A city divided: Lakeville North, South football teams play in pivotal playoff game

- It’s the battle of Lakeville and a rivalry quite literally dividing the city.

It’s North vs. South and Panthers vs. Cougars. The winner will move on to play for a high school state football championship.

The rivalry puts District Superintendent Michael Baumann in a tough spot.

“This is the Super Bowl for Lakeville, quite frankly,” he said. “We're super excited about it. The community is talking about it all over social media. We’re thrilled.”

Along with the superintendent, Lakeville’s State Senator Matt Little also has some tough choices to make.

“Well, I tell you this: I am rooting for Lakeville in the finals, but I’ve been telling people Lakeville is the greatest city in Minnesota. Now people are seeing it tonight.”

Little used to be Lakeville’s mayor and remains its biggest cheerleader at the capitol.

He’s predicting a tight game that heads to overtime and won’t commit beyond that.

North comes into the game undefeated and by most accounts a heavy favorite. But at Baldy’s, a south side barbecue restaurant and bar in Lakeville, owner and City Councilor Brian Wheeler is calling for the upset, but doesn’t want to lose any business because of the outcome.

“Lakeville is such a powerhouse in sports,” he said. “Great rivalry. When the game is over friends battle to the end.”

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