On the way to leading the 2012 girls soccer team to the best season in North Branch history, senior Bayley Ertl has complied a long list of accolades.
Topping the list, Ertl was chosen as a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman award for her academic and sports accomplishments, as well as volunteer activities.
Her soccer awards include All-State Honorable Mention the past two years and All-Conference the past three years. She was named Minneapolis Star Tribune Athlete of the Week and Hardware Hank “Nuts & Bolts” Athlete of the Week in 2011.
Ranked in goals scored among her peers statewide, Ertl was named a Four Star Performer by Minnesota Sports Online in 2011 and 2012. This past season she broke her own record for most goals scored in a season by a Viking girls soccer player.
Active from the start
Ertl began her soccer career around the age of 4, playing micro soccer through community education before continuing on with traveling soccer.
Big influences have included her father, Dave, principal at Chisago Lakes High School and one-time youth soccer coach in North Branch, and brother Tyler who still plays summer soccer. Her sister Keeley, in seventh grade, also plays.
And she has only improved her game thanks to participating in Xplode and playing with teammates under the aid of many coaches, including head girls soccer coach Doug Larson.
“Doug has been a big help,” Ertl said. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am without the team. We’ve gotten really close.”
Ertl’s sports career is not yet over at North Branch. She competes in gymnastics and last year went to the State Championships after placing fourth in the vault at the Section Championship. She has been an All-Conference gymnast for the past three years.
Last year, Ertl was unable to go out for track due to her soccer obligations, but she plans to go out this year in the triple jump and possibly the 100 and 200 meter dash. Track and field head coach Norm Nagel is trying to convince her to try the pole vault because of her gymnastic ability, but she is not sure about that yet.
Life besides soccer
Besides high school sports, Ertl enjoys water and downhill skiing and camping. She maintains nearly a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the student council, National Honor Society and leads the Rachel’s Challenge group.
Ertl volunteers for National Honor Society events and at church where she helps her dad and grandpa at their Knights of Columbus pancake breakfasts.
“I go in at six in the morning and do the cooking,” Ertl said. “That usually takes up a lot of the day, until after lunch even. I do that as much as I can when they have them.”
In addition, Ertl somehow finds time to work at The Villages as a nursing assistant on weekends.
When asked about her most memorable high school soccer experience, Ertl noted, “Every year is different, but just playing with these girls (is memorable), especially this year and realizing that it’s over. There are 13 of us seniors, and we’ve been playing together since micro soccer.”
But Ertl’s soccer career is far from over. She has received a scholarship to play Division II soccer at Bemidji State where she plans to study nursing.