Totino-Grace breaks through

Totino-Grace, a Class 4A private school located in Fridley with an enrollment of fewer than 800 students, began opting up in football in 2011. The Eagles lost three consecutive playoff showdowns against Eden Prairie — one of the state’s largest schools with more than 2,700 students — including a 28-27 loss in the Prep Bowl in 2014. Familiarity bred a formula for success, however. “You’ve got to come out and know you can outphysical Eden Prairie,” senior linebacker Charlie Waters said. Last November the Totino-Grace Eagles soared higher, winning 28-20 and leaving no doubt about their place in Minnesota annals.

Perfection achieved

Elk River girls’ basketball coach Jeremy Digiovanni sensed his team felt calm and focused for the biggest game in school history. What Digiovanni saw, the Elks showed, defeating Hopkins 64-60 in the first Class 4A girls’ basketball championship game to feature two undefeated teams. Often, highly anticipated games fail to live up to advance billing. This one was everything fans hoped to see and more. Both teams stayed with their starting lineups for nearly the entire game, and it showed in terms of quality and intensity.

A first for East Ridge

East Ridge, which opened in 2009 in Woodbury, won its first team title. The Raptors boys’ track and field team scored 51 points at the Class 2A state championship to defeat Lakeville South (44) and two-time defending champion Wayzata (43). Seniors Marcus Haskins and Collin Sieffert had their hands (legs, really) in 46 points. Haskins won the 800-meter run while Sieffert took second in the 300 hurdles. Each factored into the winning relays, as well. Sieffert ran a leg of the 4x200 while Haskins anchored the 4x400.