Celebration Day: Hein brothers pick Riverland, Lembke chooses Gustavus in BP

Published 6:57 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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BLOOMING PRAIRIE – A trio of Awesome Blossoms made their college choices in front of their coaches, family and peers in Blooming Prairie Friday.

All three athletes signed their celebration letters as twin brothers Gabe Hein and Zack Hein made their commitment to play basketball at Riverland Community College and Macy Lembke picked Gustavus Adolphus College for softball.

Lembke has been a standout three sport athlete for the Awesome Blossoms since she was a middle schooler as she surpassed 1,000 career set assists in volleyball and was a key defensive player on the basketball team. She is pitching for BP this spring, but the slap-hitting lead-off hitter was a fixture at shortstop for BP in previous seasons.

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“It’s definitely going to be a lot different playing just one sport,” Lembke said. “We’ll play throughout most of the year and it’ll be tough with the weather, but it’ll be fun. I’m excited. I really like (Gustavus) in general. It’s a small college in a small town and it’s close to home.”

Zack and Gabe helped lead BP all the way to the Section 1A title game this past season and both are tremendous scorers. This spring, Zack is a pitcher for the BP baseball team and Gabe is a high jumper for the track and field team.

“We’re going to have to get in the weight room more to really contribute at a collegiate level,” Gabe said. “We watched as many Riverland games as we could and we’re excited to go to a winning program. We’re hoping to be part of that and win as much as we can next year.”

Zack said that RCC head coach Derek Hahn and the school being located close to BP were big reasons to choose the Blue Devils. Hahn built a strong relationship with the Hein’s throughout the season and they’re excited to be part of his program.

“We like the way they play. They do a lot of the things we did here at BP,” Zack said. “We have Nick Edland from Southland coming too and we’ll be able to mix it up with some guys we know, and some guys we don’t know. We’ve already had a few people from Blooming say that they’re going to make it to as many games as they can. It’ll be nice to have support from our hometown.”

Cam Rutledge has coached the Hein’s and Lembke for three years now as BP’s head softball and boys basketball coach. He said all three athletes have a strong drive and work ethic.

“Proud is an understatement, it’s a good feeling. It seems like a small thing, but it’s big to the kids and the community has been supporting us throughout the season,” Rutledge said. “All three of those kids are good examples of what our young kids should be. They put in extra time in the offseason and it paid off for them.”

BP had a big turnout for the celebration signings, which is nothing new for a community that is alway supportive.

“Our town is really good about supporting our athletics and our athletes. It was fun to come out today and see all of the support,” Lembke said. 

The Blue Devils are coming off a season where they went 31-5 overall as they advanced to the NJCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in a span of three years.

The Gustie softball team is off to a 16-14 overall start to this season.