Before football teams hit the field Friday night, there are 16 squads left in seven classes across the state who all have a shot at the state tournament. By the end of the night, that number will get cut in half. This is the week that pretty much every kid who grows up playing football dreams about.
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.
Down at Mankato West, they have a reputation for good football teams and good quarterbacks. Signal caller Ryan Schlichte is filling some big shoes that were left behind. However, he should be a good QB, given his family tree.
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.
Philip Nelson was a gifted quarterback from Mankato West, where he was turning heads in the Big Ten. He committed to Minnesota, and in his sophomore season he’s progressing like he did in high school. “It’s a lot like high school when it comes to each year you play, it slows down noticeably, and that’s where I’m at right now. It’s taken a step slower for me, and I think as an offense we all feel the same way,” Nelson said.
When Jerry Kill was hired as the University of Minnesota football coach, he said one of his early goals was to close the borders on in-state recruits.
Philip Nelson would prefer not to be the featured attraction. When asked about his greatest strength, he simply describes himself as a team player. But he’s going to have to get used to the attention.
There are 48 high school football teams still playing in Minnesota after section champions were decided last Friday and Saturday around the state. But the celebration is over and the preparation is back underway as those teams will do battle Friday and Saturday in the state quarterfinals.
When championships are on the line, that’s when leaders step up and carry their teams forward. That was never more evident than Friday night as some of the state’s top players emerged to lead their teams to victories in section championship games around the state.
It’s section championship Friday. It’s one of the best days in the year for high school football. It comes second probably only to Prep Bowl Friday, which is the day after we stuff ourselves full of turkey on Thanksgiving.
It was a huge Friday night in high school football with several big match-ups, and several players and teams stepped up to the challenge.