One of the storylines for this season: Cretin-Derham Hall moved down to Class 5A prior to the season and kick off their year with a game against Spring Lake Park on Sept. 2. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine
A new season of Minnesota high school football kicks off in a few weeks, with a handful of teams playing their first games on Aug. 27. The remaining teams have their season openers scheduled for the following week (Sept. 2-3).
This season brings plenty of storylines, including new district alignments that raised the ire of some coaches of metro-area programs.
Another change: Cretin-Derham Hall made the move down to Class 5A ahead of the 2021 season after spending the last several seasons in Class 6A. The Raiders first test in the new class comes on Sept. 2, when they face Spring Lake Park. The Panthers closed the 2020 regular season ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press Class 5A poll and was set to play Robbinsdale Cooper for the Section 5 championship before the state's COVID 19 health and safety protocols resulted in the cancelation of the remaining postseason games.
The Raiders and Panthers return in 2021 motivated to secure a statement victory in their season-opening Suburban District showdown.
Lakeville South was one of six Class 6A section champions (Rosemount, Centennial, Blaine, Shakopee and Eden Prairie) crowned when the postseason cancellation prevented any further games. (With no state tournament, Class 6A instituted sections for the 2020 postseason.) The Cougars finished their season undefeated, closing the regular season with Class 6A’s No. 1 ranking. They also recorded a 35-15 victory over intracity rival Lakeville North on Oct. 30, 2020 to maintain their perfect season. Lakeville South rekindles the rivalry Sept. 10 against a Panthers team looking to flip the script in this Gold District South Division dustup.
Class 4A Hermantown and Class 3A Proctor meet for the 71st annual “Battle for the Hammer” on Oct. 8. The Hawks took the Hammer last season with a 28-0 win on Nov. 11. The Rails look to take it back after winning the matchup in 2019.
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