Now that everyone’s sugar high has subsided, it’s time to get excited about high school sports.
Six lakes area teams remain in the playoffs, not including swimming and diving teams, and will look to make the most of one of the best weeks in prep sports of the school season.
The second-seeded Little Falls Flyers (20-7) will battle third-seeded Melrose (19-8) in the North Subsection 6-2A semifinals 8 p.m. Tuesday in Sauk Rapids. The Flyers and Dutchmen did not face each other during the regular season.
A victory for the red hot Flyers — Little Falls is tied for the third longest winning streak in Class 2A with 11 straight wins — and they will advance to their first subsection final in more than 10 years.
The winner of Tuesday’s match will face the winner of the Sauk Centre/Albany game which will be played at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the defending Class 2A state champion Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will face second-seeded Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Perham.
The top-seeded Wolverines downed D-G-F 3-1 on Oct. 18. W-DC (24-4) has not lost to a Class 2A school since the 2009 state quarterfinals, when it fell to eventual state champion Marshall.
Its last loss to a section opponent came Oct. 30, 2007 when the Wolverines lost to Fergus Falls 3-2 — now a Class 3A school — in the Section 8-2A finals. W-DC’s current winning streak against section opponents is 29-0.
A victory would advance the Wolverines to their eighth-straight section final against the winner of Roseau/Thief River Falls 7 p.m. Saturday.
The first of the area’s three football section finals pits the second-seeded Pequot Lakes Patriots (7-3) against top-seeded Perham Yellowjackets (7-3) 8 p.m. Thursday at Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
Pequot is playing in its second section final in three years. Pequot’s last section final was a 48-16 victory over Perham in 2009. The Yellowjackets are playing in their third section final since 2007. They’ve won two section finals in that time.
Pequot owns a 4-2 record over the Yellowjackets since 2007, including this year’s 25-14 win Sept. 30.
Friday’s football action features the top-seeded Pierz Pioneers against seventh-seeded Sauk Centre 5:30 p.m. at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D.
Pierz (9-1) will play in its eighth section final in nine years. They are 4-1 at the Fargodome since 2003.
The Pioneers were ranked seventh in the final AP poll and own a QRF of 6. Pierz and Sauk Centre have never played against each other in football. The Mainstreeters have usually been a class higher than Pierz. Sauk Centre will move back up to Class 3A next year.
That’s one reason Sauk Centre, despite the No. 7 seed, has cruised through the Section 6-2A playoffs so far. The Mainstreeters upset second-seeded Osakis 56-29 in the quarterfinals and eliminated Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 48-0 in Saturday’s semifinals.
Sauk Centre lost to BOLD, who is in the Section 5-2A finals and four Class 3A schools to finish the regular season 2-6. Its two wins were against winless Minnewaska and winless St. James, which didn’t help its QRF.
The football week concludes with a rematch of last year’s Section 8-5A final, in which Brainerd won 35-12 over the Moorhead Spuds.
This year’s final will be 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Cloud State University. The second-seeded Warriors are coming off its most complete game of the season as they dominated St. Cloud Tech 42-0. Moorhead upset top-seeded Elk River 40-11. The Spuds (5-5) beat Brainerd 17-7 Oct. 14 in Moorhead. Since then, Brainerd (7-3) has won three straight.
Brainerd’s other two losses were to Bemidji and Sartell. Those two teams, along with Moorhead, are all in their respective section finals.
About the time the Warriors hopefully go into halftime of their section final with a lead, the Crosby-Ironton Rangers boys cross country team will be running down their own dream.
C-I and Pequot Lakes’ Michael Ryan will be competing in Saturday’s Class 1A state boys cross country meet 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northland. An hour before them W-DC’s Emma Schmitz will compete in the Class 1A girls race. At 11 a.m. Preston Zimny of Little Falls will be in the Class 2A boys race.
Last year, Zimny finished 66th with a time of 16:49.1.
The Rangers placed 14th as a team. Returning from that team are Jacob Goodwin (54th), Jude Severson (60th), Mitch Skjeveland (65th) and Seth Carlton (83rd).
Pequot’s Ryan placed 105th with an 18:07.9.
JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.