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2015 MSHSL Hall of Fame Class
Home Page Photo Former U.S. Olympians Neal Broten, Briana Scurry, Carrie Tollefson among Minnesota State High School League's 2015 Hall of Fame Class

Induction ceremony set for Oct. 25 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel

Three former U.S. Olympians headline the Minnesota State High School League's 2015 Hall of Fame class. But before Neal Broten, Briana Scurry and Carrie Tollefson achieved success at the national and international levels, they left their marks in Minnesota State High School League athletic programs.

Broten was a prep hockey standout at Roseau High School before playing with Team USA in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Scurry was a soccer goalkeeper for Anoka High School before leading Team USA to gold medals in the Olympics and the World Cup. Tollefson was a five-time cross country state champion representing Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley. She was on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team as a middle distance runner, and two years later, won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship.

The others slated for induction during the League's 100-year anniversary celebration are: Bird Island-Lake Lillian three-sport standout Barry Wohler, Minnesota soccer icon and St. Paul Academy and Summit School coaching legend Buzz Lagos, Rosemount speech and debate coach Cortney Sylvester, St. Cloud Cathedral baseball coach Bob Karn, Rocori boys basketball coach Bob Brink, longtime St. Paul City Conference activities administrator Gerry Keenan, Willmar tennis coach and League contributor Hal Miller, 50-year officiating veteran Darrel "Bozo" Wincek of Crystal, and former one act play director and speech and debate coach, Mike Tillmann of Owatonna.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony for this outstanding group is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza). The event is open to the public.

For event tickets, contact the League office at 763-560-2262 or visit the League's website --- www.mshsl.org --- and click on the 2015 Hall of Fame Invitation link on the home page.
The League's Hall of Fame, sponsored by Wells Fargo, started in 1991. The 2015 class is the 21st group to be inducted. The inductees were chosen through a multi-level selection process that included League member schools and a panel of prep sports reporters and broadcasters. With this class, there now are 208 individuals in the hall.

Here is a look at the 2015 inductees of the Minnesota State High School League's Hall of Fame:

BOB BRINK, BASKETBALL COACH
A native of Plankinton, SD, Bob Brink spent 51 years as a high school boys basketball coach, 42 of them at Rocori High School in Cold Spring. He retired in 2012 with a 936-327 record. His victories rank No. 2 all-time in Minnesota behind Chisholm's Bob McDonald, who finished his career with 1,012. Brink led the Spartans to 14 state tournament appearances, including a Class AA championship in 1988 and a runners-up finish in Class AAA in 1999. During his tenure, his teams won 22 conference championships, 14 section titles, and he was selected Coach of the Year nine times. Brink's entrance into the League's Hall of Fame is the third hall that bears his name.

NEAL BROTEN, ATHLETE
Neal Broten helped power Roseau to two consecutive berths in the boys' hockey state tournament in 1977 and '78. Those teams were a combined 46-0 prior to the state tournament. In 1977, the Rams lost in the consolation final, and in the next season, took third. Broten still holds the single-game state tournament record of assists in a period with four. At the University of Minnesota, he scored 21 goals, had 50 assists and led the Gophers to the 1979 NCAA hockey championship. He won the gold medal with the 1980 U.S. Olympic team and then was the inaugural Hobey Baker Award winner in 1981. Broten played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League. He is a member of the U.S. Hockey and the Roseau Athletic halls of fame, and he is the only player to have won the Hobey Baker Award, an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup.

BOB KARN, BASEBALL COACH
Bob Karn is an icon at St. Cloud Cathedral High School and in Minnesota high school baseball. His amazing record of 736 wins is more than any high school baseball coach in the state. In the spring of 2015, Karn completed his 45th season as head baseball coach and led the Crusaders to an undefeated season and a ninth state championship. St. Cloud Cathedral is on a 50-game winning streak in winning back-to-back Class A titles. Karn is in two halls of fame, and in July, he was selected the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches' Association. A graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral, Karn has taught English and Literature at his alma mater for the past 46 years.

