Game of the Week: Park Homecoming football gameThis week, the Park football team helps carry on a tradition that dates back over 100 years.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
GAME OF THE WEEK
Who: Park vs. Cretin-Derham Hall football
What: Park Homecoming football game
Where: Park High School
When: Friday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.
This week, the Park football team helps carry on a tradition that dates back over 100 years.
The University of Missouri is believed to be the origin of the Homecoming tradition, dating back to 1891.
Widely recognized as the welcoming back of former residents and alumni, Homecoming is a tradition at high schools, colleges and universities around the nation. The annual celebrations often include parades, pep rallies, the coronation of a Homecoming king and queen and a dance.
This week, Park High School continues its Homecoming tradition in Cottage Grove when it welcomes Suburban East Conference foe Cretin-Derham Hall to Wolfpack Stadium on Friday.
It’s probably been a while since Cretin-Derham Hall played on someone else’s Homecoming. The Raiders are perennially ranked in the top 10 in the state and won the Class AAAAA state championship as recently as 2009. Cretin-Derham Hall was ranked as high as No. 4 this season, but has suffered a pair of losses this year and is currently No. 12.
Cretin-Derham Hall (2-2; 2-2 SEC) will likely be very motivated entering the game after being upset by Hastings (2-2; 2-2 SEC) in overtime last week.
Park (1-3; 1-3 SEC) will be looking to hand the Raiders their second-straight loss on Friday. After working over Forest Lake in the first game of the year, 47-12, and ending a 21-game losing streak, the Wolfpack has lost three straight games – by a combined 147-55.
There could be some fireworks on Friday as Park and Cretin-Derham Hall each rank in the top four in total offense and in the bottom five in total defense in the conference. Park is averaging 368.8 yards per game in 2012, fourth in the SEC. The Raiders are third in the SEC at 373.2 yards per game.
The game also will provide a venue for two of the conference’s top players to show what they can do. Park senior running back Dylan Smallidge leads the SEC in rushing yards with 628 – good for 7.1 yards per carry – to go along with seven touchdowns. Cretin-Derham Hall senior receiver James Onawalu – who will attend Notre Dame next season – has 693 total yards (387 rushing, 169 receiving and 137 in the return game) so far this season. He’s also returned one interception for a touchdown this year and has 10 touchdowns overall.
Other players to watch include: Cretin-Derham Hall running back Black Banham, who has 305 yards rushing, 189 yards receiving and six touchdowns and Park junior quarterback Sam Domeier, seniors Erick Black and Mitch Zurn and juniors David Giadyu and Cody Linssen.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.