Bethlehem Academy graduate Jessie Matthews continues to ascend at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

The Faribault native was named the Bulldogs’ new women’s basketball coach.

Matthews played for current UMD head coach Mandy Pearson as a freshman at St. Mary’s University in Winona in 2013-14.

Pearson took over at UMD the next season and the two reunited for the 2016-17 season after Matthews transferred prior to her senior season.

Upon graduating as a biology major, Matthews stuck at UMD as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons. She earned her Masters of Education.

“I’m so excited for our program to announce Jesse as our new assistant coach,” Pearson said in a UMD press release. “Jesse has a tireless work ethic, is a student of the game and is terrific with people. Those are all things that make her a fantastic coach and mentor for our student-athletes. She has been an important part of our success and Bulldog basketball is fortunate she’ll be continuing to help us reach our goals.”

Matthews’ roles as a grad assistant included working with the team’s guards, recruiting, scouting, etc. She replaces Becca Neuger as assistant coach after Neuger moved on to assist at Carleton College.

Matthews played six years at Bethlehem Academy and was the Faribault Daily News Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. She was an Associated Press all-state second team player as a senior and led the Cardinals to third place in state in 2013.

“I would first like to thank UMD Athletic Director Josh Berlo, Coach Pearson and the UMD athletic department for giving me the opportunity to continue being a part of such a great academic and athletic institution,” Matthews said in the press release. “UMD is a special place and I am eager to get to work with a great group of young women who bring so much energy to everything they do.”

Vikings training camp winding down

Have you had a chance to check out the Vikings’ new practice facility in Eagan? If not, time is running out to see the Vikes practice at their second-year Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Minnesota opened up the preseason Friday night at New Orleans but will still have practices open to the public Aug. 11-16. Aug. 11 is sold out but limited tickets remain for the rest of the days at press time.

General admission tickets are free of charge, but must be reserved in advance at Red Zone reserved seats can also be purchased in advanced between $10-$20.

Fans can reserve up to four free GA tickets per day for a max of two days of camp.

Digital parking passes are $10 and can be purchased when reserving tickets. Fans who do not pay for parking in advance can pay $20 upon arrival. Ridesharing and drop-off/pick-up spots are available in the southwest corner of the Northland Ford Dealers Lot.

The remaining practice schedule:

- Sunday, Aug. 11: 2-4:25 p.m.

- Monday, Aug. 12: 2-4:25 p.m.

- Tuesday, Aug. 13: 2-4:25 p.m.

- Wednesday, Aug. 14: Players day off

- Thursday, Aug. 15: 2-4:25 p.m.

- Friday, Aug. 16: 2-4:25 p.m.

Petricka update

Jake Petricka, Faribault’s highest representative in pro baseball, remains with the Texas Rangers’ Nashville Sounds Triple-A team.

The 31-year-old righthander has trimmed his season ERA from 5.17 on July 17 to 4.35 after an appearance on Aug. 7. The season ERA includes a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A San Antonio Missions from April through June.

Petricka pitched for the Brewers in April and was traded to the Rangers’ system in June.

The reliever has allowed just one (earned) run on five hits over eight innings since July 17. The run came on a solo home run.

The Rangers rank 20th in the MLB prior to Friday night’s games in bullpen ERA (4.68).

MLB rosters may expand from 25 up to 40 beginning on Sept. 1.

Beginning in 2020, MLB rosters will begin the season at 26 but may only be increased up to 28 in September per new legislation agreed upon by the MLB and the MLB Players Association.

Reach Sports Editor Mike Randleman at 507-333-3119 or on Twitter @fdnmike.

© Copyright 2019 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All Rights Reserved.

Sports reporter for the Faribault Daily News. Graduated from Iowa State University in 2016. Originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

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