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Soccer team earns national academic award

The Hastings boys soccer team fielded a very smart team this year, evidenced by a few big awards the team recently picked up.

The 22-man section tournament roster had a team GPA of 3.68 and the team recently learned it had been selected as the Minnesota State High School Soccer Coaches Association academic championship team. Only four teams were honored academically by the coaches, and of those four, Hastings was the top performer.

Three seniors, Lucas Bunting, Kristian Sebion and Ben Carlson, each had 4.0 GPAs to lead the way for the Raiders.

In addition to the big state award, the Raiders won a national academic award through the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Raiders were one of just 126 teams from across the nation to earn the award.

"The guys do academics a lot more than they do soccer," coach Shane Lanning said. "We focus on soccer for 10 weeks out of the school year. They're doing academics year-round. To see them devoting themselves and hitting the books, in addition to showing up every day for practice, it's great to see.

"The academic side of things will follow them a lot longer than the on-field aspect."

Lastly, Carlson was the recipient of the Champions of Character award by the national soccer coaches.