Twin Cities loaded with prep talent

PrepScenesquare1With Twin sisters Jia Lewis and Jada Lewis, Chauntel Fleming and Linda Senaphanh leading Minneapolis Edison to the Class 1A girls’ state track title a week and a half ago, here are three more city teams that represented this past high school season.

Minneapolis North (Football) — Class 1A Runner-up

The Polars made it back to the state playoffs for the second consecutive season and all the way to the championship game, bringing the community along for the ride.

A high-powered offense, led by University of Minnesota signee Tyler Johnson (quarterback), Patrick Dembley (wide receiver), Isaac Johnson (wide receiver), Azerick Rodgers (wide receiver), LeQuient Travis (wide receiver), Kori Randle (running back), Isaiah Matthews (center), Davante Haynes (right guard), Aaron McClarin (left guard), Odell Wilson IV (right tackle), and Jamire Jackson (left tackle) made North one of top-scoring offenses in the state.

The defense, also considered among the state’s best, featured Matthews (nose guard), Randle (nose tackle), Phillip Scott (nose tackle), Phaizon Scott (defensive end), Nate Wheeler (defensive end), Jackson (linebacker), Antwon Cobble (linebacker), Travis (safety), Dembley (cornerback), Rodgers (cornerback) and Tyler Johnson (safety).

They were coached by Charles Adams.

Minneapolis North (Boys’ Basketball) — Class 1A State Champions

The Polars took their success from the football field to the basketball court, capturing its third consecutive City Conference title, the Twin City championship and Section crown before winning it all after reaching the section finals the past two seasons.

North was loaded with talent, and it finally came together with Head Coach Larry McKenzie leading the way.

Guard Tyler Johnson was the unquestioned leader of the group and also displayed his athletic talent when needed. The sharpshooting Isaac Johnson was among the state’s best outside shooters. The inside presence of center Wilson IV was too much for opposing teams to handle.

JaQuan Sanders-Smith provided a steady floor game, adding leadership from the point guard position. There were also times when Dembley, another point guard, was the best player on the floor. Forward Jamil Jackson turned out to be the team’s top clutch performer.

St. Paul Como Park Girls’ Basketball team — Class 3A quarterfinalists

The Cougars ended up having the best season in school history thanks to St. John’s University (N.Y.) signee Andrayah Adams. Adams was simply one of the state’s top players and arguably among the top hoopers the state of Minnesota has ever produced.

In addition to scoring over 3,000 points for her career, Adams — along with sharpshooter Mikayla VanNett, speedster Raiyne Adams, another quick guard in Autumn Tucker, and rebounder Elaina Jones — led Como Park to the City Conference title, Section 4AAA crown, and its first-ever state tournament appearance.

During their fantastic season, the Cougars — led by Coach Alexis Gray-Lawson — also sponsored some community events focusing on breast cancer awareness, domestic abuse, and Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).

Pretty good year for the Twin Cities!


Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to