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High School Notebook: Parr keys Red Wing surge

RED WING — This season has been surprising in many ways for Red Wing's football team, but the breakout performance by Ryan Parr has been among the most pleasant developments.

The senior lineman put together an unremarkable season in 2010 as a 4-3 defensive end. Transitioning to a 3-4 defensive end this fall under new defensive coordinator John Jones figured to make sacks even more difficult. Instead, the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has turned into a defensive dynamo who has helped the Wingers to a 5-1 start.

With two games remaining, the smallest public school in the Missota Conference is in position to earn a share of the title and claim the top seed in Section 1, Class AAAA.

Unofficially, Parr has totaled 10 sacks on the season, though Jones doesn't tally his stats until after the season. It's unclear what the school record is, according to Red Wing head coach and athletic director Matt Schultz. He has seven in the last two games, including a dominant performance against Chaska in which he recorded five sacks, 20 tackles and scored a special teams touchdown on a fumble return.

"He's so fast off the ball and he's so long," Schultz said. "He can get separation because he's so long. And he runs things down from the backside a lot. Most teams try to run at him to try to make him ineffective and that hasn't really worked."

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In one sequence last week against New Prague, Parr split a double team before using his 4.7 speed to chase down the running back on a quick pitch to his side of the field. Schultz says he could pack 30-40 pounds of muscle on his lean frame at college, though interest has been surprisingly scant thus far.

Parr's versatility has helped the Wingers hold opponents to 218 yards a game. Red Wing is holding opponents to 16.5 points a game and has yet to allow a first quarter touchdown.

Those gaudy numbers will be tested Friday against undefeated Shakopee, the defending Missota Conference champ. The ninth-ranked Sabers' unusual single-wing offense averages 37 points and 457 yards, including 384 on the ground.

No opponent has post more than 270 total yards against Red Wing or cracked 200 yards rushing this fall.

A Red Wing victory would lock up a bye in the first round of the postseason and put it in position to win the conference for just the third time in program history.

"No one expects us to win," Schultz said. "For us, it's a chance at the conference championship. I don't think anyone gave us a chance to even be in the hunt. This is as excited as I've ever been for a football game."

— Brett Boese

KoMets take a liking to new field

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The Kasson-Mantorville football team is playing in its new KMTelcom Stadium, which opened in September.

So far so good.

The KoMets, 5-1 overall, are 3-0 at the $1.1 million KMTelcom Stadium, which has an artificial turf playing surface. They have outscored their opponents 137-33 in the three home games, a 45-6 to 11 average.

Friday night, K-M hosts Lourdes in its final regular-season home game of the season. Lourdes, too, plays on artificial turf at the Rochester Regional Sports Stadium.

"The players and coaches love KMTelcom,'' said K-M coach Ivan Kroulik. "The one real advantage for us is that we always have a great practice field. If it gets rainy-wet, most of the grass fields will be pretty tore up but our field will provide us a safe, workable field to practice on.''

K-M will more than likely host at least one section playoff game. The Section One, Class AAA playoffs start on Oct. 25.

— Paul Christian

Quiet MSHSL board meeting

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One rule change came out of a quiet Minnesota State High School League board of directors meeting last week.

In track and field, he board changed the number of relay teams advancing to state from one per section meet to two per section meet. Currently, the top two finishers in each individual section event advance to the state meet, as does the top team in each relay event.

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