GERRY KEENAN, ADMINISTRATOR
A lifelong St. Paul resident and employee of the St. Paul City School District, Gerry Keenan is in his sixth decade of service. A 1955 graduate of St. Paul Wilson High School, Keenan still serves as activities director at St. Paul Harding, a post he has held since 1996. He is the chair of the district's athletic administrative council. Under his leadership, he is credited with saving middle school athletics in St. Paul in the midst of a budget crunch. Keenan also serves as a member of the League's Athletic Directors' Advisory and Officials' Advisory committees and he has held leadership roles on Region committees and in other athletic associations. A longtime boys basketball coach at Mechanic Arts, Keenan began his teaching career there in 1960. He has been at Harding since 1975. His many awards and recognitions include the State Award of Merit from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and induction in the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

MANUEL "BUZZ" LAGOS, SOCCER COACH
Regarded as Minnesota's top soccer ambassador, Buzz Lagos has coached and educated thousands in helping to pioneer the game of soccer in Minnesota. A longtime mathematics teacher at St. Paul Academy, Lagos amassed a 256-55-35 record while guiding the Spartans' boys' soccer team to eight state tournaments and four championships in 1986, '87, '91, and ‘94. St. Paul Academy also was runners-up four times and many of the players—Tony Sanneh and Lagos' son Manny, became first-division pro players. In the late eighties, Lagos founded and coached the Minnesota Thunder, a grassroots amateur soccer team that took the nation by storm in defeating top professional teams. With the Thunder, he compiled a 320-145-42 record, including a national title in 1999. With numerous state and national coaching awards, Lagos still teaches math and coaches soccer at Higher Ground Academy in St. Paul.

HAL MILLER, COACH & CONTRIBUTOR
Hal Miller began his education career in 1970, teaching elementary physical education in the Willmar school district. After a sabbatical to teach at Springfield College, he returned to Willmar in 1976 and remained until his retirement in 2004. His first coaching assignment in 1978 was an assistant coach on the varsity baseball team where he spent six seasons. He then became the head coach for the girls' tennis program. He coached the team for 28 seasons and compiled a 377-154 record, which included eight Central Lakes Conference titles and eight state tournament appearances. In 1988 he coached the boys' tennis team to a 174-119 record in 17 seasons, claiming one conference title and trips to the state tournament by several individual players. Miller also was an assistant coach for Willmar's girls and boys basketball teams. He helped lead each team to three state tournaments. For the past 29 years, Miller has served as the tournament manager for the girls' and boys' state tennis tournaments, and in June, the League presented him with the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Service Award. A member of the Cardinal Pride Hall of Pride, Miller also manages the Section 2AA tennis tournaments and has served on the Tennis Advisory Committee and was the President of the Tennis Coaches Association for two terms.

BRIANA SCURRY, ATHLETE
Celebrated as Minnesota's greatest soccer player, the multi-talented Briana Scurry led Anoka High School to the state girls' soccer championship in 1989. In the shootout, she made a save and then scored the clinching goal. Her superb goalkeeping earned her All-American honors and Minnesota's High School Female Athlete of the Year award. In addition to soccer, Scurry ran track and played softball and basketball at Anoka. After a standout college career at the University of Massachusetts where she led her team to the semi-finals of the NCCA women's soccer championship and was named the Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year, Scurry went on to play for the U.S. women's national soccer team in the Olympics and the World Cup. Her prowess helped the women's team win the 1999 World Cup and capture Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004. Scurry is considered by many to be one of the world's best-ever female soccer goalkeepers. She played in 173 international games, the most for any female soccer player in the world.

CORTNEY SYLVESTER, FINE ARTS
A 1985 graduate of Barnesville High School, Cortney Sylvester was the first three-time Class A state champion in speech. He was also one of Minnesota's first four-time state medalists. Sylvester was a two-time participant at the National Forensic League and was a national runner-up. At Concordia (Moorhead), he was a national champion and a five-time national finalist. He then graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. In addition to his success as a litigating attorney, Sylvester has coached speech and debate at Rosemount High School for the past 23 years. His teams have qualified for the state tournament 22 of those 23 years. They won the state title in 2006 and have qualified for the national tournament 16 times. A longtime member of the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association, Sylvester served as president and remains on the board of directors. He holds numerous awards of distinction and is regularly selected by his peers to judge at state tournaments. He currently represents Minnesota on the National Federation of High School Association's Debate Topic Selection Committee.

