Owatonna's boys and girls soccer teams have already passed a few early season tests with wins and draws against perennial section favorites Lakeville North and Farmington. On Thursday each team will see how it stacks up in the Big Nine Conference race. Mankato West is the defending champ for both girls and boys. The OHS girls, 3-0 with two shutouts, play at the Caswell Soccer Complex on Thursday at 7PM. West was the state runner-up a season ago in Class A. The Scarlets beat the Huskies 2-0 last year. OHS finished third in the Big Nine. Owatonna is coming off a 4-2 win over Byron on Tuesday.

The Owatonna boys host West at 7PM at Lincoln. OHS is 0-0-2 with a pair of 1-1 ties. West topped OHS 3-2 last year and took third place at state. Owatonna was fourth in the conference standings in 2016. Huskies coach Bob Waypa believes the conference race will be hard fought, with a number of teams in contention.

Thursday's Owatonna sports calendar also features the unbeaten girls tennis team hosting Winona at 4:30PM, the girls swimmers opening their season at Rochester Mayo at 6PM (diving is at John Marshall at 5PM), and the b-squad and ninth-grade football teams meet Faribault.

The varsity high school football season opens Thursday for Triton, as the Cobras play at Byron at 7PM on KDHL AM 920. Area volleyball Thursday includes Blooming Prairie at NRHEG and Medford at Hayfield.