Small Town, Big Tournament

First, there is nothing like staying up on the local happenings of you hometown. No matter where you may roam and what wonders you may see, it only takes a minutes and a few news items to make you feel like you never left.

Second, if you are a hockey fan, you need to check out John Buccigross’s weekly article on ESPN.com. This week he received an email regarding the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. The following is the email.

John,

This past weekend concluded another great high school hockey season in the state of Minnesota. The championship game for the AA large schools was played in front of 17,567 at the Xcel Center. All the games in the tournament are also televised throughout the state. The winning team from Roseau High School has an enrollment of 325 and city population of 2,700. Roseau played Grand Rapids High School (enrollment of 877 and city population of 8,233). The two towns alone wouldn’t fill the lower bowl of the arena if everyone showed.

Most of the schools in the tournament have enrollments of 2,000. Roseau chooses to play in the large-school tournament even though it could play in the small-school bracket. Roseau has made it 31 out 63 years and has won it seven times, including this year. I think it is just amazing how it keeps turning out great teams from such a small community in such a remote part of the state. I don’t think I can put into words what a great event it is. During the same weekend, the Gophers are playing in town in front of 10,000 and the Wild played Sunday afternoon in front of 18,568. The attendance at the Xcel Center for the high school tournament alone was in the 105,000 range over three days.

Bill Danielson

The tournament and the environment it represents is so unique in amateur sports it deserves press like this. You can read the full article. Just scroll down to the section where you get “More cowbell!”.