As the summer months turned to fall, and fall turned to winter, many in the MSC couldn’t have imagined what was going to take place at St Cloud Apollo. With the football team mired in a long losing streak, and the boys hockey team without a state tournament appearance in almost 30 years, no one could have expected this.
As the football season went along, Apollo was still in an unprecedented losing streak. 22 games… yes you read that right, 22 games without a win. Then coach Justin Skaalerud and the Eagles finally won. A 9-6 victory over Sauk Rapids Rice finally ended the streak. Then they won again, and again, and again. Four straight wins, and a record of 4-6 on the year put the eagles back in contention in the Central Lakes Conference. But that wasn’t the only surprising thing to happen this year.
The boy’s hockey team coached by Pete Matanich hadn’t been to the state tournament in almost 30 years. In fact the 18 wins this season were the most since the 2001- 2002 team had 19. After being in the top three of the CLC standings for most of the year, the Eagles broke yet another streak. They are heading to the Xcel Energy Center this Wednesday to take on St Thomas Academy after an upset win over Little Falls in the section final. With a record of 15-10 in the regular season, the Eagles have caught fire by winning six out of the last eight games in the regular season, and rolling through sections by outscoring their opponents 23-6 on their way to the X. A lot of that is thanks to their leading scorer Jared Christen. The senior has been on his game this season, leading the team in points with 73 points in the regular season. He also has helped the Eagles roll through sections by having 9 points in just 3 games.
You can watch the Eagles take on the St Thomas Cadets in primetime Wednesday night as the TV cameras will be rolling, which is fitting since this year has the script of a made for TV movie. They drop the puck against St Thomas at 6pm at the Xcel Energy center. Many believe that the Eagles are the underdogs against the Cadets who went 24-2-2 this season, but don’t tell coach Matanich that. I mean, I think the Eagles just might have this whole winning thing down.