|Adapted Bowling state tournament in review
By Tim Leighton
In 2000, Jim Muckenhirn answered a plea for volunteers to assist with the organization and running of the adapted bowling state tournament. The event was in its first year and was the fourth activity to join the adapted athletics lineup along with soccer, floor hockey and softball.
He was hooked and has returned every year since.
“It is still really exciting to me,” said Muckenhirn, the superintendent of Independent School District 363 in Northome.
Muckenhirn has served for the past 12 years as tournament manager for the adapted soccer, floor hockey, softball and bowling tournaments.
“It continues to be very competitive,” he said during the adapted bowling state tournament Friday at Brunswick Zone. “It is an indescribable opportunity for kids that no one offers. I am hooked.”
The 17th annual adapted bowling state tournament produced 12 champions after a full day of competition. For the first time, Autism Spectrum was added as a division, joining the Cognitive Impaired (CI) and Physically Impaired (PI) divisions.
In the CI girls’ singles competition, St. Paul Highland Park senior Kyra Kracht won the state title with a score of 474 pins. That was 10 better than runner-up Courtney Kames, a junior from Austin. Anoka-Hennepin freshman Alby Zmuda and St. Paul Highland Park freshman Enya Linn tied for third at 461.Kracht finished in a tie for 17th place last season.
Alexandria freshman Elton Gruber recorded a narrow victory over Anoka-Hennepin eighth-grader Peter Bassett in the race for the boys’ CI singles crown. Gruber finished with a score of 451 to edge out Bassett, who was second at 450. Lake City seventh-grader Blake Fredrick was third at 447.
In the PI girls’ singles competition, St. Paul Humboldt junior Maeve McDevitt recorded a convincing victory with a score of 525. St. Peter eighth-grader Kiersten Stierlen was runner-up with 480 and Albany seventh-grader Heather Kelly was third with a 473.
During the 2015 tournament, St. Paul Highland Park’s Conor O’Meara finished in a tie for 28th place in the pursuit of the PI boys’ singles championship. A year later, he made a quantum leap in the standings by winning the crown.
The senior finished with a score of 468, five pins better than runner-up Matthew Erath, a junior from Austin. Albany freshman Brandon Ainali was third with 460.
There were five competitors in the first year of the girls’ competition in the ASD division. Moorhead freshman Emily Forester recorded a one-pin victory over Monticello senior Kaitlin Tykarskie, 385-384. Princeton sophomore Caitlin Schultz was third at 364.
In the boys’ singles ASD division, a pair of seventh-graders led the way to what proved to be an exciting finish.
Goodhue County’s Hayden VanZuilen won with a score of 448, one pin ahead of Mahtomedi’s Lucas Stulc. St. Paul Highland Park sophomore Minh Dang was third with a 445.
Later, the doubles competition ensued and three duos of champions emerged.
In the CI division, Tartan’s Antione Tuck, a freshman, and junior Colin Urbanski, recorded a combined score of 926 pins.
That was 11 more than their teammates, junior Kaitlin Morris and senior Danielle Herzberg, who had 915. Mankato East juniors Ryne Miller and Sarah Neve were third at 911.
Simley’s James Wells, a sophomore, and seventh-grader Nick Reich won the PI division with a score of 985. St. Peter freshman Sabrina Kopischke and eighth-grader Kiersten Stierlen were second with a score of 973. Austin’s Kylie Haney, a senior, and seventh-grader CeCe DeVries combined for a 970, good for third place.
In the ASD division, North Branch’s Kevin Seekon, a freshman, and eighth-grader Logan Ricard were the champions with a score of 865. That was a dozen pins better than the Mankato East duo of Mason Schutz, a freshman, and sophomore Abe Letourneau, who combined for an 853. Monticello senior Kaitlin Tykarsie and sophomore Aaron Johnson were third at 826.
The team competition wrapped up the state tournament where three champions were crowned.
Tartan dominated the CI division with a foursome capturing the championship and two other squads tying for third place. The winning group finished with a score of 1,751 pins. That winning foursome was made up of Thomas Harper, Isaiah Lynch, Jesse DePonty and Wayne Larson.
Albany was runner-up with 1,647. Tartan’s two other squads tied for third with 1,641.
Albany, which had a rousing pep fest on Thursday before sending its participants to the state tournament, won the PI division crown with a score of 1,715.
The Huskies’ winning squad included Heather Kelly, Brandon Ainali, Abby Gertken and Jordan Kulzer.
Simley was runner-up with 1,707 and Goodhue County was third at 1,699.
