MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s been a crazy time in high school sports, and a lot of what’s happened lately is making all of us reflect on what’s truly important in life.
The Minnesota State High School League announced Sunday it will impose stiffer penalties on players who are called during games for checking from behind or boarding. It’s following the devastating news that Jack Jablonski severed his spinal cord after getting hit in a game, and he’ll most likely never walk again.
I watched the Minnesota/North Dakota hockey game Friday night, and Danny Kristo received a five minute major penalty and was ejected after hitting a Gopher player from behind into the boards.
It’s unfortunate that we wait to make these rule changes until after something bad happens to ignite the fire. Anyone who has ever played hockey knows how dangerous boarding and checking from behind is, so why did it take a player getting paralyzed for penalties to get stiffer? These new rules should’ve been implemented years ago, especially now that we’re learning more and more about concussions every day.
Eastview Boys Basketball Stays Hot
The Eastview boys basketball team retains its No. 1 ranking in Class 4A this week after going on the road to beat Apple Valley 91-84 in South Suburban Conference play. Many fans attending the game were there to see sophomore phenom Tyus Jones, the poing guard for Apple Valley. He finished with 39 points with many college recruits on hand.
Gophers coach Tubby Smith should have one item on the top of his recruiting list for the next two-plus years: Get Jones to come to Minnesota. The fact that Jones still has two more years of high school basketball is both amazing and frightening for where he is at talent-wise. He would look great in maroon and gold.
Perhaps overshadowed in the Jones hoopla was the night senior forward Joey King had for Eastview. The Drake recruit finished with 37 points and was a force inside. The Lightning followed that by beating Madison Memorial of Wisconsin 64-37 on Saturday.
Hopkins/Osseo Showdown Looms
There’s also a big game in the metro coming up on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Hopkins, ranked No. 2 in the latest polls, hosts No. 6-ranked Osseo. If the Orioles want to prove they’re a legit contender to get to the state tournament this year, beating the Royals at the Lindbergh Center is the way to do it.
Boys Hockey: Duluth East Stays On Top
Duluth East (16-0) appears to be the team to beat in high school hockey this year. The top-ranked Greyhounds beat Minnetonka earlier this season in the finals of the Schwan Cup, when the Skippers were ranked No. 2 in Class AA. In the past week, Duluth East beat Grand Rapids and Eden Prairie on the road. Jake Randolph leads the team with 44 points, including 23 goals.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally at 10:20 p.m. Friday as Mike Max, Frank Vascellaro and John Lauritsen will have all the action covered.