From all perspectives, it has been a successful school year for Edina athletics. The traditional powers have done well, as the girls’ tennis team and the boys’ hockey team both won state championships. But that also extends to other less traditionally successful programs.
The boys’ basketball team recently finished third in the Class 4A state tournament. Last fall, the football team was ranked No. 1 in Class 6A for much of the second half of the season after a victory over eventual state champion Eden Prairie.
Better known for his exploits on the lacrosse field, senior Derek Todd played cornerback for the Hornets’ football team. He said the victory over Eden Prairie was one of the highlights of his high school athletic career.
“I was a ballboy for the football team when my brother was playing, so I’ve been around it for eight years,” Todd said. “We never beat Eden Prairie before. That was a great feeling.”
Todd, who scored 49 goals for the Edina lacrosse team last year. After a winter of playing lacrosse with the Minnesota Elite Club team, Todd is hoping that Edina’s run of success continues through the spring.
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with him about the upcoming season.
Q: What is your primary sport, football or lacrosse?
A: Lacrosse. I’ve been playing it for six years. It’s my favorite sport.
A: I like to run. I’m usually one of the fastest guys on the team. I can use my speed; it’s just one quick move and go.
Q: Are you going to play in college?
A: Yes. I’m going to Ohio Wesleyan. It’s a Division III school in Delaware, Ohio, about 20 minutes outside Columbus. It’s a pretty good program for Division III. It’s competitive and they play in a good league.
Q: Sounds like you’re a natural scorer. Any chance you can beat 49 goals this year?
A: I don’t know. I’ve always had the knack for scoring — I guess I’ve got pretty good instincts — but I had a really great cast around me last year. There were two seniors, Danny Burke and Danny Reagan, who graduated. They will be hard to replace.
Q: How much offseason work did you put in?
A: With the Minnesota Elite, we played all winter at the Minnetonka dome. We’ve had captains practices before the season. And I did some workouts with L.C. Moerschel of True Lacrosse.
Q: What is True Lacrosse?
A: It’s a national lacrosse training club that’s just getting started in Minnesota. L.C. Moerschel is their main coach and director. It’s pretty big.
Q: Game on the line, score tied. What are you going to do to try to score?
A: I’d probably go to my right hand, since I’m a righty. Take a jump shot coming around from the side.
Q: What is one thing people don’t know about lacrosse?
A: A lot of people think all the stick checking is brutal and hurts. But once you get used to it, it doesn’t hurt so much.
Q: But you still get slashed on the arms all the time, right? Aren’t they always bruised?
A: Well, yeah, they still get bruised up. But I’m pretty used to it.
Q: Worst injury you’ve had?
A: When I was a freshman, I got slashed by Beau Allen of Minnetonka. He’s a defensive lineman at Wisconsin. It looked like I had a whole another muscle on my forearm.