I'm a sports nerd, and while some of you will be hunkering down over the holiday break, I plan to be getting around the area for some of the finest prep events offered.
If you're like me, I suggest you do the same, as there will be plenty of pucks, hoops and other high school entertainment.
Being the state of hockey, let's begin with pucks, as the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys take part in one of the state's most-loaded holiday fields Dec. 27-29 at the St. Louis Park Invitational.
The event has a surging CEC, but also Class AA's top-ranked Minnetonka, No. 6 Maple Grove and No. 7 Wayzata.
The Moose Lake Area boys travel up the North Shore for the Silver Bay Invite on Dec. 27-29. The Rebels won their latest contest 10-1.
On the girls' end, MLA was scheduled to play through Friday, Dec. 28, in the Schwan's Cup in Blaine as the Pine Journal went to press. The 10-win CEC girls are off.
Off to the basketball court, and it doesn't get much better than Cloquet's Wood City Classic on Dec. 27-28. Amongst the eight-team field sits the upstart Lumberjack boys, along with unbeaten Cromwell-Wright and Pine City.
The girls' side features Cloquet's Allie Wojtysiak, who is nearing 1,000 career points.
Speaking of points, one can expect many in Mountain Iron-Buhl over Dec. 27-28 as Class A's No. 2 MIB hosts high-scoring Cromwell-Wright, Pine River-Backus and Bigfork.
The Esko Coaches Classic is Dec. 27-29 for girls and Dec. 28-29 for boys. Nine of the 12 teams have winning records, while the Esko and Hinckley-Finlayson boys and Mesabi East girls all got to the state tournament last March.
And while weather may adjust schedules, I say, adjust yours. You may just get to see your best holiday gift yet.
Tyler Korby of Cloquet is a freelance sports writer for the Pine Journal.