HCA 2019-2020 Winter Sports Recap


We are pleased and excited to share with you the Heritage Christian Academy Winter Sports Recap for 2019-20. It was an exceptional season for our athletes and our teams. It is a blessing to watch HCA students navigate the challenges and the successes that high school athletics can provide. We are grateful for our coaches who give their time and talents to train our athletes to Honor God with their best effort and attitude. As we look to the Spring sports season, we ask for your prayers as all activities have been put on hold due to Covid-19. All sports have been suspended until May 4th. We are hopeful that we may still have a “shortened season” that would allow our athletes and especially our seniors, to finish the year playing the games they love so much!

Chris Laird

The HCA Girls Varsity Basketball program celebrated its third consecutive 20 win season, finishing the year with an overall record of 22-8 and going UNDEFEATED in MCAA Conference play with a 14-0 record. The Eagles were poised to defend their MCAA Conference title from 2019 and had their sights set on a three peat appearance at the MSHSL Class A State Basketball Tournament in 2020! The girls experienced both success and heartbreak early in the season, suffering three losses on the last possession of the game, but bounced back to enjoy a 10-game winning streak prior to the end of the regular season.

The Eagles entered Section 4A play as the #2 seed and cruised to a home quarterfinal victory over West Lutheran. Following the win over the Warriors, the girls faced Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity in the semi-final game on the Eagles home court. This was the third meeting between the two teams, with HCA coming away with victories in both of the regular season games. Both teams knew that it would be an epic battle to the end! It was a close game from the tip to the final buzzer with the Eagles prevailing by a score of 54-52.

CCX Media recap of the game:

Heritage Girls Basketball Edges Lester Prairie
Heritage Girls Basketball Edges Lester Prairie

The Section Final match-up was set between #1 seeded Mayer Lutheran Crusaders and the #2 seeded Heritage Christian Academy Eagles. The atmosphere at Anoka-Ramsey Community College was electric as the Eagle fans & pep band celebrated a WHITE OUT to help cheer on the girls. Despite losing to the Crusaders in a regular season game, the Eagles used a balanced scoring attack and secured the win at the free throw line using an 18-5 scoring run to close out the game topping Mayer Lutheran by a score of 73-60. With the win, the Heritage Christian Academy Girls Basketball Team celebrated their third straight Section 4A Championship!

CCX Media recap of the game:

Heritage Girls Basketball Wins 4A for 3rd Straight Year
Heritage Girls Basketball Wins 4A for 3rd Straight Year

Star Tribune recap of the game:

The Eagles returned to Maturi Pavilion as the #5 seed to take on #4 seed Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (W-E-M) in the quarterfinal game at the State Tournament. The Eagle fans & pep band were again in great number in the stands to cheer on the girls from the start! The Eagles took the early lead, but found themselves down by 10 points at halftime due to the successful three-point shooting by the Buccaneers. In the end, W-E-M beat the Eagles by a score of 58-46, converting 21 of 22 shots from the free throw line.

For the 2019-2020 season, the strength of the Eagles’ success was their balanced scoring attack and unrelenting defense. On average, they outscored their opponents by 29 ppg with three starters averaging in double figures. The girls were ranked as high as #8 by Minnesota Basketball News and finished the season with the #7 rank in QRF (power rankings). Receiving 1st Team MCAA All-Conference recognition: Senior Co-Captains, Jordyn Allen and Kirstin Robbins, and Junior Taylor Schuck; Receiving 2nd Team honors was Junior Anika Millar.

Jordyn Allen

Kirstin Robbins

Taylor Schuck

Anika Millar

CCX Media Spotlight Athletes Jordyn Allen and Kirstin Robbins:

Sports Jam Spotlight: Jordyn Allen and Kirstin Robbins
Sports Jam Spotlight: Jordyn Allen and Kirstin Robbins

The Heritage Christian Academy Girls Basketball team was awarded the Gold Award and Team Academic State Champion for Class A (out of 150 schools). The girls carried a cumulative GPA of 3.921. They finished 6th overall in the state (all classes). Congratulations ladies!!

Senior Jordyn Allen received Individual Academic All-State honors. To achieve this honor, she needed a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or greater for all four years of high school.
Taylor Schuck
Kirstin Robbins
Jordyn Allen

HCA Seniors Jordyn Allen and Kirstin Robbins and HCA Junior Taylor Schuck received MGBCA All-State Honorable Mention honors. Robbins finished her basketball career with 1,849 points and Allen finished with 1,704 points. Both Robbins and Allen were selected to the All-Star Series game to be played at Carleton College on Saturday, April 4th, however, the game was cancelled due to Covid-19.

#33 Jordyn Allen
#23 Kirstin Robbins

Inside the locker room and game huddle, the girls (win or lose) say 1-2-3 TOGETHER 4 HIM, knowing that as a team they represent Jesus Christ with their attitudes, actions and abilities that He has given to them. Congratulations ladies on a great season and to Him be all the honor, glory and praise!

The Heritage Nordic Ski team enjoyed another successful year! Throughout the season, the boys’ team made excellent improvements, gaining valuable experience from its young core group of skiers. At the IMAC Conference Championship pursuit races at Elm Creek Park, the Heritage girls team finished in 2nd place. Senior captain Nalia Petersen earned IMAC All-conference recognition and Junior captain Simone LundquistMorgan Bell and Sophomore Macy Bell earned All-conference honorable mention. Junior Captain Joshua Johnson finished in 4th place at the conference meet.

