Sep. 16—GLENWOOD — This is Ted Hill's last season as Minnewaska's boys soccer coach.
Hill confirmed that he will retire at the end of the season Thursday.
"It's really about spending more time with my family," said Hill, who said he is "semi-retired" as a teacher in the school district.
Hill is the only varsity coach the program has had, spending the past 27 years leading Minnewaska in a sport most schools the Lakers' size don't sponsor.
"I've been a coach for the last 40 years. so it's time," he said.
Hill said he helped coach his 6-year-old grandson in Plymouth over the summer and realized that he wants to make a bigger commitment being part of his life, as well as two other grandchildren, one of whom lives in Northfield.
"I don't want to be one of those people they get to see at Thanksgiving and Christmas," Hill said. "I really want to be more involved than that."
Minnewaska, which is in the West Central Conference in most sports, plays in the Granite Ridge Conference for soccer with St. Cloud Cathedral, Little Falls, Zimmerman, St. John's Prep and Melrose. Melrose is the only other West Central Conference school sponsoring a soccer program.
This year's Minnewaska team is 2-2 in the conference and 3-5 overall. The Lakers are coming off a 7-0 victory over Melrose, their best offensive performance of the season.
Aaron Feigum, Blake Nelson, Genaro Mondragon, Connor Erickson and Dalton Peterson have been steady offensive contributors and Tenzin Dahl has been a reliable goalkeeper for Minnewaska.
Hill was named the Class A boys soccer coach of the year by the coaches' association in 2021, when the Lakers had one of their better years. They were 7-2 in the Granite Ridge Conference and 9-6 overall.
He said he's proud of how well the community has supported soccer and that Minnewaska's school district — he lives in Starbuck — has been great about building and maintaining excellent facilities.
"Young families come here knowing that we have all the opportunities that we do in our district," he said.
* Former Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg football star Dylan Rudningen has rushed 17 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns for the University of Sioux Falls football team. He also has caught one pass for 25 yards. Rudningen is listed as a 5-foot-10, 210-pound redshirt sophomore running back for the Cougars, who are an NCAA Division II school in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. USF is 2-0 heading into a game Saturday at Concordia-St. Paul.
* Also doing well for USF is Zach Durfee. He's a 6-5, 250-pound redshirt freshman defensive lineman from Dawson-Boyd. Durfee, a transfer from North Dakota State, leads the Cougars with seven solo and one assisted tackle including six quarterback sacks.
* The Concordia College football program in Moorhead is coached by former Willmar Cardinal Terry Horan. The team is 2-0 this season heading into Saturday's home MIAC game with the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties. Horan, who has been the Cobbers' coach for 22 seasons, has long had a strong West Central Tribune area presence on his teams and this year's squad is no different. Here are four area players on this year's roster:
* Jake Evans is a senior wide receiver at Concordia-Moorhead. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Willmar. Evans has caught four passes for 54 passes and two touchdowns, good for a 13.5 yards-per-carry average, for the Cobbers.
* Also on the roster is Mason Swanson, a 6-1, 225 freshman defensive lineman from Willmar.
* Nate Walstrom is a 6-0, 310-pound freshman offensive lineman from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa also playing football for the Cobbers.
* Connor Plumley is a 5-8, 175-pound freshman linebacker from BOLD also playing for Concordia.