Proud dad’s encouragement pays off


After a recent 47-25 loss to St. Paul Central in a nonconference football game, Minneapolis Washburn defensive back KIRK BROWN wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone — not even his father.

“What did I tell you?” SEAN BROWN said to his son as the sophomore headed towards the team bus. “You have got to be ready to play against St. Paul Central.”

The elder Brown knew what he was talking about. Sean Brown was a starting lineman for the Minutemen under Coach FLOYD SMALLER during the 1989 season, graduating from the school in ’90.

“He’s a little down because he wanted to contribute more,” Brown said after his son boarded the bus. “I keep telling him that his time will come.”

The younger Brown’s time came when he was inserted into the starting lineup for the Miller’s homecoming game against Minneapolis Roosevelt and returned an interception 22 yards for a score, contributing to a 62-6 victory.

This time around Sean Brown gave nothing but praise in a message via Facebook. “They started him,” the message read. “Proud dad.”

Minneapolis Washburn running back JEFF JONES, the state’s top recruit, was back in form after being limited to 17 yards rushing and one receiving touchdown against Central, scoring seven times against Roosevelt.


Jeff Jones Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald
Jeff Jones
Photo by Mitchell Palmer McDonald

The game

Sophomore quarterback TYLER JOHNSON and junior receiver KEYON THOMAS turned a few heads during North’s 50-19 victory over Minneapolis South.

North took a 12-7 lead in the first quarter, highlighted by Thomas’ one-yard scoring run and a 71-yard touchdown reception from Johnson, capped off by a 77-yard kickoff return by South’s PHILLIP SCOTT .

The Polars continued their dominance in the second period with Johnson connecting with Thomas (who also returned a punt 76 yards for another score), the quarterback adding a three-yard run for paydirt, and PHILLIP SCOTT returning a blocked punt to make it 36-7 at halftime.

After a defensive battle produced only a safety in the third quarter, South quarterback ANTHONY HOCKETT connected with ELERSON SMITH for an 85-yard score for the Tigers.

Johnson, with the help of his Polars teammates, responded with a 58-yard scoring pass to MARTICE CLARK.

Bowdry, one of the metro area’s top basketball players, scored his second touchdown and the third for South on a 58-yard pass from Hockett.

Thomas added an exclamation point for North, scoring the game’s final touchdown on a 50-yard run.

Of all the players that scored during this Minneapolis City Conference matchup there was not a senior among them.


The players

Running back ANTHONY ANDERSON has helped Eden Prairie maintain its status among the state’s elite football teams. Defensive back JORDAN HOLLIE of Osseo is among the state’s best at his position. Cretin-Derham Hall quarterback RICARDO JOHNSON led his team to an upset win over second-ranked East Ridge. Running back JAKOBI JACKSON is having a breakout year at St. Paul Central. Running back MALIK JONES is playing well for St. Agnes.


The alumni

When Minnesota played Iowa in their Big Ten football opener last week, I noticed former Robbinsdale Cooper defensive back MALIK RUCKER on the roster as defensive back. Rucker was somewhat overlooked last year by some recruiters, but looking back at his career it’s hard to figure out how he was missed.

As a senior, he earned all-conference and all-metro honors and was the defensive player conference MVP. He earned first team all-conference and all-metro honors during his junior season and accomplished both feats the following year as well as being named conference defensive MVP.

His father, CHARLES RUCKER, starred at the same position for Minneapolis Central before going on to a stellar career at Golden Valley Lutheran Community College and the University of Nebraska.


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