Words were said. Hard feelings festered.

St. Cloud Cathedral’s 6-2 loss to top-ranked Mahtomedi, which included some extracurricular activities, left the Crusaders more the psyched to see the Zephyrs again in the Class 1A state championship.

But the matchup between the brackets top two seeds fell apart thanks to Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin’s semifinal upset victory against Mahtomedi in overtime.

So instead of getting a shot at redemption, Cathedral must ready for the tournament’s darlings from the Iron Range.

Many words have been written about the Raiders’ run, and rightfully so. But they aren’t the only ones representing something larger than themselves.

Crusaders’ coach Derrick Brown said Friday that about 30 text messages, bringing good wishes from St. Cloud to Luverne, his former program. Earlier in the week, a Wadena hockey dad emailed Brown and encouraged Cathedral to, “Bring it home for [Section] 6A.”

No St. Cloud high school, public or private, has played for a championship. Until Saturday.

Brown said he reminds his players, “You’re representing more than just St. Cloud Cathedral. You’re representing an area. We want to get a state title back to central Minnesota.”

Finally, on its ninth state tournament trip and seventh semifinal appearance, St. Cloud Cathedral broke through and reached its first championship game. But the accomplishment didn’t bring total satisfaction.

“The first thing all the guys said in the locker room was, ‘We’ve got one more, coach,’” Brown said.

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