Sports schedule for: Jan 24-29

TBD Boys/Girls Alpine Ski vs. St. Croix PrepAfton Alps
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski RelayComo Picnic Pavilions
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. SimleyVeterans Memorial Community Center
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HardingHarding High School
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. HardingHOME
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Washington and OgilvieHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Central/Como/OWLHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MinnehahaMinnehaha Academy
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HardingHOME
TBD Boys/Girls Alpine Ski vs. StillwaterAfton Alps
TBD Boys/Girls JV Nordic SkiHyland Hills Ski Area
3:45pm7:30am / 4:00pmBoys/Girls Varsity Nordic Ski Conference MeetTheodore Wirth Park
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. CentralCentral High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. South St. PaulWSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. CentralHOME
6:00pm4:30pm / 8:00pmBoys Swimming and Diving Conference ChampionshipsHumboldt High School
7:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MinnehahaHighland Ice Arena
10:00am6:00am / 5:00pmWrestling InvitationalRochester Century High School
12:00pm / 1:30pm 3:00pmC/JV: 9:00am/11:45am V: 11:00am / 1:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Saint ThomasSaint Thomas Acadmey
12:30pm JV Girls Hockey vs. HastingsWSP Ice Arena

Kellen Mond’s future with the Vikings

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By: Abby Altman

With a 10-37 loss to the Packers in week 17, the Minnesota Vikings have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. This left many fans looking ahead to week 18, hoping to see a potential look into the Vikings future, through rookie QB Kellen Mond.  

Mond was a 3rd round draft pick out of Texas A&M, where he had a 59% completion rate, 71 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions through 4 years. Mond went 28/51 with 1 interception this preseason. 

Although many fans wanted to see Mond start in week 17, with Kirk Cousins under COVID protocols, Sean Mannion started, and Mond only saw 1 drive in the 4th quarter. Mond went 2/3 for just 5 yards. With no stakes in week 18, fans are looking to see Mond start against Chicago, but Zimmer shut down the idea quickly.

“Not particularly,” Zimmer told reporters when asked whether he wanted to “Get a look at Mond,” against the Bears. 

“Why not?”

“I see him every day,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer was recently fired from his head coaching position, along with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. With Spielman gone, current QB Kirk Cousins’ future is up in the air. Spielman was instrumental in signing Cousins to a massive guaranteed contract, practically eliminating Minnesota’s cap space. 

Mond is officially listed as the Vikings third string quarterback, behind Sean Mannion as backup. Mannion has been in the league for 7 years, recording just 3 starts with 1 touchdown and no wins. Many fans are looking for Mond to see some more playing time when appropriate, which could be possible under the team’s future management. 

Kellen Mond is a big quarterback, with a strong arm. Athletically speaking, he is close to the opposite of Kirk Cousins. He is quick in the pocket and can make big plays with his legs, along with a great ability to sense the pass rush. 

Mond’s accuracy is one thing that could be keeping him off the field this season. In college, Mond only completed 59% of his passes, and 27 interceptions over his 4 seasons in Texas. Mond likes to take erratic, long passes downfield to show his arm strength, which leads to many potential risk factors. 

The Vikings offseason will be interesting in many ways, especially in the quarterback hunt, and the future of Kellen Mond. 

Sports schedule for: Jan 17-22

5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. North/TartanWSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 4:30pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. JohnsonJohnson High School
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceHyland Hills Ski Area
5:00pm Wrestling vs. QuadrangularHOME
5:00pm2:45pm / 8:15pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. CentralHumboldt High School
5:00pm3:30pm / 6:30pmWrestling vs. TriangularSt. Croix Lutheran Academy
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. Rochester LourdesHighland Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:30pm Girls Hockey vs. Hill MurrayAldrich Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm C-Squad / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. HumboldtHOME
6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
11:00am Gymnastics InvitationalPark High School

