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MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Nov. 13, 2018 – The Saint Thomas Academy rifle team fell to the league-leading Zion Benton NJROTC 1,098 to 1,076 (box score) in the Orion National Air Rifle League. Following the loss to the team from Zion, Ill., Saint Thomas Academy has a 4-2 record (team page) and is currently in 8th place overall in the national league and first place within its 'Junior Rifle Club' conference. Both of the team's losses have come at the hand of the Zion Benton NJROTC team, which is 6-0 and is in first place in both the national league and its NJROTC conference.  

For the third time this year, Saint Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll ’21, who shot a 280. The remaining contributing members were Kaleb Rutgers ’19, Daniel Staelgraeve ’21, and John Copeland ’19. The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich, US Army (ret.).

Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the National Air Rifle League is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The league has two parts: an 8-week round-robin regular season, where teams compete for their division's title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all divisions advance to the post-season to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic rifle competitions but adapted to high school athletes. Each athlete shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete's total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team. For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit http://www.orionscoringsystem.com/AirRifleLeague

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Nov. 8, 2018 – The redesigned Saint Thomas Academy website at Cadets.com has earned a silver award in the W3 Awards, which celebrate worldwide digital excellence in websites, web marketing, video, mobile sites/apps and social content. The W³ is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of professionals from media, interactive, advertising and marketing firms.

“When we embarked on the redesign of Cadets.com, we envisioned a site that visually engaged prospective students and their families and helped them more fully understand the Cadet experience and the benefits of an Academy education,” said Deborah Edwards, director of admissions and marketing. “This award is validation that we succeeded in the eyes of the creative community and it’s an honor to be recognized among the best new websites.”

Edwards led an internal team that worked with education marketing specialists at Finalsite to create the site, which launched in the summer of 2018.

The W³ Awards competition is open to all organizations and individuals involved in creating, designing, maintaining or promoting websites, mobile sites and apps, online marketing, social content and original video content created for the web.

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Oct. 30, 2018 – The Saint Thomas Academy rifle team defeated the Selma MCJROTC 1,089 to 1,064 (box score) in the Junior Rifle Club Champions Division, the most challenging division in the Orion National Air Rifle League. With a 4-1 record, Saint Thomas Academy (team page) is currently in seventh place overall in the national league and first place within the 'Junior Rifle Club' conference.

In its match against Selma MCJROTC, Saint Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll ’21 of Chaska who shot a 277. The remaining contributing members were Daniel Staelgraeve ’21 of Saint Paul (Merriam Park East), John Copeland ’19 of Edina, and Kaleb Rutgers ’19 of Mendota Heights. The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich U.S. Army (ret.).

Selma MCJROTC currently has a 2-3 record. After the loss, the team is in ninth place overall and second place within the 'Marine Corps JROTC' conference. Selma MCJROTC is from Lemoore, Calif., and is coached by Mike Romero.

Next up, Saint Thomas Academy will compete against Zion Benton NJROTC from Zion, Ill. Zion Benton NJROTC currently has a 4-0 record.

Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the National Air Rifle League is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The league has two parts: an 8-week round-robin regular season, where teams compete for their division's title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all divisions advance to the post-season to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic rifle competitions but adapted to high school athletes. Each athlete shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete's total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team. For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit http://www.orionscoringsystem.com/AirRifleLeague

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Oct. 29, 2018 – Saint Thomas Academy has promoted assistant baseball coach Matthew Kelly to the position of head baseball coach and baseball program head, effective immediately. Kelly will oversee the Academy’s baseball program for grades 6-12, including leading the varsity baseball team and coaching staff. Kelly has been the assistant varsity coach and JV head coach for the past two years and was the freshmen head coach in 2016.

“I want to bring Cadet baseball to the highest level of success in Minnesota Class 3A baseball,” Kelly said, “as well as to develop our student-athletes into successful young men, both on and off the field.”

In addition to his coaching experience with Saint Thomas Academy, Kelly was the head coach of Take the Field Elite Baseball, Minnesota Blizzard Elite and Roseville Area Traveling Baseball 13U. He has also been an instructor for the Minnesota Baseball Academy and PHD Baseball. He played for the University of St. Thomas for three years, including the year the team placed third in the College World Series. In high school, he played varsity baseball for North St. Paul. In his senior year, he was captain of the team and was named All-Conference. He also played legion ball for North St. Paul in 2012-2013 and was team captain in 2013.

Bob Slater, director of athletics and activities said, “Matt’s ability to relate to, teach, and engage with middle and high school players, combined with his extensive baseball knowledge and familiarity with our program, set him up well for success. He has a track record of hard work, passion for baseball, and an ability to relate to players on an individual level to motivate them to contribute to the overall success of the program.”

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Oct. 23, 2018 – The Saint Thomas Academy rifle team defeated the Warrenton Rifles of Warrenton, Va., 1,073 to 964 (box score) in the Junior Rifle Club Champions Division, the most challenging division in the Orion National Air Rifle League. Saint Thomas Academy (team page) is currently in 7th place overall in the national league and first place within the 'Junior Rifle Club' conference. The Academy currently has a 3-1 record. 

Saint Thomas Academy was led by Daniel Staelgraeve ’21, who shot a 278. The remaining contributing members were Michael Driscoll ’21, Kaleb Rutgers ’19, and John Copeland ’19. Saint Thomas Academy is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich, US Army (ret.)

Saint Thomas Academy will compete next against Selma MCJROTC from Lemoore, Calif. Selma MCJROTC currently has a 2-1 record.

Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the National Air Rifle League is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The league has two parts: an 8-week round-robin regular season, where teams compete for their division's title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all divisions advance to the post-season to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic rifle competitions but adapted to high school athletes. Each athlete shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete's total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team. For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit http://www.orionscoringsystem.com/AirRifleLeague