MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — His name was trending on Twitter last March on the night he made history.
But his season isn’t defined by one performance. Benilde-St. Margaret’s Grant Besse is back for his senior season.
He didn’t have to. He could have gone to play juniors.
But he’s back for the right reasons, and he’s back with the memories of an incredible junior year.
You may never see what we saw last March. One player — five goals — in the state championship game.
It took a while for it to all sink in.
“It took a week or two,” he said. “You ride that emotional high of scoring five goals, but after everything we went through as a team – to have Jack in the locker room.”
That Jack, of course, is Jack Jablonski, Besse’s teammate and friend who was paralyzed during the 2011-12 season after getting checked into the boards.
“Me and him were friends long before that (injury); we were friends the summer before that season,” he said. “Hung out at football games all the time.”
This season the emotion is not as raw, but the Red Knights have talent — plenty of it.
“I sense a commitment to this program,” he said. “Coach has been there for me the last three years, regarding hockey and becoming a better person. I owe it to him to return my senior year.”
Besse will continue to wear red and white next year, as even before his junior season he had chosen Wisconsin.
“I never felt the same way about any other place than when I first stepped on campus in Wisconsin,” he said.
So there is one mission left on his high school plate — to do what they already have done, again.
“The last time a team got to repeat a double-a state championship was 20 years ago,” Besse said.