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 early January and it’s bitterly cold outside, but that also means high school sports teams are entering the gauntlet that is the conference season. Many teams spent December playing non-conference competition both in tournaments and in some rivalry games to get the competitive juices flowing.
It’s a unique time for boys high school basketball in Minnesota as the in-state talent seems to get more elite every year. I’m not sure it will ever get to the level that’s out on the east coast, but the brand that’s on display right now on courts throughout the state might be the strongest it’s ever been.
Christmas means a variety of different things for different people. For most of us, it means getting together with family, enjoying some egg nog and opening presents around the tree. It’s also one of the busiest times of the year for high school coaches, athletes and bus drivers.
The St. Thomas men’s basketball team is seven games into its season, but John Tauer will have a much better idea of the team he has this year after Saturday night. The Tommies, ranked No. 7 in Division III, head to No. 1-ranked UW-Steven’s Point Saturday for their final game of 2013 before they enter the full grind of the MIAC season.
even state champions were crowned last weekend as the Minnesota State High School League hosted its final Prep Bowl at the Metrodome. For seven teams, getting to hoist a championship trophy last weekend made the extra weightlifting and work over the summer worth it. Over the course of 13 or 14 weeks, teammates became best friends as they all drove toward a common goal: Getting to the Metrodome for the Prep Bowl and winning it.
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.