Monday, August 25, 2014


The 9th-12th grade roster for the Jaguars football team swelled to 43, up from 36 earlier last week.

On that list of 43 athletes, seven are seniors. The rest of the breakdown includes 12 juniors, 7 sophomores and 17 freshmen. The 17 freshmen enjoyed a rare 8-0 season last year on the 8th grade team.

I knew the team had a large crop of freshmen, but at 36 I was a little worried about the turnout. Now at 43, I'm definitely feeling better about it and am very excited to see the season get started. We'll know what they're made of on Thursday night, when the Jaguars travel to Class AA Norwood-Young America. The Raiders were a section finalist after an 0-7 start to the season. They beat Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Medford in last year's Section 2AA playoffs before losing to Pine Island 29-28 just one game short of the state tournament and finishing 3-8 overall. In 2012, they also went 1-7 in the regular season with a 2-8 finish; they were 1-1 in the Section 2AAA playoffs and a season-ending loss to state quarterfinalist Jordan. In 2011, NYA had a stellar 9-2 season including a 6-1 mark in the Minnesota River Conference (1st place). In the 2011 Section 4AA playoffs, NYA beat St. Agnes and Sibley East before losing 24-21 in the championship to Maple Lake. NYA went 7-3 in 2010 and competed in the Section 3AAA playoffs where they went 1-1.

Starting in 2015, the Jaguars will compete in what is currently known as the Prairie Conference, although I have no clue what the league will be called by the MSHSL. It includes Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Prairie Valley, Royalton, Upsala/Swanville Area, Browerville, Kimball Area and West Central Area.

Prairie Valley is a coop between Parkers Prairie and Eagle Valley schools. West Central Area is a huge consolidated district including Hoffman, Kensington, Barrett, Erdahl, Wendell and Elbow Lake.

Kimball Area and B-B-E will be replaced in the Central Minnesota Conference by Sauk Centre and Melrose starting in 2015.

And a final comment. I wholeheartedly agree with what B-B-E administrators have stated recently: the Jaguars should remain in the CMC for all other sports besides football. The changes in football have been brought forward by the MSHSL.

For the playoffs, I have no idea what group the Jaguars will be placed in for 2015. For 2014, this fall the Jaguars are still part of Section 4A, where they've competed since the fall of 2009 and have three section championship appearances. (Prior to 2010, the Jaguars played in just one section championship football game since the formation of the B-B-E Jaguars athletic program in 1988.)

Here's a score from "Week 0" of football:
Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 22, St. Clair 6 

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