A Spotlight On MPA Athletics

Nate and Yahya at State 2019 This message is from MPA’s Office of Admission from the November 27, 2023 issue of InsideMPA. Click here to get in touch with Admission and learn more!

What factors contribute to a student athlete’s success, both on and off the field? How does a small-by-design school like MPA foster athletes who go on to do incredible things?

A balance between athletics, academics, and the arts is not found at every school. Often students’ priorities conflict and they must choose one passion area over another. MPA students are encouraged to dive deep into many passion areas and the supportive environment makes doing so possible.

When Nate Bander ’09, coach, saw potential in basketball player Yahya Madar ’19 and inspired him to join the track team as a high jumper, a transformation began, and history was made. What might seem like a sports story is so much more.

Through our no-cut policy, low student-teacher ratio, and committed and passionate community, student athletes are known, understood, and seen by their teachers, coaches, and mentors. They receive help when they ask for it. They are fiercely cared for. They are encouraged to take risks and dream big. Click here to hear their story.


MPA Athletic Updates

MPA Panthers Qualify for State Cross Country Meet

On a very rainy day earlier this week, Megan Snider, Eddie Snider, and Ben Murr qualified to race at the State Cross Country Meet! Megan and Eddie were both Section Champions, with Megan setting a new school record by almost 15 seconds! Ben will run in his first Cross Country State Championship to cap off his senior year. The boys team also had a strong third-place finish. Congratulations to the entire team and their coaches, alums Declan Dahlberg and Ellie Quam, and Middle School science teacher Courtney Nagle. Go Panthers!

MPA Rowers Compete in Boston Boston At The Head of the Charles

MPA students David Steinberger and Andy Taylor competed in the world’s largest international regatta at the Head of the Charles in Boston, placing 22nd out of 47 teams in the Men’s Youth 4x+. The boys masterfully executed their race plan and went stroke for stroke against the best rowers in the world. This top-half placement secures an automatic bid next year at this world-renowned rowing race. Up next for MPA rowers is The Head of the Hooch in Tennessee, where Abby Appleton, David Steinberger, Andy Taylor, and Bella Carson will continue their dominance in representing the best of Minnesota rowing! Read More


Joe Kordosky, 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Launched earlier this year as a way to celebrate MPA’s rich athletic tradition, MPA is proud to announce the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kordosky, athletic director and coach, Bev Docherty, teacher and coach, Mason Ferlic ’11, alum athlete, and Caitlin Lock Coomes ’01, alum athlete. Please take a moment to read thoughts from Joe (Kordo) Kordosky below!

What was your greatest accomplishment in your 28 years as an athletic director and coach at MPA?
My greatest accomplishment was the establishment and development of MPA’s Athletic Program. In 1992-93, MPA was accepted into the Tri-Valley Athletic Conference. This enabled MPA athletes to compete for Conference titles and also earn much-deserved All-Conference recognition. The first MPA team to win a Conference Championship was the 1994 Girls Track Team coached by Bev Docherty.

What is your happiest memory of your time at MPA?
I have so many great memories. The one that made me the proudest was in 2002 when MPA sent both boys’ and girls’ soccer teams to the State Tournament. This created tremendous excitement and school spirit throughout the entire MPA community.

What impact do you hope you had on others at MPA?
I hope my enthusiasm and belief that the MPA Athletic Program could be competitive and successful would encourage others to support the athletes and the program.

Who at MPA had the greatest influence on you?
The school’s founder, Bob Kreischer. He instilled in me the importance of always creating the best student opportunities and programs.

How would your fellow students or staffers describe you?
Kordo was approachable, with a great sense of humor. He thoroughly enjoyed the numerous student interactions throughout each day. He had an open-door policy and was always working to improve the athletics experience at MPA.


Bev Docherty, 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Launched earlier this year as a way to celebrate MPA’s rich athletic tradition, MPA is proud to announce the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kordosky, athletic director and coach, Bev Docherty, teacher and coach, Mason Ferlic ’11, alum athlete, and Caitlin Lock Coomes ’01, alum athlete. Please take a moment to read thoughts from Bev Docherty below!