Two Mankato programs dueled for the ASD team title. Mankato East ended up on top with a score of 1,613 and Mankato West was runner-up at 1,554.
The Cougars’ winning squad was made up of Mason Schutz, Ben Anderson, Abe Letourneau and Tyler Tomhave.
Estimated attendance by League officials was 1,510.
|Ice hockey risk minimization continues
By the NFHS
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — In continuing efforts to minimize the risk of injury and spread concussion awareness in high school ice hockey, specific definitions for direct contact and indirect contact to the head, along with specific penalties for each, have been added to provide clarity.
These revisions and seven other rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 25-26 meeting in Indianapolis. All 2016-17 ice hockey rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
In its ongoing attempt to minimize the risk of injury in the sport, the Ice Hockey Rules Committee added two new articles to Rule 7-6 to clarify between direct contact and indirect contact to the head. Previously, the rule stated: “No player shall make contact from any direction with an opposing player’s head or neck area in any manner, including, but not limited to, with the shoulder, stick, elbow, etc.”
Now, Rule 7-6-2 defines direct contact to the head as when the initial force of the contact occurs to the head or neck area, resulting in a flagrant foul. Direct contact carries a major or game disqualification penalty. According to Rule 7-6-3, indirect contact to the head occurs when the initial force of the contact begins below the neck and progresses upward to the head or neck area. Indirect contact carries a minor penalty, unless the contact is flagrant, in which case, a major or game disqualification is assessed.
“The change is consistent with the committee’s goal to spread awareness of head injury and concussions,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services and liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “This change appropriately penalizes players for hits to the head. This will certainly provide clarity for officials, but it will also be a positive for high school hockey and help create a safe playing environment for participants.”
Language regarding penalty shots in Rule 4-7-3 was revised to include language to address the designation of a replacement player due to injury. The revised rule states if the fouled player is injured, the shot may be taken by any player of the non-offending side who is on the ice when play is stopped.
In addition, a new article was added to Rule 4-6 regarding major penalties and suspensions. The current wording only refers to players, when the intent of the disqualification penalty is to have the same consequence apply for all participants. The new addition states:
“All provisions of Rule 4-6, including the major penalty and suspension, shall apply for a game disqualification assessed to a coach or other team personnel.”
In order to create consistency regarding the penalty structure within Rule 2-3, the committee added a penalty to both Article 1 and Article 2 to create a consequence for noncompliance regarding players in uniform.
Addressing warm-ups, previously players were allowed to skate the entire ice surface until a team assumed its own end. The rules committee removed that language from Rule 9-10-3 and replaced it with “each team shall proceed to its end of the ice and continue activity to its own end of the rink for the duration of the warm-up.” This change was made to avoid unnecessary interaction between teams during the warm-up.
Language regarding participant conduct in Rule 6-1-6 was added to reinforce the zero tolerance policy for insensitive language. The rules committee added that no gender slurs shall be used by players, coaches or other team personnel.
Previously, Article 5 of Rule 9-1 described the location of where players and sticks should be during a faceoff. Now it states: “Excluding goalkeepers, players shall take a stationary position on all faceoffs before the puck is dropped,” which will help clarify the process of a faceoff and eliminate motion prior to faceoffs.
“Motion prior to the faceoff can certainly serve as an advantage for a team. This rule change will eliminate the advantage and level the playing field for faceoffs,” Schuster said.
The final rules change addresses when a puck is grasped by hand and play is stopped. The rules committee moved 9-1-8j to 9-1-11j to make this infraction consistent with similar infractions, such as high-sticking and hand passes. The resulting faceoff will now take place in the defending zone of the offending team, not the nearest faceoff spot.
A complete listing of the ice hockey rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Ice Hockey.”
|State Robotics Tournament
Greenbush-Middle River, Irondale, and New London-Spicer claim state robotics title
Greenbush-Middle River, Irondale of New Brighton, and New London-Spicer, formed the winning alliance at the 2016 State Robotics Tournament. It was the first championship for New London-Spicer and Greenbush-Middle River and the third for Irondale. Greenbush-Middle River was the highest ranked team after qualification matches, and selected Irondale and New London-Spicer as teammates to complete the No. 1-seeded alliance.
The KnightKrawler of Irondale won previously in 2013 and 2014 before finishing as part of the runner-up alliance in 2015. This year, they also participated in the 2016 FIRST World Championships in St. Louis where they were part of the winning alliance in their division.
