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)
Retiring head coach Jerry Diebel, center, is surrounded by the Polars boys hockey team following a practice at Polar Arena in North St. Paul.
Head coach Jerry Diebel, center left, and assistant coach Nate Peasley confer during a North High boys hockey practice.
The lobby of Polar Arena is lined with photos of past North High hockey teams.
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.
The Pioneers celebrate a second period goal in the Minnesota State Girls Hockey Class AA Tournament quarterfinal game against Burnsville Feb. 20. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Hill-Murray junior goalie Leah Patrick watches the puck go high in quarterfinal state action against Burnsville. The Pioneers made their second consecutive trip to state. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
After defeating Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the title game, the jubilant Hill-Murray players gathered around goalie Leah Patrick as they celebrated their first girls state hockey title.
Seeded second in the Minnesota Class AA Girls Hockey Tournament, the Pioneers downed the top-seeded Red Knights, 5-3, Saturday night, Feb. 22. Patrick made some key saves late in the game to help seal the win.
On their way to this year’s state crown, the Hill-Murray girls won the Section 4AA title with a 4-1 win over Stillwater.
Hill-Murray junior goalie Leah Patrick makes a save as sophomore Mekenzie Steffen (12) defends during Section 4AA semifinal action at Aldrich Arena. The Pioneers beat Roseville 4-1 Feb. 11. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
The Hill-Murray Pioneers are headed to the girls state hockey tournament for the second year in a row.
Seeded No. 1 in Section 4AA playoffs, the Pioneers received a first-round bye.
The Classic Suburban Conference (12-0) champions played their first game in semifinal action against Roseville (4th seed) Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Aldrich Arena and won 4-1.
A field of 45 ski jumpers from throughout the Central Division and one from Decatur, Ga., converged on the St. Paul Ski Club’s Nordic complex in Maplewood on Friday, Feb. 14, to participate in a huge “Valentines Ski Jumping Love In.”
In the Section 4AAA wrestling matches, held at Woodbury High School Feb. 15, the Tartan High School Titans went into the day as underdogs.
As the mats were being rolled up and the Titans were boarding the bus to head home, they had spent the day living up to their name and were riding high as the 2014 Section 4AAA champions.
For only the second time in the history of the Oakdale institution, Tartan was heading to the Minnesota State Class AAA Wrestling Tournament as a section champion.
In a Classic Suburban Conference boys hockey season finale for Tartan and Hill-Murray Thursday, Feb. 13, at Tartan Arena, the Pioneers showed their prowess with a 9-2 trouncing of the overmatched Titans.
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.