A person seen at a high school football playoff game a couple of weeks ago inadvertently became connected to a text message and his son’s recent success at the professional level. A football team continues to represent the Minneapolis City Conference in state competition. The only major Division I football program in the state continues its march towards greatness, and a former prep and collegiate volleyball standout, serving as an assistant coach, helps her team earn an NCAA Division III tournament berth. Here’s when and how it all happened.
October 31, 2014
During a during a football playoff game at Minneapolis North, Jeffrey Williams was spotted looking on (along with the rest of the Northside community) as the Polars dominated in a 40-13 victory over Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity.
Williams was a star quarterback for North during the mid-1980s and went on to do the same at St. Cloud State University.
November 6, 2014
I received a text message from former Minneapolis North football standout Troy Russell, now head boys’ basketball coach at Columbia Heights, enlightening me on the progress of a former prep star who made it to the NFL.
A month ago, Marcus Williams was an undrafted rookie cornerback from North Dakota State University and member of the NFL Houston Texans’ practice squad.
Today, the All-American cornerback, who helped NDSU capture back-to-back FSC national championships in 2012 and 2013, is a member of the New York Jets. After he was released by the Texans, the Jets picked him up. He started in a 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and played in a 20-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, compiling 11 tackles.
In 1998, Williams led Hopkins to the Section 6AAAAA. That winter, playing point guard, he helped the boys’ basketball team to 31-0 record and a Class 4A state championship.
November 7, 2014
Last Friday evening, Malik Matthews, Tyler Johnson and Keyon Thomas helped North defeat Blooming Prairie 14-6 in the Class 1A quarterfinals of the state playoffs at Richfield High School.
In the first half of the victory Matthews, a receiver, caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Johnson, who, facing a third-and-eight from the North nine-yard line, also ran for a 91-yard touchdown. Thomas’s interception late in the game sealed the victory for the Polars. He also provided a two-point conversion by catching a pass after Johnson’s TD run.
Johnson finished with 186 yards on 22 carries.
November 8, 2014
The next morning, the University of Minnesota turned in a dominating performance by defeating the University of Iowa 51-14.
Matt Limegrover (three receptions), Mitch Leidner (four passes), David Cobb (one run), and Donovahn Jones (one reception) all hit pay-dirt for the Gophers, who are among the top teams in the Big Ten.
Former All-Metro defensive back Malik Rucker, a redshirt freshman from Robbinsdale Cooper, had two solo tackles for Iowa as a member of the special teams.
November 8, 2014
That evening, former St. Paul Central volleyball and Minnesota State Mankato volleyball standout Jennifer Jacobs, now an assistant coach at Augsburg College along with Coach Jane Becker and fellow assistant Emily Palkert, led the Auggies in an MIAC tournament championship against St. Thomas. The Tommies, who shared the regular season conference crown, defeated Augsburg 3-0.
Both received playoff berths in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.