With the winter sports season winding to a close and spring sports still at least two weeks away, what is a prep sports fan to do?
Well, there’s always badminton.
The biggest high school badminton tournament of the regular season will take place Friday when Edina plays host to the second annual Edina Invitational. Eight teams, including two-time defending state champion St. Paul Johnson, will compete in an invitational format, which awards championships in seven brackets — four singles and three doubles.
Badminton is offered to girls at just 18 schools in the metro area. Edina only began a varsity program three years ago but, according to coach Steve Henke, it is drawing plenty of interest.
“We had tremendous support last year,” Henke said. “The sport is incredibly popular and successful in the Hmong community, but we have girls from China, Tibet, Ecuador, Mexico and Uzbekistan just in Edina. Anyway, it should be fun.”
Other teams participating will be St. Paul Central, St. Paul Como Park, St. Paul Harding, St. Paul Highland Park, Hmong Academy and Eden Prairie, the only other Lake Conference school to offer badminton. Play begins at 4 p.m.
True to their nickname, the Holy Family boys’ basketball team got hot at the right time and nearly pulled off three consecutive upsets in the Section 6, 3A tournament. After dispatching No. 4 seeded Chaska and No. 1-seeded Holy Angels in the first two rounds, the Fire led No. 2-seeded Blake at halftime. But Holy Family, which went into the postseason with a 12-14 record, ran out of steam and fell 47-41.
Getting off the blocks
While Monday’s snow and the ensuing cold all but ensures a late start to the outdoor sports season, the track teams at some west metro schools are in the midst of the brief indoor track season. Last week, Chaska’s Joey Duerr finished second in the 1,600 meter run at the University of Minnesota Time Trials with a time of 4:25. Edina, Minnetonka, Wayzata and Bloomington Jefferson are among the teams that will compete Saturday in the St. Olaf College Time Trials. And two big indoor meets, the Univeristy of Minnesota Invitational and the University of St. Thomas Invite, will be held March 30.
Baseball and golf seasons opened Monday. Boys’ tennis teams can start practicing Monday, while lacrosse starts April 1.
Jim Paulsen • 612-673-7737