John’s Journal: Scheduling And Silly Questions
A Busy Week For Some Lucky Student-Athletes
Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 11:34 AM
Hello from U.S. Bank Stadium and the MSHSL soccer state semifinals. Six boys games are being played here today (Wednesday) and the six girls semifinals will be played tomorrow (Thursday). All six state championship games will be held here on Saturday, with third-place games Thursday (boys) and Friday (girls) at the West St. Paul Regional Athletics Center.
First, a word about the scheduling of these games. One difference this year is holding the state championship games on Saturday, the same day that the state cross-country championship races will take place at St. Olaf College in Northfield. It would be optimal, of course, for each of these sports to have their own day for championships; it’s especially tough for the media to cover dual tournaments at dual sites.
But the calendar is always a factor. The Vikings had a Sunday night home game at the stadium, not leaving enough time to prepare the facility for soccer at 8 a.m. Monday. Tuesday was election day, when no high school sports can be played before 8 p.m. So the semifinals are on Wednesday and Thursday. The soccer coaches want the players to have at least one day of rest between games at state, and that’s why the championship games are on Saturday.
Now, let’s address some folks who do not understand at all how this works.
Here’s a Twitter comment that was posted on Tuesday: “Congratulations on making it to the State Semi-Finals! Your reward? An 8:00am game on a Wednesday morning while your parents are at work!”
Of course 8 a.m. games are not perfect. But the person (or bot) behind that Tweet does not understand (or does not care) that the MSHSL has access to U.S. Bank Stadium for only three days of soccer each autumn. That means playing 18 games in those three days. If the person (or bot) behind that Tweet would like to step forward with better ideas of how to play 18 games in three days, we are all ears.
Here’s another dim-witted Twitter note, after a photo of the field all set for soccer was posted: “Soccer lines over football lines. Would baseball do this? Would volleyball and basketball do this? #DoBetterMSHSL”
Again, there are clueless folks out there and bless ‘em. The football lines are, of course, painted on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium and cannot be removed. And I don’t know for certain how many indoor turf soccer fields there are in Minnesota that have no football lines and can seat several thousand fans (yes, I do … the answer is zero). And if that Twitter expert thinks the kids and fans would rather play these games outdoors instead of inside a world-class stadium, then there is no end to the cluelessness.
Believe it or not, there are reasons why things are the way they are. We are so fortunate in Minnesota to have facilities like U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Center, Target Field, Xcel Energy Center, Williams Arena, etc., for our student-athletes to use for state tournaments. It’s not that way in most other states; in fact it may not be that way in any other state. Many states use high school or small-college facilities for state tournaments. We don’t take it for granted how good we have it here in our great state.
Are there sometimes fair reasons to criticize how these tournaments are set up? Oh for sure, I’ve done exactly that at times. But to complain about morning start times or football lines on a soccer field? There’s no reason for that. Do better.
--Rosemount High School has an MSHSL enrollment of 2,408 students and 1,300 of them came to U.S. Bank Stadium to watch the Irish boys soccer team vs. Duluth East in the Class 3A state semifinals.
Boys Soccer State Semifinals
At U.S. Bank Stadium
Mounds View 2, Rochester Mayo 1
Rosemount 2, Duluth East 1
Orono 3, Willmar 1
Holy Angels 3, Mahtomedi 2
Southwest Christian 1, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 0
St. Paul Humboldt/Open World Learning 1, Rochester Lourdes 0
Girls Soccer State Semifinals
Stillwater 3, Edina 2
Centennial 1, Rosemount 0
12:30 p.m.: Benilde-St. Margaret’s v Cloquet/Carlton
2:30 p.m.: Holy Angels v Mahtomedi
5 p.m.: Holy Family v Breck
7 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy v Cotter
Saturday’s Championship Games
8 a.m.: 3A girls/ Stillwater vs. Centennial
10:30 a.m.: 3A boys/ Mounds View vs. Rosemount
1 p.m.: 2A girls
3:30 p.m.: 2A boys/ Orono vs. Holy Angels
6 p.m.: 1A girls
8:30 p.m.: 1A boys/ Southwest Christian vs. St. Paul Humboldt/Open World Learning
--MSHSL media specialist John Millea has been the leading voice of Minnesota high school activities for decades. Follow him on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts. Contact John at [email protected]