Editor’s Note: “Prep Flashbacks” is the first of a series of seven columns highlighting the boys’ teams and players that Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald has covered as a prep photojournalist since 1987. The column will run once a month.
After graduating from Central State University in 1987, I began my career as a prep sports columnist at Insight News. In 1996, I moved on to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.
This week’s column features one event or accomplishment from 1992-1996. Highlights include a first-year coaches’ state tournament, an upset in a Twin Cities championship victory, two state tournament championship teams in one season, a first state championship for a coach and special player, and a buzzer beater in the state tournament that led to a second championship.
1992: In his first season as head coach at Minneapolis South, Craig LeSuer led the boys basketball team to the Class AA state tournament behind the outstanding play of Jason Daisy, Patrick Williams, Brent Miller, Jamil Graves, and Tyrone Sims.
1993: Sam Willis, Robert Mestas, John Thomas, and Demetrius “Bebop” Walker led Minneapolis Roosevelt, coached by Frank Hentges, over No.1-ranked Cretin Derham Hall coached by Len Horyza and led by players Arvest Kelly Jr., Myron Taylor, Jeff Ellens and Jerry Kline.
1994: St. Agnes, with Marlon McCoy, Lester Jackson, Jahmai “Pancho” Phipps, Craig Vaughn, Juan Taylor, Char Davis, and Head Coach Dick Ghizoni, won the Class A state boys basketball tournament with a victory over Morris Area. Minneapolis Washburn, coached by Louis Boone and led by players Eric Minea, Byron Suttle, Akeem Carpenter, Aaron Boone, Adrian Patterson and Jason Collins, defeated Hopkins for the Class AA state title.
1995: Khalid El-Amin, Jabbar Washington and Kavon Westberry led Minneapolis North, coached by Robin Ingram, to the Class AA state boys basketball championship by defeating Staples-Motley.
1996: El-Amin’s buzzer beater over St. Thomas Academy, coached by Mike Manning, in the quarterfinals of the Class AA state tournament kept Minneapolis North and Coach Ingram on pace to collect their second state tournament championship trophy.