This weekend will feature some great dance team matchups as we get into the heart of our January invitationals. The closest section tournaments are just a short 3 weeks away. A few state and section tournament planning emails have already started coming my way. I don’t know if I’m ready to start planning that just yet, but it’s happening none-the-less.
Some of the best news of the week is the final word from the MSHSL about the number of teams advancing to state and participating at section tournaments. For the first time in at least 5 years (maybe more if my memory fails) we’re sending 3 teams from each section, kick and jazz to state. The dreaded “section shuffle” didn’t need to happen when everyone is showing up and the no-show teams are largely eliminated from sections assignments. Finally. Someone doesn’t have to be disappointed we couldn’t figure out how to divide evenly into fourths by the year 2018. Anyways, it’s about time. Mark that one down as a huge win for dance team.
Bloomington Kennedy Invitational: We get started on a Friday night again this weekend with Kennedy hosting teams who want a chance to get on that floor prior to the mega-section meet held there annually. Woodbury, Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Roseville, East Ridge, and Rosemount all compete there in 4 weeks and will be looking to get tuned up.
Anoka Invitational: The Twisters host a small class A/AA division with Totino Grace matching up with North Branch, PACT, Pine City, and Fridley in the morning session. The AAA division will largely feature section 4AAA clashes between St. Cloud Tech, Sauk Rapids, Brainerd, Forest Lake, STMA, Bemidji, and Elk River all coming from that section. Teams will be looking to set the tone for the next 3 weeks leading into the finals.
Rocori Invitational: The competitive and fun Rocori invite is one of my favorites to watch each year. AA starts the day with Hutchinson, St. Cloud Cathedral, St. Cloud Apollo, and Rocori looking good to take home the cake (literally). The class A division is where things really get interesting as BOLD, Lac Qui Parle, Yellow Medicine East, and Montevideo from section 3 will clash with Aitkin, Frazee, and Duluth Marshall from section 4. If you can get 5th or 6th place here – you’re doing great.
Hawley Invitational: The far north plays host to a great matchup between Bagley and DGF who are both trying to make a name for themselves heading into post season. Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes might play spoiler in this 9 team meet.
Cannon Falls Invitational: The Bombers host a huge class A meet this weekend where section 2 will really be interesting. Brooklyn Center, Cannon Falls, GFW, Concordia Academy, Richfield, Randolph, Litchfield and Goodhue from section 2 rarely get together like this. Houston, Lake City, and Wabasha Kellogg will all try to spoil the top placements from section 2. As a bonus, the classic Northfield vs. Faribault matchup will happen in the AA/AAA division. Seating is tight in this gym. Get there with time to spare.
Eagan Invitational: This invite returns after a few years of on-and-off again meets at Eagan. The Eagan invite used to be huge back 10 years ago, so it’s nice to see a big event again this year. Frankly this one is wide open outside of Spring Lake Park who seems to be on the rise. Apple Valley, Duluth East, Irondale, Roseville, Henry Sibley, New Prague, and Eagan all have a shot. 2pm start.
Lewiston Altura Invitational: This new event will be a casual southeast MN class A event. Triton, St. Charles, Dover Eyota, Lewiston, Chatfield, Hayfield, Rushford, Kingsland, and Fillmore Central round out the teams.
No schedules at time of press: Holy Family Invite, Belle Plaine Invite, Rochester Century Invite, Maccray invite (Monday/MLK day)