AMAR MILLER

Minnetonka • football

Amar Miller looked up into the stands Friday, but the face that had been there so often was missing. There would be no eye contact, no unspoken message. “Whenever I had a game, right before the game started, I’d look up and see my mom. She’d give me this little nod, like saying ‘It’s go time,’ ” the Minnetonka wide receiver said.

One day earlier Miller’s mother, Neshaune Scott, died as a result of complications from a heart attack suffered on Aug. 30. Scott, 43, had been hospitalized since. Early last week, the family decided to take her off life support.

“She could have survived, but she would have been kind of like a vegetable,” Miller said. “She wouldn’t have been able to recognize anyone. She told us along time ago she wouldn’t have wanted to live like that.”

Miller and the Skippers played Maple Grove Friday. With his mother foremost in his mind, he went out and had his best game of the season, catching 11 passes for 121 yards and adding in three rushing attempts for good measure.

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“She would have wanted me to stay strong and play,” Miller said. “I went in with the mindset that I don’t care who’s in front of me, I’m doing this for my mom.”

Minnetonka, undermanned but playing with emotion, took a quick 7-0 lead. “All of my teammates came up to me and said ‘That’s for Neshaune.’ I’m blessed to have teammates who are that supportive.”

While Maple Grove eventually prevailed in a 35-14 victory, Miller relished the chance to make his mother proud one more time.

“She raised me to be the person I am,” Miller said. “I’m not taking anything for granted anymore. The loss of her just brings more fuel. It’s really crazy to think about, but in the long run, I’ll be a better person because of this.”

 

JOHN CARLSON

Bloomington Jefferson • football

The Jaguars won their third consecutive game, improving to 3-3 with a 25-13 victory over Richfield. The senior wide receiver caught 6 passes for 201 yards, including touchdown receptions of 39 and 70 yards to lead a fourth-quarter rally.

 

ELLA FRANCIS

Prior Lake • volleyball

With teammate Olivia Spanton out with an injury, the senior outside hitter picked up the slack and led the Lakers to a two-set victory over Eagan in the championship of the Apple Valley Eagle Invitational. Francis had 11 kills in the finals and 41 in four tournament victories.

 

LIZZY HEIL

St. Michael-Albertville • cross-country

The junior won the Eagle Invitational at Apple Valley Saturday, running the 5K course in a time of 19:32, leading the Knights to a 2nd place team finish behind Lakeville South. Heil has participated in nine consecutive state tournaments in cross-country, basketball and track and field.

 

COLTON SHERRILL

St. Paul Harding • soccer

The Knights had just one victory before Thursday’s game at St. Paul Johnson. The senior forward told coach Mukwa Ogitchida that “he was so tired of losing, he’d score a goal every 10 minutes if he needed to.” Sherrill scored 7 goals in an 8-2 victory.

JIM PAULSEN

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