FOLEY – With a fantastic spring season now in the record books, another Foley Post 298 Legion baseball season is underway.
The 2023 Foley Falcons established its own identity within an ever-growing program based on resilience.
The missed opportunities mounted for the Foley Falcons baseball team in the quarterfinals round of the Class AA Minnesota State High School League Baseball State Tournament June 13.
Despite a late rally, the Foley Falcons baseball team could not extend its season, falling in the Class AA Minnesota State High School League Baseball State Tournament consolation bracket to the Belle Plaine Tigers June 14 at St. Cloud Orthopedics Field in Sartell.
The golf season for the Foley boys team and a pair of girls ended at the Section 6AA tournament June 5 at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in Sartell. The Falcon boys shot a team score of 352 on the first day of the 36-hole event, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the final round. Junior Tyler Smith led Foley with an 11-over-par 83 followed by senior Cam Evenson with an 85. “Unfortunately, the section tournament did not go as well as we hoped,” Foley coach Timm Smith said. “I think the boys wanted to play so well that they were way too tight. We have some young team members and I believe this experience will help them in future competition.”
Foley Lumberjacks pitcher Logan Winkelman has been dazzling hitters all the way to Division I collegiate baseball, and the lefthander brought a taste of his pitching talent to the amateur baseball scene against the Pierz Bulldogs June 10. The dynamic athlete shined in the Victory League competition, throwing a seven-inning no-hitter in a 16-1 win in Pierz. “I got to see Logan be one of the best high school pitchers I’ve ever seen in the area, maybe ever,” said Mitch Keeler, manager. “He’s still trying to get back from his injury, but even not all the way back, he can still be almost unhittable when he’s commanding his pitches.”
It was not a state championship. But for the Foley boys tennis team, it was the next-best thing. With winning a state title being a monumental if not close-to-impossible task based on the strength of St. Paul Academy – which won its second straight championship – a quick glance of the draw left the Falcons thinking third place was attainable. When the final point was won in the third-place match of the Minnesota State High School League Class A Boys Tennis State Tournament, clinching a 4-3 victory over Rock Ridge (Virginia and Eveleth) June 7 at Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center in Minneapolis, it set off a championship-like celebration.
After her second attempt in the Class AA triple jump competition at the Minnesota State High School League track and field championships June 10, Foley High School junior Emily Novak approached the league official managing the event to check her distance. What she heard caused the student-athlete to cover her mouth with her hands in shock. Novak, who had exceeded 34 feet for the first time at the Section 5AA championships a week earlier, had outdone herself in a major way, reaching a new personal record with an incredulous 35-foot, 8 3/4-inch lunge and taking ninth place at St. Michael-Albertville High School in St. Michael, part of a wildly successful day for the Foley Falcons girls track and field program.
Ethan Novak’s clear-cut understanding of the fundamentals of pole vaulting would have one believing he has been doing the activity his entire high school career. However, the Foley High School senior has only been participating in the event for two seasons, making what he accomplished at the 2023 Minnesota State High School League Class AA Boys and Girls Track and Field State Tournament all the more impressive. The upperclassman cleared the bar at three heights, soaring to third place and reaching the podium June 9 at St. Michael-Albertville High School in St. Michael.
The elimination bracket in a section baseball tournament can be a cruel place. Perhaps no program in the state knows that better than the Foley Falcons. Fighting back to the top requires several fresh pitching arms, timely hitting and maybe a bit of luck. Heavy favorites to win the last two Section 6AA tournaments, Foley stumbled in the early rounds and were unable to string together enough wins to reach the championship game. A deep pitching staff ensured that did not happen again.