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After 33 Years, H.S. Football Championships Returns To The Outdoors

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It's been more than three decades since the last time the Minnesota high school football championship was played outdoors.

And like this year, weather played a key part.

David McCoy shows why the 1981 was a game memorable for more than just its place in history.

Brett Sadek spends these days leading the Thomas Lake Elementary School kindergarteners in PE class.

But 33 years ago, he was leading the Rosemount High School football team into the 1981 state title game.

"The week before was like 58, on the Friday night, no wind. I mean it was like, for November whatever it was, it was like, just the perfect night for football. For the semifinals, Sadek said. "And the night before, or two nights before, the game we got like a foot. A foot of snow," he said.

The snowstorm caused the Metrodome's first roof collapse, just weeks after finishing construction.

No matter, the games weren't in there yet anyway.

There was still one more to be played, outdoors.

"It was at Parade Stadium, which is no longer there, down in Minneapolis. So, they took a road grader from the city, at least that's what we were told, and they just took all the snow, and any grass that it would pick up or anything," Sadek said. "I remember my dad, he was the coach at the time, he said, 'Guys, make sure you have tennis shoes with, or something not with cleats on it.'

Their opponent, Moorhead, didn't have quite the same foresight.

"The ground was frozen, it was like ice where they had scraped it off," he said. "And you'd see a guy run, and if he had cleats on, it'd be like, boom. I mean, just like if you were on skates that were dull."

With snow piled high around the field, Rosemount won in a rout 40-14.

Giving Brett and his teammates not only the state title, but some bragging rights as the last to do it out in the elements.

Until now.

"They're finally gonna get out there and be tough like we used to," he said.

The fourth game of the day starts at 7 p.m. Eden Prairie will take on Totino-Grace.


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