Birk Olson made a habit of dominating anyone and everyone he went up against during his time on the gridiron at Monticello High School. So, it should be no surprise that he dominated another high school game Saturday, even if this was against the best of the best.
Olson, headed to Princeton to play football this fall, recorded eight tackles on his way to being named defensive MVP of the North squad in a 24-14 loss at the annual high school football all star game.
The 40th edition of the game pitted a squad from the north portion of Minnesota versus a southern based squad at St. Cloud State University Saturday, following a week of two-a-day practices held at St. John’s University leading up to Saturday.
From start to finish, it turned into a memorable experience for Olson.
“It was a blast,” he said. “It is fun to play with guys that are all the best from their school.”
By the time Saturday rolled around, there were few better than Olson.
Despite rotating series for much of the game, Olson made his impact felt early and often.
The defensive end got into the backfield and picked up a tackle for a loss on his first play, setting the tone for a successful day, at least individually.
Team wise, the North squad got off to a great start, forcing two three and outs and taking an early 7-0 lead, but they weren’t able to hold it.
A couple of costly turnovers and untimely penalties boosted some South drives, as they took a 24-7 lead late in the game.
Olson said the defense found themselves on the wrong side of a short field too many times in a game where the offense was immensely talented.
“Pretty much everybody on offense can make a play,” said Olson.
That included his teammates, particularly Maple Grove wide receiver Jake Wieneke, who caught the North’s first touchdown, and added another one late to make the final score 24-14.
“He made some unreal catches,” said Olson.
But as the game wrapped up, Olson was deemed to be as much of a standout as anyone there, being awarded one of just four MVP awards, spread between nearly 90 accomplished football players.
“When you get something like that, it feels really good,” said Olson. “Especially when I know how good those guys are.”
Olson wasn’t completely satisfied with the week, as he left frustrated with a loss, but everything else seemed to come up roses.
The kids got the opportunity to bond during the week of two-a-days, spending much of their off time hanging out at a nearby beach.
“It was a cool experience,” said Olson. “Made a lot of friends.”
And on the field, he got to make a few final memories before he leaves the high school arena he has so thoroughly dominated, to try his hand in the Ivy League.
“When it was over, it wasn’t a bad feeling,” said Olson. “It was a really good way to finish off my career.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at firstname.lastname@example.org