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Incoming Gophers honored with senior awards

Two members from Gopher baseball’s incoming freshman class recently received notable honors from St. Michael-Albertville High School, as Cody Kelly was named the school’s Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year while Boston Merila received the prestigious Triple “A” Award.

Kelly, the younger brother of rising senior Gopher Jack Kelly, adds the Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year nod to an already lengthy list of career accolades. Just this past spring, Kelly was named a Preseason Honorable Mention All-American by Rawlings and Perfect Game.

During his five years as a starter for the Knights, Kelly was a Mississippi 8 All-Conference selection on three occasions and was even a Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year finalist in 2018. Over the past four seasons, Kelly amassed a .466 batting average (130-for-279) to go along with five homers, 33 doubles, 111 RBI, 77 runs scored and 194 total bases in 96 games. Kelly comes to Gold Country as the No. 133 nationally ranked catcher according to Perfect Game and the No. 2 player at the position out of Minnesota.

In addition to his contributions on the diamond, Kelly was also a four-year starter on the ice for the St. Michael-Albertville hockey team. As a two-time captain, Kelly tallied seven goals and 32 assists across 74 careers games.

  As for Merila, the Triple “A” Award celebrates two members of the senior class – one boy and one girl – who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the fine arts. Not only was Merila a standout three-sport student-athlete in baseball, football and basketball, but he was also a steady member of the STMA Concert Choir — the school’s highest singing group.

Dating back to his sophomore season, Merila has held down third base for the Knights baseball team and been a force to be reckoned with at the plate. Over his previous two seasons, Merila batted a combined .381 with 56 hits, 87 total bases, three home runs, 16 doubles, 48 runs scored and 42 RBI.

Merila earned Mississippi 8 All-Conference honors as a sophomore, then followed that up with one of the best offensive seasons of any player in the state as a junior. Last season, Merila ranked in the top-10 in the state in hits (29), runs scored (18), total bases (52) and batting average (.392) en route to his second straight All-Conference award.

Now bringing both his athletic and academic talents to the U of M, Merila plans to major in Sport Management.

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