The sounds of kids screaming and laughing echoed in the empty Target Field ball park Sunday morning. The Minnesota Twins wrapped up Hope Week with a salute to military families. Manager Ron Gardenhire hosted 25 families, welcoming them to a game of catch in the outfield.
From a weather standpoint, the high school baseball season in Minnesota doesn’t feel like it’s underway until probably the end of May. From a calendar standpoint, the regular season is over by the end of May and teams are battling through section brackets to determine the state tournament teams.
Coming off its first two-loss regular season since Glenn Caruso’s first year as coach, the man in charge announced his 2014 recruiting class last week. Caruso, entering his sixth season with the Tommies in 2014, is looking for his program to bounce back this year after missing the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the first time in four years.
Starting about three months from now, one Twin Cities conference is going to look at lot different when football and the other fall high school sports get started. Officials announced in early April that six schools will be leaving the Tri-Metro Conference and forming their own league, called the Independent Metro Athletic Conference.
Each season baseball produces more than its fair share of unlikely stories. That’s one of the things that makes the game so special. And yet, even though we know to anticipate the unlikely, to count on the improbable and to prepare for the implausible, it still manages to catch us off guard.
The high school basketball season ended late last month, but the top girls high school senior basketball players in Minnesota get one more chance to lace up their shoes this weekend. As many as 40 of the top senior players in the state will be at Carleton College in Northfield Friday and Saturday for the 2014 All-Star Series, put on the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association.
One of my favorite things to make is French onion soup. I enjoy watching the onions slowly caramelize, and fragrant herbs rosemary and thyme fill the house with warm and familiar scents. Luckily at this time of year, we can keep the windows open to avoid having the house smell like onions for days afterward.
On April 8, the Minnesota Wild clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. What was yet to be determined was who their opponent in the first round would be. The thought was the Wild would face either Anaheim or St. Louis, both of whom were leading their respective divisions at the time. When the dust settled on the regular season Sunday, it was the Colorado Avalanche who turned out to be Minnesota’s opponent in the first round.
It’s been about three weeks since the Minnesota winter high school sports season came to an end in a flurry of state tournaments. In the weeks since, you have a mixture of kids who need a break from the grind and others who are itching the get the next season underway. And for seniors, it’s the last athletic season they’ll have in high school.
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.
Earlier this month Peter and I were asked to participate in Fan HQ’s “Rock ‘N’ Jock” expo, a fan-fest of sorts involving local sports, music and art. It was a packed event at the New Hope Cinema Grill. The Twins Blog hosted the Twins Spring Training viewing party.
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.
It was a playoff-like atmosphere for the Minnesota Wild Thursday night with the New York Rangers in town, and the Wild ended a three-game winless skid with a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
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.