The interim tag is off Lakeville South head coach Ben Burk this year after taking over the team in midseason last year and leading it to the state tournament. Photo: Matt Blewett, special to the Star Tribune
METRO TOP 10
1. Lakeville South (10-2 in 2019): The Cougars bonded after losing their head coach midseason in 2019. Expect that momentum to carry over this year under no-longer-interim coach Ben Burk.
2. Eden Prairie (7-3): Do not expect the veteran Eagles to lose three games again this year. They may not lose any.
3. Wayzata (13-0): The defending Class 6A champs graduated big chunks of the 2019 team but have talent, much of it untested.
4. Rosemount (7-4): The stout Irish defense will keep them in games and perhaps even win a few. How quickly will QB Jordan Modrynski get comfortable as a starter? (Note: The team’s game Friday at Lakeville North was canceled Thursday afternoon because Irish players are in quarantine.)
5. Lakeville North (10-2): Anchored by a strong offensive line, the Panthers also have plenty of candidates to run behind it. The defense is a bit green and needs seasoning.
6. St. Michael-Albertville (5-4): As has become typical of coach Jared Essler’s teams, the Knights have enviable balance with depth and athleticism to spare.
7. Cretin-Derham Hall (4-5): The key to the Raiders success: Get the ball to Tre Holloman as much as possible. He will even see time at QB.
8. Prior Lake (5-5): The rough-and-ready Lakers have been tough-luck kids. Is this the season for signature victories that have escaped them?
9. Totino-Grace (7-3): Stalwarts including OT Joe Alt, QB Kristoff Kowalkowski and DB/WR Nick Hand should make head coach Jay Anderson’s first season a fun one.
10. Shakopee (5-6): Is there a better program-builder than coach Ray Betton? Two years after a two-victory season, the Sabers might have a Top 10 team.
Others: Woodbury, Edina, Champlin Park, Farmington, Mounds View, East Ridge.
Class 5A and others to watch
1. Chaska (5A, 12-1)
2. St. Thomas Academy (5A, 11-2)
3. Elk River (5A, 11-2)
4. Cooper (5A, 7-3)
5. Minneapolis North (2A, 12-1)
6. Hutchinson (4A, 11-1)
7. SMB (4A, 12-1)
8. Becker (4A, 8-2)
9. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4A, 9-1)
10. Annandale (3A, 11-2)
Tag(s): Home Annandale Cretin-Derham Hall East Ridge Mounds View Woodbury Champlin Park Totino-Grace Farmington Lakeville North Lakeville South Rosemount Eden Prairie Edina Prior Lake Shakopee St. Michael-Albertville Wayzata Elk River Becker Hutchinson St. Thomas Academy Benilde-St. Margaret's Robbinsdale Cooper Chaska Minneapolis North SMB