Notebook: Local football coaches called to hall of fame

Lakeville South High School football coach Larry Thompson and former Eagan football coach Dave Fritze will be among seven people inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on March 29.

Thompson will go into the MFCA hall’s high school division along with Mike Grant (Eden Prairie and Forest Lake), Dave Nelson (Minnetonka and Blaine), Tom Idstrom (Anoka and Irondale) and Jon Bakken (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown). Fritze is going into the citation division, which honors those who have made significant contributions to Minnesota high school football.

Thompson has 39 years’ experience as a high school football coach, all in Lakeville. He was an assistant coach at Lakeville High School from 1975-78 and became the Panthers’ head coach in 1979.

In 26 years as head coach at Lakeville High, his teams were 185-91 and won three state championships (1988, 1992 and 2003). Thompson became Lakeville South’s head coach when the school opened in 2005 and is 65-33 in nine seasons there. The Cougars reached the Class 5A championship game in 2006.

Thompson was named Minnesota state coach of the year in 1992 and has coached 29 players who were named to the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game.

Fritze is Eagan High School’s first head football coach and served in that capacity for 16 years, retiring after the 2005 season. He also has spent 16 years as an assistant coach at Apple Valley and East Ridge.

He has been director of the Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game for 15 years and was assistant director for four years. He coached 17 players who appeared in the all-star game. Fritze served on the MFCA executive committee for 14 years.

Also being inducted in the citation division is Chicago Bears head coach Mark Trestman, a native of St. Louis Park. Trestman played college football at Minnesota and Minnesota State Moorhead and was an assistant coach for several college and NFL teams, including the Minnesota Vikings.

The MFCA Hall of Fame was established in 1965 and its first induction class included Bernie Bierman and Bronko Nagurski.

The 2014 inductees will be honored at the 50th annual hall of fame banquet at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park. Banquet tickets can be purchased online at www.mnfootballcoaches.com.

Section wrestling, gymnastics

Section team champions in wrestling and gymnastics will be determined this week.

Lakeville North is favored in the Section 2AA gymnastics meet at 5 p.m. Friday at Bloomington Jefferson. The ninth-ranked Panthers are the only Section 2AA team in the top 10 of the state coaches association rankings. Lakeville South and Apple Valley also will compete in the 2AA meet.

The Section 3AA gymnastics meet is Friday at Eagan High School. Rosemount, fifth in the state Class AA rankings, goes in as the favorite but could be challenged by 10th-ranked East Ridge and No. 13 Park of Cottage Grove. Eagan and Eastview also are in the field.

Farmington is ranked 17th in Class AA gymnastics but faces an uphill fight at Friday’s Section 1AA meet in Rochester, where top-ranked Northfield will compete.

Rosemount High School will hold the final three rounds of the Class 3A, Section wrestling tournament on Friday. Quarterfinal matches are scheduled for 4 p.m., with semifinals at 6 p.m. and the championship match at 8 p.m.

No. 1-ranked Apple Valley will try for a 32nd consecutive trip to the state team tournament. The Eagles have won eight consecutive state Class 3A championships and 14 of the last 15.

Rosemount, ranked 11th in Class 3A by theguillotine.com, is seeded second in the Section 3 tournament, with ninth-ranked Eastview seeded third.

Minneapolis Southwest defeated Burnsville 54-30 in a first-round match Wednesday and will go against Apple Valley in the quarterfinals Friday. Rosemount faces seventh-seeded East Ridge, Eastview meets sixth-seeded Henry Sibley and No. 4 Eagan wrestles No. 5 Park in the other quarterfinal matches.

The final two rounds of the Class 3A, Section 2 team wrestling tournament will be Saturday at Lakeville North. Quarterfinals take place Thursday, and one of the matches has third-seeded Lakeville North playing host to sixth-seeded Lakeville South at 7 p.m.

Quarterfinal winners go on to the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lakeville North, with the championship match at 3 p.m. Saturday. Prior Lake, ranked third in the state, is the section’s top seed. No. 2 seed Shakopee is ranked 10th by theguillotine.com.

Farmington is seeded third in Class 3A, Section 1 and will wrestle sixth-seeded Rochester John Marshall at home at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winner advances to the semifinals against No. 2 seed Owatonna or No. 7 Rochester Century at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. The section championship match follows at 4:30 p.m.

Hastings and Owatonna, ranked sixth and seventh in Class 3A, are the top two seeds in the Section 1 tournament.

Jones reaches 1,000 assists

Tyus Jones, already the leading scorer in Apple Valley High School boys basketball history, got the 1,000th assist of his career in the Eagles’ 100-63 victory over Burnsville on Tuesday night. Jones finished the game with 26 points, 11 assists and six steals.

No. 1-ranked Apple Valley (22-1) won its 17th consecutive game. The Eagles will play at home against Bloomington Jefferson at 7 p.m. Friday.

Honor for Eagan spikers

Eagan’s 2013 state Class 3A championship volleyball team was honored at the high school’s winter pep assembly last Friday. The team received a trophy from the MaxPreps Tour of Champions, presented by the Army National Guard. Sgt. 1st Class Michael Rivera of the Minnesota Army National Guard presented the trophy to coach Kathy Gillen Melville and the Wildcats.

MaxPreps, a high school sports news website, placed Eagan 33rd in its national ranking of more than 17,000 high school volleyball teams.

Coaching changes

Lakeville North High School has named Jeremiah Johnson head girls soccer coach. He replaces Bulut Ozturk, who coached the Panthers the last three years. North was state Class AA runner-up in 2013.

Johnson was an assistant coach for the North boys team the last three years and previously coached at Rosemount, the International School of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Apple Valley High School named Herb Harvey girls tennis coach. Harvey, who’s also girls hockey coach at Eastview, is special education department chair at AVHS.

Harvey’s tennis coaching experience includes four seasons as head boys coach at Lakeville High School and eight years as an assistant with the Eastview boys and girls teams.

He replaces Krista Pawlicki, who stepped down in December after three seasons as the Eagles’ head coach.

up arrow