A rocky time for high school sports

It hasn’t been the best week for the Minnesota State High School League, which is shoveling sand against the tide of ugliness in some high school sports.

Last week, a game-ending brawl in boy’s hockey between Bloomington Jefferson and Holy Angels in a Class 2A sectional quarterfinal resulted in no penalties:

Then on Saturday night, hockey powers Eden Prairie and Benilde-St. Margaret’s brawled as the game ended.

Three Eden Prairie players will sit out Wednesday’s game against Minnetonka.

Eden Prairie, you may recall, was one of the high schools that also refused to take part in a medal ceremony a week ago in the state’s high school dance tournament.

“There was a lot of stuff going on in the corner that you couldn’t really see,” Eden Prairie goalie Sean Durocher told the Star Tribune after the game. “After I went in the corner, then it really got pretty vicious. I like to fight and stuff like that. I think it’s a big part of the game.”

In Owatonna, some students are facing suspension for racist tweets about Red Wing senior Ty Buck after Owatonna beat Red Wing last Tuesday night, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

The offensive tweets, which were retweeted and favorited by dozens before being deleted, included references to the Trail of Tears and the Squaw Creek Massacre.

The Bucks are Native Americans who are members of the Prairie Island Indian Community located near Red Wing. Screenshots of the racist tweets were sent to Owatonna officials and provided to the Post-Bulletin.

“I think those people (don’t) understand how offensive that is because of the history of the Trail of Tears,” said Rich Buck, whose brother sits on the Tribal Council. “Thousands of Native American lives were lost during that time, and squaw is an offensive term to our women.”

Buck’s father said Minnesota State High School League rules require that the offending students be punished with suspensions from athletic activities of two games or two weeks, whichever is greater. It’s unclear how non-athletes would be punished, but it appears the eligibility of at least two regulars from the Owatonna boys basketball team could be affected on the eve of postseason play.

Owatonna school officials issued this statement today: “We were made aware of the situation and are taking it very seriously. We have since then identified the students in question, investigated thoroughly, and have taken the appropriate actions according to MSHSL policy and our High School Policies.”

Meanwhile, the girls’ high school gymnastics tournament went off without a hitch over the weekend.

Incidentally, for a look at the bright side, read MSHSL blogger John Millea’s blog post about Courtney Durant, a senior at Cambridge-Isanti, two-time team captain for the Bluejackets, competitor in the floor exercise and vault.

Related: Stewartville volleyball coach faces sanction or dismissal (Rochester Post Bulletin).