Eagles News · Heritage Christian Academy – Fall Sports Recap 2019!

Heritage Boys and Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Team award: Gold (team GPA average of 3.75 or higher)
  • Girls Team award: Gold (team GPA average of 3.75 or higher)
  • Individual winners: Evan Jacobson (to qualify, the athlete must be in 10-12 grade, finish 15th or higher in the section meet and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher)
Heritage Girls Soccer
  • Team Award: Gold (team GPA average of 3.75 or higher)
  • Individual winners: Maggie HansenCassie LelandZoe LelandNalia Petersen (Senior players with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher)
Heritage Volleyball
  • Individual winners: Jordyn AllenKelsie KnaggsEmma Stendal (Senior players with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher)
The boys and girls cross country teams posted a pair of fantastic seasons this fall. The season began in the traditional fashion at the Princeton Invite where senior Travis Miller took the individual victory, leading the boys to a second place team finish. The girls raced bravely, finishing eighth without their top runner. The season rolled along quickly as the largest group of athletes in the history of the program pushed their times and team scores to incredible levels of success having a blast along the way.
One of the best highlights of the year is always the team retreat and competition in the Milaca Mega Meet, the largest race in the Midwest. Both teams and many family members journeyed north for an extended weekend. Coach Nordstrom organized a community service project, cleaning the trails at Cuyuna State Recreation Area. That evening, captains Simone Lundquist and Carter Kneeland led an awesome acoustic worship around a bonfire.  After a 2-hour weather delay, the boys varsity posted an amazing 4th place finish out of 37 teams on a flooded and mud covered course! The varsity girls ran to an incredible 15th place out of 32, despite running near the end of a long day that saw the course get more treacherous. An especially heroic run came from seventh grader Leah Ingelin who had her 3200m race canceled, but bravely stepped up and ran her first 5k in the freshman race!
The boys team crushed the field, winning their THIRD STRAIGHT MCAA conference title with Travis Miller winning individually followed by runner-up Jared NordstromEvan JacobsonKees Van Oosbree and Grant Nelson all earned all-conference awards. The girls ran tough to a third place, with Gina Solberg and Simone Lundquist each earning all-conference awards! More excitement came from the JV boys as they took home the boys JV title as well, led by Jack Hoppe winning the individual title!





Van Oosbree


At the 5A section meet the boys and girls both posted some of their best team averages of the year and represented the Lord, their families, and the HCA community very well. The girls team had their alternates step up BIG TIME to earn an 11th place team score out of 20 full teams, led by Simone Lundquist in a season best time of 20:56 which earned 23rd place! After Lundquist, the girls section team included Macy BellAbbie VetseSophie HaskettMorgan Bell, Ana Bell and Becca Torgerson. Alternates were Gina Solberg and Grace Solberg.
The boys came in with a target on their backs as two-time state qualifiers, but they rose to the occasion posting their best team time of the year with Travis Miller (4th) and Jared Nordstrom (9th) both finishing in the top ten, to carry the boys to a third straight runner-up finish, just 9 points from first, and punch their ticket to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! Team members included Travis Miller, Jared Nordstrom, Evan Jacobson, Grant Nelson, Carter Kneeland, Kees Van Oosbree, Henry Hakanson and alternates Jack Hoppe and Elijah Koopman.
Yet another special moment for the team came with assistant coach Kevin Nordstrom being recognized by the coaches of section 5A, voting him the section’s ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR! A very special award for a very deserving cornerstone of the Heritage program.
In the MSHSL State Championship the boys earned a valiant 14th place finish led by Travis Miller running the second fastest race in HCA history in 16:36.6 and earning an All-State Award for his 23rd place finish overall! The team ran their hearts out and carried on the proud HCA Cross Country tradition as the seniors passed on the legacy to a new generation of Eagles.
Overall the team saw seniors wrap up amazing careers while teaching a new crop of runners how to do things with excellence, while glorifying the Lord in all their daily activities. The daily prayers, consistent physical preparation and family atmosphere promoted the growth into more Christ-like people and better all-around servants of the King. The unity was great all season and while it’s always hard to say good-bye to the senior class, the future is bright as HCA Cross Country continues developing amazing young people for Christ!
The 2019 Eagles boys’ soccer team had three main goals for the season: compete for the conference title, advance in the section tournament, and “Honor God” with their best effort and attitude. Consider the goals achieved and the season a great success. The team flourished under the leadership of senior tri-captains Isaac O’BrienAlex Edstromand Ethan Dehler. The boys hit their stride in the “new look” MCAA. The team finished in third place, their highest finish in a couple of years. The highlight of the conference season was knocking off MCAA champions ISM/ERA 1-0 in a driving rainstorm.
The Eagles entered the “ultra tough” Section 6A tournament playing their best soccer of the season. Their efforts were rewarded with their first section victory in four years, a dominant 2-0 win over Big Lake. The season ended with a valiant effort versus eventual state qualifier Orono; a tough loss, but one that left the team satisfied with their performance. The boys can be proud of their season knowing that God was truly glorified by their “effort, attitude and sportsmanship”.
Congratulations to senior forward Isaac O’Brien and junior defender Steph Sawtelle as they were selected to the MCAA all-conference 1st team. Senior midfielder Alex Edstrom was named to the 2nd team for his strong season. The future looks promising as the team will return multiple starters and the young team continues to grow and mature.
Isaac O’Brien
Steph Sawtelle
Alex Edstrom

