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Saint Thomas Academy finishes the season as conference champions

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Dec. 3, 2018 – In one of the closest matches in the history of the National Air Rifle League, the Saint Thomas Academy Rifle Team narrowly lost to Lebanon AJROTC in the first-round of the championship tournament. Both teams scored 2,183 points (box score). By rule, the tie was settled by highest number of "inner tens." Lebanon AJROTC won the tie 70 to 68. (The closest match in league history was decided by just one inner ten.) Saint Thomas Academy (team page) finished the season as Junior Rifle Club conference champions with a 5-3 record overall record.

In the match, Saint Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll ’21, who shot a 550. The remaining contributing members were Daniel Staelgraeve ’21, Kaleb Rutgers ’19 and John Copeland ’19. Saint Thomas Academy is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich, U.S. 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

Six Additional Seniors Promoted to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Nov. 26, 2018 – As an independent military leadership Academy, Saint Thomas Academy today named Luke Kolar ’19 the 111th Cadet Colonel. Kolar assumed the highest-ranking role in the Corps of Cadets following Wednesday’s annual suspense-filled promotion ceremony, when Headmaster Matthew Mohs ‘90 presented him with the Fleming Saber.

While attending Saint Thomas Academy the past four years, Kolar has risen to a level of leadership and excellence in nearly every capacity. His resume includes:

Co-curriculars:

  • Cross country: 4 years; senior captain. Four-time All-Conference and three-time "Most Valuable Runner."
  • Track and field: 4 years; junior and senior captain. Recipient of the Coaches' Award and the Jack Zahr Leadership Award. Selected All-Conference in his junior year.
  • Experimental Vehicle Team (EVT): 4 years; student driver as a junior.
  • Peer Mentoring: 2 years; senior captain.
  • Citation school newspaper: 4 years; 3 years as Editor, currently Front-Page Editor. Recipient of the Annual Editor Academic Award for his work.
  • Model UN team member for three years; senior captain. EMUNC Best Delegate Honorable Mention.
  • Cadence (literary magazine): 3 years; Editor-in-Chief as a senior.
  • Frequent contributing writer for Saber, the Saint Thomas Academy alumni publication.

Academics:

  • Three-time Eagle Academic Award recipient for annual GPA of 3.90 or better
  • National Merit Scholar semi-finalist
  • Faculty Award recipient
  • Recipient of 3 military awards in 2017-2018
  • Dartmouth Book Award recipient
  • University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Award
  • Elected leader of winning field trip project, 2018

Kolar also volunteers in a Living Well Disability Services’ group home and is co-founder and leader of "Churros for Charity" at Saint Thomas Academy. He hopes to attend college on the East Coast following graduation. Kolar attended Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in Edina through 8th grade. He is the son of Mike ’87 and Amy.

“Luke brings a great deal of maturity and respect of his peers to the role of Cadet Colonel,” said Commandant of Cadets Col. Neil Hetherington (ret.), U.S. Army. “Those are important factors for a Cadet Colonel to be successful. I look forward to working closely with him throughout the year to further develop his leadership abilities as well as those of every Cadet at the Academy.”

Kolar was chosen from among 16 senior class officers by a board including the Headmaster, Commandant of Cadets, Deputy Commandant of Cadets, Upper School Director, the Dean of Students, Director of Academic Life, a faculty representative and a student representative. The board considers academic performance, co-curricular involvement, merits and demerits, military performance and leadership abilities.

“As a senior today, I’m still in awe of the immense impact this school has had on me since my first days as a freshman,” Kolar said. “Saint Thomas Academy teaches skills that can be applied to any career or role in life; ambitious competition, countless hands-on leadership scenarios, and lessons in diligence that characterize a Cadet’s high school years perfectly complement the values of compassion, community, and courage that the Academy instills in young men. Saint Thomas Academy is a place like no other, and I’m forever grateful for the amazing experience of maturing here.”

As Cadet Colonel, Kolar will work closely with the Academy’s administrators and military leaders to implement a wide variety of events at the Academy, including brigade formal inspection and the Archbishop’s Review in the spring. The Cadet Colonel also acts as liaison between the Cadets and the faculty and administration, often influencing or handling disciplinary matters.

Six additional seniors were promoted from Cadet Captain to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel. They are:

  • Callan Happe, named Deputy Brigade Commander. Happe hopes to study business or economics at Boston College, Villanova University or the University of Notre Dame following graduation.
  • Thomas Mayleben, named Chief of Staff. Mayleben, the younger brother of 2015-2016 Cadet Colonel William Mayleben, hopes to attend the University of Notre Dame or Duke University next year.
  • Hayes Reding, Battalion Commander, will attend and play lacrosse at College of the Holy Cross.
  • Brendan McFadden, Battalion Commander, is hoping to attend either Boston College and Santa Clara University.
  • Maxwell McFarland, Battalion Commander, is hoping to attend Gonzaga University or University of Portland following graduation.
  • Joseph Motzel was named Brigade Operations Officer (S3). Motzel hopes to attend the United States Naval Academy or Boston College next year.
     

(L-R): Hayes Reding, Joseph Motzel, Callan Happe, Luke Kolar, Thomas Mayleben, Brendan McFadden, Maxwell McFarland 

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Nov. 19, 2018 – Shooting its highest score of the season, the Saint Thomas Academy rifle team defeated the Selma MCJROTC 1,102 to 1,090 (box score) in its final regular season match in the Junior Rifle Club Champions Division of the Orion National Air Rifle League. Saint Thomas Academy finished the season first place in its division and 6th place in the league with a 5-2 record.

In its second match of the season against Selma MCJROTC, Saint Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll ’21 who shot a 284. The remaining contributing members were Daniel Staelgraeve ’21, John Copeland ’19, and Kaleb Rutgers ’19. The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich US Army (ret.).

Selma MCJROTC is from Lemoore, Calif., and is coached by Mike Romero.

Saint Thomas Academy now advances to the post-season championship tournament as the 6th seed. In the quarterfinals, the team will take on Lebanon AJROTC, which has a 7-0 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., 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.