|2015 MSHSL Hall of Fame Class
Former U.S. Olympians Neal Broten, Briana Scurry, Carrie Tollefson among Minnesota State High School League's 2015 Hall of Fame Class
Induction ceremony set for Oct. 25 at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel
Three former U.S. Olympians headline the Minnesota State High School League's 2015 Hall of Fame class. But before Neal Broten, Briana Scurry and Carrie Tollefson achieved success at the national and international levels, they left their marks in Minnesota State High School League athletic programs.
Broten was a prep hockey standout at Roseau High School before playing with Team USA in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Scurry was a soccer goalkeeper for Anoka High School before leading Team USA to gold medals in the Olympics and the World Cup. Tollefson was a five-time cross country state champion representing Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley. She was on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team as a middle distance runner, and two years later, won the U.S. National Cross Country Championship.
The others slated for induction during the League's 100-year anniversary celebration are: Bird Island-Lake Lillian three-sport standout Barry Wohler, Minnesota soccer icon and St. Paul Academy and Summit School coaching legend Buzz Lagos, Rosemount speech and debate coach Cortney Sylvester, St. Cloud Cathedral baseball coach Bob Karn, Rocori boys basketball coach Bob Brink, longtime St. Paul City Conference activities administrator Gerry Keenan, Willmar tennis coach and League contributor Hal Miller, 50-year officiating veteran Darrel "Bozo" Wincek of Crystal, and former one act play director and speech and debate coach, Mike Tillmann of Owatonna.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony for this outstanding group is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel (formerly Crowne Plaza). The event is open to the public.
For event tickets, contact the League office at 763-560-2262 or visit the League's website --- www.mshsl.org --- and click on the 2015 Hall of Fame Invitation link on the home page.
The League's Hall of Fame, sponsored by Wells Fargo, started in 1991. The 2015 class is the 21st group to be inducted. The inductees were chosen through a multi-level selection process that included League member schools and a panel of prep sports reporters and broadcasters. With this class, there now are 208 individuals in the hall.
Here is a look at the 2015 inductees of the Minnesota State High School League's Hall of Fame:
BOB BRINK, BASKETBALL COACH
A native of Plankinton, SD, Bob Brink spent 50 years as a high school boys basketball coach, 42 of them at Rocori High School in Cold Spring and eight in South Dakota. He retired in 2012 with a 936-327 record. His victories rank No. 2 all-time in Minnesota behind Chisholm's Bob McDonald, who finished his career with 1,012. Brink led the Spartans to 14 state tournament appearances, including a Class AA championship in 1988 and a runners-up finish in Class AAA in 1999. During his tenure, his teams won 22 conference championships, 14 section titles, and he was selected Coach of the Year nine times. Brink's entrance into the League's Hall of Fame is the third hall that bears his name.
NEAL BROTEN, ATHLETE
Neal Broten helped power Roseau to two consecutive berths in the boys' hockey state tournament in 1977 and '78. Those teams were a combined 46-0 prior to the state tournament. In 1977, the Rams lost in the consolation final, and in the next season, took third. Broten still holds the single-game state tournament record of assists in a period with four. At the University of Minnesota, he scored 21 goals, had 50 assists and led the Gophers to the 1979 NCAA hockey championship. He won the gold medal with the 1980 U.S. Olympic team and then was the inaugural Hobey Baker Award winner in 1981. Broten played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League. He is a member of the U.S. Hockey and the Roseau Athletic halls of fame, and he is the only player to have won the Hobey Baker Award, an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup.
BOB KARN, BASEBALL COACH
Bob Karn is an icon at St. Cloud Cathedral High School and in Minnesota high school baseball. His amazing record of 736 wins and 9 state championships is more than any high school baseball coach in the state. In the spring of 2015, Karn completed his 45th season as head baseball coach and led the Crusaders to an undefeated season and a ninth state championship. St. Cloud Cathedral is on a 50-game winning streak in winning back-to-back Class AA championships. Karn is now in five halls of fame, and in July of 2015, he was selected the National High School Division III Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches' Association. A graduate of St. Cloud Cathedral, Karn has taught Literature and Writing at his alma mater for the past 46 years.
