FAIRMONT - The anticipation builds as the time draws closer.
In a little more than three weeks, Fairmont High School will celebrate its annual Homecoming, capped by the Cardinal cross country runners completing the final leg of their journey from St. James to deliver the football for the Oct. 4 kickoff at Mahoney Field.
While both out-of-town alumni and area graduates returning to their alma mater always enjoy Friday night under the lights and getting reacquainted with long-lost friends, Fairmont's 2013 Homecoming will feature an added bonus to the mix.
The members of the 20th edition of the Fairmont Athletic Hall of Fame will be honored at Cardinal Track during the football game's halftime festivities.
The official Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and banquet then will take place Saturday, Oct. 5, with the doors opening at 4:45 p.m.
The banquet will be held in the Fairmont High School commons starting at 5:30 p.m. before the Class of 2013 inductees - Lee Baarts, Bill Cernoch, Katy Eisenmenger-Fuentes, Barb Hall, Jeff Stewart, Jake Tietje, Marcia (Torgerson) Schaefer and Jill (Wolverton) Svilar - will be honored during the main program starting at about 6:30 p.m. in the school's Performing Arts Center.
Tickets for the event cost $10 per person, and are available for purchase from the Fairmont High School activities office, Hall of Fame committee chairperson and FHS activities director Mat Mahoney, HyVee in Fairmont or by contacting Sentinel sports editor and committee member Charlie Sorrells in person or by calling the newspaper office at (507) 235-3303 and leaving a voice mail at Extension 128.
Tickets also are available by contacting Hall of Fame committee members Bob Bonk, Joe Burns, Brad Gerhardt, Judy Lohrenz, Sue Mosloski and Sue Ruen.
Four out of six.
The South Central Conference earned that many spots in the first Minnesota Associated Press prep football poll of the season today.
Blue Earth Area mentor Randy Kuechenmeister and his defending Class AAA state champion Bucs garnered the No. 1 spot, including five of seven first-place votes, to edge No. 2 Rochester Lourdes.
Blue Earth Area coasted to victories over Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial and Mound Westonka, respectively, to compile an early 2-0 record. The Bucs hit the road to Windom Area on Friday night for a nonconference game.
Blue Earth Area, however, has plenty of conference company in the state poll as Fairmont head coach Mat Mahoney and the Cardinals pocketed the No. 7 spot in Class AAA.
Fairmont has allowed only two points en route to a 2-0 start to the season. The Cardinals play host to Dassel-Cokato at Mahoney Field on Friday night in a non-league clash.
St. Peter head coach Brian Odland and the Saints also have generated two wins in as many weeks to claim the No. 8 position in Class AAA this week.
Now, St. Peter faces a ranked opponent and familiar foe in fellow South Central Conference member, the Waseca Bluejays, on Friday night in Waseca.
Waseca head coach Brad Wendland and the Bluejays complete the SCC's strong contingent in the top 10 by garnering the No. 10 spot in the Class AAAA state rankings. Waseca also has compiled a quick 2-0 record on the current campaign.
Despite a season-opening 42-20 victory over New Ulm Cathedral and a 39-0 shutout of Cedar Mountain/Comfrey in Week 2 - both on the road, Martin County West mentor T.J. Schmidtke and the Mavericks are under the voters' radar in the early stages of the season.
Martin County West, which pocketed four points in the poll's "others receiving votes" portion, plays host to Minnesota Valley Lutheran at 7 p.m. Friday night in its home opener in Sherburn.
Mountain Lake Area, which earned one of 10 first-place votes, utilized a 2-0 start to this fall's campaign to capture the No. 5 spot in this week's Nine-Man state poll.