CHAD COSTELLO

Champlin Park • football

Looking for a poster child for the advantages of patience? Look no further than Costello, a senior QB who lost his starting job to sophomore Bennett Otto early in the season. Costello never wavered, and when Otto was lost for the season because of a broken collarbone in the first game of the playoffs, he stepped in and has led the Rebels to the Class 6A semifinals.

Operating the Rebels’ spread offense Friday, Costello completed 36 of 43 passes for 423 yards. He passed for three touchdowns, including a 7-yard, game-winning score in overtime as Champlin Park defeated Rosemount 34-28 in the quarterfinals. In three postseason games, Costello has passed for 732 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions.

Champlin Park will face Eden Prairie in a Class 6A semifinal game Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“I knew I had to come in and step up for this team,” said Costello of his ability to make the most of his opportunity. “I knew this team had it in us. Now we’re here in this moment, and we’re going to the Bank.”

SOLO FALANIKO

Eden Prairie • football

The junior transfer from Anchorage, Alaska (his father is in the military) is the home run hitter in the backfield for the Eagles. He carried the ball just 10 times in Eden Prairie’s 63-21 victory over Maple Grove, but he gained 247 yards and scored TDs on runs of 23, 80 and 74 yards.

MADISON HUCKY

Mayer Lutheran • volleyball

The voice of calm in a chaotic environment, the junior outside hitter led the Crusaders to their first state championship since 1982 with a 3-1 victory over Caledonia in the Class 1A finals. In three tournament matches, Hucky had 41 kills, 77 set asists and 42 digs.

 

KATIE HUNTINGTON

Prior Lake • hockey

The junior forward led the Lakers to a 1-0-1 start. She had three assists in a 4-4 tie with Minnetonka, which is No. 5 in the Class 2A state poll, and a hat trick and three assists in a 9-2 romp over Northern Lakes. Committed to Quinnipiac, she’s the early metro scoring leader with nine total points.

BRIE ORR

Eagan • volleyball

The senior setter/outside hitter closed out her prep career by leading the Wildcats to the Class 3A title for the third time in four years. In three matches, she had 38 kills, 48 set assists, 20 digs and 10 blocks and was named to the all-tournament team for the fourth time.

MICHELLE SCHLOSSMACHER-SMITH

Roseville • diving

The defending Class 2A state diving champion looks primed to defend her title after an overwhelming victory in the Section 4 meet. Her meet-winning score of 522.30 was 80 points better then her 2015 state-meet winning score.

MIKE STERN

St. Croix Lutheran • football

The junior’s name was all over the post-game stats after a 32-21 victory over Belle Plaine in the Class 3A quarterfinals. He rushed for 145 yards on 31 carries, scored four touchdowns, made nine tackles and had two sacks.

JIM PAULSEN

 

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