Author: Daniel Huss

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Boy Scout Troop 342, Eden Prairie’s original Boy Scout troop, was established in April of 1966. At a Court of Honor gathering held Monday, Aug. 21, at Eden Prairie United Methodist Church, Troop 342’s flags were ceremoniously retired. The proceedings had the look and feel of a funeral. “They’ll be stored in dignity and honor,” says John Klutchka, former scoutmaster. “When it comes time for these flags to meet again, they’ll be ready.” For Troop 342 charter member Ken Hookom, Monday was a sad, sad day. “My dad started this troop right here,” says Hookom, while standing in the…

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Curt Connaughty showed up to last Sunday’s celebration dressed to the nines, nines and twos actually. The cause was Connaughty, as the celebration featured Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case’s reading of an official city proclamation designating Sunday, April 30, as Curt Connaughty Day. Connaughty, who had just turned 92, was wearing the same grey suit he wore on June 19, 1955, the day he had married his Mary. Yes, he wore that suit 68 years ago. Yes, it fits like a glove. After marriage, Curt and Mary accepted teaching jobs in the single-consolidated Eden Prairie school. They’d build a house…

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There are no shortcuts when you take the road less traveled. Jermaine Johnson II starred on the Eden Prairie High School football field in 2017. As a senior, he was a Minnesota All-Star. Since, his football career has had stops in Kansas, Georgia and Florida. On Thursday, April 29, the New York Jets selected the talented edge rusher in the first round (26th overall pick) of this year’s NFL draft. How did this all happen? After Eden Prairie, Johnson took his game to Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. He didn’t know it at the time, but the school he…

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Lee Smith remembers driving through Eden Prairie with his dad and grandpa back in the 1980s. What does he remember about that drive? “It was gorgeous,” said Smith. “I wanted to be in the cities, but Eden Prairie looked like home.” Home was Willmar, Minn., and 1980s Eden Prairie looked a lot like Willmar. Thirty-three years ago, Smith, then a recent Mankato State University graduate, accepted a teaching job with Eden Prairie Schools. Twenty-nine years ago, he signed on as head coach of the Eden Prairie High School boys hockey team. Smith knew he’d retire from teaching at the beginning…

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The 16-, 17- and 18-year-old boys on the Eden Prairie High School football team weren’t thinking about being their school’s first-ever conference champions in 1970, but simply being conference champions. “I don’t remember being first as being any part of the narrative at the banquet,” said George Adzick, a sophomore receiver on the 1970 team. “It was never, now we’re finally champions. It was just we are champions.” Eden Prairie High School fielded its first football team in 1958. “That senior class included four boys,” recalled Curt Connaughty, the program’s first coach, “and two came out for football. “We started…

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Humans can be both dogged tired and doggone hot, but so can our dogs. Now is the season. Walking Sport or Fido around the block might be a good summer pastime, but is it a good training regimen for a hunting dog, a dog that might be tasked to cover 20 miles of cover per day? Eden Prairie’s Jim Wood, a veterinarian who practices at Glen Lake Animal Hospital, knows of dogs who have been pushed too hard and too fast when it’s been too hot. “They’re canine athletes, but you have to ease them into it, especially early season…

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The game of cricket is the world’s second most popular sport When asked what he likes most about playing cricket, 13-year-old Mayank Jain mentions bowling and batting before deciding on  “everything.” Jain, whose dad used to play the sport, was attending an MVP Youth Cricket Try-it Free event held at Eden Prairie’s Nesbitt Preserve Park. A number of local youth were in attendance, some even not so local. “I’m not surprised by the interest,” said organizer Sanjaya Ranasinghe. “There’s a need and there are few local programs.” MVP Youth Cricket’s first summer session, which runs through the middle of July,…

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In his first week as Eden Prairie High School’s new activities coordinator, Trevor Mbakwe experienced his first Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. OK, he may have experienced his first high school hockey game. Having served as Irondale High School’s assistant athletic director, Mbakwe comes to Eden Prairie with activities experience. In addition, he’s nearly completed his master’s degree in sports management. Worldly experience? The former Big Ten rebounding champion played seven years of professional basketball overseas. His teams have hailed from Italy, Germany, Israel, Russia, Japan and Greece. “I saw a lot of the world,” said Mbakwe. He started…

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‘I still hear about it, and it (game-winning goal in triple overtime) happened 10 years ago’ Ten years ago to the day (March 12, 2011), Kyle Rau had the senior moment of all senior moments, the walk-off of all walk-offs. Rau, then an Eden Prairie High School senior, scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 triple-overtime win over Duluth East in the Class AA Minnesota State High School League state tournament championship game. He scored the goal while sliding across the Xcel Energy Center ice on his belly. The first assist went to his twin brother Curt. “Because of the…

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While Dick “Emmy” Emahiser’s most recent address was listed as Crosslake, Minnesota, his home will always be Eden Prairie. Still, if you said his real home was a hockey rink, you wouldn’t be wrong. Emmy passed on Friday, February 19, when his big heart was attacked, mercilessly. “I first met him when I was senior at Edina,” said Mike Terwilliger. “He was helping coach the JV team with Bob O’Connor. O’Connor would go on to work for USA Hockey and serve as the assistant coach of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams. Emahiser was USA Hockey’s first-ever Developmental Coach of…

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