Jeff spent six years covering high school and college sports as the Northfield News Sports Editor from 2004-2010. That position also included blogging and writing online content.
Jeff attended the University of St. Thomas from 2000 to 2004, where he earned a degree in Print Journalism along with a minor in Communications. Jeff also covered St. Thomas athletics and interned in sports at both KARE-TV and Fox 9 during that time.
He grew up in Golden Valley and attended Totino-Grace High School. Jeff is an avid golfer who also has a passion for high school football and a wide range of sports. Jeff started the “Prep Blog” in August of 2011 with an emphasis on covering high school football around Minnesota. He also will blog about St. Thomas football as Tommie football can be heard in the fall on WCCO Radio 830 AM.
It’s what every kid who has ever put on a football uniform dreams of: Playing at the Metrodome the weekend after Thanksgiving for a state championship. Between Friday and Saturday, 14 teams will play for titles and seven will finish their seasons as state champions.
The pieces seemingly fell into place last Saturday as the St. Thomas football team put itself into position for an at-large NCAA berth. But instead of deciding its own fate, the Tommies had to leave it in the hands of a third party.
Most teams that lose four starters from a squad that was one game away from playing for a national title would consider the next season rebuilding. But the St. Thomas men’s basketball program isn’t like most squads. For coach John Tauer and the team, it’s a program that’s simply reloading.
The match-ups are set for the Prep Bowl, where high school football teams leave the Metrodome as state champions or get so close and have it go wrong in one game. Now all high school football fans can do is wait a week as state championship games in all seven classes will be played the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The St. Thomas football team is practicing this week as if it’s not the last game it will play this season. If you ask coach Glenn Caruso, he’s confident the Tommies name will be called by the NCAA selection committee for a playoff berth on Sunday.
There are 28 teams left in the state that still have a chance to be hoisting a state championship trophy the weekend after Thanksgiving. But half of those teams will leave the Metrodome heartbroken by the time the weekend is over.
There were 21 seniors on the St. Thomas football team that left Palmer Field at O’Shaughnessy Stadium Saturday with both bittersweet and thrilled emotions. After giving up 13 early points, the Tommies outscored Concordia (Moorhead) 34-7 the rest of the game in a 34-20 victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
It should be a playoff-like atmosphere in St. Paul Saturday when No. 18-ranked St. Thomas hosts No. 21-ranked Concordia (Moorhead) as both teams are fighting for their postseason lives. The Tommies (6-2, 4-2) will have their playoffs ended with a loss, less than a year removed from a run to the Division III national championship game.
There are 56 high school football teams still playing in Minnesota, and all of them will be in action between Thursday and Saturday night as the state playoffs get underway at various sites.
The Tommies, ranked No. 18 in Division III, survived a sluggish offensive day that featured four turnovers and left Minneapolis with a 17-14 victory over the Auggies. They also got some help from Gustavus, who beat St. John’s 23-20 in double overtime.
After handling Hamline 43-7 last week, the St. Thomas football team faces one of its tougher games of the 2013 schedule this Saturday. The Tommies (5-2, 3-2) face a must-win situation when they head to Minneapolis Saturday to face Augsburg (4-3, 3-3). Then again, when you have two MIAC losses and need to win out to have any shot at the NCAA Playoffs, every week is a must-win.
Before football teams hit the field Friday night, there are 16 squads left in seven classes across the state who all have a shot at the state tournament. By the end of the night, that number will get cut in half. This is the week that pretty much every kid who grows up playing football dreams about.
For the second time this season, the St. Thomas football team got a lopsided win on its home field the week after a tough loss in the MIAC. Back in Week 4, the Tommies crushed Carleton 65-6 one week after a devastating 20-18 loss to St. John’s in their MIAC opener. St. Thomas suffered a tough 28-21 loss at Bethel last weekl, and it was followed by a dominating 43-7 win over Hamline on Saturday.
The St. Thomas football team knows it’s probably on the outside looking in when it comes to earning a playoff berth this year. The Tommies, which dropped to No. 15 in the latest Division III poll after losing 28-21 at Bethel last week, need to win their last four games and have Bethel go undefeated and win the MIAC to have any chance at the postseason.
Friday and Saturday marks the semifinal round for sections in all seven classes around Minnesota. It means teams are one win away from playing for a trip to the state playoffs. It’s what every player who puts on pads in August dreams about.