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Talking Preps

Star Tribune prep reporters David La Vaque and James Paulsen are bringing all you Minnesota high school sports enthusiasts another way to stay connected to the action.

High Schools
January 15
Podcast: Shovel-ready Hockey Day Minnesota brings its chilly holiday to Minneapolis

Podcast: Shovel-ready Hockey Day Minnesota brings its chilly holiday to Minneapolis

In the newest Talking Preps, Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque scrutinize the Minnesota appeal of outdoor hockey and examine the changing world of recruiting the state's most prized future college players.
High Schools
January 8
Minnehaha guard Jalen Suggs (1) celebrated a basket in the second half. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com Minnehaha Academy played

Podcast: 'Best team in state history' ignites debate and the curse of being No. 1 in boys' hockey

Talking Preps' David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen kick off the new year with Minnehaha Academy's impressive boys' basketball weekend, get caught up on big wrestling and Nordic skiing doings, and look at who's catching notice as boys' and girls' hockey kick into post-holiday gear.
High Schools
December 18, 2019
Minnehaha Academy football products Kaden Johnson, left to right, Terry Lockett Jr., Craig McDonald made their college football plans official and sig

Podcast: Football recruiting, Minnehaha loses (again) and the best of 2019

In their last Talking Preps until January, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen go deep on signing day doings and share their most memorable games of the year. And what kind of hex did Jim put on his self-declared best boys' basketball team ever?
High Schools
December 4, 2019
Podcast: Getting up front with Wayzata's Prep Bowl win and slow starts for some big-name boys' hockey teams

Podcast: Getting up front with Wayzata's Prep Bowl win and slow starts for some big-name boys' hockey teams

The latest Talking Preps podcast shifts into basketball and hockey talk but not without Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque giving football championship credit where it is most heavily due.
High Schools
November 26, 2019
Podcast: Misdirection offense and the biggest adjustments for playing in the Prep Bowl

Podcast: Misdirection offense and the biggest adjustments for playing in the Prep Bowl

In a special Talking Preps podcast with the Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen, Elk River football coach Steve Hamilton deconstructs his team's increasingly popular misdirection offense and sheds insight, based on two Prep Bowl trips, into how teams should be preparing this week. And what to look for in the seven championship games Friday and Saturday.
High Schools
November 13, 2019
Champlin Park quarterback Jaice Miller (4) was mobbed by his teammates in the end zone after he scored a touchdown in the second half. ] ANTHONY SOUFF

Podcast: Is there an overlooked team in the 6A field as playoffs move indoors?

In the latest Talking Preps, the Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque preview football semifinals starting Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium and salute the state of volleyball after a most excellent day of state championships.
High Schools
November 6, 2019
Stillwater vs. North St. Paul at Roseville on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at Roseville Area High School. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine

Podcast: New teams on the block set to make volleyball tournament debut

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen set the stage for three days of state tournament volleyball and football quarterfinals starting Thursday.
High Schools
October 30, 2019
Centennial vs. Edina. August 29, 2019. Photo By Earl J. Ebensteiner

Podcast: Surprising rivalry grows as football playoffs decide who goes to state

In a sea of competitive Class 6A matchups, Edina vs. Centennial has some history going for it, according to Star Tribune prep writers Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque. Plus the latest on soccer and cross-country championships.
High Schools
October 24, 2019
Max Hand (11) of St. Paul Central shot the ball past Eastview goalie Elliot Brown (1) for a goal in the second half. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@s

Podcast: Soccer state tourney leaps into semis with a little disrespect talk

Unseeded St. Paul Central pulls an upset in 2A boys, giving David La Vaque and JIm Paulsen some grist for this week's Talking Preps. Plus Edina's retiring girls' tennis coach gets one more state title, and the teams no one wants to face in the football playoffs.
High Schools
October 16, 2019
Podcast: Soccer section finals week meets last night of regular-season football

Podcast: Soccer section finals week meets last night of regular-season football

In an earlier-than-usual Talking Preps podcast this week, the Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque talk playoff soccer and football's busy stretch ahead.
High Schools
October 9, 2019
Wayzata running back Christian Vasser (4) turned it outside and up the field for a long run, eluding Eden Prairie tackler Justice Sullivan (45) during

Listen: Wayzata in a 6A runaway? Not this year

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and JIm Paulsen give the new No. 1 Trojans their due. But with two games left before playoffs, they see a more wide-open field than in many years. Plus the latest on Jalen Suggs, track and field goes to three classes and sections begin in soccer and tennis.
High Schools
October 2, 2019
Listen: Minnesota lands state's top diver and prep football's widening cast of 6A surprises

