NEW ULM - New Ulm Cathedral head football coach Denny Lux said that from a fan's aspect, the Section 2A final game between his Greyhounds and Sleepy Eye St. Mary's was one which displayed the finesse offense of the Knights and the ground game of Cathedral.
"It was a good game overall," Lux said. "I give our guys so much credit because we had to work so hard to get a score. We needed a five or six-minute drive. But then they would come back and score within a minute with their passing game. Our guys kept fighting and fighting - they really showed the true colors of Cathedral football Friday."
Lux said that falling behind 16-0 right away to the high-powered Knights' offense made it very difficult to come back.
"We came into that game wanting to run the football," he said. "We ran it pretty successfully, but when you are playing catch-up, you do need some quick scores. That forced us to throw more than we wanted to. But I felt that overall Collin Helget, as a sophomore quarterback, had a very good year for us. He ran the offense well and he has a bright future ahead of him."
Lux said that the Knights, who came away with a 48-28 win Friday, did not do anything different offensively.
"Everything that happened in the game we were prepared for," Lux said. "Their offensive scheme has been the same the second half of the season. Jordan Anderson (St. Mary's quarterback) was right on with his passes - you can't say it any other way. We are running stride-for-stride with their wide receivers and he is putting the ball perfectly into their hands. That is hard to defend, because if we put more defenders back there to defend the deep pass, then he will run the ball."
Both the Knights and the Greyhounds are young teams, which means that these two teams could well meet again for the Section 2A title.
"We know that the bulk of St. Mary's defense were sophomores and juniors," Lux said. "It is obvious that our guys are going to have to work very hard in the off-season to get up to par with their defense. Both teams will be working hard for next year."
In the last three meetings, St. Mary's has out-scored Cathedral 122-70.
Macho coaches in Russia
Former New Ulm High School hockey player Scott Macho, who is now coaching high school hockey at South St. Paul, was selected to coach a team of 10 Minnesota High School hockey players for a 10-day trip to Russia.
"It was unbelievable," Macho said. "When we arrived we were greeted by Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Fedorov. "
They stayed at the Russian Olympic Training Center in Novogorsk, which is near Moscow.
"I asked the Russian coaches if they play hockey year-round and he said no - that they have to have a break," Macho said. "I told them that in the United States parents and kids do not allow a break (from hockey) to play other sports."
Macho, who was the head men's hockey coach at St. Olaf and then the boys' hockey coach at Rosemount High School, said that the Russian Exchange Program was set up through an exchange program between the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Russian Ministry of Sport.
"They brought some Russian athletes (to Washington) last year," Macho said. "In Russia, everything is run by the government. The hockey style is more of a chess game. In America, we are more into the physical style. It almost seemed like their game was slow, but they moved the puck east-west-north-south a lot more than we do. We try and get the puck down the rink as fast as possible."
When asked about potential changes in the sections in Minnesota for boys' hockey, Macho said that "there are always rumors and I would assume that there would be some changes within the next few years."
Speaking of hockey, the New Ulm Eagles boys' hockey team has some tough non-conference home games this year with Delano, Mound Westonka, Rochester Lourdes, The Blake School and Chanhassen.