rich decker mayo 2012.jpg

rich decker mayo 2012.jpg

Mayo girls basketball coach Rich Decker (11/2012)

Mayo girls basketball coach Rich Decker (11/2012)

Mayo goalie Makayla Pahl will head north in a few months to begin her career with one of the best women’s college hockey teams in the country, at the University of Minnesota.

Hockey has taken Pahl all across the world, from high school hockey in Minnesota to winning a gold medal last year with the U.S. team at the U18 World Championships in Russia.

Pahl has added one more impressive bullet point to her ever-expanding resume: She has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the state’s Senior Goalie of the Year Award.

An injury cut Pahl’s senior season with the Mayo girls team short after 15 games. She spent her junior year playing with the Mayo boys team. This season, she posted a 4-8-3 record with a 2.56 goals-against average, an impressive .940 save percentage and two shutouts.

The five finalists for the Senior Goalie of the Year Award will be announced on Thursday in the latest issue of “Let’s Play Hockey” magazine.

The winner will be announced on Feb. 24 at the Miss Hockey banquet at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.

The other finalists include: Abby Edstrom, Hibbing/Chisholm (uncommitted); Calla Frank, White Bear Lake (Minnesota State); Megan Jung, Elk River (Wisconsin-Eau Claire); Quinn Kuntz, Warroad (Ohio State); Maddison Lehto, Roseville (uncommitted); Mara McClain, Bloomington Jefferson (Augsburg); Lucy Morgan, Maple Grove (uncommitted); Baleigh Shuck, Champlin Park/Coon Rapids (Bethel); and Taylor Smith, Mound Westonka (uncommitted).

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Now make it two high school basketball Hall of Fames for Rochester’s Rich Decker.

Decker, who in 2003 was chosen to the Minnesota Boys Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his years spent at Lourdes, Kenyon-Wanamingo and Faribault Bethlehem Academy, has now been picked to join the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his six years spent as the Rochester Mayo girls coach.

The latter was a tenure that ended this past summer, when the 72-year-old Decker stepped down.

Decker averaged 19 wins per season at Mayo, twice advanced teams to the state tournament and twice finished as Big Nine Conference champion.

Decker will be a part of a ceremony April 13 at the Archer House in Northfield where he and three others will be inducted. The foursome will also be introduced between two Minnesota high school all-star games to be played that day at Carleton College.

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Maddison Michels of Mabel-Canton High School and Ryan Hansen of Alden-Conger High School have been named the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award winners for Region One A in 2019.

Established in 1988, the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The award goes to high school seniors with a 3.0 or higher grade-point average who participate in MSHSL sponsored athletic programs, and fine arts activities such as theater, speech, music, and debate.

These two students were selected by their individual high schools and then were selected to represent their subregions and then Region One A. They will receive their awards at the section boys basketball finals at the Mayo Civic Center on March 14. Both students will be invited to the Triple A Banquet in Minneapolis on March 23 where MSHSL officials will announce the state award winners and present the Triple A awards.

Award recipients — a girl and a boy from both a Class A and Class AA school — will receive $4,000 scholarships. Following the banquet all of the award nominees will take part in an on-court awards ceremony at the state boys basketball finals at Target Center.

Michels’ activities include choir (grades 10-12), honors music and band (9-12), volleyball (9-12), basketball (9-12), softball (8-12), trapshooting (11-12), Honor Student, EXCEL Award (11).

After graduation she plans to attend Luther College to major in nursing and participate in choir, band, and softball.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at glimbeck@postbulletin.com

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Sports Reporter

Guy covers a wide variety of high school, college and professional sports. He is a native of Rochester and has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Guy resides in Byron with his wife, children and numerous pets.

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