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Mayer Lutheran’s Elijah Jopp (7) “led our defense all year long,” his coach said.
Mayer Lutheran’s Elijah Jopp (7) “led our defense all year long,” his coach said.

ANTHONY SOUFFLE, Star Tribune

Elijah Jopp of Mayer Lutheran

ELIJAH JOPP

Mayer Lutheran • football

Jopp and his Crusaders teammates had unfinished business to take care of, stemming from a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago.

Mayer Lutheran (13-1) won the first football state championship in program history Friday, knocking off perennial power Minneota 20-14 in the Class 1A final of the Prep Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"We've been playing together since sixth grade," Jopp said, referring to the 16 seniors on the roster. "To win your final game in high school is very special."

Jopp was quick to include the eight seniors from last year's squad in the celebration. They were 7-0 when that season came to a halt.

"This is for the seniors last year, too, who didn't get a chance to play for a state title," Jopp said. "And our coaches, teammates, program and entire community."

The linebacker/wide receiver had 14 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in the finale. He also had a 35-yard catch on Mayer Lutheran's first touchdown drive.

"He led our defense all year long," Crusaders coach Dean Aurich said.

Grace Sadura of Minnetonka

GRACE SADURA

Minnetonka • hockey

The Minnesota Duluth recruit netted a hat trick in a 6-1 victory over Brainerd/Little Falls and had two goals, including the game-winner 1 minute, 41 seconds into overtime, as the Class 2A, No. 3-ranked Skippers edged No. 4 Stillwater 4-3. The junior forward has at least two goals in three of Minnetonka's first four games.

Ricky Nelson of Holy Angels

RICKY NELSON

Holy Angels • hockey

Nelson already has exceeded his goal output from a year ago. He opened the season with back-to-back hat tricks and added a couple of assists in the Stars' first two victories. The senior forward had four goals and nine assists in 2020-21.

HANNAH HERZIG

Totino-Grace • basketball

Herzig helped the Eagles start their season right with a pair of victories. The senior guard had 29 points as Totino-Grace defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 83-66 and 24 points in a 67-53 victory over Stewartville.

Max Einck of Hutchinson

MAX EINCK

Hutchinson • football

The senior guard played a key role in Hutchinson rushing for 423 yards in a 42-14 victory over Kasson-Mantorville in the Class 4A state championship. "He can drive block, pull and get downfield as well as keep defensive linemen off our quarterback," Tigers coach Andy Rostberg said.

Celia Dahl of Orono

CELIA DAHL

Orono • hockey

A junior goaltender, Dahl has given up only two goals in her past three games while beating Class 1A, No. 6 South St. Paul, No. 8 Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and No. 9 Chisago Lakes. She has a .952 save percentage through five games.

A.J. Doll of Edina

A.J. DOLL

Edina • hockey

Doll provided the drama in the Hornets' season opener. The senior completed a hat trick 1:02 into overtime as Edina rallied to beat Class 2A, No. 1 Maple Grove 6-5. He had scored the tying goal with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.

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