What was your greatest accomplishment in your 35 years of teaching and coaching at MPA?
Developing a consistently strong, enjoyable, competitive track and field team was the goal I was trying to accomplish throughout my time at MPA. The MPA track and field records are outstanding in every event and are a testament to the program’s quality. Taking an entire bus full of State Qualifiers to practice at the venue before the big meet in 2019 was such a memorable accomplishment. We qualified for three relays and several individual events on the girls’ and boys’ teams: sprints, distance, and field events. We came away from State that year with six All-State performers!

What is your happiest memory of your time at MPA?
So many happy memories from so many decades! Coaching the first MPA State Champion (Lauren LaRoche-400m), the first Girls Conference Championship as a team (Tri-Valley Conference by 1/2 point, highlighted by four women coaches), the first boys State Champion—then in multiple events (Mason Ferlic-1600m, 3200m), our first Relay State Champion (4 x 800m; Kethan Dahlberg, Nick Gardner, Nolan Ferlic, Evan Ferlic), our first Field Event State Champion (Yahya Madar-High Jump, tied State Record) were all awesome memories. But hosting the co-ed relays on the new Schilling Track, working with student-athletes and families who supported track and field throughout our journey with celebrations, and surviving long, cold meets with smiles are also happy memories. Watching so many student-athletes reach their goals at every level, in every event, is probably the most rewarding.

How did your time at MPA shape your future?
Our home life revolved around MPA track and field in the spring. Schedules were set with my husband and family making adjustments to support me in my love of coaching track and field. It seemed to work out all right as all four of our children went on to compete in track and field in college, shaping their lives as well. Also, when I coached cross country, members of the team babysat for our children, providing me with a night out with my husband—not at a track!

What is one piece of advice that you would share with MPA athletes?
I’ve always encouraged my athletes to “trust your training.” I think this could speak to all of their endeavors as they trust their well-rounded MPA education. The education gained from needing resilience, hard work, and leadership on the track and in their classroom prepared them for reaching their goals. MPA athletes have had experience/practice with meeting challenges and finding success. I hope they trust that experience as they take on new goals.

What impact do you hope you had on others at MPA?
I hope I helped the MPA community understand and support athletics as a valuable part of each student-athlete’s total education.


Caitlin Lock Coomes ’01, 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Launched earlier this year as a way to celebrate MPA’s rich athletic tradition, MPA is proud to announce the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kordosky, athletic director and coach, Bev Docherty, teacher and coach, Mason Ferlic ’11, alum athlete, and Caitlin Lock Coomes ’01, alum athlete. Please take a moment to read thoughts from Caitlin below!

What is your happiest memory of 13 years at MPA?
Sitting on the steps outside the Upper School, putting on shin guards and cleats with my friends and teammates before soccer practice on fall afternoons. Or maybe the anticipation of preseason practices, the excitement of being back together again? Or Back To School Night when we got to meet our new teachers each year. Sitting on the carpet as Ms. Lage read pictures books to us in the library. Pie at Baker’s Square after choir concerts. The Heritage Fair in the cafeteria. Too many happy memories to choose just one!

How did your time at MPA shape your future?
The most important things I got out of my time at MPA were enthusiasm for learning and school, and the deep-rooted sense of self that continues to guide me. The supportive, positive environment MPA provided during those early years created a stable foundation for everything that came after.

In what ways did the school support you during your time at MPA?
I remember how good it felt to have teachers congratulate me after the soccer team had a good game, or after a track meet went well—to know that these adults really cared. The school was also supportive and flexible about our family living in rural Chile for three months during my sophomore year. My teachers adapted their curriculums to help me make the most of that unique life experience.

