By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are many people who make high school sports happen. For the better part of three decades, there has been a constant at the Minnesota State High School League.

Her name is Lisa Lissimore. She was herself quite an athlete and now has a son that is making his own name on the court.

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Long before she was part of the Minnesota State High School League, she was making history, a pioneer girls basketball player on a state championship team at St. Paul Central in 1976.

“It’s an incredible feeling. When we attend our national conference, I am now one of the most senior members there. Going back to 1988 when I first started working for the Minnesota State High School League, I perhaps was one of the youngest,” she said. “It’s a terrific feeling to have a career that has lasted this long. I don’t look for the spotlight, really my joy comes from watching other people shine.”

This year she has been honored nationally, with a prestigious Citation Award.

“I am humbled to receive the National Federation Citation Award. We have a number of people on our staff who have received this award,” she said.

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The here and now finds her helping current Minnesota athletes navigate through a COVID season.

“It shows me the work that our athletic directors do day in, day-night, to provide a safe environment for young people to participate in, and for us as parents to come and to watch those kids,” she said.

She understands that parent thing. Some of her nights are spent with her husband, watching their son — Eagle Ridge junior Kendall Blue.

She gets to hear from the feet on the ground as to how the High School League’s rules are resonating.

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“I am learning first-hand from him how some of the guidelines that have been established for competition … he was just devastated, as many young people were, when the season was paused,” she said.

Mike Max