After two decades of guiding the North High School boys hockey program, head coach Jerry Diebel, center, and assistant coaches Thom O’Neill and John “Andy” Anderson are hanging up their skates. (photos by Linda Baumeister/Review)
Diebel, Anderson and O’Neill hanging up their skates after two decades of coaching North High boys hockey program
When the North High School boys play their final hockey game this season, it will mark the end of 20 years of coaching for three stalwarts.
It will also be the conclusion of what has been a remarkably consistent coaching program established by head coach Jerry Diebel and assistants John “Andy” Anderson and Thom O’Neill.
Leading the Polars with 22 points, junior guard Jake Steckler (1) puts up a shot defended by Tartan senior center Brody Jackson (45). North lost 66-61 at home Feb. 18. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
When the sports teams from North and Tartan high schools clash, it’s a good idea to avoid guessing who the victor might be.
Such was the case Feb. 18, when the powerhouse Titans invaded North High’s Hal Norgard Gymnasiuum for a Classic Suburban Conference boys basketball game.
At the Sunday, Feb. 16, annual meeting of the Classic Suburban Conference boys hockey coaches to select All-Conference candidates, North High School’s two nominees, twins Justin and Tyler Oliver, were inexplicably not selected by the assembled coaches.
“I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe they would be overlooked,” said long-time North coach Jerry Diebel.
North High junior Claire McNamara (21) muscles her way to the basket against Simley. The Polars lost 61-31 at home Feb. 7. (Linda Baumeister/Revie)
North misses injured Ross
The Simley Spartans traveled to the Hal Norgard Gymnasium Saturday, Feb. 8, for a Classic Suburban Conference girls basketball game against the North Polars.
The Polars were without a key player -- ninth-grader Jolisa Ross, who was hospitalized in Minneapolis with a severely injured foot.
The Classic Suburban Conference boys hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Polar Arena featuring archrivals Tartan and North was a make-up game of an earlier contest postponed because of cold weather.
The Titans offset two early goals by the Polars to pull ahead in the third period and win going away, 7-3.
Tartan’s four unanswered goals in the final 17 minutes made the difference for the second time in two meetings this season. Tartan gained a 7-4 win in the first outing between the rivals on Dec. 12.
The return girls’ hockey game featuring School District 622 archrivals North and Tartan high schools was a lot like everyone—except the Titans—might have expected.
In the first meeting between the foes—back on Dec. 17—Tartan triumphed at home with a 2-1 overtime victory.
The North Polars ventured into enemy territory at Tartan for a Classic Suburban Conference wrestling match Jan. 15 and saw the Tartan grapplers dominate their efforts in a 72-0 blitz.
“We met our expectations,” offered Tartan head coach Dan Recchio. “This win gives us second place in the conference behind, who else, Simley. We expected this outcome.”
The Titans have their eyes on their next goal, Recchio explained.