GERRY KEENAN, ADMINISTRATOR
A lifelong St. Paul resident and employee of the St. Paul City School District, Gerry Keenan is in his sixth decade of service. A 1955 graduate of St. Paul Wilson High School, Keenan still serves as activities director at St. Paul Harding, a post he has held since 1996. He is the chair of the district's athletic administrative council. Under his leadership, he is credited with saving middle school athletics in St. Paul in the midst of a budget crunch. Keenan also serves as a member of the League's Athletic Directors' Advisory and Officials' Advisory committees and he has held leadership roles on Region committees and in other athletic associations. A longtime boys basketball coach at Mechanic Arts and Harding, Keenan began his teaching career in 1960 at Mechanic Arts. He has been at Harding since 1975. His many awards and recognitions include the State Award of Merit from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and induction in the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
MANUEL "BUZZ" LAGOS, SOCCER COACH
Regarded as Minnesota's top soccer ambassador, Buzz Lagos has coached and educated thousands in helping to pioneer the game of soccer in Minnesota. A longtime mathematics teacher at St. Paul Academy, Lagos amassed a 256-55-35 record while guiding the Spartans' boys' soccer team to eight state tournaments and four championships in 1986, '87, '91, and ‘94. St. Paul Academy also was runners-up four times and many of the players—Tony Sanneh and Lagos' son Manny, became first-division pro players. In the late eighties, Lagos founded and coached the Minnesota Thunder, a grassroots amateur soccer team that took the nation by storm in defeating top professional teams. With the Thunder, he compiled a 320-145-42 record, including a national title in 1999. With numerous state and national coaching awards, Lagos still teaches math and coaches soccer at Higher Ground Academy in St. Paul.
HAL MILLER, COACH & CONTRIBUTOR
Hal Miller began his education career in 1970, teaching elementary physical education in the Willmar school district. After a sabbatical to teach at Springfield College, he returned to Willmar in 1976 and remained until his retirement in 2004. His first coaching assignment in 1978 was an assistant coach on the varsity baseball team where he spent six seasons. He then became the head coach for the girls' tennis program. He coached the team for 28 seasons and compiled a 377-154 record, which included eight Central Lakes Conference titles and eight state tournament appearances. In 1988 he coached the boys' tennis team to a 174-119 record in 17 seasons, claiming one conference title and trips to the state tournament by several individual players. Miller also was an assistant coach for Willmar's girls and boys basketball teams. He helped lead each team to three state tournaments. For the past 29 years, Miller has served as the tournament manager for the girls' and boys' state tennis tournaments, and in June, the League presented him with the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Service Award. A member of the Cardinal Pride Hall of Pride, Miller also manages the Section 2AA tennis tournaments and has served on the Tennis Advisory Committee and was the President of the Tennis Coaches Association for two terms.
BRIANA SCURRY, ATHLETE
Celebrated as Minnesota's greatest soccer player, the multi-talented Briana Scurry led Anoka High School to the state girls' soccer championship in 1989. In the shootout, she made a save and then scored the clinching goal. Her superb goalkeeping earned her All-American honors and Minnesota's High School Female Athlete of the Year award. In addition to soccer, Scurry ran track and played softball and basketball at Anoka. After a standout college career at the University of Massachusetts where she led her team to the semi-finals of the NCCA women's soccer championship and was named the Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year, Scurry went on to play for the U.S. women's national soccer team in the Olympics and the World Cup. Her prowess helped the women's team win the 1999 World Cup and capture Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004. Scurry is considered by many to be one of the world's best-ever female soccer goalkeepers. She played in 173 international games, the most for any female soccer player in the world.
CORTNEY SYLVESTER, FINE ARTS
A 1985 graduate of Barnesville High School, Cortney Sylvester was the first three-time Class A state champion in speech. He was also one of Minnesota's first four-time state medalists. Sylvester was a two-time participant at the National Forensic League and was a national runner-up. At Concordia (Moorhead), he was a national champion and a five-time national finalist. He then graduated from the University of Michigan Law School. In addition to his success as a litigating attorney, Sylvester has coached speech and debate at Rosemount High School for the past 23 years. His teams have qualified for the state tournament 22 of those 23 years. They won the state title in 2006 and have qualified for the national tournament 16 times. A longtime member of the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association, Sylvester served as president and remains on the board of directors. He holds numerous awards of distinction and is regularly selected by his peers to judge at state tournaments. He currently represents Minnesota on the National Federation of High School Association's Debate Topic Selection Committee.
MICHAEL TILLMANN, FINE ARTS
Any historical review of the League's forensic and theater programs would be intolerably incomplete without the detail of contributions made by Michael Tillmann. An iconic figure in speech, debate and one act play, Tillmann has been coaching and directing these activities since 1966 at three Minnesota high schools and one in Wisconsin. He directed several starred performances at the state one act play festival and had numerous state champions in speech. Throughout his career, Tillmann has served as an adjudicator for speech and one act play. He served on the League's Board of Directors from 1976-78 and represented the fine arts activities on district and region administrative committees. His contributions to the professional organizations that represent fine arts include president of the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota, secretary of the Speech Association of Minnesota, and fine arts consultant for the League. Recognition of his achievements and contributions include the Ashland Teacher Achievement Award, CTAM's Outstanding Individual in the Field of Speech, and Owatonna Teacher of the Year.
