It’s that time of year. Playoff season.
Friday and Saturday marks the semifinal round for sections in all seven classes around Minnesota. It means teams are one win away from playing for a trip to the state playoffs. It’s what every player who puts on pads in August dreams about.
A warm (and windy) Friday night was the perfect occasion for high school football. And just in case you missed out on any big plays, we’ve got them for you in the videos below, as well as a profile on Nick Leach, our ASPIRE athlete of the week.
There is no better time for a high school football fan than between late September and early October. It’s when the conference favorites emerge and when all the hard work in offseason starts to show.
We’re now two games in for every team, and for some teams it’s three games. By now, most teams have a sense of what they can do and what their identity is. Now it’s just a matter of implementing that every week against the opponent.
It’s a Minnesota first — two metro high school football teams will play in front of the nation tomorrow night. The local football scene is in the spotlight because of Jashon Cornell, the Cretin-Derham Hall defensive end is ranked as the No. 1 2015 recruit in the country, according to ESPN.
It was another big week in prep football around Minnesota and with it came some big performances on fields across the Twin Cities. Conference races are already starting to take shape as we still have six weeks left in the regular season, making every week bigger for several programs.
The sound of the whistle and team chants will be never more obvious than Monday, Aug. 12, as teams in all fall sports hit their practice fields to signal the start of the season. Everybody is equal right now, and many football teams are hoping the early two-a-day workouts before school starts will eventually get them to the promise land, the Prep Bowl in November.
Minnesota native Michael Floyd was a first round NFL Draft pick back in 2012. The Arizona Cardinal wide receiver was hot in high school at Cretin-Derham Hall, blossomed at Notre Dame and is now hoping to have a break-out sophomore season in the NFL.
Paul Molitor is a baseball legend. Joe Mauer is working on becoming the same. But there’s a local athlete with ties to both of them who is better than both of them – at his sport, at least. Cale Leiviska is Molitor’s nephew. “That’s what I grew up doing was playing baseball,” Leiviska said.
It’s already been 12 years since Joe Mauer walked across the stage as a Cretin-Derham Hall graduate, and into a career in professional baseball. This week, Mauer was back at his high school for a promotional shoot, and to award a prize pack from Gatorade.
There’s something Cretin-Derham Hall sprinter Megan Linder tells herself every time she steps in the blocks. “Just, ‘I believe I can do it.’ It’s kind of hard to say you can do it, because I’m a really humble person. I don’t always say, like, ‘I just gonna win.’ It’s never like that for me. It’s like, ‘Gotta believe it to achieve it,’” Linder said.
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