Nalia Petersen

Simone Lundquist

Morgan Bell

Macy Bell

At the Section 6 meet at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Nalia Petersen, helped the girls team achieve a 6th place finish, which included a seasoned group of skiers from Wayzata, Hopkins and Armstrong High Schools. The Heritage skiers shined in the pursuit style race, with Nalia battling from 16th place to 12th place overall, earning an individual entry to the MSHSL State Nordic meet at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN. It was a great team accomplishment and a celebration for Nalia as she became the first Heritage Nordic skier to qualify for State.
At the State Meet, Nalia’s performance was impressive in the skate race, as she surpassed skiers that had beaten her in the regular season. In the afternoon classic race, the course was a tough uphill climb for 2.5K and despite a congested field of skiers, Nalia finished strong and represented her team well!
Coach Kevin Johnson counts it a blessing to work with his team as they show great character, courage and camaraderie on the course and in the hallways at Heritage Christian AcademyCongratulations on a great season and to God be the Glory!
The Heritage Varsity Boys’ Basketball team was stopped short of its ultimate goal, a berth in the State Tournament. They finished the season with a 10-17 overall record and despite having a losing season ON the court, they did succeed on many levels.
The team achieved a great honor by being awarded Section 4A TEAM ACADEMIC CHAMPION, with a collective GPA of 3.50.
The Eagles also finished in 5th place in the MCAA Conference with a 7-7 record, which is a good accomplishment. MCAA All-Conference recognition honors were awarded to Senior TJ Guggenberger (1st Team), Junior Ethan Virshek (2nd Team) and Senior Evan Jacobson (Honorable Mention).
TJ Guggenberger

Ethan Virshek

Evan Jacobson

Throughout the season, the key to their success was balanced scoring, led by TJ Guggenberger (325) and Ethan Virshek (315). Guggenberger was the top rebounder (175), while Evan Jacobson (80) and junior Steph Sawtelle (79) led the way in assists.
Many thanks to our graduating seniors for their years of commitment and loyalty to the Heritage Boys Basketball program! Hats off and best wishes to Ethan Dehler, Alex Edstrom, Adam Grove, TJ Guggenberger, Evan Jacobson, Andrew Lindblom, and Jared Nordstrom.

#0 TJ Guggenberger

#3 Ethan Dehler

#4 Adam Grove

#5 Jared Nordstom

#11 Alex Edstrom

#12 Andrew Lindblom

#23 Evan Jacobson

An experienced group of juniors will be leading the team forward and with off-season development plans in the works, Coach Herman is excited about the potential for next year’s team success. Steph Sawtelle, Ethan Virshek, Jack WichtRyan Hardman, and Hassan Tarawallie will provide a good solid foundation and together with a promising group of underclassmen, Heritage will be working towards finishing at the top of the conference and section in the future.

The Providence/Heritage Hockey Team became a six school co-op this year bringing depth and quality players to the program. Despite their youth, they came together over the course of the season and compiled a 9-15-1 record against excellent competition. Senior center and Captain Isaac O’Brien and 8th grade goaltender Evan Villagomez were the Eagle athletes that participated this year. Isaac had an outstanding year centering the first line and was a huge contributor to the offensive attack. His speed and quickness made him a tough player to defend.

Evan made the big step from youth to high school hockey and excelled from the start. He was the starting goalie for the JV team and anchored a defense that was solid and is the backbone for a bright future. His strong play earned him 3 varsity starts, quite an accomplishment for an 8th grader.

One of the highlights of the season occurred at the year-end banquet when Isaac O’Brien was named the winner of the prestigious Hobey Baker Award. This award is given to the player who demonstrates outstanding character on and off the ice. This award is a reflection of Isaac’s exceptional leadership and character. Congratulations Isaac on leaving a lasting legacy for the hockey program!!

The partnership with the Osseo wrestling program has been a blessing for Heritage. This season, Eagle freshman Dylan Jackson was the lone participant from Heritage, but “represent” he did! Dylan cracked the varsity line-up at 145 pounds and finished the season with a record of 14-12, which is quite impressive in the ultra-tough Northwest Suburban conference. At the Section 5AAA wrestling tournament, Dylan wrestled well and finished in 6th place. He was an integral piece of an Osseo squad that posted a 10-8 record for the season. Dylan is an exceptional all-around athlete and is poised to be a state qualifier in the next couple of years. Congratulations and well done!
It was an exceptional season for the MS Boys’ Basketball team! Early in the season, the team often found themselves “coming from behind” to secure the win. The highlight of the comebacks was overcoming a 15-point first half deficit at Maranatha before rallying for an exciting victory. As the season progressed, the team found a consistent rhythm and finished the NSPSL season in third place with a 9-3 record. Outstanding team defense, a balanced scoring attack and resilient attitudes were the hallmarks of this young team. The future of Eagles boys’ basketball looks bright indeed. A special “thumbs up” to coaches Garth Booms and Reuben Saltzman for bringing the best out of the boys and modeling a Christ-like spirit.
The HCA Middle School Girls’ basketball team had a great season! There were 16 players eager to play basketball this year, which allowed the addition of a second squad providing the girls more playing time, while capitalizing on a great opportunity to build many new skills with combined practices. Both MS Eagles girls’ JV and B squads finished with over .500 records and all made great improvements throughout the season. The JV team gained momentum throughout the year, finishing the season with two big wins during the year end NSPSL tournament, claiming the third place trophy.
It was great to see the many improvements and skill development of the girls as the season progressed. They look forward to next season as they develop their skills and look forward to filling the shoes of their amazing HS girls basketball role models! Thank you coaches Phil Dyrud and Jim Ware for your investment of time and encouraging leadership for the MS girls basketball program this season.