MICHAEL TILLMANN, FINE ARTS
Any historical review of the League's forensic and theater programs would be intolerably incomplete without the detail of contributions made by Michael Tillmann. An iconic figure in speech, debate and one act play, Tillmann has been coaching and directing these activities since 1966 at three Minnesota high schools and one in Wisconsin. He directed several starred performances at the state one act play festival and had numerous state champions in speech. Throughout his career, Tillmann has served as an adjudicator for speech and one act play. He served on the League's Board of Directors from 1976-78 and represented the fine arts activities on district and region administrative committees. His contributions to the professional organizations that represent fine arts include president of the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota, secretary of the Speech Association of Minnesota, and fine arts consultant for the League. Recognition of his achievements and contributions include the Ashland Teacher Achievement Award, CTAM's Outstanding Individual in the Field of Speech, and Owatonna Teacher of the Year.

CARRIE TOLLEFSON, ATHLETE
Born and raised in Dawson, Minnesota, Carrie Tollefson established a running legacy that may never be matched. In high school, she set a national record with five consecutive individual cross country state championships while running in a league of her own. She also won eight state championships in the 1600 and 3200 meter races during the track season. As a collegian at Villanova University, Tollefson won five NCAA championships and was a part of the 1999 national championship cross country team. In 1998, she was selected the NCAA indoor track athlete of the year. She also made history by becoming the first person in NCAA history to win both the 3K and the 5K titles. In her post collegiate career, Tollefson was a three-time national champion and after winning the 1500 meter trials in 2004, she represented the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens, Greece. Tollefson hosts a weekly online show about running and fitness and is a global running ambassador. She also runs a distance running camp at St. Catherine University.

BARRY WOHLER, ATHLETE
Barry Wohler of Bird Island-Lake Lillian is remembered as one of the most versatile athletes in Minnesota history. He is one of just three Minnesota prep athletes to be invited to all-star games in three different sports. Dave Winfield and Joe Mauer are the others. He quarterbacked state championship football teams in 1979 and ’80. He was also the playmaking guard that led Bird Island-Lake Lillian to back-to-back Class A basketball championships. Wohler had planned to play football for the Gophers, but instead played basketball and baseball at Minnesota. He was a part of the Gophers’ 1982 squad that won the Big Ten title and also helped the Gophers’ baseball team to Big Ten titles in 1982 and ’83. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, playing from 1983-88, and advancing to Triple AAA Albuquerque. Following his professional baseball career, Wohler coached boys’ basketball at several Minnesota colleges and high schools. He now teaches and coaches at Orono High School. He led the Spartans to the Class AAA boys’ basketball championship in 2011.

DARRELL "BOZO" WINCEK, OFFICIAL
A Minneapolis native, Bozo Wincek was a common figure at Minnesota State High School League events wearing pinstripes on the football field and basketball courts, as well as wearing his umpiring gear on the baseball and softball fields. Wincek officiated high school basketball for 50 years before retiring in 2010. A year later, he retired from officiating football after 45 years. He officiated in 25 state football tournaments, including seven championship games. Wincek also umpired baseball for 42 years and still umps fast-pitch softball. He was one of six officials that met in 1963 to help pioneer officiating education and servicing the League with officials. He helped found Gopher State Officials, an association of more than 400 officials. He has been the assignment secretary for Gopher State Officials for four decades. Wincek is a member of the Minnesota coaches association's softball and football halls of fame.

      
Hall of Fame Invitation
Around the MSHSL
Home Page Photo By Tim Leighton

Nearly two years ago, Park High School was denied admittance to the newly formed Metro East Conference.

The conference that would begin for the 2014-15 school year comprised of Hastings, Henry Sibley, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul and Tartan. By a 4-4 vote, Park’s application was denied. Six votes were needed to approve the application. Voting in favor were Hastings, Hill-Murray, North St. Paul and Tartan.

