Not only is Lakeville native Mitch Leidner the University of Minnesota’s current Big Man on Campus, he’s the Freshman of the Week in Big Ten Conference football.
In his first start at quarterback for the Gophers, Leidner rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns in the Gophers’ 43-24 victory over San Jose State on Sept. 21. The Gophers improved to 4-0.
He was more of a passing quarterback in his three years as a starter at Lakeville South, but now the 6-foot-4, 240-pound redshirt freshman is someone opposing defenses don’t like to see running with the ball.
Leidner saw his first extended playing time in Minnesota’s 29-12 victory over Western Illinois on Sept. 14, completing seven of eight passes for 105 yards and rushing for 73. He went into that game because starting quarterback Philip Nelson sustained a hamstring injury.
Lakeville South coach Larry Thompson said last week he was so excited to see Leidner get a chance to play against Western Illinois that his wife had to calm him down, reminding him that Leidner was going in because of an injury to another player.
Nelson’s hamstring reportedly is not fully healed and Leidner appears likely to start at quarterback in the Gophers’ homecoming game against Iowa at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
SSC’s show of soccer strength
How good is the South Suburban Conference in girls soccer? Four of its teams were ranked in the top seven in this week’s state coaches association Class AA rankings, and two others received votes. Eight of the 10 teams have winning records overall. The top five teams in the conference standings are a combined 48-6-7 overall.
No. 3-ranked Burnsville could have the inside track on the conference championship after going 2-0-1 in a three-game stretch against Eastview, Lakeville North and Prior Lake. The Blaze defeated fourth-ranked Eastview 2-0 and seventh-ranked Lakeville North 2-1 last week. Burnsville (10-0-2 overall) and fifth-ranked Prior Lake played to a 1-1 tie on Tuesday night.
The draw left Burnsville and Prior Lake tied for first in the SSC at 5-0-1, but Prior Lake had yet to play Eastview or Lakeville North. Burnsville has a game left with Eagan (10-2-1 overall).
Farmington sisters succeed
Twin sisters Beth and Lindsey Fairchild play first doubles for the Farmington girls tennis team and are 15-2 after winning a match against Holy Angels on Tuesday. According to Tigers coach Jack Olwell, that’s the best start for an individual player (or players) in school history.
Farmington also improved to 10-4 overall with its 5-2 victory over Holy Angels.