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Minneapolis Washburn victory fails to dim most positive of lights at Minneapolis South

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 09/20/19, 11:15PM CDT


The Tigers, playing their the first homecoming game at night in their new stadium, brought a new experience to the south side despite a 49-14 defeat.

Minneapolis South celebrated its first homecoming football game under the lights after a major restoration at its stadium. Photo: Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

The crowd was a little late to arrive, but that’s easily understood.

Minneapolis South had never played a homecoming football game under the lights before Friday night. This was a new experience.

South opened its remodeled stadium a month and a half ago. The old, hardscrabble patchy grass field has been replaced with synthetic turf, new bleachers, a new scoreboard, a quality sound system.

And lights. For the first time.

Minneapolis Washburn was the opponent, one of South’s most fierce rivals. The perfect foe for this inaugural event. The South band was present, cheerleaders roamed the sidelines, parents staked out prime bleacher seats and students turned it into a social event.

At most other schools, a typical homecoming. At South, a chance to show off a little community pride.

“This [field] just makes you want to be here,” said Athena Garnett, who heads the South Tigers booster club and has two sons, Cassius and Aurelius, on the team. “When I first moved here, I’d look at the field and think ‘This doesn’t make you want to play football.’ But look at it now.”

Minneapolis Washburn wide receiver Sir'Vell Miller (4) scored a 39-yard touchdown in the first half. Photo: Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

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