Four frenzied weeks of sports activity at the Mayo Civic Center begins Saturday.
The wrestlers are first. Saturday’s Section 1A, 1AA and 1AAA team wrestling semifinals and finals, in the Taylor Arena, will determine which southeastern Minnesota teams earn spots in the state high school wrestling team competition in St. Paul on March 2.
Last year, Kasson-Mantorville and Kenyon-Wanamingo made our part of the state proud by winning championships. K-M is currently ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA and in Class A, Zumbrota-Mazeppa is third and K-W is fifth.
Then Feb. 24 and 25, the Taylor Arena will keep six mats busy as individuals from 30 programs compete to place first or second in their weight and earn a trip to the state meet March 3 and 4.
Then come the basketballers. The following Monday (Feb. 27), the basketball floors in both the Taylor Arena and the Civic Auditorium start to get three weeks of intense use. That night it will be Section 1A East and Section 1AA Subsection 2 semifinals. 1A West and 1AA Subsection 1 have games Feb. 28. March 4 its a quadruple-header of subsection championship games in those sections, and the larger schools (1AAA and 1AAAA) move in for four semifinal games as well.
The high schoolers can’t play on Sunday, but the youth teams can. On March 5, the massive Rochester Community Youth Basketball Association tournament holds many of its final day’s schedule at the Civic Center. Last year the RCYBA boys tournament drew 300 teams from four states.
On March 6, high school boys begin playing their later rounds at the two Civic Center courts, with games on Monday the 6th, Tuesday the 7th and then Saturday the 11th, basically mirroring the girls’ schedule a week earlier.
Speaking of girls, they hold two section championship games March 9 (Class AAA and AAAA) and two more March 10 (A and AA) to determine four qualifiers for the March 14-18 state tournament in the Twin Cities.
The area boys follow suit March 16 and 17 with their four section championship games.
Sports fans might want to note further that March 30-April 2 the Northland Youth Wrestling Association tournament will bring wrestlers from around the state to the Civic Center.
And April 14 the Harlem Globetrotters bring their hoops hijinks to the Arena.