By John Millea
Rosemount wide receiver Zach Vraa was named Minnesota's Mr. Football this afternoon at the conclusion of a first-class banquet held at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park. Vraa was among 10 seniors who were finalists for the award given by the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association. Vraa is the sixth winner of the award and the third from the Lake Conference.
The 6-3, 200-pound Vraa caught 39 passes for 783 yards and 12 touchdowns this season for the 7-4 Irish. He also led Rosemount in punt returns (averaging 15 yards) and kickoff returns (22.7 yards). His career receiving numbers are 113 catches, 1,985 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Vraa, who also is on the basketball and track teams at Rosemount, has a grade-point average of 3.76. He is weighing football scholarship offers from North Dakota State and North Dakota.
The other finalists were:
--Beau Allen, DL, Minnetonka
--Joel Bauman, RB, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg
--Jacob Brusehaver, RB-LB, Hutchinson
--John Crockett, RB, Totino-Grace
--Seantrel Henderson, OL, Cretin-Derham Hall
--Ben Henson, OL, Buffalo
--Brandon Marquardt, RB, Champlin Park
--Ryan Tri, WR-CB, Eden Valley-Watkins
--Zach Zenner, RB-QB, Eagan
Henderson was the only finalist not in attendance; he is in Los Angeles for his official recruiting visit to Southern California. He has already visited Notre Dame and Ohio State, with Miami, Florida and Oklahoma on the list for his two other official visits.
Cretin coach Mike Scanlan told me that quarterback Mark Alt, who led the Raiders to a 5A Prep Bowl victory over Eden Prairie, re-broke his left collarbone while taking a hit on his second touchdown pass of that game, That makes Alt's performance even more remarkable. He missed part of the regular season with a broken collarbone, and now he will get a slow start to the hockey season because of the re-injury. He has a Gophers hockey scholarship waiting for him, unless he gets an offer to play Division I football, for which he is certainly worthy.
Bauman, who is a state champion wrestler as well as an outstanding football player, will wrestle for the Gophers.
Thanks to the football coaches association for putting on a great banquet. A wonderful meal was served, and then each of the finalists were introduced and a video of their season highlights was shown.
Previous Mr. Football winners:
2008: Varma Sonie, Apple Valley
2007: Michael Floyd, Cretin-Derham Hall
2006: Blake Sorensen, Eden Prairie
2005: Matt Carufel, Cretin-Derham Hall
2004: Nick Mertens, East Grand Forks
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/stribjohn