It seems like a long wait since we’ve had a solid block of invitationals to talk about. Many teams haven’t competed since December 10th at this point. A full 4 weeks ago! Fortunately, now that the wait is over it’s almost like another debut weekend since so much time has passed. Could be some exciting shakeups and changes to our season score tracker.
I also wanted to be sure to point out for our coaches out there that the recommendations for officials at the state tournament is now due on Monday 1/9. (On the coaches’ clipboard section of MSHSL.org) This gives us a chance to see a few more scores come back and get a sense of who you’d like to see judge your team/class/style at state. I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your homework here and make a recommendation. With very low response rates in the past – it really makes it look like “we don’t care” huh? I hear from readers all the time how important quality officiating is to you — so make sure your school makes a recommendation. Your team does not have to participate at the state level to still have a stake in who is judging there. This poll is the ONLY way coaches give feedback on officials anymore. So don’t let it slip by! Ok, PSA over.
Friday Night Invitationals: Things start ramping up with a series of evening meets. Dawson-Boyd will be hosting several names from section 3A including a rematch from earlier in the week with Montevideo, YME, and Lac Qui Parle going head to head. Just where YME fits in this one remains to be seen – they’re just getting into their stride against teams with more performances under them this year. Southland high school will be hosting their inaugural mini-meet with a few names from the far southeast. In the far northland, the Mid-State West/Heart O’Lakes conference folks will be having their next regional meet; while in the metro, the feature event will be the Best of the Best show at the UofM campus. BOB is a fun time if you’ve never gone to watch – an eclectic mix of college and high school teams in a showcase format. Worth heading to Williams Arena if you haven’t yet.
Alexandria Invitational: The traditional high-water-mark for many teams is the huge invite at Alex. Class A and AA will be in full force here with 15+ teams in each division. AA kicks off the AM session with the Rocori and Sauk Rapids rivalry being a highlight. Class A brings Crosby, Aitkin, BOLD, Frazee, and Duluth Marshall together from last year’s state field. It’s the first time Aitkin will be seeing Frazee for the year so be sure to catch both of those performances. Again, with 4 weeks or more since many A teams have competed, this could get interesting.
Henry Sibley Invitational: The Warriors host Mounds View, Lakeville North, Hopkins, and 11 other AAA teams in their annual first weekend in January match. This always eclectic matchup will be likely have some implications for section 3AAA in the month to come.
Lakeville South Invitational: (no performance order available) South hosts a AAA division at 9:30am and AA at 3:30pm.
Winona Invitational: The Winhawks dance team will host Park in the AA/AAA division, while St. Charles, Wabasha, Lake City, and Houston will look strong in the A division. After this one, we should see where things really stand for section 1A after the rescheduling of the Lake City meet last month.
Edina Invitational: Edina hosts a fun AA division with Sartell, Mound Westonka, Austin, and Waconia looking strong. On the AAA side of things, Chanhassen, Armstrong, Spring Lake Park, Prior Lake, and Anoka will join the Hornets for what I predict to be some tight comparisons. I love to see how these strong names from all 4 sections really match up – not just in the score averages. If you don’t know where to go watch this weekend I’d check this one out.