Jeff Wald started as a Web Producer at WCCO-TV in April of 2011. Before that, he was a freelance Web Producer at KARE-TV in Golden Valley.
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.
Sunday, more than 100 St. Thomas football players will be back on the field as the Tommies open their 2014 spring practice session. After missing out on the postseason in 2013, you can bet they’ll be as hungry as ever to get back to work.
The high school boys basketball season came to a close two weeks ago with four teams claiming state championships. Now several players who will be playing in college next year will lace up the sneakers for one more weekend as prep players.
Minnesota’s high school version of March Madness is in its home stretch this week with the final state tournament of the season wrapping up this week. The State Girls Basketball Tournament, already well underway, has taken center stage both Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena.
This week, Target Center and Williams Arena take center stage as 32 teams from four classes try to do whatever it takes to play for a state championship in boys basketball. The state tournament will have one noticeable absence in Apple Valley, ranked No. 1 in the state for most of the season.
There were some anxious basketball players on the St. Thomas campus Monday morning as they waited to find out if they had a postseason coming. After losing 63-53 to St. Olaf in the MIAC Playoff championship game Sunday, The Tommies (22-5) left their fate in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee where anything can happen.
When the puck drops Wednesday morning at Xcel Energy Center, it’ll mark one of the most exciting and entertaining weeks of state tournament action. Between two classes, 16 of the top boys high school hockey teams in Minnesota will converge on St. Paul this week.
A spot in the MIAC title game is on the line Friday night as St. Thomas (21-4) hosts Bethel. The Tommies ended the regular season with a 76-69 loss to St. John’s in their final regular season home game.
The state’s top high school wrestlers will invade St. Paul this week for the State Wrestling Tournament, one of the most chaotic in the winter state tournament season. Xcel Energy Center is the host, and once the team competition commences Thursday morning, it’s non-stop action over eight mats for three days.
The St. Thomas men’s basketball team solidified a MIAC title Wednesday night, but the Tommies kept the postgame celebration in the locker room to a minimum. That’s because St. Thomas still has one regular season game left Saturday, and it’s against one of their biggest conference rivals.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already winter state tournament season in Minnesota high school sports. Just last week, state champions were crowned at the State Dance Competition at Target Center as well as the State Alpine and Nordic Ski Championships at Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, Minn.
February is a great time of year to be a high school sports fan in Minnesota. Every week, there’s a big match-up somewhere putting talented teams against each other with a lot on the line. This weekend, remaining girls hockey teams vie for a trip to state in various section championship games.
Every game is big in conference play, but St. Thomas and St. Olaf meet Wednesday night for the biggest game the two teams have played in a long time. It’s been a while since the Oles have been a relevant program in MIAC men’s basketball. St. Olaf has made the playoffs twice in the last six seasons, losing in the quarterfinals both times. With a playoff spot locked up for both teams, St. Thomas needs a road win Wednesday to essentially clinch the regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
We’re approaching the middle of February, and that means things are heating up all over the high school sports map. It’s playoff time in girls hockey, which means you survive and advance or lose and your season is over. The top girls teams in the state are fighting for the right to play in the state tournament at Xcel Energy Center and Ridder Arena.
A lot of childhood dreams became realities for high school senior football players on Wednesday. What started as throwing the ball around with dad as a youngster, for many, turned into an opportunity to let that talent help a teenager get to college.
It’s a safe bet that the St. Thomas football team will be a motivated bunch when the squad hits the football field in August for the start of the fall season. The Tommies entered the 2013 season a top-five ranked team and a contender to return to not only the NCAA Division III playoffs, but a possible return to the national title game.
He’s less than a full year removed from college, in the real world and now has the chance to do something few small-college athletes get. So when St. Thomas graduate and NCAA champion Tommy Hannon got an offer to pursue a professional career overseas, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
It’s a big time for high school sports all across the state as we close January. Regular seasons are coming to the back stretch in basketball, hockey and wrestling, which means the postseason is just around the corner. Conference races are taking shape, and every game seems to mean more as teams push for their league titles and home playoff games.
The hopes for an undefeated MIAC season came to an end for the St. Thomas men’s basketball team on Monday with a 77-69 loss at rival St. John’s. That loss ended a six-game win streak for the No. 11-ranked Tommies, but it didn’t take long to get back in the winning column.
It’s the coldest time of the year to be outside as we’re often stuck in subzero temperatures and painfully freezing wind chills. As cold as it is outside, things are heating up in high school gyms and hockey rinks all over the state. We are in the grind of the conference season all across Minnesota.
You can never be fully satisfied as a coach, but John Tauer has to be pretty happy with his squad over at St. Thomas. The Tommies beat Gustavus 61-50 Wednesday night, led by a 19-5 edge at the free-throw line, to improve to 8-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The best high school basketball players, boys and girls, will take over Chicago, Ill., in early April for the McDonald’s All-American Game. When the final rosters are announced for both games, there’s likely to be plenty of Minnesota flavor on display.
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.