Edina High School football players and friends Ben Foley and Tanner Sparrow

Ben Foley and Tanner Sparrow prepare for their final season as Hornets.
Edina High School seniors and varsity football players Ben Foley, left, and Tanner Sparrow are ready to help the Hornets achieve victory on the field.

To kick off our annual Prep Elite issue, in which we highlight accomplished high school students, let us introduce you to Edina High School seniors Tanner Sparrow and Ben Foley, a pair of friends and teammates who have been tearing up the football field together since eighth grade.

As best friends, Tanner and Ben make great teammates. “Because we’re constantly around each other we’ve developed great communication,” says Tanner, the Hornets defensive lineman. “Being close friends helps with chemistry” on the field, adds Ben, Hornets middle linebacker.

Their chemistry served them well this past season, when they helped pull off a last-minute win in front of a sold-out crowd against Minnetonka for the Hornets homecoming game. “Nothing I’ve ever done compares to that, and getting to share the experience with one of my best friends was awesome,” Tanner says.

Ben hopes to beat Minnetonka again in the upcoming football season, says Edina High School has many big rivals in that area. “It’s always nice to beat those teams,” Ben adds. Tanner also strives to make an appearance at the state tournament. “When I was a sophomore, I watched from the sidelines as our varsity team won the Lake Conference and made it to the state tournament,” he says. “Now I want to make it to the state tournament for myself and my teammates, and that’s what we’re working for every day.”

During the summer, Ben and Tanner stay in shape by lifting weights and battling each other in friendly games of Frisbee golf and soccer. As athletes, however, their games quickly become serious. “It can get pretty competitive,” Ben says.—Lauren Bedosky

Come out and support the Edina Hornets football team. To view the 2014 season schedule, visit edinasports.org.