Sports schedule for: Jan 3-8

3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceTheodore Wirth Park
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. VisitationWSP Ice Arena
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys JV Hockey vs. Simley  Boys Varsity Hockey vs. JohnsonTRIA Rink
5:00pm3:30pm / 7:30pmWrestling Quadrangular vs. Andover / Irondale / JohnsonJohnson High School
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Central / Como / OWLHOME
7:00pm5:30pm / 9:00pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. JohnsonHumboldt High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MahtomediSt. Croix Rec Center
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 4:30pm/6:45pm V: 6:00pm/8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. WashingtonWashington
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. WashingtonHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. South St. PaulDoug Woog Arena
 7:30am / 3:45pmDance Team CompetitionAnoka High School
9:00am5:30am / 3:00pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Classic RaceGiants Ridge
9:00am6:00am / 5:00pmWrestling InvitationalCannon Falls High School
10:00am9:00am / 2:30pmBoys Swimming and Diving InvitationalU of M Aquatic Center
11:00am Gymnastics InvitationalPark Center High School
1:00pm Boys Varsity Hockey vs. St. Francisat East Bethel Ice Arena
5:00pm Girls Varsity Hockey vs. MinnehahaNorth Dale Recreation Center

The Vikings try to keep their playoff hopes alive on Thursday Night Football

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from:

Close games that come down to the wire are something the Vikings know very well. It’s also something the team would be glad to see go, just for one week. The Vikings almost blew Pittsburg out of the water on Thursday, leading 23-0 at the half. Cook had 14 carries for 2 touchdowns and 153 yards in the first half alone, despite playing with a dislocated shoulder.

Jefferson began the Vikings first half scoring drive on a 14 yard touchdown, followed by a 29 yard touchdown by Dalvin Cook the next drive. With less than 3 minutes in the half, Cook stretched the lead to 23 with a 7 yard touchdown.

The Vikings defense also held Pittsburgh to just 66 yards on 26 plays, and got close to Roethlisberger countless times, recording 4 sacks.

The Vikings scored twice again in the third quarter, making the score 29-0 with just over a quarter to go. Then the old Vikings returned.

Pittsburgh’s first score of the game was on Najee Harris’s 3 yard touchdown with just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Less than 3 minutes later, Pittsburgh scored again after an interception thrown by Kirk Cousins.

The Vikings went 3 and out, and the Steelers quickly put up yet another unanswered touchdown, making the score 29-20.

Minnesota did not give up easily. The offense responded to the comeback with a 62 yard catch and run by KJ Osborn, giving the Vikings a 16 point lead. The Steelers countered with a 15 yard touchdown completed with a 2 pt conversion, making it a 36-28 ball game.

Down by 8, with seconds left on the clock, Rothlisburger fired to Pat Freiermuth in the end zone hoping that with the touchdown, and a 2 pt conversion, they’d be able to force OT. Vikings safety Harrison Smith was able to knock the ball out of Freiermuth’s hands on the try, alongside Xavier Woods ending that hope.

“We keep asking ourselves why we keep putting ourselves in this position”, said Cook. “That’s been us all year. Living and dying by that last drive. We’ve got to figure it out.”

The Vikings held the game 36-28, to keep their playoff hopes alive, although far in the distance. Minnesota now plays Chicago, the LA Rams, Green Bay, and Chicago again. Losing more than 1 game in this final stretch will likely put their playoff hopes to rest.

Sports schedule for: Dec 13-18

5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. North/Tartanat WSP Ice Arena
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Northat North St. Paul High School
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. River FallsHOME
3:45pm2:20pm / 5:15pmBoys/Girls Nordic Ski Skate Raceat Elm Creek Park Reserve
4:30pm2:45pm / 6:45pmBoys Swimming and Diving vs. Como Parkat Humboldt High School
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Humboldt / Minneapolis SouthwestHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. Cretin-Derham HallHOME
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Simleyat Simley High School
4:15pm / 4:15pm 6:00pm Boys Basketball vs. Patrick HenryHOME
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm / 6:00pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Two Riversat Two Rivers High School
4:00pm / 6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Two RiversHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. MoraHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. Northern Lakesat Breezy Point Arena
9:00am7:00am / TBDWrestling Invitationalat Trinity School at River Ridge

