A couple of weeks ago, I got invited to witness the signing of Robbinsdale Cooper football player and defensive back MALIK RUCKER. The senior was to sign his letter of intent to play and further his education at the University of Iowa.
The event was scheduled for 2:30 at the school. Though the invitation was flattering to say the least, my job as a social studies teacher at Johnson High School in St. Paul and a mini snow storm kept me from attending.
To my amazement, I missed more than the signing of one of the state’s top defensive backs. Fourteen Hawks football players signed letters of intent to attend college and continue to play the sport they love.
While many high schools (in my experience) have focused on holding signing ceremonies for Division I signings, the Cooper athletic department and administration acknowledged players planning to participate in collegiate athletics regardless of division. Two signed letters with Division I schools, three with Division II, six with NAIA, and three at the junior college level.
Besides Rucker, ASHANTI PAYNE (Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, MN), BRICEON SCOTT-BURCH (Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN), PARRIS FIELDS (Robert Morris University-Illinois, Aurora, IL), FRANCIS KANNEH (Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA), LEROY TAYLOR (Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell, OK), BILLY KELLOGG (University of Minnesota, Crookston, MN), LENZEL KOSKELA (Valley City State University, Valley City, ND), DASHAWN WILLIAMS (Winona State University, Winona, MN), ROBERT MURRY (Oklahoma Panhandle State University), CORNELL WALKER (Oklahoma Panhandle State University), LOGAN OLESEN (Valley City State University), DAWOINE SMOOT (North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, ND), and ANDREW KIMBELL (North Dakota State College of Science) all signed letters of intent.
Cooper Principal MIKE FAVOR was an all-American lineman during the 1980s at then- Division II and now-Division I North Dakota State after an outstanding prep career at Minneapolis North.
I am pretty sure it was a special day at Cooper. I am sorry I missed it.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.