Every year is becomes harder and harder to choose the Top 25 Sports Achievers in Edina.
Since we started the tradition 13 years ago, the list has included professional athletes from football and hockey and college athletes from every major sport.
In many cases, Edina High School athletes are the recipients of Top 25 status, and that is the case again this year. There are many quality achievers close to home, in light of the fact the Edina Hornets have already won state championships in girls swimming and girls tennis as well as the Lake Conference football championship.
Here is our list of Top 25 Sports Achievers for 2012 as compiled by the Sun-Current sports staff.
The list starts in alphabetical order with one of the most recognized football players in Edina High history.
Allison led the Hornets to the Lake Conference football title. His signature play came during the regular season in a 20-17 victory over Wayzata when he gathered in Mark Handberg’s pass near midfield and took it 97 yards for the winning touchdown.
At the end of the season Allison was named All-State first team by Associated Press and the Minnesota Vikings.
One of the key elements in Edina High’s rise to the state Class AA girls swimming and diving title was the performance of senior diver Yasmeen Almog.
She finished second in state with 439.20 points.
Edina won the state team title in a close race with two other Lake Conference teams. The Hornets finished with 228 points while Wayzata scored 222 and Eden Prairie amassed 220.
Anderson led the Edina High girls swimming and diving team to its third consecutive state Class AA title.
She joined Heather Laedtke, Madeleine Eden and Rachel Wittmer to give Edina first place in the 200-yard medley relay.
Later, Anderson won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.96.
She also swam on the Hornets’ second-place 200-yard freestyle relay with Rachel and Emma Wittmer and Amelia Anderson.
During the summer club swimming season, Anderson qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.
Biewen won the Edina Athena Award as the high school’s most outstanding senior female athlete.
She was leading scorer for the girls basketball team (17.8 points per game) and won Wells Fargo All-State Tournament honors as the Hornets took third place.
During the track and field season, Biewen made another state appearance, placing third in Class AA in the long jump.
The Edina High football coach won the Lake Conference title this fall with a 9-2 record.
Prior to becoming head coach of the Hornets, Boltmann had won a Lake Conference championship as defensive coordinator under former Edina coach Kim Nelson.
At the end of the season he was chosen Class 6A Coach of the Year.
The junior wing from Edina is one of the key players for the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team.
Budish has helped the Gophers to an 11-3-3 record this season. He has 13 points on five goals and eight assists.
During his high school days in Edina, Budish was all-conference in football and hockey.
The former All-State hockey and soccer player from Edina High School is having a great career in the women’s hockey program at Providence College.
Against Division I competition, she was the Friars’ third leading scorer last year with 24 points on 11 goals and 13 assists in 25 games.
The Friars stand 8-8-4 through the first 20 games of the 2012-13 season. Buie has 13 points on six goals and seven assists.
Burke, a senior at Edina High, had medal-winning track and cross country seasons in 2012.
He finished fourth in the 1600-meter run during the state Class AA track meet with a time of 4:17.59.
In cross country, the Edina athlete captured another fourth-place medal. He covered the 5K course at St. Olaf College in 15:29.
Burke’s performances made him an All-State runner in both track and cross country.
The Edina High nose tackle was a key player in the Hornets’ drive to the Lake Conference football title.
Associated Press named Dorvil All-State first team and the 5-foot-11, 293-pound lineman also won All-Lake Conference honors.
Dorvil is presently looking at his college options. Several NCAA Division I programs are showing interest in the Edina standout.
Eden was one of the leaders in Edina High’s drive to the state Class AA girls swimming and diving title.
The senior swam on the gold-medal-winning 200-yard medley relay with Olivia Anderson, Heather Laedtke and Rachel Wittmer.
She was also on Edina’s fourth-place 400-yard free relay that clinched the state title for the Hornets. Others on that relay were Kate Moreton, Gracie Taylor and Emma Wittmer.
During the summer club season, Eden swam at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.
Edina High’s tradition of three-sport athletes is alive and well with Foley, a senior, who starred in skiing, baseball and football.
Foley was the second-leading tackler and one of the captains for the Hornet football team that won the Lake Conference championship this fall.
The Fricke Brothers
Bryan, Ken and Kevin Fricke led Bunny’s Bar and Grill to the Edina Rec 35 & Over men’s slowpitch softball title.
Bunny’s unseated the perennial champion, the Love Handles, in the 2012 playoffs. The Love Handles had won the league championship five consecutive years.