Park, now with an enrollment of 1,608, was told it was too big and not a good fit with the other schools in the Metro East Conference. Park has been a member of the Suburban East Conference since 2001, a grouping of some of Minnesota’s larger-enrollment schools.

But prior to Park’s move to the
Suburban East, they were a longtime member of the St. Paul Suburban Conference, which was made up of virtually the same schools that are now in the Metro East.

Interestingly, Park has come full circle and is now playing football against those Metro East schools by virtue of district scheduling.

“It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it?” Park AD Phil Kuemmel said.

Park’s football team, which hasn’t had a winning season in this century, is 2-0 to open the 2015 season. The Wolfpack, placed in the East Metro Red district, opened with a 28-20 victory over Simley in Week 1. Simley played in the Class AAAAA Prep Bowl championship game last season.

Park then had a 28-27 victory over perennial power South St. Paul in Week 2.

The Wolfpack are savoring the victories on the heels of a 23-80 football record since the 2004 season. Park’s best finish in that stretch was a 5-5 record in 2007.

“Even if we had lost these first two games, I would have said I think we are in the right place,’’ Kuemmel said. “We looked across the line and we competed against these other schools. We think we have turned a corner. It is really nice to see these teams again. We look at these schools and they have similar enrollment sizes. Mentally, that sends a message to our kids that we can compete.”

In other prep news:
• Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson won gold medal in the Cadet World Championships wrestling title at 100 kg (220 pounds) at Sarajevo. He defeated Khasanboy Rakhimov of Uzbekistan 9-0 in the gold-medal match. The sophomore was 43-0 last season en route to winning the Class AAA 220-pound individual title.
• Quickie quiz: Name the last school to win a Class AA girls tennis championship before Edina’s 18-year run that is ongoing? Answer is below.
• There was a joyous celebration following Staples-Motley’s 24-14 football victory over Frazee on Friday night. The victory snapped the Cardinals’ 39-game losing streak. Staples-Motley’s last victory was at the end of the 2010 season.
“That felt pretty good to be a little energetic rather than having a somber moment,’’ Staples-Motley coach Travis VanOverbeke told the Brainerd Dispatch about his postgame message.
• St. Agnes girls soccer player Maria Turch became the St. Paul school’s all-time leading soccer scorer with a hat trick in a 4-1 season-opening victory over Minneapolis South.
• St. Cloud Cathedral girls soccer coach Nick Thibault recorded his first career victory when the Crusaders defeated Willmar 4-0.
• The Eden Prairie Invitational volleyball tournament on Saturday features Alexandria, Blaine, Bloomington Jefferson, Cambridge-Isanti, Chanhassen, Hill-Murray, Holy Family, Minnetonka, and Woodbury, along with the host Eagles.
• Longtime New Life Academy softball coach Mick Ramey retired from his position last week. He built the Eagles into a Class A power with five state championships, 10 section crowns and 10 conference titles.
• East Ridge defeated Mounds View in a football game for the first time in school history after a 28-21 victory in Week 2.
• The White Bear Lake football team christened its new turf field with a 43-23 victory over Forest Lake in Week 2.
• Congratulations to MSHSL Associate Director Kevin Merkle for his selection into the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association hall of fame. He will be inducted during a banquet on Oct. 24 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Minneapolis.
• Quickie quiz answer: Bloomington Jefferson in 1996.
      


The Minnesota State High School League is celebrating its 100th year of providing extra-curricular opportunities in athletics and fine arts.

The League is proud of its 100-year legacy, and in honor of the milestone in 2016, we share yearly snapshots taken along the way.

Please join us in a celebratory look at our heritage.

1938 --- Bruce Smith excelled in basketball, too
Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 8/26/2015 10:37:07 AM

Faribault’s Bruce Smith wasn’t just a great football player.

While known mostly for winning the Heisman Trophy, college football’s biggest individual prize, in 1941 while playing for the University of Minnesota, Smith also was a dominant force on the basketball court.

He led Faribault High School to the Region 1 championship in 1938 and the school’s sixth appearance in the boys basketball state tournament.
Faribault lost to eventual state champion, Thief River Falls, 37-29 in the quarterfinals. Smith led all scorers with 11 points. Faribault then lost, 33-24, to Virginia in the consolation semifinals.

