by Scott DCamp
Thief River Falls and its nickname of the Prowlers is one of four number one seeds in the 64-team Minnesota State High School League’s Nickname Challenge tournament.
The Mascot Challenge is the brainchild of John Millea, MSHSL media specialist and former Minneapolis Star Tribune sports reporter. Millea began polling his Twitter followers over the past couple weeks to determine who they felt were some of the more unique mascots in the state.
The full bracket was unveiled Thursday, May 14. The Prowlers are seeded first in the Pork Chop Region and will face the Millers of Minneapolis Washburn in the first round.
The contest began Monday. Follow @MSHSLjohn on Twitter to see the matchups and cast votes. Voting for the Prowlers vs. Millers and other first round matchups from the Pork Chop Region will be held Wednesday, May 20. Other first round matchups in the Pork Chop Region include:
• 8. Brooklyn Center Centaurs vs. Barnum/Cannon Falls/Braham Bombers;
• 5. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River Gators vs. Anoka Tornadoes;
• 4. Minneapolis North/North St. Paul Polars vs. Underwood/Randolph/ Rochester JM/Rockford Rockets;
• 3. Perham Yellowjackets vs. Bemidji/Cloquet Lumberjacks;
• 6. Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers vs. Grand Rapids Thunderhawks;
• 7. McGregor Mercuries vs. Burnsville Blaze;
• 2. Wrenshall Wrens vs. Minnetonka Skippers.
Also seeded number one in their respective regions are the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms, seeded number one in the Pretzel and Cheese Region; the Moorhead Spuds, top seed in the #ThankARef Region; and the Wabasso Rabbits, who are seeded number one in the #BeTheLightMn Region.
“Seeding is accomplished through a highly technical and secretive process involving the latest Gateway computer technology, an original Ouija Board and darts,” Millea tweeted last week.
The virtual tournament has produced potential spinoffs for teams that got their bubbles burst and did not make it into the big dance. Joe Brown of the West Central Tribune proposed a Tigers vs. Tigers tournament, pitting the state’s 22 athletic programs with the nickname of Tigers against one another.
In one tweet, Millea noted the bracketology committee counted between 10 and 24 schools with the nickname Eagles, Tigers, Panthers, Cardinals, Lions, Falcons or Huskies.
The first round schedule called for voting on all eight first round matchups in the Pretzel & Cheese Region Monday. Tomorrow, voting moves to the #ThankARef Region’s opening round matches.
Wedensday’s votes are for the eight first-round matchups in the Pork Chop Region, with the first round wrapping up Thursday with votes on the #BeTheLightMN Region.