Sports schedule for: Dec 6-11

5:30pm Boys JV Hockey vs. Minnehaha Academyat Minnehaha Ice Arena
4:00pm / 5:30pm 7:00pmC/JV: 2:45pm / 6:15pm V: 6:00pm / 8:15pmBoys Basketball vs. MPLS Southat Minneapolis South High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. Hastingsat WSP Ice Arena
5:00pm Wrestling Triangular vs. Harding / St. AgnesHOME
6:00pm Gymnastics vs. JohnsonHOME
5:30pm / 7:00pm Girls Basketball vs. MPLS Southwestat Minneapolis Southwest High School
5:00pm / 7:00pm Boys Hockey vs. Simleyat Veterans Memorial Community Center
5:30pm / 5:30pm 7:00pm Boys Basketball vs. Holy AngelsHOME
4:00pm / 6:00pm Girls Basketball vs. MPLS SouthHOME
5:00pm / 7:00pm Girls Hockey vs. Mahtomediat St. Croix Rec Center
5:00pm3:30pm / 7:30pmBoys Swimming and Diving Conference Previewat Humboldt High School
9:00am6:30am / TBDWrestling Invitationalat Maple Grove High School
10:30am/10:30am 12:00pmC/JV: 9:30am / 11:45pm V: 11:00am / 1:15pmBoys Basketball vs. Hill Murrayat Hill Murray School
11:00am / 1:00pm Boys Hockey vs. South St. Paulat Doug Woog Arena
1:00pm Girls Basketball vs. Mound Westonkaat Mound Westonka High School

Vikings 49ers

Image taken from:

By: Abby Altman

The Vikings and the 49ers faced off in a game with the playoffs on the line

The Vikings and 49ers both started week 12 with matching 5-5 records, both looking to sneak their way into a wildcard spot. 

The 49ers, with the win, have now won 3 in a row, putting their early season struggles behind them, for now. The Vikings, coming off a win from the 9-3 Packers, came up short in a highly entertaining game. 

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa said, “We’re all excited to be back in the mix and have the season in our control.” 

This matchup was fast moving, with 4 touchdowns in the 1st half, and 6 scores in the 3rd quarter alone, propelled by Kene Nwangwu’s 99 yard kickoff return. This is Nwangwu’s 2nd kickoff return for a touchdown this season. 

With 18 seconds left in the first half, the 49ers ended an 87 yard drive with a touchdown pass, tying the game. The Vikings are the team with the most points allowed, in the final 2 minutes, of the first half, since 2000. The Vikings have given up 66 points in the last 2 minutes, of the first half, this season. 

Late in the 3rd quarter, the 49ers were gifted a turnover in Vikings’ territory when Dalvin Cook fumbled the ball after going down with a shoulder injury. Cook left the game and had an MRI on Monday. Coach Zimmer is not stating what exactly the MRI showed. Cook has already been playing with a torn labrum, and he is now day to day, with his next week status unknown. Anthony Barr also left the game in the 3rd quarter with a hamstring injury. 

The 49ers did just enough to come away with a win over Minnesota, with a game saving 4th down stop on the goal line in the 4th quarter. 

The Vikings played short of what we’ve seen them do earlier this season. The defense allowed 208 yards rushing on 39 carries, allowing the 49ers run game to dominate the field. “They came with it,” said Vikings linebacker Erick Kendricks. “We knew that their run game was really good. Very complex, very confusing. They have a lot of people to block and open up for it. It was about eliminating that and we didn’t do it.”

The Vikings offense had only 67 rushing yards, and 262 receiving yards, with Cousins completing 20/32 with 238 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, ending his streak of 212 straight passes without an interception. Thielen had 2 receiving touchdowns, and Mattison rushed for 1. 

The Vikings schedule is easing up for the next 3 weeks with matchups against Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Hopefully, 3 wins straight will help the Vikings find their way into a wildcard spot, potentially alongside San Francisco. 

