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Vikings Surprise Prior Lake Teacher with Super Bowl LIII Tickets

EAGAN, Minn. — Dan Beier is "at everything, literally everything."

In addition to working the chain gang at football games and handling the announcing, music and scoreboard duties at hockey games, the Prior Lake High School math teacher tries to make it to at least one event for every extracurricular activity.

Beier can add Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta this February to his list.

Vikings mascot Viktor on Friday surprised Beier with two tickets for an expenses paid trip to the Super Bowl from the Vikings after he won a QB Challenge. The contest was held before Class 6A No. 1 Lakeville North defeated No. 8 Prior Lake 38-3 in the Vikings Prep Spotlight Game at TCO Stadium presented by FVP.

The Panthers improved to 7-0, and the Lakers fell to 4-3 in the second of five total prep football games this fall at the Vikings sparkling new headquarters.

Beier competed against Lakeville North choir teacher Jamye Casperson in a contest to see who could throw the most footballs into a target net from 10 yards. Beier was able to drop seven into the net, and Casperson placed four with a couple more near misses.

They were told before firing their first passes that the winner would receive a pair of Vikings tickets. TCO Stadium erupted when Viktor unveiled the oversized ceremonial Super Bowl tickets. Casperson received lower level tickets to the Vikings game against the Lions on Nov. 4.

The shock hadn't worn off before Beier, who is in his 17th year of teaching, was holding one end of the measurement chains as he's done for about eight or nine seasons.

Prior Lake High School Activities Director Russ Reetz and Assistant Activities Director Beth Fuller selected Beier to participate because of the way he connects with students and teaches them advanced-placement calculus.

"We selected him for a reason, because he's number one in everybody's hearts," Fuller said. "The kids who have him in calculus, my own son had him last year. … He finds a way to explain it to them so they can understand it. My son and others have said he's the best teacher in the building.

"From the practice test to the actual test, he's gotten people to go from a 2 to a 5 or a 2 to a 4, just by practice tips and helping them connect with the material," Fuller said.

A 5 is a max score, in case anyone is wondering.

"I'm glad that they chose me," Beier said. "I just got called down to the activities office and was asked if I'd participate [in the contest]. I said, 'Sure.'

"I like working with the kids," he explained. "I got to all of the events. I work as the announcer at the hockey games. I try to go to as many events as possible. I try to get to at least one event for all of the different things."

Administrative assistant Nancy Theis said Beier "is at everything, literally everything."

Including Super Bowl LIII.

Going for 8-0: Lakeville North will try to finish its regular season undefeated next week when it faces Eagan.

Head Coach Brian Vossen said the Panthers appreciated the opportunity "to play in this type of spotlight."

"We were in a position where we felt we secured the 1 seed last week," Vossen said. "There were some differing opinions as to whether, if we were to lose, would we lose that 1 seed because of the head-to-head. I think it fired up our guys, fired up our coaching staff. We really wanted to kind of take our destiny in our own hands."

FVP MVP of the Game: Lakeville North junior RaJa Nelson was named FVP MVP of the Game. Nelson rushed seven times for 69 yards and two touchdowns, caught two passes for 93 yards and another score, recorded three tackles and had an interception.

"Our coaches were saying this was a game where we needed to focus, have poise, and we did," Nelson said. "We were practicing hard all week. We took no plays off, and I believe that showed on the playing field today."

COUNTRY Financial Teachers of the Game: Lakeville North's Chad Pothen and Prior Lake's John Wabbe were each presented checks for $1,000 from COUNTRY Financial.

Great crowds: Lakeville North and Prior Lake fans filled TCO Stadium, more than selling out the 6,000 seat venue.

Lakeville North fans stretched from end zone to end zone on the south side of the stadium, and Prior Lake fans went end zone to end zone on the north side of the stadium.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who said during the summer that he was excited the Vikings would be hosting prep games, also made it out to the game. Cousins posted a photo from the third-floor cafeteria inside the Vikings headquarters.

Next prep games: The final three scheduled games will be in the MSHSL Quarterfinal Round of the playoffs on Nov. 9-10.