Smith went on to lead the Gophers to back-to-back national football championships in 1940 and ’41. While he was primarily a halfback, he also played on the defensive side of the ball. No other University of Minnesota player has won the Heisman Trophy since. His jersey No. 54 is the first number to be retired by the Gophers.

He served in the United States Navy as a fighter pilot before playing in the National Football League from 1945-48 with the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams.

He died in 1967 at the age of 47 after a bout with cancer.

In other news that year:
• The MSHSL official handbook, for the first time, is published with a hard cover.
• The boys basketball state tournament was broadcast statewide via radio for the first time. Television broadcasts would start until 1955.
• Member school St. Paul Washington was in the middle of a three-year undefeated stretch in football. From 1937-39, Washington posted a 14-0-1 St. Paul City Conference record. The only blemish was a 6-6 tie with St. Paul Central. Washington went on to defeat Minneapolis North 25-0 in the annual Twin Cities Game.
• For the first time, the all-state boys basketball team had more than five players. Those honored were: Dick Burk, Minneapolis North; Dick Hallman, Minneapolis North; Nick Pepelnjak, Virginia; Loren Stadum, Thief River Falls; Ed Trumper, St. Paul Central; Jerome Goodman, Minneapolis North; Ray Lee, Thief River Falls; Clarence Martin, Crosby-Ironton.
• The boys basketball state tournament ended a six-year run at the Municipal Auditorium in Minneapolis. In 1939, the tournament shifted to the east side of the Mississippi River, to the St. Paul Auditorium.
• An insurance benefit claim for a chipped tooth was $2 and a broken nose was $5. The most expensive insurance benefit claim was for a broken leg. That was $75.
• The debate question for the school year: “The United States should establish an alliance with Great Britain.”
• Twenty-four schools played boys hockey and did so under the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
• Roy Spilman of Fergus Falls was the boys golf state champion. The 36-hole tournament was played at the University of Minnesota.





Check back for more weekly looks at the MSHSL's "100 years of memories."


More of the Countdown to 100
100 Years: Top Coaches & Players
Home Page Photo
To help us celebrate the MSHSL's 100 Year Anniversary we are asking you to vote on the top athletes and coaches and narrow down our list to the best of the best. Each week we'll run two concurrent polls selecting a few matchups from our tournament style brackets ( www.mshsl.org/100Years).
A new voting window for coaches and players begins every Thursday. To get started, click the "Vote Now" button below.





Top seeds on shaky ground in Top 100 tournament

Life hasn't been so pleasant for the high seeds in the Minnesota State High School League's Top 100 tournament.
The tournament, designed to determine the best player and coach in Minnesota history as the League celebrates its 100th anniversary, has created a handful of upsets, including the toppling of two top seeds on the coaches' side.

There were four No. 1 seeds in each of the 25-coach regionals. Only two remain.
In the Tiger Regional, legendary Woodbury girls basketball coach Dave Preller, a No. 16 seed, handily defeated Eden Prairie football coach Mike Grant. Preller awaits the winner between Duluth East's Mike Randolph, a No. 9 seed, and former Winona Cotter boys basketball coach John Nett, a No. 25 seed.
On the other side of that regional, former Staples wrestling coach Don Dravis, a No. 18 seed, defeated Hopkins boys basketball coach Ken Novak, Jr., in the second round earlier this month. Novak, who has led the Royals to six big-school state titles, was the No. 2 seed.
Grant wasn't alone.
In the Panther Regional, former Apple Valley coach Jim Jackson, the most successful and decorated wrestling coach in Minnesota history, was upset by former Park softball coach Charlie Whitbred, a No. 16 seed.
Ironically, Jackson coached at Eden Prairie last school year, assisting Scot Davis with the Eagles' wrestling program. Jackson has taken over at Shakopee, which figures to make a run at Apple Valley's section championship reign of power this coming wrestling season.
Whitbred awaits the winner between New Prague girls basketball coach Ron Gunderson and Rochester Mayo boys hockey Lorne Grosso.
The other top seeds in the coaches tournament could breathe a little easier.
Edina boys hockey coach Willard Ikola defeated Eagan volleyball Kathy Gillen-Melville in a second-round match and Chisholm boys basketball coach Bob McDonald defeated Duluth Central's Jim Hastings.

