We’re in the final push to the state tournament with our last round of section tournaments this Saturday. Doors open for state 2019 in only one week! 2019 has turned into a banner year for teams, scores coming out of early sections are the highest we’ve seen in a few years. Just goes to show how strong the competition has been. The wild week of cancellations continues into this week’s practices so teams will be looking to stay agile and be ready to go no matter what. Last weekend’s power outage at Forest Lake was one of the craziest things I’ve seen happen in dance team, so you know you have to be ready for anything. I’m ready to relax and watch the great awards ceremony videos and surprise state appearances in this round of action. Never a dull moment!
Section 1A: Lake City hosts the southeast regional teams who will be in a tight race for the 3 kick and 2 jazz spots to state. Zumbrota Mazeppa and St. Charles are looking strong for the jazz side, but kick is going to be fun. Lake City is gaining ground in the state picture and even took a surprise win over Cannon Falls already this year, and St. Charles vs. Wabasha Kellogg will be tight. Zumbrota’s kick dance might also be a player here. Class A sections are always a bit of a wild card, and that will start here with section 1.
Section 2A: The Bloomington Kennedy super-section event starts off with section 2A who have not had a lot of head to head matches this year. Cannon Falls has comfortable kick scores so far, but PACT Charter school is probably sitting the best to at least qualify in both. Randolph and Richfield will be sitting close in jazz scores for that 3rd spot. Kick might bring us a brand-new face with top leaderboard spots being threatened by ACGC and Goodhue, both of which have not made and appearance.
Section 3A: The Montevideo section meet is really a dance team classic with all the tradition and long-standing rivalries of the western A division. With 4 slots to state in jazz, the window is certainly open. Yellow Medicine East and Lac Qui Parle Valley are strong contenders for state medals this year and should be getting high marks here. Montevideo is usually in the hunt for kick, but also in jazz for the first time this year. BOLD is the dark horse here and can make moves in either division.
Section 4A: Wadena will host section 4 with a great rivalry building between Aitkin and Frazee for top honors this weekend. Crosby Ironton has also steadily climbed this season and will face challenges from Bagley, Duluth Marshall, and DGF who all have made it to state every few years.
Section 1AA: Kasson Mantorville will be the site for the larger southeast teams, with Faribault, Austin, Simley, and South St. Paul as usual suspects here. What’s interesting this year is strong returns from Albert Lea, Kasson Mantorville, and Cretin Derham Hall who want to capitalize on great seasons. The depth in this section certainly increased this year so we could easily see some surprises.
Section 1AAA: The evening finale at Bloomington will be the always entertaining section 1AAA. Eastview is on the don’t-miss list, but Prior Lake could very well make some waves in the jazz division with them. Lakeville North has some comfortable statistics heading into both events and should continue their state appearance streak. Kick could get interesting when you have some under the radar teams making moves. Burnsville, Lakeville South, and Farmington want to keep it close and shake things up.
Section 3AAA: Going back to back with 2A will be section 3AAA. Spring Lake Park and Centennial are well seasoned veterans at this point of the year and look to make an impression right away in both divisions. Eagan, Mounds View, and Henry Sibley will be more of a battle. We haven’t seen an Eagan team at state for a while, but the tradition for that program will certainly be there for them. Should be a good 3-way battle for open spots.
Good luck as always to ALL of our teams. You certainly make Minnesota proud. Enjoy your last dances and we’ll see you at STATE!