CARRIE TOLLEFSON, ATHLETE
Born and raised in Dawson, Minnesota, Carrie Tollefson established a running legacy that may never be matched. In high school, she set a national record with five consecutive individual cross country state championships while running in a league of her own. She also won eight state championships in the 1600 and 3200 meter races during the track season. As a collegian at Villanova University, Tollefson won five NCAA championships and was a part of the 1999 national championship cross country team. In 1998, she was selected the NCAA indoor track athlete of the year. She also made history by becoming the first person in NCAA history to win both the 3K and the 5K titles. In her post collegiate career, Tollefson was a three-time national champion and after winning the 1500 meter trials in 2004, she represented the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens, Greece. Tollefson hosts a weekly online show about running and fitness and is a global running ambassador. She also runs a distance running camp at St. Catherine University.
DARRELL "BOZO" WINCEK, OFFICIAL
A Minneapolis native, Bozo Wincek was a common figure at Minnesota State High School League events wearing pinstripes on the football field and basketball courts, as well as wearing his umpiring gear on the baseball and softball fields. Wincek officiated high school basketball for 50 years before retiring in 2010. A year later, he retired from officiating football after 45 years. He officiated in 25 state football tournaments, including seven championship games. Wincek also umpired baseball for 42 years and still umps fast-pitch softball. He was one of six officials that met in 1963 to help pioneer officiating education and servicing the League with officials. He helped found Gopher State Officials, an association of more than 400 officials. He has been the assignment secretary for Gopher State Officials for four decades. Wincek is a member of the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and the USSSA Softball halls of fame.
BARRY WOHLER, ATHLETE
Barry Wohler of Bird Island-Lake Lillian is remembered as one of the most versatile athletes in Minnesota history. He is one of just three Minnesota prep athletes to be invited to all-star games in three different sports. Dave Winfield and Joe Mauer are the others. He quarterbacked state championship football teams in 1979 and ’80. He was also the playmaking guard that led Bird Island-Lake Lillian to back-to-back Class A basketball championships. Wohler had planned to play football for the Gophers, but instead played basketball and baseball at Minnesota. He was a part of the Gophers’ 1982 squad that won the Big Ten title and also helped the Gophers’ baseball team to Big Ten titles in 1982 and ’83. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, playing from 1983-88, and advancing to Triple AAA Albuquerque. Following his professional baseball career, Wohler coached boys’ basketball at several Minnesota colleges and high schools. He now teaches and coaches at Orono High School. He led the Spartans to the Class AAA boys’ basketball championship in 2011.
|100 Years: Top Coaches & Players
To help us celebrate the MSHSL's 100 Year Anniversary we are asking you to vote on the top athletes and coaches and narrow down our list to the best of the best. Each week we'll run two concurrent polls selecting a few matchups from our tournament style brackets ( www.mshsl.org/100Years).
A new voting window for coaches and players begins every Thursday. To get started, click the "Vote Now" button below.
Welcome to the Round of 32.
The Minnesota State High School League's quest to determine the top athlete and the top coach in its 100-year history is now whittled to 32 in each tournament of the Top 100 competition.
The journey to find the top athlete and the top coach in MSHSL history began in early May with the top 100 candidates staking their claim to the title. More than two-thirds of the field has been eliminated after nearly 130,000 votes have been cast in the online competition.
"This tournament has been amazingly fun," said Tim Leighton, the League's Communications Coordinator. "We started with an incredible field and the voters have had their chance to weigh in. This tournament has been a wonderful way to pair our treasured past with the present as we celebrate our 100 years."
It's been a rocky road for the top seeds in the early rounds of the tournament. Three that did survive are on the voting docket now through Monday.
Billy Bye, the top seed in the Dave Stead Regional, is facing No. 8 Bob McNamara. Both are all-around sports legends.
In the Orv Bies Regional, top-seeded Bronko Nagurski is facing No. 8 "Leapin" Leonard Jones.
In the coaches tournament, top-seeded Bob McDonald of Chisholm is facing No. 8 Brian Cosgriff. Cosgriff, arguably the top girls' basketball coach in the game right now, made a late charge in the past week to defeat No. 9 Lowell Scearcy of Brainerd.
In the other coaches' tournament matchup, Woodbury's Dave Preller, a No. 16 seed, is facing off against No. 9 Mike Randolph of Duluth East. Preller defeated top-seeded Mike Grant of Eden Prairie to advance and Randolph defeated No. 25 John Nett.