Who at MPA had the greatest influence on you?
I can’t say enough about the positive impact of the soccer and track coaches, Mike Scinto, Al Greimel, and Bev Docherty. Their encouragement and confidence in me allowed me to be myself and grow in the most joyful way possible. I can only hope that my own kids find coaches/human beings of the same caliber to nurture them in the same way. In fact, I can say the same thing about every single one of my teachers and coaches at MPA.

What is something about you or your time at MPA that few people know?
The morning of my first day of kindergarten, I woke up at 3 AM, put on my uniform and my backpack, and woke my parents up to let them know I was ready to go to school.


Mason Ferlic ’11, 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Launched earlier this year as a way to celebrate MPA’s rich athletic tradition, MPA is proud to announce the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kordosky, athletic director and coach, Bev Docherty, teacher and coach, Mason Ferlic ’11, alum athlete, and Caitlin Lock Coomes ’01, alum athlete. Please take a moment to read thoughts from Mason below!

What was your greatest accomplishment in your four years at MPA?
After a successful junior year track season, I set the lofty goal of winning the state cross country championships. It was the first time I called my “shot” and let everyone know that was my goal for the season. When the day came, I defeated my rival in a duel over the last kilometer. Winning that race transformed my mentality as an athlete and opened my eyes to what was possible with self-belief and work ethic. I also have very fond memories of that time with the team—every day was a blast, and we all trained with a purpose.

How did your time at MPA shape your future?
Without the excellent coaching and supportive environment, I would not have had the same level of success that got me recruited to the University of Michigan and eventually make an Olympic team. MPA fostered my love for running and competing—I grew as an athlete and a person. Looking back, much of my success can be attributed to my formative years in high school. I learned to win, lose, and deal with challenges. MPA started my athletic career, but it certainly did not end there.

What is one piece of advice that you would share with MPA athletes?
Be bold and set ambitious goals. Real challenges require real sacrifices; hold yourself accountable to achieving those dreams. I spent many weekends, holiday vacations, and after-school hours training and preparing so that when the opportunity came, I could truly test my limits. When you wholeheartedly commit to a goal, do so with conviction and clarity. Remember, the journey is the ultimate reward.

Who at MPA had the greatest influence on you?
My MPA coaches, Bev Docherty and Dan Ethier, profoundly impacted my development as an athlete and person. They were the first to recognize my talent for running and cultivate the drive to be a champion. They were not just mentors on the track or cross country course but also in life. They instilled in me the essence of being a true athlete, emphasizing the importance of physical and mental preparation. Like all great coaches, their wisdom revolved around the power of patience, teaching me not to rush toward short-term achievements but rather to trust the process and focus on long-term growth. They were always there to balance my enthusiasm and disappointment, imparting valuable life lessons that extend far beyond the realm of sports. Their guidance has left a lasting mark on my character and approach to challenges.


Sharing Summertime Joy

Student volunteers with MPA at PrideThis message is from MPA’s Office of Admission from the July 2023 issue of InsideMPA. Click here to get in touch with Admission and learn more!

Happy Summer! We hope you’ve had a fantastic few weeks enjoying the sunshine, summertime activities, and making memories with family and friends. So far, here are our highlights of summer:

  • Meeting new friends at Grand Old Day, Pride, and Wordplay! These community events were magical, many of them coming back from a several-year hiatus. At Grand Old Day, we danced, gave out spectacular prizes, and brought the street to life with decorative chalk drawings. Pride was such a special celebration, and sharing it with our community and the greater Twin Cities was pure magic. And this past Saturday was Wordplay, where we had so much fun celebrating our favorite authors, doing summer reading challenges, and completing a larger-than-life word search!
  • The progress on our new outdoor track! The base is now completely down, and we already have a new sandpit! The progress is going smoothly and it’s just a matter of time until it’s ready for Panther athletes to train on heading into the fall athletic season.
  • Summer at MPA! Campers are making the most of summer by launching rockets, testing recipes in the teaching kitchen, engineering in the Makerspace, and improving their athletic skills. Don’t miss the photos!

Read More


Celebrating Panther Tennis, Track & Field State Results

MPA Tennis at State Congratulations to all of the Panther athletes who competed in the Minnesota State High School League State Tournaments in tennis and track and field last week!