The alliance of Warroad, Eastview of Apple Valley, and Duluth Denfeld took runner-up honors. This year marked the second consecutive second-place showing for the Warroad F.R.E.D. The alliance of Farmington, Nevis, and Faribault placed third.
This season’s game is called FIRST STRONGHOLD. In the competition, two alliances of three robots each are on a mission to break their opponents’ fortifications, weaken their tower with boulders, and capture the opposing tower.
|As Another Spring Winds Down, Saluting Our Seniors
|Posted by John Millea(email@example.com)- Updated 5/22/2016 12:24:23 PM
|I was chatting with a guy on Friday afternoon during the state adapted bowling tournament at Brunswick Zone in Brooklyn Park. The tourney is a frenzy of fun and smiles, but this man – the father of a bowler who is a senior in high school – said something quite serious.
“It’s hard to watch them bowl that last frame,” he said. “Because that’s the end.” He was referring, of course, to the conclusion of his daughter’s MSHSL bowling career.
Similar sentiments are expressed at all high school activities, of course, when kids are finishing this stage of their lives. And with graduation ceremonies at hand, high school days are ending all over the state and the nation. Yes, that can be emotional. But it’s also worth celebrating what goes on at our annual spring events, when chapters close and new stories begin.
These are busy days for everyone: athletes, coaches, families, school administrators and even reporters.
I attended five events during this past week, and it was quite the mix of different activities…
Monday/ Owatonna at Rochester Mayo girls lacrosse.
Tuesday/ Blake at East Ridge boys tennis.
Wednesday/ Chaska at Chanhassen baseball.
Friday/ Adapted bowling state tournament in Brooklyn Park.
Saturday/ Robotics state tournament at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.
From athletes sprinting toward the ball to kids in wheelchairs using a couple fingers to slowly tip a bowling ball until it succumbs to gravity and rolls down a metal ramp toward 10 pins standing 60 feet away, all these events have much in common. It begins with a sense of competition, of course, because scores are kept. You win some and you lose some but there is so much more.
Two vignettes from the week …
Chase Patchen is a student at Cambridge-Isanti. That school’s outstanding activities director, Mark Solberg, is a good friend of mine and I so respect him and the things he does for kids. Mark had told me about Chase previously, but not as a bowler. Chase is also a talented singer who has performed the national anthem at school events.
Chase bowls in a division that debuted this year. For years the MSHSL has held bowling competition for students with physical and cognitive impairments; new this year is competition for students who are autistic. Chase is in that group.
I was talking with Mark on Friday at the bowling tournament. Up walked Chase, who stuck out his hand and shook mine. He began talking about the medals that were soon to be awarded, and he was excited.
It wasn’t long before Chase had one of those shiny medals hanging around his neck. He placed seventh among boys singles players in the ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) division and he was immensely proud, deservedly so.
At the state robotics competition, the most well-known celebrity is Yoji Shimizu. His title is “master of ceremonies” but it could just as easily be “master of fun.” On Saturday Yoji wore, as per usual, a colorful outfit and multi-colored, battery-operated sneakers that lit up in varying colors with every step.
Yoji works at the University of Minnesota, where his online profile tells us this: Distinguished University Teaching Professor; Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; Director, Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD); Assistant Dean for Graduate Education.
Go to Google and you’ll also learn about Yoji’s research interests: Signal transduction, lymphocyte activation, cell adhesion and migration. Oh.
But here he was, a man with all those impressive academic credentials, dancing around at a robotics competition in electric footwear, introducing the teams, waving their team flags and totally entertaining everyone. In many ways Yoji is the face of robotics competition in Minnesota.
As the tournament moved from qualification rounds to the semifinals, the process of selecting four three-team alliances was taking place. I won’t go into details, but each of the top four teams after the qualification rounds selects two other teams to join them for the semifinals and beyond.
Yoji took a moment to salute a special group of people: The students who are wrapping up their high school days.
“Seniors, please stand,” Yoji said. And all throughout the crowd, 12th-graders stood as everyone else applauded and cheered.
“We hope your experience in robotics,” Yoji said, “will help you do great things in the future.”
Well said. Good luck, seniors. And thank you.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 690
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 11,160
More of John's Journal
John Millea |
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|Beautiful night for the Section 5A - Subsection 17A track meet at the beautiful Rockford facility. |
|This week's boys lacrosse rankings, provided by the coaches association.1 Edina|
2 Lakeville North
3 Bloomington Jefferson
6 Prior Lake
7 Eden Prairie
14 Robbinsdale Armstrong
15 East Ridge