Week 2 of the busiest fortnight in prep sports begins Tuesday with the starts of the golf and lacrosse state tournaments, followed by the baseball state tournament, which kicks off Thursday.
Here’s what’s on tap:
The biggest name in the girls’ tournament — perhaps the entire tournament — is Cretin-Derham Hall’s Celia Kuenster, a junior who already has won three Class 3A individual titles.
Kuenster has been ranked No. 1 in 3A all year and is on pace to become the first four-time winner of the Class 3A championship and second four-time winner overall (Minnehaha Academy’s Katie Detlefsen won four Class 1A titles from 2004 through 2007).
On the boys’ side, the most intriguing name is Forest Lake senior Max Kelly, who was considered a shoo-in for multiple titles after winning the 3A championship in 2011. Kelly’s game has slipped — he was ranked No. 99 in the final MGA individual state rankings — but still has the pedigree to be worth a look.
All three classes for boys and girls start Tuesday: Class 3A at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids, 2A at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan and 1A at Pebble Creek in Becker.
The tournament has expanded this year from four to eight teams in each bracket, reflecting the increasing popularity and rapid growth of the sport.
The same names still are among the favorites: defending champion Blake and Eden Prairie in the girls’ tournament, top-seeded Eden Prairie and defending champion Eastview among the boys.
The entire tournament will be at Chaska and Chanhassen high schools. The quarterfinals will be Tuesday and the semifinals Thursday between the two sites, with both championship games set for Saturday at Chanhassen.
While most metro fans will be focused on the big schools in the Class 3A tourney, the 2A field has the closest thing to a dynasty in St. Cloud Cathedral.
The Crusaders, with seven state titles and 16 previous appearances, are led by their Zen master of a coach, Bob Karn, a tai chi practitioner in his 43rd year at the helm. The Crusaders had not lost a state championship game until falling to Holy Family in 2012.
Class 2A also features two first-timers, Minnehaha Academy and Watertown-Mayer, who will meet in the quarterfinals.
All quarterfinals will be Thursday and semifinals Friday at multiple sites: Class 3A at Midway Stadium, Class 2A at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud and Class 1A at the Mini-Met in Jordan.
All championship games are set for next Monday at Target Field.