It’s an interesting coincidence that the state tournaments for the two most popular high school sports in terms of participation begin their state tournaments on the same day. The football quarterfinals in all seven classes begin Thursday. The same day, 24 teams will descend on Xcel Energy Center to kick off three days of volleyball state tournament play to determine champions in three classes.

Football

Class 6A: Looks like the seedings of the 32-team field were spot-on. All four No. 1 seeds (Totino-Grace, Eden Prairie, Rosemount and Blaine) are still alive, as are three of the four No. 2 seeds (Lakeville North, Maple Grove and Minnetonka). Champlin Park is the only team still playing that wasn’t seeded No. 1 or No. 2. The Rebels held off an East Ridge rally to win 35-33, with backup QB Chad Costello throwing for 181 yards and three touchdowns and running back Romello Adkins chipping in with 168 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

Class 5A: Mankato West’s big-game experience proved vital in a 35-14 road victory over previously unbeaten Chanhassen. The Scarlets (10-0) face another undefeated team in Mahtomedi on Saturday in Farmington. The Zephyrs (10-0) ran away from SMB 50-27. Andover (5-6) won just two regular-season games, but its losses were against Class 6A teams. The Huskies get undefeated Spring Lake Park (10-0).

Class 4A: Last year was supposed to be the breakout season for Orono, but it lost to eventual champion Becker in the Section 6 final. The Spartans were .500 this regular season but advanced to the state tournament by outscoring Big Lake 48-38. Orono (7-4) will face Rocori (8-3) in the quarterfinals Saturday at St. Cloud State.

Volleyball

Class 3A: The top five teams in the final state coaches association rankings all qualified for the tournament. Defending champion Eagan, ranked No. 1, received the No. 1 seed, followed by Champlin Park (the only team to defeat Eagan this year). Hopkins is seeded third, Lakeville South fourth and Prior Lake fifth. Roseville, Grand Rapids and Moorhead round out the field.

Classes 2A, 1A: New champions will be crowned in both classes. Mayer Lutheran is the No. 1 seed in Class 1A and Kenyon-Wanamingo in Class 2A.

Jim Paulsen