Fans travel from all over Minnesota to watch high school girls state hockey tournament

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The 2020 Girls State High School Hockey Tournament is underway. Semifinal games started Friday morning.

There are fans from all over the state in attendance, many doing some long-distance driving to watch the girls play.

"My stomach is in knots, I am probably just as nervous as they are," said one mom watching her daughter play on Rochester Lourdes' team.

For families sitting in the stands, watching the games may be just as tough as playing.

"I'm nervous but I don't let her see that," added another woman watching her younger sister.

Eight-year-old Parker was missing school to cheer for his aunt.

"It's just really fun to watch her because I don't get to do this a lot; this is my first time to watch her here," he said.

"Missing school is weird," said a group of fifth-grade girls from Cloquet.

Weird, but fun for these young fans.

None of them even play hockey— they're basketball and soccer players, but are at the Xcel Energy Center supporting their hometown team.

KSTP Sports Girls' State Hockey Central

"They did awesome and we are super proud of them… we look forward to tomorrow," said Robyn Lynch of Cloquet.

Lynch said her son's basketball team from Cloquet came down for the game too.

"His basketball coach let them all come down here on the bus. They now have a four-hour bus ride to Bemidji for their basketball game tonight, so they made a team event out of it," she shared.

Lynch will now do the same: drive north to Bemidji, turn around and come back for the game Saturday— an important show of support for these high school athletes.

"They work really, really hard, all the athletes in any sport, so if we can get to a level like this absolutely. Our football team did it a few years ago, the whole town came down for that, it's encouraged, they always have done this, so I think it's great," she said.