When SCOTT HOWELL took over St. Paul Central’s football program in 2000 after legendary coach FLOYD SMALLER retired, he wanted the Minutemen to be competitive and remain in contention for the City title every year.
After coming so close for several years, it all came together when Central won the championship in 2008 and then repeated in ’09 and ’10.
Howell, who also coaches basketball at Central, graduated from the school in 1984 after earning all-metro honors in football and baseball. He went on to play fullback at St. Cloud State University.
The Minutemen are picked by many to add a fourth consecutive City crown to their trophy case.
Jenkins keeping it going at Washburn
In 1995 GIOVAN JENKINS was named to all-metro football team as a defensive back at Minneapolis Washburn. He went on to a stellar collegiate career at Minnesota State-Mankato and came back to his alma mater as an assistant coach to PETER HAUGEN.
When Haugen, an ’87 Washburn grad, left for Gustavus Aldophus, Jenkins took over and has led the Millers to consecutive City titles in 2009 and ’10.
Washburn has won or shared the past 10 conference crowns.
The Elite Eleven
Osseo quarterback DJ HEBERT is one of the state’s best.
Quarterback DUKE ANYANWU of Blaine is recognized by some as the state’s top athlete.
No receiver in the state catches passes like Hopkins receiver ANDRE McDONALD.
CORTEZ TILLMAN is one of Cretin Derham Hall’s top receiving targets.
MICHAEL SALES of Champlin Park is one of the metro area’s top running backs.
Minneapolis Henry has one of the area’s top two-way players in defensive back/running back MACIO HARRELL.
St. Paul Johnson junior KIERRE RHODES, a defensive back/running back, is one of the city’s top players.
JONATHAN HARDEN of Cretin Derham Hall is one of the state’s top lineman prospects.
ISAAC HAYES, another top lineman prospect, plays for St. Thomas Academy.
Linebacker TAJ RICH is the unquestioned defensive leader at Robbinsdale Cooper.
Big things are expected from Highland Park linebacker/running back TYCEL PAGE.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.