In the State tennis tournament, Evan Fraser placed second in the Class A Singles Individual Tournament. Aarti Prochnow and Garret Webb placed fourth in the Class A Doubles Tournament.

Eddie Snider at State track and fieldAt the State track and field meet, Zoe Mulvihill placed 16th in the preliminary race of the 400M dash, running 1:04.19. The MPA 4x200M  team of Zoe Mulvihill, Nora Pederson, Delaney Cunnington and Kensi Binstadt placed 10th in the preliminary race, running 1:48.33. Griffin Jones placed 12th in the preliminary race of the 400M dash, running 52.14. Nicholas Larson placed 10th in the 1600M, running 4:27.17. Eddie Snider placed eighth in the 3200M, running 9:47.44.

What a fantastic finish to their spring seasons! Go Panthers!

 


MPA Dreamers: Lessons From Lifers

MPA Class of 2023 LifersIn the spring of 2011, some of the littlest dreamers in the school were wrapping up their first year together. These members of the Class of 2023 were sprinting around the track and testing their throwing skills at Track and Field Day, graduating from kindergarten, and nestling together to watch the seniors, the biggest kids in the school, say their bittersweet goodbyes at the Yearbook Assembly.

This week, they are those seniors, concluding their time at the only school they’ve been at for their entire academic career. As they graduate on June 3, 11 of them join MPA’s Joanne Olson Club, reserved for students whose entire K-12 or PreK-12 journey has taken place here at MPA.

Recently, members of this group–Henry Galicich, Aidan Harms, Griffin Jones, Nicholas Larson, Gabby Magistad, Jack Peterson, Freya Rahm, Henry Seum, Siri Springer, William Tan, and Anthony Troullier–gathered together for a group reflection on their MPA journeys. After all, who knows more about the MPA community than the students who joined in kindergarten and now leave the school as young adults, each bound for college and charting their own paths?

MPA teachers foster the ability to solve authentic, real-world problems. Students are empowered to be architects of their education, and furthermore, their lives. So we asked,

How has being a student at MPA shaped you?

Freya: My communication skills have definitely developed because of MPA. I’m able to express how I feel and what I need to say. I feel prepared to answer questions, and when I was applying for jobs, I felt ready.

Nicholas: Adding on that, we do a lot of class presentations and public speaking, and I think that’s an aspect that MPA students are really good at. On my swim team, we have to do something similar to senior speeches–when you graduate, you give a speech to the whole swim club at the end-of-the-year banquet. And a lot of my teammates were really nervous. But it was just another speech for me.

Siri: Also, we have so much one-on-one time with our teachers. Talking to them helps. You learn to talk to adults and it’s encouraging for things like interviewing for jobs. Read More


College Athlete Celebration Day

This Monday was an exciting day for Class of 2023 student-athletes and their families! Fifteen members of the class are moving on to participate in college athletics—that’s 25%! The entire Upper School student body gathered in the Lansing Sports Center to celebrate their selections and wish them well. Go Panthers! For the full album of photos, click here.

Congratulations to the following Class of 2023 student-athletes!

  • Alex Appleton: Rowing at Bates College
  • Kensi Binstadt: Track at Pomona College
  • Cameron Collister: Cross Country and Track at Whitman College
  • Audrey Jakway: Basketball at Haverford College
  • Owen Lafferty: Track at Macalester College
  • Nicholas Larson: Track and Cross Country at Colgate University
  • Michael Mairs: Tennis at St. Olaf College
  • Gabriel Messner: Rowing at University of Edinburgh
  • Zoe Mulvihill: Track at Amherst College
  • Lola Pilon: Volleyball and Softball at Augsburg University
  • Andrew Platz: Baseball at Hamline University
  • Freya Rahm: Tennis at Oberlin College
  • Henry Seum: Sailing at Jacksonville University
  • Siri Springer: Softball at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Annabelle Vale: Swimming at Grinnell College