State! State! State! In case you have been living under a rock, the St. Mary’s football team has made it to the State Semifinal game which will take place this Saturday at 9 a.m. The game will be played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, AKA the Mall of America Field, or the Vikings stadium. Whatever you want to call it, the Knights made it back to the dome and it couldn’t be more exciting.

The State Quarterfinal game in Marshall was fun and all, but it’s nothing compared to the Metrodome experience. I have been lucky enough to march on the field of the Metrodome five different times when I was in my college’s marching band. And let me tell you, being the center of attention in the dome is incredible. Four of the five times I was in the dome were for marching band competitions, with somewhat small crowds. In 2010, we marched at halftime of the Vikings vs Dolphins game where over 60,000 fans watched us perform. But whether it’s a small crowd or a large crowd, the lights, the sounds, and the overall state of awe you are in when first stepping on that field is indescribable. And to think that football players from the small town of Sleepy Eye get to have that experience is pretty cool.

Now on to the game. I don’t know much about Dawson-Boyd, except the team won the State Championship two years ago and has only one loss this season. If the Knights play their hearts out and avoid creating any turnovers, St. Mary’s will come away with the win. A big shout-out goes to David Surprenant, who ran for over 250 yards in the state quarterfinal. That was awesome to watch. The Knights obviously have a strong running game which they will have to capitalize on again this Saturday. The one thing that worries me is that St. Mary’s defense allowed 148 passing yards in the quarterfinal. I don’t think the Knights were prepared enough for a team that has a strong passing game for once.

But whether it’s a win or lose on Saturday, St. Mary’s gets to end its season under the dome, which is spectacular nonetheless. The dome is more than just a venue, it’s a place that symbolizes a successful football season that the town of Sleepy Eye will be proud of for many years to come. I’ll see you at the game!