United 10-8 in the first round of the PI (physically impaired) Division tournament and went on to take third place.

The Mustangs lost to Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville 10-6 in the semifinals before beating Wayzata/Minnetonka 14-2 in the third-place game to finish 6-6.

Corey Gieske was 5-for-5 and scored four runs for the Mustangs in the third-place game. Chris Walen, Joe Manion and Ben Schmitz had three hits in the semifinal game.

Gieske and pitcher Erik Santa were named to the all-tournament team.

Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka won its fourth consecutive PI Division title with a 9-2 victory over Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville in the championship game Saturday afternoon in Coon Rapids.

 

State Adapted Floor Hockey: Mustangs (PI) take home hardware

Anoka-Hennepin’s Physically Impaired (PI) team (8-4) recovered from a tough semifinal loss to top South Suburban 8-5 in the third place game at Bloomington Jefferson High School March 17.

Anoka-Hennepin (PI) assistant coach Andy Ellena discusses strategy during a time out. Photo by Bill Jones

“Taking home hardware at any point is a great feeling, especially for these kids,” Mustangs coach Sue Opatz said. “It just feels really good because they did work as a team.”

Mustangs junior Erik Santa played a role in each of the eight goals, scoring five times enroute to the win and a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Corey Gieske, who joined Santa on the All-Tournament team, had two goals and three assists while Chris Walen rounded out the scoring.

Goalie Ben Schmitz turned away 18 shots and stayed poised in net over an intense final period in which the Flyers peppered the Mustangs goal.

The Mustangs and Flyers sat tied 2-2 after the first period, but a four-goal outburst in the second period helped propel the Mustangs ahead. The two sides each scored twice in the third period for the final tally.

Opatz said the key for the Mustangs was controlling the Flyers’ top three forwards. “We knew they had a really strong front three that worked well together zipping it across the court and we had to figure out how to stop [Karen Kreidler],” she said as Kreidler scored three of the Flyers’ goals and assisted on the other two. “We did it by putting Chris Whalen on her and he did a tremendous job.”

Mustangs junior Chris Walen, right, knocks a pass forward during the semifinals. Photo by Bill Jones

Recovering from a tough semifinal loss was key for the opening period.

“Once they figured out they could score against them, there was no stopping us,” Opatz said.

Anoka-Hennepin struggled to hit Santa in the neutral zone in the first period. “We weren’t getting the puck to him in that first period and we really needed to because he’s got a great shot.”

She also praised the way the defense played in front of Schmitz to keep the Flyers at bay.
Anoka-Hennepin, the No. 2 ranked team out of the North Division, began the tournament with 4-0 shutout over South Division’s third seed Rochester Area.

Geiske had the hat trick for the Mustangs and Walen added the fourth goal to set up a tough semifinal game against South Division’s top-seed Dakota United.

The Mustangs took a 2-0 lead into the second period on goals from Geiske and Santa and held a 4-3 advantage into the second intermission.

The Hawks scored five unanswered goals in the third period to reach the finals and send the Mustangs to the third place game.

Refocusing on the third place game was Opatz goal on Saturday afternoon.

“Letting them know that third place is an honorable place to be in and taking home the hardware was one of their big goals. They wanted to have something around their neck,” she said.

 

Mustangs (PI) eyeing 10th straight state floor hockey appearance

 

Anoka-Hennepin’s Adapted Floor Hockey Physically Impaired (PI) team is approaching the end of the regular season and looking forward to their ninth consecutive appearance at the State Tournament. The Mustangs started off the season with a undefeated 3-0 start, out scoring their opponents 27-7. Since then they have added three more wins boosting their record to 6-2 with just two regular games left in the season.

Mustangs players Corey Gieske, left, and Erik Santa, right, try to take the puck away from a Rams player during their Feb. 23 game in Andover. Photo by Sam Lefevbre

After a tough 3-1 loss to Brainerd on Feb. 15, the Mustangs regrouped and regained their strength for their second big win over Mounds View. On Feb. 22 the Mustangs faced off against Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville for the second time this season and came away with a similar victory. Once again the Mustangs only allowed the Rams to score one goal in the 8-1 victory. Earlier this season, the Mustangs defeated the Rams 9-1.

“They play really well together,” coach Sue Opat said of her team. “We have a lot of different scorers on our team. Basically all our starters take turns scoring so we don’t have one stand out player. We have just a whole bunch of players that work together as a team. And it has served us well.”

Senior Emily Fiske and junior Corey Gieske are just two of the starters that contribute points each game. Fiske and Gieske led the Mustangs with 3 goals each. Gieske, who is from Champlin Park, also contributed an assist. Erik Santa, a junior from Andover, also slid two goals past the Rams goalie and had an assist.

Defending the goal with a total 17 saves was Coon Rapids junior defenseman Alec Wellman and seventh grade goalie Ben Schmitz from Oakview Middle School in Andover.

“It is their first time playing there and they have been playing really good together,” Opat said. “They get a lot of shots taken on them and they are always there to knock them down. It is not an easy position to play in a wheelchair and they move well together.”

Fiske, who is from Blaine and will be attending St. Catherine’s in the Fall, said that she is very proud to be a part of her team and that she feels they are doing very well this year.

“This year we have a few more people on the team to help change it up a bit and that way we don’t get so tired and we can put the puck in more,” Fiske said.

Opat said that Fiske is the first athlete from their team to attend a four-year college right out of high school.

“We have had some kids go to two-year colleges but this is the first time for a four-year college,” Opat said. “So that is pretty exciting for us.”

Fiske along with Gieske have been on the team for a three and four years respectively. The two of them also participate in the softball and soccer leagues for the Mustangs.
“I like being a part of this team,” Gieske said. “I couldn’t be a part of other teams when I was younger because of a heart defect so this team is a good fit for me.”

The team is comprised of 12 athletes ranging from 7th- 12th graders. Although they received three new athletes this season, Opat says she would like to see a bigger turnout of kids.

“Our biggest challenge for the team is getting more athletes out for the team,” Opat said. “Physical impairments range from being in a wheelchair to someone with a little paralysis in their hand, so all those kids would qualify. I don’t think a lot of people know about it and what qualifies them.”

According to the Minnesota State High School League Bylaw 511 any student with physical impairments and has medical clearance to compete in competitive athletics can do so. In order to be eligible for the PI Division students must have diagnosed and documented impairment specified from either one of these sections:
“1.    Neuromuscular, postural/skeletal, traumatic, growth, or neurological impairment that affects motor function, modifies gait patterns, or requires the use of a prosthesis or a mobility device including but not limited to, canes, crutches, or wheelchairs.
2.    Cardio/respiratory impairment that is deemed safe for competitive athletics but limits the intensity and duration of physical exertion such that sustained activity for over five minutes at 60% of maximum heart rate for age results in physical distress in spite of appropriate management of the health condition.”
A few specific exclusions to this criteria do apply and can be round in further detail on the MSHSL website.

The Mustangs will be away for their final two games of the regular season at Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-West Tonka on Feb. 27 and then against Wayzata/Minnetonka on Feb. 29. The State Tournament begins March 16 and runs through the 17th at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Mustangs will have to finish in the top three in the Northern Division to automatically be one of the eight teams at State.

In the nine years that Opat has been the coach for the Mustangs the team has gone to the State Tournament every year, including three first place finishes, one second place finish and two third place finishes.

“Usually we finish high, we don’t often finish very low,” Opat said of their appearances at State. “They all work well together and they work hard.”

Samantha Lefebvre is at sam.lefebvre@ecm-inc.com