Cody Eich (FHS Class of 2007)
Former Tiger Cody Eich played on a couple of Missota Conference championship teams during his high school playing days and when he moved on to the University of Minnesota-Duluth the winning ways went with him.
After a redshirt season, Eich played on special teams for the Bulldogs who finished a perfect 15-0 and won the NCAA Division national championship. Last season as a sophomore the ex-Tiger moved into the starting line-up, made the all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC) second team as a strong safety while helping UMD to the NSIC title and another playoff berth.
Eich's junior season has been even better. He made the all-NSIC first team and in the NCAA Division II playoffs has been a major contributor for a Bulldog team that stands 14-0 and will play Delate State in the national title game this Saturday, Dec. 18, in Florence, Alabama.
In UMD's first post-season game, Eich blocked a punt that set up the go-ahead touchdown in a 20-17 overtime win over St. Cloud State and in last week's semifinals he picked off a pair of passes in a 17-13 victory over defending champion Northwest Missouri State.
Look for Eich (No.7) to be in the middle of the action in Saturday's championship game that will air on ESPN2 at 10:00 am.
Eich isn't the only former Tiger on the UMD roster, either. Otimio Masso, who ran on the Class AA state track meet qualifying 800-meter relay team, is a freshman defensive back.
2009 FHS male Athlete of the Year Derek Waldbillig saw his sophomore dream season with Bethel University come to an end last week when the Royals lost to Mount Union (Ohio) 34-14 in the NCAA Division III semifinals. Waldbillig had a busy day against the small college power, returning six kickoffs for 113 yards, including a season best 37-yarder...Former Tiger Bubba Friedlund of the class of 2010 is a freshman offensive lineman for Bethel.
Through eight games, former Tiger Abby Kenealy leads Southwest State University's women's basketball team in scoring with an 11.9 points per game average and ranks second in rebounding with 4.3 per game.
Kelli Johnson of the FHS class of 2007 picked up her fourth assist of the season for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team in its 3-3 overtime tie with the University of Wisconsin-Superior last weekend...After her first two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference hockey games, former Tiger goaltender Erin McNamara, a senior at St. Olaf College, owns a 1.44 goals against average and a save percentage of .925.
Luke Jones of the Tiger class of 2001 who went on to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a civil engineer with MSA-Professional Services in Oakdale...Sister Erin Jones, who later played volleyball at Carleton College, recently returned to Minnesota after working three years on the east coast for a health economic consulting firm. She and another former Tiger, Jessica Tate, teamed up to coach the seventh grade volleyball team at Dodge Middle School this past fall...
Al Erickson, son of former FHS boys basketball coach Randy Erickson and ex-Tiger athlete Jill Horstman, is a senior guard on the Lakeville North boys basketball team...Former Tiger athlete Randy Schmitz is back as coach of the Lakeville North boys hockey team this winter ... Chelsea Laden, Lakeville South's standout girls hockey goalie, is the daughter of FHS softball coach Rob Laden.