Prep Blog: Spring Sports Action Heating Up
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The action is heating up all across the state is the Minnesota high school spring sports season is in the meat of its schedule for most sports.
May is always that fun time of year. Conference titles are on the line, games and meets get bunched together and often times athletes are wondering if they’re even going to play that day with the threat of spring rain.
The outdoor state tournament season gets underway in just a few weeks with boys and girls lacrosse in early June. After that, it’s boys tennis, girls softball, state track and field, boys and girls golf and it all wraps up with the baseball championships at Target Field.
Here’s a quick look at some of the tournaments as playoff time is just around the corner.
Baseball: Burnsville looks to repeat
Burnsville beat Maple Grove 6-5 at Target Field for the 2011 Class AAA state baseball title. It appears this year’s title is the Blaze’s to lose. Burnsville won 13 of its first 14 games and is currently No. 1 in AAA at 16-2 with one regular season game left. The Blaze need to beat Rosemount on Wednesday to lock up the South Suburban Conference crown. They hit over .300 as a team and are led by Dan Motl’s .410 average. Matt Stemper is their ace on the mound.
Keep an eye on Class AA as there are two undefeated teams at the top. Little Falls is No. 1 at 15-0, and Minneapolis Washburn is No. 2 at 14-0. In Class A, Sleepy Eye/St. Mary’s is the top ranked team at 16-0.
Softball: North St. Paul emerging as favorite
North St. Paul made it to the AAA girls softball state tournament last year before suffering an early exit. The Polars are emerging as a state title contender this year as they’re currently ranked No. 1 with a 17-1 record. It’s a loaded top 10 that features Forest Lake (19-1) at No. 2 and Mankato West (18-1) ranked third.
In Class AA, keep an eye on Zumbrota-Mazeppa. The Sting are currently ranked No. 4 in the state at 14-2. Kasson-Mantorville is the top team at 16-2 and Pipestone is no. 2 at 17-0. Pipestone made the state semifinals last year before losing to state champion Park Center. Zumbrota-Mazeppa fell in the quarterfinals. In Class A, the top three teams are all undefeated. Mankato Loyola is No. 1 at 16-0, Cherry is No. 2 at 16-0 and Kerkoven-Murdock-Sunburg is third at 14-0.
With all these talented teams, whoever reaches the state tournament should make it fun to watch.
Golf: Wayzata boys are early favorite
We’re just a few weeks away from section golf tournaments around the state, and if the rankings hold it will be one of the better boys tournaments in history. Wayzata is currently ranked No. 1, with Eden Prairie second, perennial power Rogers third and Lakeville North fourth. Rogers senior Corey Muenzhuber, the medalist at the prestigious Tri-State Invitational, is the top ranked player in the state. Other contenders include Freddy Thomas from Lakeville North, Max Rosenthal from Eden Prairie and Dalton Charboneau from Osseo.
On the girls side, Wayzata is also the No. 1-ranked team, while Red Wing is second, Stillwater is third, Detroit Lakes is fourth and Eastview rounds out the top five. Cretin-Derham Hall sophomore Celia Kuenster is the top ranked player in the state. Another favorite to contend for a state title is New Prague’s McKenzie Neisen. The state golf tournament is less than a month away.
Boys Tennis: Few surprises on the court
There aren’t many surprises when it comes to this year’s favorites in boys tennis. Rochester Mayo is the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA, while Elk River, Wayzata, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka round out the top five. Dusty Boyer of Forest Lake is looking to defend his AA state title this year and is the player to beat.
In Class A, Blake is ranked No. 1, followed by Breck and Rochester Lourdes. Myles Tang, the No. 1-ranked individual, is back to defend his state title. He’ll be challenged by Robert Turlington of Rochester Lourdes and Charlie Adams of Blake among several others.
It will be an exciting finish to the spring high school sports season, so check back with the WCCO Prep Blog for all the latest as we close in on state tournament time.