skip navigation

TFA on Facebook

Click image below to visit our Facebook community.

Safety Concerns About Your Child Playing Football....

Our sport has never been safer. 

Click icon to learn more...

In the news... Tonka Youth Football

Please click on the image to below to watch a review of the Tonka Youth Football on the local evening news...


Camp Tonka – The Winter Sessions Registration

Session is FULL.  Thank you for your support!

4 sessions with Head Varsity Coach, Mark Esch, and Varsity Defensive Coordinator, Tom Menke, training will maximize reps, football-touches, competition, situational awareness and improvisation that will help athletes increase their game-readiness for football and other sports.  This mind, body and skill-based development focuses on producing football situational body awareness, explosive agility, ball mastery and championship decision making. Finally, the training program provides unique football-specific off-season training and will help athletes develop and refine the skills they need to create greater on-field success.  Plus, we will have a lot of fun!  

4 one-hour sessions.  11/17, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15

Equipment required:  athletic wear, football shoes recommended, mouth guard. Water / hydration bottle.

Registration is $99, includes T-Shirt.

Contact Level: 

Touch / Tag

Body Contact 

*No Collision Drills

Session is FULL.  Thank you for your support!


Participate in as many sports as you possibly can.  Fight the pressure to specialize in any one sport and trust that the lessons learned in different sports crossover and help you far more than hurt you.  Respect the season you are in and dedicate yourself to your team and your coaches.  Learn to compete with class and improve from your successes and failures.

You are the Future of Minnetonka Football.

Go Tonka!

Please Tell Us What We Do Well & What We Can Improve On... please click the image to the left.

Thank you!



Over the years, Coach Nelson has carved out a lasting legacy, not only on the field, but as a mentor and role model for students. In 2014, he was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. His successful and impactful coaching career has spanned 42 years. 

“It has been a privilege to lead the football program at Minnetonka High School for the past 18 years,” said Coach Nelson. “I would like to thank our coaches, administration, support staff, youth coaches, parents, and especially our players for making Minnetonka such a special place.”

Prior to joining Minnetonka, Coach Nelson spent 18 years as Blaine’s head coach where he won a state title in 1988. In 2004, he led the Skippers to the first state title in program history, capturing the Class 5A crown with a 23-14 win over rival Wayzata. Additionally, the Skippers won Classic Lake Conference Championships in 2004, 2006 and 2009 and made it to the Class 6A State Playoffs in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018. His 2017 team played in the 6A State Championship. Coach Nelson’s 267 career wins rank him among the winningest high school coaches in Minnesota state history.

Ted Schultz, Director of Athletics and Activities at MHS said, “It has been an absolute honor to work with Dave Nelson. Not only is he a hall of fame coach, but he is a hall of fame person. He is one of the best to ever walk the sidelines in the State of Minnesota. Coach, thanks for investing in the Minnetonka Community and building better men through the game of football.”

Coach Nelson says none of his accomplishments would have come to fruition without the influence of his father, Stan, who coached at Anoka for 26 years and was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1983. Watching—and later playing for—his dad convinced Nelson early on that coaching and teaching was what he wanted to do, something he shared with his father when he was just an eighth-grader.  

“I looked at his life and it seemed like he was always happy,” Coach Nelson said of his father. “I saw the influence he had on others and I said to myself that I wanted to try to do that as well. He wanted me to be a dentist.”

Throughout his career, he’s helped to shape the lives of each kid who came through his doors, teaching them the value of hard work, earning what comes to them, and doing everything with class and integrity because, according to Coach Nelson, “at the end of the day it’s your character that matters most.”

To that end, he started the “Men of Character” program at Minnetonka High School several years ago, and it continues today. He was also a leader for students who participated in the Tonka Leadership Challenge, a program he ran for five years, in which he provided guidance to live life with care, respect and commitment toward others. Additionally, he has collaborated with Student Support Services to organize the annual “We Are One” football camp that matches children with special needs with MHS football players for a fun, inclusive event, focused on community.

“High school students are at a very critical age in life,” Coach Nelson said. “Trying to develop them as young men is really important. It has to be about more than just winning football games. Hopefully, they’ll look back on every season and know they became better young men for their experience.” 

Coach Nelson is also very involved with the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and serves as the Assistant Executive Director. He is proud of his involvement with Tackle Cancer, a Minnesota Football Coaches Association initiative that has raised more than $2M for the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund over the past eight years.  He has not only had a positive effect on his players, but on the Minnetonka football community as a whole. When he first came to Minnetonka, the Skippers had won just nine of 37 games in the previous four seasons. He was committed to changing the culture of the program. 

“We wanted to make Friday nights in Minnetonka special and to make them a community event,” Coach Nelson said. “We wanted to make our players part of something special.”

Accomplishing his original vision and watching the Skippers football program grow into what it is today—one that has won five section championships and a state title during his tenure—Coach Nelson said has been one of the most rewarding parts of his career. That also includes improved facilities that rank among the best in the state and a revitalized youth football program that has resulted in more kids playing the sport than ever before. 

Dave and his wife Maureen have three children (Sarah, Ashley, and Jesse) and 10 grandchildren—all Skippers!

The search for a new head football coach is already underway. 

Tonka Football

Click to Volunteer:

It takes a village and without you as volunteers, we would not be able to function.  Thank you for your dedication.  

Westside Football Classic Tournament

5th Grade - Class of 2026 - with their 3rd Place Trophy

7th Grade - Class of 2024 - with their 2nd Place Trophy

2017 6th Grade Team with their 3rd place trophy.

The Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund partnered with the MFCA to challenge every high school football team to sponsor at least one “Tackle Cancer” night during the months of September and October. Fans attending the game can make donations towards funding additional cancer research and together we are “Tackling Cancer.”
#INAM - Go Tonka
Amy Barth
Minnetonka Volunteer - Tackle Cancer.