A Prep Bowl alumni celebration to recognize past players and coaches will be held at the 2016 Prep Bowl, which will be played for the first time at U.S. Bank Stadium on Nov. 25-26.
The Minnesota State High School League and the Minnesota Vikings announced the event Tuesday at the stadium, which is the venue this week for the high school soccer state tournament.
All players and coaches who participated in the football state tournament from 1972, when the league began sponsoring the tournament, through last year are invited to attend the Class 6A championship game, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25. Each will receive a commemorative Prep Bowl tag and be seated together. Prep Bowl record-holders and championship-winning coaches will be honored at halftime.
“This is the first year the Prep Bowl will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium, which was built by and for the people,” said Michelle Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “We want to make it special.”
The high school league received eight rent-free days at the new stadium for soccer and football semifinals and finals.
The alumni celebration will feature four former Minnesota high school football players as honorary chairs: Darrell Thompson, Marcus Sherels, Matt Birk and Isaac Fruechte.
Fruechte, a current Vikings wide receiver who played for two Class 2A state championship teams at Caledonia, said playing in the Prep Bowl is one of his proudest accomplishments.
“The memories are great,” he said. “Putting in the hard work with your buddies to get this far. I think I appreciate it more now than I did then”
For more information, go to www.MSHSL.org/prepbowl.