St Thomas Academy back at Prep Bowl seeking first title in 48 years

St Thomas Academy football Prep Bowl preview interviews

St. Thomas Academy is no stranger to the Prep Bowl, but the Cadets are still looking for their first state football title since 1975.

Click the video box above to watch KSTP Sports interviews with St. Thomas Academy seniors Savion Hart and Maximus Sims, along with head coach Travis Walch

The Cadets reached this year’s Class 5A Championship by pulling off a comeback for the ages in their State Semifinal win over Alexandria.

Alexandria raced out to a 23-0 lead before the Cadets awoke to score 42 straight points on the way to a 42-30 win that has them back in the Prep Bowl.

Running back Savion Hart ran for 227 yards and three TDs in the rally, while quarterback Maximus Sims threw for 245 yards and the Cadets’ other three touchdowns.

5A State Semifinals – STA vs. Alexandria

48 years ago, the Cadets beat St. Peter 21-14 for their only state football championship.

In five Prep Bowl appearances since, they’ve gone 0-5 – losing to Cambridge-Isanti in 2000, Totino-Grace in 2006, St. Michael-Albertville in 2015, Owatonna in 2018 and Chaska in 2019.

RELATED: KSTP Sports’ H.S. Football State Tournament Central

This is the first Prep Bowl appearance for the Cadets’ senior class which features Sims and Hart, who’s in the conversation for best running back in the state.

STA’s run to the championship game has come under first-year head coach Travis Walch. Walch left Glen Caruso’s staff at the University of St. Thomas to take over the Cadets when the former STA coach Dan O’Brien departed for Holy Family.

O’Brien left big shoes to fill. His 49-5 record saw a single regular-season loss and none in section tournament play.

But Walch’s first squad at STA shook off a season-opening blowout defeat to Andover and bring a 10-2 record to the Prep Bowl.

The Cadets face Chanhassen Saturday at approximately 4:00 p.m. in the Class 5A title game.

The Storm counter with Max Woods, who’s also in that same ‘best-runner-in-the-state’ conversation.

Chanhassen advanced to the Prep Bowl in their first State Tournament appearance, earning the right to play for the title by surviving a wild 54-48 overtime game against Andover in the semifinal round.

The Prep Bowl airs live on 45TV and streams free at and the KSTP apps on mobile and streaming devices.