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MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Feb. 20, 2019 – Shooting its highest score of the season, the Saint Thomas Academy “New Shooter” Rifle Team upset Lebanon AJROTC 1,036 to 1,017 in the National Air Rifle “New Shooter” League (box score). Saint Thomas Academy was able to win despite averaging 32 points less than Lebanon AJROTC coming into the match-up. With the win, Saint Thomas Academy is in fourth place overall with a 2-0 record (team page).

The cadets were led by Joe Brennen ’21, who shot a 268. The remaining contributing members were Joey Farrington ’21, Jack Martin ’21, and Steve Holmquist ’21. Saint Thomas Academy is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich, U.S. Army (ret.).

Next up, Saint Thomas Academy will compete against Selma MCJROTC from Selma, Calif. Selma MCJROTC currently has a 2-0 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. 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.

The “New Shooter” League is one of the largest air rifle leagues in the world with nearly 50 teams competing. The “New Shooter” league is just for athletes in their first year of competition. Teams complete virtually on their home ranges.

Saint Thomas Academy Teacher Wins 2019 NCEA Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award recognizing educational leadership and excellence

Seidel to Be Honored at NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo in Chicago

Mendota Heights, Minn., Feb. 11, 2019 — Joseph William Seidel, a teacher at Saint Thomas Academy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will receive a 2019 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence in Catholic education.

Seidel is one of 27 winners nationally who were chosen from more than 150,000 teachers and administrators, as well as diocesan leaders and organizations dedicated to the nation's Catholic schools. He will be recognized during the annual NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo that will take place April 23-25 in Chicago. The annual award honors those whose ministry is Catholic school education and who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional efforts, dedication and achievements.

“The LLP award is a celebration of all that is good in Catholic schools. Our awardees are those individuals whose dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and care help to build dynamic communities where students are challenged and inspired to explore, to enjoy and to reach their potential as young people of faith and endless possibilities,” said Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, NCEA chief leadership and program officer.

“Joe has been a strong Catholic role model and spiritual mentor for thousands of boys who have graduated from Saint Thomas Academy, and a confidant and trusted friend to the Academy’s faculty, staff and volunteers,” said Headmaster Matthew C. Mohs ’90. “To him, faith isn’t just going to mass and saying the right things – it’s following Jesus’ example and living out the Gospel. He teaches our students the principles of the Catholic faith in theory and practice, influencing them to become upstanding, moral young men.”

About Seidel
Since 1987, Seidel has been a part of the Saint Thomas Academy community. He works in various roles as a theology instructor, crime and justice instructor, CHOOSE coordinator and senior service project coordinator. In the absence of a full-time chaplain during the 2017-18 school year, Seidel led the Academy’s sacristan and liturgy committee, sustaining the community’s faith life through ongoing mass, reconciliation, confession and eucharist adoration. He also leads the Academy’s hallmark senior service program, which requires seniors to volunteer 50 hours in a year and a concentrated 40 hours in the last two weeks of school. This requires him to work with more than 30 nonprofit and social service agencies to evaluate the organizations’ volunteer opportunities and the types of skills and dispositions needed to be able to effectively pair seniors with appropriate volunteer opportunities to ensure a positive experience for both the students and the organizations. He monitors the boys’ work and hours served and evaluates their required reflective writing on their experiences.

Outside of work, Seidel devotes himself to improving others’ lives through extensive volunteer work in his parish, St. Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul, and the community. He has been a part-time water patrol deputy for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for 12 years. For more than 40 years, he has been a volunteer youth baseball commissioner for the Linwood Recreation Center in St. Paul, giving kids who may not be naturally gifted athletes the opportunity to experience the game and learn team-building skills. He also helps coordinate the annual Joe Finnegan Memorial Golf Tournament, which for 15 years has raised money for students attending Saint Thomas Academy, Visitation School and Cretin-Derham Hall who have lost a parent.

In the spirit of St. Joseph, Seidel serves as the guardian and surrogate father to 16-year-old Isabella.

NCEA’s Convention & Expo is the largest private-education association gathering in the world. The annual convention draws thousands of members and participants from Catholic school communities, including elementary and secondary school teachers and principals, religious education programs as well as diocesan offices, church pastors, superintendents and school board members. The convention is a forum to exchange ideas, hear about current research and data related to Catholic education and learn about new technology and resources.  

This year, the NCEA 2019 Convention & Expo will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, April 23-25 at McCormick Place West. 

MINNEAPOLIS/HASTINGS, Minn., FEB 5, 2019 – In March of 2018, the inaugural J Robinson Wrestling Classic, hosted by Saint Thomas Academy, attracted nearly 500 youth wrestlers and more than 1,000 parents, coaches, and fans from across the Midwest. All athlete registrations, gate receipts as well as the STA student and teacher led “out of uniform” day fundraising effort generated more than $12,000 in proceeds, all of which was donated to Hastings, Minnesota-based United Heroes League, a charity that makes it financially possible for children in military families to stay healthy and active in sports through free equipment, camps, grants, and tickets.

United Heroes League recently announced wrestling icon J Robinson will serve as their first Wrestling Ambassador.  Ambassadors of UHL donate their time and talents to support the mission of United Heroes League.  Robinson has pledged a camp scholarship for his legendary wrestling camps to assist wrestlers of active military parents to attend his wrestling camp.

For Robinson, a Vietnam veteran and Army Ranger, the opportunity to be around so many young wrestlers for a good cause was an incredible experience. “One of the best things is to be around young wrestlers because their enthusiasm and emotions are so genuine. To have 500 kids compete the first year of the tournament was outstanding,” said Robinson.  “And anytime you can help raise money that will impact veterans’ lives is a small way of saying thank you for what they sacrifice for us.”

For United Heroes League founder Shane Hudella, a retired Army First Sergeant, the connection is a natural fit. “We are so excited to have J Robinson as our first wrestling ambassador. I grew up wrestling, and followed J’s career closely. We are proud of our mission that supports all military children remaining healthy and active through the sports they love, and now we have a wrestling icon to help motivate them.” Hudella added, “The support of wrestling camp slots and financial support will go a long way to helping military families!”

Click here to view the full photo album from the inaugural J Robinson Wrestling Classic.

About JROB Intensive Wrestling Camps

For over 40 years, JROB Intensive Wrestling Camps has trained more than 45,000 wrestlers with a training philosophy that focuses on developing technical skill, physical preparation, building mental toughness, and life skills. Founded in 1978 by legendary wrestling coach J Robinson, JROB now operates 12 summer wrestling camps in locations across the country. For more information, please call 612.349.6585 or visit jrobinsoncamps.com.

About United Heroes League

United Heroes League is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit based in Hastings, Minn. The charity assists families of all branches of the military by providing free sports equipment, free camps, financial grants to pay for registration fees, and pro sports tickets so the entire family can enjoy a night out at the game. For more information, visit unitedheroesleague.org.

About Saint Thomas Academy

Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. The Academy challenges its students in grades 6-12 to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. It is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). For more information, please visit www.cadets.com

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Feb. 5, 2019 – The Saint Thomas Academy “New Shooter” Rifle Team defeated Lafayette Gun Club of Grafton, Va., 978 to 894 in the National Air Rifle New Shooter League (box score).

Saint Thomas Academy (team page) was led by Joey Farrington ’21, who shot a 262. The remaining contributing members were Jack Martin ’21, Joe Brennen ’21 and Jack Fyten ’22. Saint Thomas Academy is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich.

Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the National Air Rifle League is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. 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