Note: Since the writing of this article, the Vikings lost to the winless Lions. It is this writer’s opinion that the Vikings tend to play down to their competition, and it showed against Detroit.

Highland Park vs. Monticello Volleyball

By: Mary Koch

The final game for the 2021 volleyball season at Highland was on Friday 11/12 at the Xcel Energy Center.

The team played for 5th place against Monticello High School in the AAA consolation semifinal. The game was close, but Monticello won in the fifth set.

Outside, Kiyomi Callahan, one of the team captains, had the most kills at 19, and the team had 41 kills, 189 attempts, and 39 errors. Monticello had 47 kills, 181 attempts, and 31 errors.

Highland had 4 service aces and 4 errors, and Monticello had 11 aces and 9 errors. Bella Kottke had 3 solo blocks, and Kiyomi had 1. Highland had 3 block errors and 4 assist blocks. Monticello had 6 solo blocks and 2 errors.

The game went better than their game on Wednesday 11/10, against Marshall where they lost 3-0. The team’s defense was struggling which made it hard to get a good kill.

The coach said that the team played better and with more energy, and it was a close game.

Highland won the first set 25-18, but they lost 25-22 in the second. Monticello won again 25-15 in the third game, and Highland won 25-20 in the fourth set. Monticello broke the tie in the fifth set winning 15-8.

On Monticello, Peyton Konz had the most kills at 12, and Natalie Emmerich had 11. Highland had 99 total digs, and Monticello had 92.

One student said, “Highland did a good job moving on from the last game and playing well.”

A player on the team said, “We fought hard and played some of our best volleyball, but in the end fell short. It was an amazing, history making season since we haven’t been to state since 1977 and I wouldn’t want to do it on a team with anyone else.”

The team ended up 8th in state for their first time at state since 1977. The season overall went really well. Both captains, Kiyomi Callahan and Azeria Stagg, graduate this year along with Joleene Acon, Delaney Sis, and Alysa Monteagudo.

Highland Park girls cross country at Nike Regionals

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: Jen Rusch

Highland Park girls cross country could be starting what some might describe as a dynasty. They have 10 consecutive conference championships, 2 consecutive state appearances, they won their section meet with a perfect score of 15, and recently became the 2021 Minnesota Class AA state champions. 

Last weekend, the team took the 4 hour bus trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the annual Nike Cross Heartland Regionals race. Highland Park, The Scots, have attended Nike regionals many times in previous years, but had never anticipated one as much as this. The Scots weren’t even put in the championship race originally, and after fighting their way into the race lineup, they were ranked 22nd out of 22 teams. 

“We knew that we deserved to be ranked higher, and that made us want to prove ourselves out on the course,” said junior Chloe Koch. Freshman Ellie Moore shared a similar mindset saying, “I wanted our team to place high and prove to Nike that we belonged there.” 

The girls did not stop short of proving they belonged there. Out of 22 teams from 7 states, the Highland Park Scots placed 3rd, just behind Middleton and Edina. 

Highland senior Molly Moening finished her last high school race in 10th place. The team was sporting their “Molly shirts” during the awards ceremony to show their support and appreciation for their senior runner. Aside from Moening, the Scots won’t be losing anyone else to graduation. The rest of the team has 4 underclassmen, one of which is only in 7th grade. 

“Our team has grown so much this year, and we’re only getting stronger,” said junior Delia Johnson. Johnson has been a strong asset to the team since 7th grade, and hopes to come back even stronger for her senior year.

Sophomore Luna Scorzelli was out for most of this season injured, but came back just in time for Nike. Scorzelli finished 2nd for Highland, and 30th overall. Even though Moening is graduating, the team is confident with Luna filling in her shoes. Koch stated, “I believe that with a summer of injury free training, Luna will be able to perform at a similar level. In addition, everyone else just keeps improving.” 

Most of the Highland team will be turning their attention to Nordic skiing for the winter, with hopes of gaining yet another state championship.