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Prep football season recap: Plenty of moments to remember

11/30/2013, 9:31pm CST
By Star Tribune

Prep staff writers David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen offered up a few of their favorite memories and reflections of the 2013 football season.

Best comeback

Trailing 27-14 in the third quarter to Hopkins, Chaska roared back for a 41-39 home victory. The Hawks rolled from that Zero Week victory all the way to the Class 5A state tournament semifinals.

Best individual performance

Andover senior wide receiver Chris Larson scored four touchdowns covering 305 yards against Champlin Park. He ran back the opening kickoff 97 yards and added three receiving touchdowns.

Head shrinking

Maple Grove junior running back Clark Wieneke ran for 181 yards and four touchdowns against Blaine. An assistant coach greeted him after the the game with: “Your [older] brother [Jake] said he had four touchdowns against Centennial, so you didn’t set a family record.”

Stadium improvement

The new permanent lights at Pershing Field in Minneapolis this season were made possible by 1961 Minneapolis Southwest graduate Harvey Feldman. He provided matching funds for all donations up to $300,000. “So that the games [could be] played when people could actually watch them,” he said.

Best marching band

Rosemount. The group has been invited to perform in the 125th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014.

Postgame treat

A Maple Grove assistant coach handed safety Jake Engelken a small pack of Darkside Skittles after a section final defeat of Minnetonka. Engelken said the defense calls itself “the Darkside.” No one recalls when the nickname started, but it started before the first game of the season.

“Team” moment

A Dawson-Boyd assistant coach gave a limping player a piggyback ride up a considerable stairway inside the Metrodome after the Blackjacks’ state tournament semifinal victory.

Moment to forget

An Elk River reserve who shall remain nameless found out that a painful hit in a private place can, unlike lightning, strike twice. In the same game.

On the sideline, he tried to catch an out-of-bounds punt by Rogers. The ball went through his arms and the groans from the men in the bleachers told everyone exactly where the ball hit him.

Later in the game, another punt sailed out of bounds and the reserve tried to catch it again. Only this time, perhaps remembering the last time, he backed off. The ball hit in front of him, bounced up and hit him in the same place. After collecting himself, he gingerly made his way back to the bench.

The more things change

Sitting in the press box at South St. Paul’s venerable Ettinger Field, the press contingent (both of them) were joined by a group of regulars, local old-timers and their families.

While they discussed how football had changed over the years, the daughter of one of the honored South St. Paul alumni pulled out a Xeroxed copy of a football how-to handbook from 1938. All players got one when they participated in high school football.

Expecting to see antiquated techniques and philosophies, one member of the media was surprised by how much of it still would be solid advice today. No matter how much football changes, learning the fundamentals of play — on and off the field — is timeless.

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Tag(s): Star Tribune  Hub Exclusive  South  South St. Paul  Hopkins  Minnetonka  Dawson-Boyd  Minneapolis Southwest  Rogers  Chaska  Blaine  Centennial  Champlin Park  Maple Grove  Andover  Elk River  Rosemount  Southwest  Park   Small