In other upsets, Edgerton's Richie Olson, a No. 23 seed, defeated Rocori's Bob Brink, a No. 7 seed. Winona Cotter's Pat Bowlin, a No. 11 seed pulled a mild upset with a victory over No. 6 Marcus Onsum, who has built Robbinsdale-Hopkins-Mound Westonka into an adapted athletics dynasty.
In the Cardinal Regional, longtime Edina boys swimming coach Art Downey, a No. 12 seed, defeated No. 5 Franz Boelter of Faribault Bethlehem Academy.

The top seeds in the players' tournament are still alive in the tournament. But there have still been some eye-popping results.
In the Murrae Freng Regional, No. 18 seed Paul Molitor, the Minnesota Twins' manager, defeated his first baseman, Joe Mauer, by a significant margin. Mauer was the No. 2 seed and an early tournament favorite to win the entire thing.
Also in that regional, former St. Paul Harding football standout Ollie Bakken, the No. 21 seed, upended No. 5 Ron Johnson of New Prague.
In an upset in the B.H. Hill Regional, former St. Paul Central girls basketball standout Angel Robinson, the No. 20 seed, defeated No. 4 Chris Weinke, a Cretin-Derham Hall graduate that went on to win the Heisman Trophy.
University of Minnesota women's basketball player Carlie Wagner, a No. 21 seed, upset legendary Gopher football player, Clayton Tonnemaker in a second-round match.
In one of the most fun matchups of the tournament, it became a Battle of Apple Valley for Carol Ann Shudlick and Trevor Laws. Shudlick, a former basketball standout and a No. 11 seed, defeated the No. 6-seeded Laws, a former defensive linemen with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coaches' Brackets
Eagle Regional Tiger RegionalPanther RegionalCardinal Regional


Players' Brackets
Dave Stead Regional Orv Bies RegionalMurrae Freng RegionalB.H. Hill Regional

      
      


Old Dutch Awards Return For the Fourth Year
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 9/1/2015 10:24:06 AM

In partnership with Old Dutch and WCCO-AM 830, the MSHSL is proud to sponsor the Old Dutch Quality Athlete of the Week award for the fourth consecutive year. The Old Dutch Quality Athlete of the Week award honors high school athletes for their contributions as athletes, students and community members.

We also honor an Old Dutch Quality Team of the Week. The Team of the Week will be recognized on WCCO AM 830 every Tuesday morning at approximately 8:12 a.m. on "The WCCO Morning News With Dave Lee."

Honored individual athletes are recognized on WCCO-AM 830 every Thursday evening at approximately 7:35 p.m. during the "Sports To The Max" show with Mike Max and every Friday morning at approximately 8:12 a.m. during "The WCCO Morning News With Dave Lee." Winners of the Quality Athlete of the Week award will not only be honored live on-air at WCCO-AM 830 and online by the MSHSL and Old Dutch, they will also receive a commemorative plaque for this achievement.

Old Dutch is the proud to recognize the Quality that lives within each of these honored athletes.

Athletes and teams can be nominated by emailing MSHSL media specialist John Millea at jmillea@mshsl.org

Nominations for athletes should include the following ...

--Student's name, school and grade.
--Athletic accomplishments during the past week. Please offer detailed statistics.
--Information about the student's academics and/or community involvement.
--A photo of the student.

Nominations for teams should include a summary of what the team accomplished during the week and a team photo or school logo.



Fist Bumps And Lightning: The Life Of An Officiating Crew
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 8/26/2015 12:56:40 PM

Before the team took the field, everyone exchanged fist bumps. It was going to be a long day on this first weekend of the Minnesota high school football season.

This was a five-member team, men between the ages of 34 and 55. They wore striped shirts and black pants, with whistles hanging on lanyards around their necks. These officials, proud residents of the Iron Range, would work a nine-man game at 1 p.m. and an 11-man game at 7 p.m., both in St. Louis County.

By the end of the night, their first two games of the season would be behind them. To be more precise, that was what everyone hoped.



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