One of my favorite gifts to give (and, well, to receive) is the gift of books. Especially with the weather we’ve been having — what’s better when the subzero temps hit but to curl up under a warm afghan with a good book? Fortunately, here in Minnesota we have lots of great options, both for buying and for reading.
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.
The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul announced a list of 34 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse earlier this week. Critics said more names should have been on that list, that the Archdiocese was forced to release the names and that without a court order they would not have done so.
Minnesota and much of the Upper Midwest is being chilled by the coldest air of the season to date. Temperatures fell to 11 degrees below zero at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Saturday morning with a wind chill of -25.
With a day off on Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild spent most of its practice time working on the power play. Judging by the results on Thursday, it seems like practice paid off as power play goals by Zach Parise and Jonas Brodin help lead Minnesota to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
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.
Driving south on Highway 100 at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, I heard WCCO-AM’s Steve Murphy reporting on a horrific accident. A car was submerged, people trapped inside. I didn’t hear the location. I remember thinking it was likely somewhere by Lake Minnetonka. Suddenly at St. Louis Park traffic slowed, and I saw an ambulance racing with lights and sirens on in the northbound lane.
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.