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Minnesota high school football: Predicting how Class 5A will finish

Elk River, Mankato West look loaded once again
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The 2023 Minnesota high school football is around the corner, and the state is full of talent and teams with aspirations of reaching U.S. Bank Stadium.

Here are predictions for how each section will finish:

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Minnesota high school football: Predicting how Class 6A will finish

Section 1

1. Northfield

2. New Prague

3. Owatonna

4. Rochester Century

5. Rochester John Marshall

Why Northfield: With defending section champion Rochester Mayo now in the 6A scope, it seems to be Northfield’s turn to win the section. It will have a big test to open up their season, as it will face a Mankato West team whose 31 game winning streak was snapped last season in the State Championship game. 

Odds are, West is going to come out swinging, so Northfield will need firing on all cylinders if they want to start off strong.

Section 2

1. Mankato West

2. Chanhassen

3. Chaska

4. Waconia

5. Mankato East

Why Mankato West: Mankato West was an unstoppable force for years thanks to its bruising style of play that won them 31 consecutive games. However, that dream run came to an end last year when they lost to Elk River. 

Nonetheless, the Scarlet are bringing back plenty of athletes with D1 Interest, many of whom likely aren’t too thrilled its streak is up. Expect this team to come flying out of the gates this fall.

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Section 3

1. St. Thomas Academy

2. Bloomington Kennedy

3. Hastings

4. Apple Valley

5. Bloomington Jefferson

6. Two Rivers

Why St. Thomas Academy: The Cadets went undefeated in the regular season, and their only loss was in overtime in the state tournament. 

On top of a great last season, the Cadets are bringing back Savion Hart, an all-state caliber running back who should keep this offense operating at a high level.

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Section 4

1. Mahtomedi

2. St. Paul Harding/Humboldt

3. St. Paul Highland Park

4. St. Paul Central

5. Tartan

6. Cretin Derham-Hall

7. Academy Force

Why Mahtomedi: Fresh off a 10-2 season and a state tournament appearance, the Zephyrs lost a key piece in the offseason with their star running back Corey Bohmert now graduated and playing at Saint Johns. 

Fortunately for this team though, it is bringing back plenty of athletes who should guide this team to another dominant year.

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Section 5

1. Robbinsdale Armstrong

2. Minneapolis Washburn

3. St. Louis Park

4. Robbinsdale Cooper

5. Minneapolis Southwest

Why Robbinsdale Armstrong: Quite frankly, no other team in this section can compete with them. The other four teams in the Section failed to crack .500, and with Armstrong fresh off an 8-3 season, the margin is simply too wide for me to pick anyone else.

Section 6

1. Rogers

2. Spring Lake Park

3. Irondale

4. Park Center

5. Monticello

Why Rogers: Mostly due to its defensive front. Senior duo Adrian Onyiego and Wyatt Gilmore are two of the best edge rushers in the state, and the fact that they are on the same defense should petrify opposing offenses.

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Section 7

1. Elk River

2. St. Francis

3. Andover

4. Sauk Rapids Rice

5. Duluth East

6. Cambridge-Isanti

Why Elk River: They are the undefeated reigning state champs, dethroning a Mankato West team that was riding 31 consecutive wins. Odds are, this Elk River team will pick up right where it left off.

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Photo by Jeff Lawler

Section 8

1. Moorhead

2. Sartell St. Stephen

3. Brainerd

4. Alexandria

5. Bemidji

6. St. Cloud Tech

Why Moorhead: Either the Spuds or Sartell could take this section, but as it stands now, Moorhead is the team I have finishing on top of the leaderboard. 

They defeated Sartell in the Section Title game last year, and this gives them a big leg up for this list.