Totino-Grace • football
Coming into the season, Karlson, a junior running back who combines power and speed with a no-nonsense approach to the position, was determined to show how much better he had become.
He was a backup as a sophomore and had marginal success, but he knew the experience he gained was going to pay off this year.
“I tried to make everything a big play,” he said of his first year on varsity. “Now, I’ve learned to rely on my blocks more, be patient and try to find the holes. Not every play can be a big play.”
Karlson’s less-is-more approach has paid off handsomely. After rushing for 273 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-27 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall — his third four-touchdown game of the season — Karlson emerged as the leading rusher in the metro. He ran for 1,190 yards in just six games with a per-game average of 198.3 yards.
“A lot of [credit] goes to my blockers,” Karlson said. “We all really came together this year.”
Earning the unofficial title of leading rusher in the metro fulfills a familial goal.
“It means a lot to me,” he said. “My dad was a great athlete, my mom a great athlete. Being able to follow them means everything to me. It makes me so happy.”
St. Paul Highland Park • volleyball
The Scots would not be 10-0 without the junior outside hitter. In her third year on varsity, Callahan led them to consecutive sweeps of Humboldt and Central with 30 total kills on 47 attempts for a .595 hitting percentage.
Richfield • football
The senior quarterback threw for 409 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Spartans on a burst of 42 consecutive points to overcome an early 21-0 deficit in a 42-28 victory over SMB.
Legacy Christian • volleyball
The Lions’ starting setter since eighth grade has become their strongest hitter. The 5-11 junior had 13 kills in a 3-0 sweep of Lester Prairie and 22 kills in a four-set victory over PACT as the team has built a 9-0 record.
Wayzata • volleyball
The freshman hitter, a transfer from Hopkins along with twin sister Stella, has been key to the Class 3A, No. 1 Trojans’ undefeated season. Last week, she had 16 kills and two blocks in a victory over Minnetonka, and 18 kills and five blocks in a win over Eden Prairie.
Becker • football
The senior linebacker, who had a heart issue that caused him to collapse at last winter’s wrestling state tournament, had 12 tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble in a 35-0 rout of Willmar. He averages 10 tackles per game.
Cambridge-Isanti • football
Big things were expected of the senior running back this season and he lived up to those lofty expectations Thursday in a 34-27 upset of Tartan. He rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns and caught the game-winning scoring pass with 47 second left.