Mike Fricke, the father of Bryan, Ken and Kevin, played a reserve role for Bunny’s, but mainly served as a base coach.
“It was really special to win a championship, and especially sharing it with my sons,” said Mike.
The 2012 Edina High graduate won the state pole-vault championship, which helped the Hornets 14th in the state Class AA girls track and field meet.
Guimont’s winning vault was 11 feet, 6 inches.
During the gymnastics season, Guimont finished second in state on balance beam with a 9.5250 total. She finished fifth on the uneven parallel bars with a 9.6250.
The Edina High girls volleyball team has a promising future under the guidance of coach Stephanie Chapek.
One reason for the Hornets’ optimism is the all-around play of ninth-grader Natalie Haben, who was named to the All-Lake Conference team in 2012.
Handberg had a big hand in Edina’s success in three sports.
Under his direction as quarterback, the Edina High football team finished 9-2 overall and made it to the state Class 6A tournament. He was All-Lake in a title-winning effort.
In baseball, playing both first and third base, Handberg helped Edina to the Lake title. And on top of that the Edina Legion baseball team won its first state championship since 1983.
Handberg was also a regular for the Edina basketball team that finished second to Hopkins in the Class 4A, Section 6 tournament.
Associated Press named Edina High’s pitcher-first baseman to the All-State baseball team.
He helped Edina win the Lake Conference baseball title. With many of the same players, including Hopfner, Edina won the state American Legion baseball title in August.
Hopfner, currently a senior at Edina High, has accepted a scholarship to play at Northwestern University next season.
In only his second season, the former Edina High baseball player coached the Edina American Legion baseball team to its first state title since 1983.
Kennedy’s coaching staff included two former Edina players, Tommy Nevers and Steve Calvert, plus pitching coach Tim Beasley and Edina High School coach Carter Freeman.
Edina Legion finished with a season record of 43-8.
“I am not surprised it happened so soon,” Kennedy said last summer. “First and foremost, we have good kids – kids with talent, kids who care. That’s where it starts. And everyone is moving in the same direction.”
The Edina High School graduate is captain and the leading scorer for the University of Notre Dame’s men’s hockey team.
The senior forward leads the Irish in scoring this winter with 17 points on 11 goals and 6 assists.
The Irish currently stand 14-4-0 overall going into the New Year.
During his career at Edina High, Lee was all-conference and All-State in football and hockey and also earned a letter in baseball.
Leer starred for three championship teams in Edina in 2012 and is now playing baseball at Butler University in Indianapolis.
During the winter, Leer captained Edina High to the Section 2AA boys hockey title. As the starting shortstop, he helped the Hornets win the Lake Conference baseball title. During the summer months his leadership helped Edina win the state American Legion baseball crown.
Leer was Edina High’s male Triple A Award winner for his accomplishments in academics, the arts and athletics.
The Edina High wrestler earned MVP honors for the Richfield/Edina co-op wrestling team.
Lettow, who was also an All-Classic Suburban Conference selection, finished with a 30-8 record and qualified for the state Class AAA tournament.
He started the season in the 138-pound weight division and later dropped to 132 pounds.
Edina High’s boys swimming and diving team placed fifth in the 2012 state Class AA meet.
Lindell lifted the Hornets to the high place with a runner-up finish in the 200-yard individual medley. His time was 1 minute, 54.99 seconds.
McGrory helped the Edina High girls basketball team to a third-place finish in the 2012 state Class 4A girls basketball tournament.
This year the senior guard leads Edina in scoring with an 18 point per game average.
She has accepted a scholarship offer to play NCAA Division I basketball at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Olson, the No. 1 singles player for the Edina High boys tennis team, won All-Lake Conference honors.
He went on to qualify for the 2012 state Class AA tournament and ended up with a medal after he beat Rochester Mayo’s Thomas Nath in the third-place match.
Edina’s seventh-grade tennis player stepped up to the high school level and won the No. 2 singles job for the Hornets.
She came on strong late in the season, winning All-Lake Conference honors and placing second in singles at the state Class AA tournament.
As a junior last winter, the Edina High boys basketball guard won the Lake Conference scoring title with a 20.6 point per game average.
This fall he accepted a full-ride scholarship offer to continue his career at Penn State University.
In a 95-64 victory over St. Louis Park last week, Woodward set an all-time Edina school record with 46 points.