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.
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.
The Tommies lost at Bethel 28-21 Saturday to drop to 4-2 on the season, but more importantly 2-2 in the MIAC. The win for the Royals also gives them the inside track at a league title and the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs.
The regular season in high school football is over, which means there are no more guarantees for anything anymore. We’re in the playoffs, where the ultimate goal is to survive, advance and hopefully win a championship.
If the St. Thomas football team has any hopes of playing in the NCAA Division III Playoffs, it knows winning out is pretty much the only option. That got a lot more difficult this week despite a 20-12 win at Gustavus last Saturday.
It’s hard to believe the final week of the regular season is here, but that means it won’t be long before some players are handing over their pads after season-ending losses. This is the last chance for many teams to gain some momentum before the start of the postseason. It’s also a week where some teams can clinch a conference championship.
It’s probably been a very, very long time since St. Thomas had to look up at Gustavus in the MIAC football standings, but that’s exactly the case as the two teams square off Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. The Gusties have made quite a turnaround in the last year and are 3-1 entering Saturday’s contest.
It’s a huge week for many teams around the state in high school football. It still feels like things just got started, but the reality is there are just two weeks left in the regular season. Conference championships and seeds for the section playoffs are at stake for a lot of teams.
There were several smiling faces on the field after the St. Thomas football team got done with a dominating Homecoming performance on Saturday at O’Shaughnessy Stadium. The Tommies, ranked No. 6 in Division III, piled up nearly 700 yards of total offense and had seven different players score touchdowns in a 65-6 win over the Knights to claim their first MIAC win of the season.
After falling to St. John’s 20-18 in the conference opener, every week the rest of the season will essentially be a playoff game for the Tommies. St. Thomas (2-1, 0-1) can’t afford to have another MIAC loss if it has any hopes of another league title and a trip to the NCAA Playoffs.
There is yet another huge Friday night on our hands in high school football across Minnesota as we’re turning the corner on the regular season. It’s hard to believe that just three weeks remain for teams to get big victories and to position themselves for the playoffs.
The St. Thomas campus, at least from a football standpoint, was quiet last weekend with the Tommies on a bye following a frustrating loss to St. John’s. With that bye after three games, it gave St. Thomas an early chance to correct several mistakes and get back to the fundamentals of football.
There is no better time for a high school football fan than between late September and early October. It’s when the conference favorites emerge and when all the hard work in offseason starts to show.
There’s rarely been a time in the St. Thomas/St. John’s football rivalry where it’s considered an upset if the Johnnies come out with the victory. That was exactly the scenario Saturday as the two teams entered their MIAC opener 2-0, with the Tommies ranked No. 2 in the nation after making a run to last year’s national title game.
As hard as it is to believe, we are now at the midway point of the season. It’s that time of the year where a team’s identity is established, it’s a matter of executing the game plan and knowing what the team across from you will do.
There’s always that one week in the football season that means a little more than all the rest. You’ve put in the practice time, you’ve been in the weight room and you’ve watched the film. It’s time to go out under the lights and get that big victory.