North close to state title


Prep sceneMinneapolis North is on the verge of their first Class A state football championship. If the Polars, who will play for the Class 1A crown, take care of business against Mineota this weekend, they will bring a football championship trophy to a community that has plenty in boys’ and girls’ basketball.

North, who made the semifinals last year, are led by do-it-all quarterback, defensive back and Mr. Football finalist Tyler Johnson; receivers Ahzerik Rodgers, Isaac Johnson, Malik Matthews and Patrick Dempley; and defensive standouts Kori Randle, Jamire Jackson and Antwan Cobble.


Hooker had fine season

Amani Hooker, a Mr. Football finalist, blossomed into one of the state’s top players as a quarterback, receiver and defensive back while leading Park Center to an unforgettable season.

Three years ago Hooker’s brother Quinton was about to put Park Center on the basketball map in a season in which he led the Pirates to a second-place Class 4A finish to Apple Valley —then led by current Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player Tyus Jones — while earning Mr. Basketball honors and a scholarship to the University of North Dakota.


Like father like son

North St. Paul wide receiver and defensive back Bishop McDonald came from nowhere to lead his team deep in the playoffs and earn a spot on the Mr. Football finalist list. McDonald’s father Nathan was an all-metro running back for St. Paul Como Park during the mid-1990s.


Class 6A title game

Osseo and East Ridge will meet for the Class 6A title football game this weekend. Osseo is led by quarterback Malik Gillard, running back Prince Khrau and receiver Damario Armstrong. Quarterback Otumos Payemanu, running back Dominik London and linebacker Brison White lead East Ridge.

White’s older brother Brian helped Cretin Derham Hall capture a state football crown in 2000. The quarterback of that team was current Minnesota Twins all-star catcher Joe Mauer.


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