Hulne: Lyle and Pacelli have formed a special relationship
Published 2:24 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023
Sometimes it’s easy to be spoiled by success, especially when you’ve had a lot of it.
I would never call the Lyle-Pacelli athletic programs spoiled, but I will say the co-op between the two schools is extremely unique and it has proven beneficial to both communities.
To see a small catholic private school in a town of 26,225 and a rural school in a town of 524 people team up is a challenge in its own right. There have often been times when Lyle players who have parents who used to play against the parents of their Pacelli teammates back in high school have found themselves competing together. Old rivalries often die hard, but players and parents from Lyle and Pacelli have found a way to put old battles behind them and focus on the future.
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The relationship between the two schools has been going for nearly three decades and they’ve produced some pretty good teams over the years. The LP baseball team, which recently earned the first state berth for a boys team in co-op history, is a perfect example as the squad has a deep roster that is filled with talented players from both schools. Through the years, the players have bonded through sports and become good friends, even though they attend schools that are 12 miles apart and live in communities that are vastly different.
The LP boys and girls basketball teams have also enjoyed a ton of success in recent years as the girls won the co-op’s first state title in 2018 and the boys have made some deep playoff runs over the past few years.
The baseball legacy for LP goes well beyond the history of Pacelli and Lyle. LP head baseball coach Brock Meyer grew up in a rural home just outside of Lyle, where his father Gary made a historical discovery 45 years ago. It was a small rock in the middle of a cow pasture that once served as home plate for baseball games for the Nevada township team in the 1930s.
After discovering the old plate, Gary started an annual softball game in the field, which lies in his backyard and Brock grew up playing and practicing in that field. The annual game features young players under the age of 35 against older players in the area and if you ever played baseball for Lyle or Pacelli over the past decade, you have probably stepped foot on Hamm’s Field.
Those backyard games have now turned into the big stage as LP is set to play in St. Cloud in its first ever state tournament game. It’s an accomplishment to be proud of and one that surely will be told to the generations to come.