The Heritage Christian Academy Girls Varsity Soccer Team had an incredible season with a final record of 11-4-1.  The Eagles started their season with a battle against Robbinsdale Cooper. They scored within the first two minutes of the game, but ultimately suffered a tough 3-1 loss. The following day the girls headed northbound for a weekend of bonding and competition against the Two Harbors Agates. The Eagles defeated the Agates 2-0 for their first win of the season. To celebrate, the team explored Gooseberry Falls and a few of the team even took an ice bath in Lake Superior! The Eagles continued their winning season, gaining victories over rival opponents such as Providence and Maranatha. The team suffered tough losses against large schools such as Delano and DeLaSalle, but the girls dominated in their conference, becoming conference champions for the fourth year in a row.
The Eagles ended their regular season play with a double overtime tie against Monticello, a team the Eagles had not tied or won a game against in 9 years! The HCA Eagles entered the section tournament seeded 4th in their section and hopeful for further success. The team was victorious in their first round of the section tournament against Mound Westonka, but faced the end of their soccer season suffering a difficult 1-0 loss against the Willmar Cardinals. The girls were thankful for the opportunities God provided them in their play and the friendships that were made and enriched through the game of soccer. The team will miss the leadership of seniors, Cassie LelandAbbey LelandNalia Petersen, and Maggie Hansen.
Maggie Hanson
Abby Leland
Cassie Leland

Nalia Peterson

Katie Smith

Congratulations to Cassie Leland who was named to the MSHSSCA All-State 2nd team. Five Eagles were also named MCAA all-conference: Cassie Leland, Nalia Peterson, Abbey Leland, and junior GK Katie Smith were named to the 1st team. Senior defender Maggie Hansen was named to the 2nd team. These individual accomplishments are a testament to the outstanding season the girls had.

A very special congratulations to Head Coach Luis Holguin. Senor was named the Section 6A girls soccer Coach of the Year!!


Luke Hamilton

Dylan Jackson

Kaden LaCombe

Hassan Tarawallie

James Wicht

Jack Wicht

The football season could be described as “a tale to two seasons” with the team starting the toughest schedule they’ve ever had with a 1-5 start. The team, after losing about 20 key seniors in last years class was starting 8 new players on each side of the ball with the majority of those being sophomores. The team began to hit its stride toward the end of the regular season and won four in a row including an upset of the sections #1 seed Glencoe before they fell in the section finals to a tough Dassal Cokato team 26-13. HCAjunior Jack Wicht was honored as a captain midway through the season for his outstanding leadership qualities and consistent hard work. Jack was also honored with All district award. Hassan Tarawallie was also a major force on the offensive line until an injury sidelined him at the halfway point. The team expects those two to anchor the line as seniors next season. Sophomore Kaden LaCombe really stepped up and earned the starting linebacker job early in the season and was consistent the entire season, never backing down to players much bigger than him. Freshman standout Dylan Jacksonproved to be one of the fastest players on the team and contributed in a major way on special teams as well as many impressive long TD’s on the JV.
Junior Luke Hamilton also showed great improvement throughout the season and will contribute again next season. Freshman James Wicht was also a newcomer to the team and, like his older brother, is a non-stop workhorse in the weight room and as a JV player this season. His consistent hard work will prove valuable in the coming seasons as he progresses.
Heritage students continue to be an integral part of the co-op football program. These are talented young men that love to compete and perform as unto the Lord!
The team verse for the 2019 HS Volleyball team was Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” It was an appropriate verse for the Eagles this fall. The team faced their challenges with a spirit that reflected the verse. Under the leadership of senior tri-captains Kelsie KnaggsJordyn Allen and Emma Stendahl the team trained with joy, laughter and encouragement. It was a gym filled with the sounds of a team having real fun!
The training provided by first year coaches Rajan Mohinani and Abby Reemtsma focused on skill development and a tactical understanding of the game. The team’s development was aided by the mentorship that the seniors provided for the underclassmen.
The progress and closeness of the team paid dividends as the Section 4A tournament began. After earning a first round bye, the Eagles upset higher seeded Trinity in straight sets in the second round. Excellent serving and strong defense propelled the girls and gave them confidence as they advanced. The season ended in the third round with a closely contested battle against West Lutheran. It was a tough loss, but the ladies were proud of their outstanding effort, knowing they had played their best match of the season!!

Kelsie Knaggs

Jordyn Allen

Congratulations to senior hitter Kelsie Knaggs who was named to the MCAA All- Conference 2nd team. Senior setter Jordyn Allen was selected for honorable mention.
The Middle School boys had the chance to play against tough competition throughout the season. In one game they held the #2 team in the conference to just one goal. In the next game they shut out a team that had beat them earlier in the year. HCA’s team fought hard and grew in both skills and character. It will be exciting to see what they will accomplish in years to come.
Middle School Girls Soccer finished in third place this year. They made huge improvements throughout the season as individual players and as a team overall. They fine tuned their ball handling skills and learned how to better space themselves on the field and work as a team.
While their skills grew throughout the season, their sportsmanship stayed consistently top notch. Other teams would often comment on how kind and encouraging they are to each other and their opponents. The girls are truly an example of what it means to be a light bearer. The team is already counting down the days until the 2020 soccer season begins!
The Heritage Middle School volleyball team had a great 2019 season…and a lot of fun!! Under the direction of coach Lydia Carr (AFLBC junior), the young squad worked hard on improving their fundamentals. Practices focused on serving, receiving and passing. Many girls were playing competitive volleyball for the first time. Their hard work paid off as they steadily improved throughout the NSPSL season, winning three out of their last four matches and setting them up for a great tournament run.
The girls entered the NSPSL JV tournament as the # 6 seed. They proceeded to play their best volleyball of the season and pulled off 3 consecutive upsets to claim the championship. The team used a strong service attack and strong defense to dominate their opponents including a straight set sweep of #1 St. Vincent in the championship game! Through it all, they played with intensity and smiles on their faces!!
Congratulations to Coach Carr and the Middle School volleyball team, this is an outstanding group of young ladies and the future for HCA volleyball looks bright!