Here (in chronological order) are some fond memories from my career as a prep sports columnist.
I remember when St. Paul Central (led by Rickey Suggs, Stacy Robinson, John Williams, Brian Dungey, Davey Givens and Farron Henderson) defeated Minneapolis North (led by Ben Coleman, Mike Esaw, Damond Dickson and Patrick Burston) for the 1979 Twin City championship in the first boys’ basketball game I ever saw.
I remember when Minneapolis Central, led by then-head coach Richard Robinson, won the City Conference football championship in 1980.
I remember when Stacia Hines, Daphne Walker, Ebony Kelly, Gloria Holcomb, Margaret Davis, and Queen Wilson led Minneapolis North (coached by Jim DuBose) to their second consecutive City Conference championship in 1988.
I remember when Tyrone Minor (St. Paul Central, coached by Floyd Smaller) defeated Leonard Jones (Minneapolis Henry, coached by Jim Cook) to capture the triple jump and lead the Minutemen to the Class AA state boy’s crown in 1989.
I remember when Tony Queen (North), Louis Boone (Washburn), Steve Lasley (Southwest), Charles McKissack (Henry) and Levain Carter (Minneapolis South), all African Americans, were head boys’ basketball coaches at the same time in the Minneapolis City Conference during the late 1980s.
I remember when Robin Ingram, head boys’ basketball coach at Minneapolis North, brought the Polars, with a number-five seed in Region 5AA, to the Class AA state champion boys’ basketball game, finishing as runner-up to Owatonna in 1990.
I remember when Jones teamed with Martez Williams to score all points in only three events (long jump, high jump, and triple jump), to lead Minneapolis Henry (coached by Cook) to the Class AA state track title in 1990.
I remember when Quina Davis of Minneapolis Henry (coached by Cook) won the 200-meter dash, took second in the 100, and led the 800-meter relay team (with Alesha Simmons, Jidana Cook and Tracy Henderson) in dominant fashion at the girls’ state track meet in 1990.
I remember when Tamara Moore (Miss Basketball 1998) and Mauri Horton (Miss Basketball 1999) led Minneapolis North (coached by Faith Johnson-Patterson) to its first Class 3A boys’ basketball title in 1998.
I remember when Minneapolis North had the most Minnesota Mr. Basketball recipients with forward Redd Overton (1981), Brett McNeal (1985), Derek Reuben (1988) and Khalid El-Amin (1997) each claiming the prize.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.