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Warriors fill volleyball, baseball jobs

The Ridgewater sidelines and coaches box are going to look plenty different next school year.

Athletic Director Todd Thorstad announced Courtney Lemke and Kevin Soine as the head volleyball and baseball coaches, respectively.

Lemke graduated from Augsburg in 2017 following a four-year career with the Auggies. She served as an assistant to head coach Jane Becker last season where she assisted with daily practice plans, recruiting and scouting. Lemke also has coaching experience at the Junior Olympic club level in addition to officiating experience.

"She has experience playing and she's local with ties to the area," Thorstad said. "Seems like a really nice and genuine person who will relate well with the players."

While with the Auggies, Lemke played as a setter and racked up 2,660 set assists which goes down as the fourth-most in school history. Her 9.02 career assists per set is third in school history. She was named All-MIAC twice and earned All-region and All-America honorable mention honors.

Soine, a New London-Spicer graduate, worked last season as an assistant coach at Murray State University and was an assistant at the University of Dubuque the year before that. Soine has also spent the past two summers as a coach for the Martinsville Mustangs, a baseball team in the Coastal Plains League, a league akin to the Northwoods League.

"He has a good deal of experience at a number of different levels," Thorstad said. "He played high school ball in the area, played amateur ball in the area and he has coaching experience at the junior college level and Division III level. He's done a pretty good job with the media portion and the statistics and I think he'll connect with the players nicely."

Soine played baseball and received his bachelor's degree from Grand View University and went on to earn his MBA at Dubuque.

Both coaches come to Ridgewater with local ties and Thorstad said that was a big selling point.

"If we want to have people in the stands, it helps having local athletes and people fans know," Thorstad said. "We definitely want a foot in the door in that regard. Getting local kids is one of our primary goals."

Both newcomers will have big shoes to fill. Lemke, a Brownton, Minnesota native and Glencoe-Silver Lake High School graduate, will replace Joe Sussenguth who coached the Warriors for 12 years and won three national championships. Sussenguth stepped away in November and has since taken the head job at University of Minnesota, Morris.

Soine, meanwhile, will step in for Dennis Boe who resigned after a six-year stint with the Warriors.

Jake Schultz

Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29. 

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