When the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened in 1982, the Vikings weren’t the only football action the stadium had to offer. For the first time, the state’s high school football championships were also hosted in the NFL facility, inaugurating the first ever Prep Bowl.
That tradition continued for 31 years, right up to the current 2013 series, which will be the last before the Metrodome is demolished in February 2014 as part of the construction plans for the Vikings’ new facility.
As it turns out, that timespan matches up perfectly for one special family.
As reported by Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO and a handful of other outlets, the Buening family has the distinction of being the only one that had a member in the very first Prep Bowl and will have another in the very last set of Prep Bowls.
In 1982, Paul Buening competed for Belgrade High in the the state title game, with his squad eventually falling to Truman High from Minneapolis. Now, 31 years later, Buening's son Ben heads back to the Metrodome with his New London-Spicer High squad (New London) for a state semifinal face-off against Lourdes (Rochester).
According to Ben, family redemption is among the factors he’s focused on heading into the biggest game of his young career. Regardless of the outcome of the semifinal, Ben Buening said he would make sure to soak in all the atmosphere from one of the final sporting events to ever take place in Minnesota’s domed stadium.
"I don't think we'll realize how awesome it is until we are a little bit older. Being one of the last teams to play in the Dome, it's a long state history. It's awesome and surreal," Ben told WCCO.
"Oh yeah, it’s going to be fun."
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