Listen: Minnesota lands state's top diver and prep football's widening cast of 6A surprises

In the latest Talking Preps, Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque recap two news items from Edina and assess the aftermath of surging Wayzata's defeat of Eden Prairie.
High Schools
September 25, 2019
Listen: The biggest football game of the year (so far) is setting up to be 'just like old times'

Listen: The biggest football game of the year (so far) is setting up to be 'just like old times'

In the latest Talking Preps, Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque preview Wayzata at Eden Prairie, both undefeated. Plus who's still unbeaten in prep soccer as the season winds down and the puzzling case of Tyler Krebs.
High Schools
September 18, 2019
Shakopee at Prior Lake, 12-18-18. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

Listen: After Wisconsin lands two top Minnesota recruits, what's next for Prior Lake's Dawson Garcia?

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque serve up fresh basketball recruiting news, set up a first for Minneapolis South, and talk volleyball and soccer as well.
High Schools
September 11, 2019
Listen: Lots of good 6A talent but is it already a two-horse race?

Listen: Lots of good 6A talent but is it already a two-horse race?

Wayzata, Champlin Park, Cretin-Derham Hall and others are off to impressive starts, according to Talking Preps podcasters Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque. But can they keep up with Lakeville North and Eden Prairie? Plus lots of intrigue in Class 4A, insights on the MSHSL budget deficit, a volleyball surprise and a girls' tennis update.
High Schools
September 4, 2019
Listen: Lakeville North's culture of winning touches a nerve

Listen: Lakeville North's culture of winning touches a nerve

Just one game into the season, Talking Preps podcast hosts David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen explore the strong online reaction to the Panthers' "no apologies'' approach, take on unruly parents and call out two trends in the state's ever-improving volleyball scene.
High Schools
August 28, 2019
Listen: Road to the Prep Bowl starts Thursday at high school near you

Listen: Road to the Prep Bowl starts Thursday at high school near you

In the first Talking Preps podcast of the fall, staff writers Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque offer their informed looks at the teams to beat and players to watch as week one kicks off Thursday and Friday night.
High Schools
June 19, 2019
Listen: The last Talking Preps podcast of the school year concludes with ... hockey?

Listen: The last Talking Preps podcast of the school year concludes with ... hockey?

But first, championship golf, lacrosse and a baseball tournament set to wrap up Thursday at Target Field get their due from the Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque..
High Schools
June 12, 2019
Listen: Champions abound as spring sports race to the finish line

Listen: Champions abound as spring sports race to the finish line

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen recap top state tournament performances in track and field and softball as lacrosse and baseball championships loom in the days ahead.
High Schools
June 5, 2019
Listen: Newsy high school league meeting offers plenty to debate

Listen: Newsy high school league meeting offers plenty to debate

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen don't come close to exhausting the debate about shot clocks, seeding state basketball, and adding more classes to some sports. Oh, and it's state tourney time for softball, tennis and track.
High Schools
May 29, 2019
Listen: Decisions loom for expanding state tournaments, altering prep basketball

Listen: Decisions loom for expanding state tournaments, altering prep basketball

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen foreshadow Monday's high school league meeting where added classes in four sports, implementing a shot clock and seeding big-school basketball are on the agenda.
High Schools
May 27, 2019
Listen: Spring sports dodge raindrops as the playoff season kicks in

Listen: Spring sports dodge raindrops as the playoff season kicks in

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen talk coach ouster transparency, a boys' volleyball first, girls' and boys' lacrosse and golf to admire, the first boys' tennis teams reaching state, and a former football metro player of the year set to coach basketball.
High Schools
May 15, 2019
Listen: Coaching moves and how to catch moves like this one at a track meet

Listen: Coaching moves and how to catch moves like this one at a track meet

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen recount a rite of spring -- mentors on the move -- along with an eligibility issue, a squeeze on officials, state records, and camaraderie on display at the True Team track state meet.
High Schools
May 9, 2019
Listen: Tracktown, Minnesota's lead burner gets it going

Listen: Tracktown, Minnesota's lead burner gets it going

In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen highlight Hopkins speedster Joe Fahnbulleh's excellent spring, note a lack of top girls' basketball recruits picking Minnesota and catch up on two high-profile coaching changes.
High Schools
May 5, 2019
Listen: Spring sports hit the backstretch and the records are falling

Listen: Spring sports hit the backstretch and the records are falling

A new 4x100 state mark, a new career leader in softball hits. In the latest Talking Preps podcast, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen highlight other top performers and talk club softball in Minneapolis, college hockey recruiting at young ages, and a football signing ceremony for eighth-graders.