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.
The Twins made a small amount of history on Monday when the first use of MLB’s “expanded” replay occurred at Hammond Stadium in Fort Meyers, Fla. It was so nice, they used it twice. Cliches aside, the use of instant replay has been a hot topic amongst baseball pundits and fans.
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.
Winter, schwinter. Fie upon thee, polar vortex. Think we can’t take it? We can, we do, and we still celebrate the outdoors. Or at least, that seems to be the prevailing attitude for the upcoming Eelpout Festival in Walker, Feb. 20-23.
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.