The longest high school sports season of the year just wrapped up for this area last weekend with an energizing Bomber girls’ show at the State tourney. Braham came out on the top end of a very stacked field of eight teams, all which were ranked in the top 10 of Class AA in the final poll.
If you just went off the rosters, it would look like the Bombers’ undersized lineup wouldn’t have a chance since there were so many 6-footers- good 6-footers- playing on the other squads. But none of the foes could overcome the effort the Bombers put forth, from rebounding, to executing on offense to pressure defense.
Overall across our area, that effort and competing from the heart showed up in the other winter teams, as well. It’s what you hope for come the playoffs- going out playing the best game possible to display how much was learned over the course of the season. Just like a finals test in the classroom.
And that’s why I’m very appreciative to cover high school athletics because for the most part that’s what is seen from 40-some teams in our three schools across the three competitive seasons. Contrast that with what was witnessed Sunday afternoon at the Xcel.
I finally got son Austin down to his first Wild game- was pretty excited to show him how perfectly laid-out the Xcel is for hockey, along with seeing him appreciate the absolute speed of pro players going end-to-end.
But what we got for our $43 tickets was an absolute dog of an effort from the Wild- and this coming in the playoff chase which was the reason I picked this time of the season in the first place. There was limited hustle, defensemen screening our goalie on goals scored against, fanning on point-blank shots at the other end. It was a historic night since the Wild set a record for goals-allowed in the Xcel, so we had that going for us. Plus the Wild made it a really great trip for the thousands of Montreal fans on hand.
You see the same lack of effort over and over in the NBA during the regular season, especially when the team is sinking from playoff contention (see T.Wolves). I won’t even go into the sham of a season we witnessed from the Vikings last autumn- that’s still a stomach-turner.
So, thank-you, high school athletes, youth league players- heck, even you old dogs still out there on the softball fields and other arenas- for displaying the true spirit of why we love sports. And I get to watch you all for free.