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What’s buzzing, and what should be buzzed about, in the wide world of Minnesota high school sports.

Minneapolis Washburn boys' soccer flying high at No. 1

 As the Minneapolis Washburn boys’ soccer team sees it, this year must be the year.

The Millers are loaded. They returned 13 players, 85 percent of their scoring, the entire defensive back line and goalkeeper.

All this from a team that finished 12-4 last fall.

Needless to say, expectations are high. Washburn hasn’t been to state since 2015.

“They’ve said, ‘We’ve got to win it this year,’” Washburn coach Aaron Percy said.

So far, so good.

Washburn opened the season unbeaten (4-0-2) and rose to No. 1 in the coaches’ rankings after a 1-0 victory Sept. 15 at Stillwater.

Only a weather-related postponement of the Sept. 20 game at defending Class 2A champion Wayzata kept the Millers short of their goal.

“Our guys wanted to be undefeated through the first seven games,” Percy said. “With the schedule we played, they felt going undefeated would help us the rest of the season.”

They almost didn’t make it. The Sept. 13 game at Minneapolis South, which Percy called “the ultimate trap game,” almost ended in defeat. But a Washburn goal with less than 30 seconds remaining salvaged a 1-1 draw.

“We preached going in that we can’t overlook them but it’s hard because the boys knew they had Stillwater two days later,” Percy said. “They felt that the Stillwater game was where they were going to show everybody who they are.”

The Millers earned their first shutout off the season against a Ponies team averaging almost four goals per game.

Defender Jorge Rey Martinez locked down on the Ponies’ dangerous Spencer Scott and center back Otis Anderson made a run that produced the game’s only goal.

Players blasted music, laughed and enjoyed the 30-mile bus ride back to south Minneapolis. But by the time they got off the bus, players were encouraged by Percy to regroup.

“It doesn’t get any easier from here,” he said.

SMB Wolfpack quarterback Jalen Suggs cleared to play football

 

 

Minnehaha Academy two-sport star Jalen Suggs, sidelined with a knee injury sustained playing basketball in July, is expected to start at quarterback for the SMB football team on Friday against Minneapolis Washburn.

Suggs, a junior who is being courted by Division I schools in football and basketball, missed the Wolfpack’s first three games, all of them victories.

Doctors cleared Suggs to resume practicing last week but he did not play in the team’s 28-14 comeback victory against Fridley. On Monday, doctors approved his return to game action.

Will he start this week?

“That’s the plan,” Wolfpack coach Collin Quinn wrote in a text message.

Last season Suggs passed for more than 1,500 yards and scored 25 touchdowns passing and rushing combined to help lead SMB (a cooperative of St. Paul Academy, Minnehaha Academy and Blake) to the Class 2A state playoffs.

On the basketball court the five-star point guard led Minnehaha Academy to its second consecutive Class 2A state title.

Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio State are among the schools offering him scholarships in football and basketball.

He injured his right knee after landing awkwardly during an AAU game in Las Vegas, his father, Larry Suggs, told the Star Tribune’s Marcus Fuller.

Preps Insider is compiled by Star Tribune high school reporters David La Vaque, Jim Paulsen and Ron Haggstrom. Reach them with story ideas and comments via e-mail at preps@startribune.com