Former Apple Valley wrestling coach Jim Jackson, the top seed in the Panther Regional in the coaches tournament, was upended by No. 16 Charlie Whitbred, the former coach at Park.
Edina's Willard Ikola, the top seed in the Cardinal Regional, remains alive in the coaches tournament and faces No. 8 Bill Demaray next week.
Moose Lake's Annie Adamczak, one of the pioneers in girls' sports in Minnesota, was a top seed and figured to advance deep into the tournament, but she was upended by No. 17 Whitney Taney, the former girls tennis star at Edina, last week.
Taney now advances to face No. 8 Mark Hall of Apple Valley next week in a dandy matchup of high school standouts past and present.
For more fun and to check out the brackets for upcoming matchups, go to www.mshsl.org and click on the "Top 100" tab.
|MSHSL 'Thank a Ref' Campaign
MSHSL Campaign to Recognize the Contributions of Sports Officials
All Minnesota State High School League member schools are encouraged to participate in the League's "Thank A Ref" campaign.
A kind word of thanks toward officials for all they do is the sole purpose of this endeavor.
Without officials, our games and contests cannot be held. Officials play an integral part in the events enjoyed by high school students, parents and the entire community. While officials are paid for their service, they put in a lot of time in preparation, travel and expenses. They perform an important job at a relatively low level of pay.
Officiating at the high school level is an avocation, not a vocation.
More than 6,000 individuals have chosen to serve as registered officials with the Minnesota State High School League. Many are registered in more than one sport. Officials work hard to be registered, educated and prepared for the season. Officials often travel an hour or more to work the contests, and spend time away from their families.
Officials enjoy being able to continue their involvement in the sports that they love. Many enjoy the opportunity to give back as a way of showing their appreciation for the positive experiences they had as a student-athlete. Officials truly receive great satisfaction from a job well done. Managing a game effectively and making sure the contests are fair, safe and fun for players, coaches and fans is a great reward.
The more than 500 member schools of the Minnesota State High School League extend their appreciation and thanks to all game officials. Without them, the games are just recess. Coaches, participants and fans are encouraged to show their appreciation by demonstrating respect for them and the difficult job they do.
Minnesota high schools are in need of more officials at all levels.
If you are interested in finding out more, contact your local high school or go to the MSHSL's website at www.mshsl.org and click on the "Become An Official" icon near the bottom of the page. Submit that form, someone from the League office will contact you and you can be on your way to becoming an official.
Go ahead: get off the bench, get back in the game and give back by becoming a high school official.
|Around the MSHSL
By Tim Leighton
Gregg Wong was a playmaking quarterback at Minneapolis Central High School before graduating in 1964.
His enthusiasm and zest for sports on and off the field accompanied him as he continued his education, and ultimately, began his professional life as a sportswriter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch in 1969.
In the three-plus decades that would follow, Wong would skillfully paint a picture with his words as he covered athletic events from the high school ranks to the pros. He covered the 1980 Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, the Minnesota Twins’ first World Series Championship in 1987, as well as covering the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team, among others.
Off the beat, he was an avid golfer and tennis player.
He wrote a weekly tennis column for more than 20 years and for more than 30 years, covered the boys’ and girls’ tennis state tournaments.
He retired from the Pioneer Press in 2002. Wong splits the duties as official scorer at Minnesota Twins’ games with local author Stew Thornley.
For his contributions, Wong is among five individuals that will be inducted into the Minnesota Old Timers Football hall of fame on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Prom Center in Oakdale. Also being inducted during the hall’s 44th annual banquet are St. Paul Central’s Tom Barnes and Bill Zucco, St. Thomas Academy’s Gerry Brown and South St. Paul’s Steve Doody.
Wong was also a champion at mentorship. He was known for taking young reporters under his tutelage and encouraging them while he showed them the ropes.
He once told a young reporter in the mid-1980's to “show them what you are made of.” That reporter went on to have a 31-year, award-winning career at the Pioneer Press.
In other MSHSL news:
• The Rochester Post-Bulletin reported that Rochester Lourdes senior Rebecca Freiburger has accepted a scholarship to play women’s hockey at Ohio State.
• Hill-Murray’s Sami Schneider has committed to play women’s basketball at Minnesota-Duluth.
• Congrats to Mounds View defender Elle Conlin who scored the first goal of her varsity career in a 1-0 victory over East Ridge.
• Como Park’s Andrayah Adams has committed to play women’s basketball at St. John’s University in New York.
• Hill-Murray’s latest inductees into its hall of fame are: John Goebel, Class of 1966; Jim Wold, 1964; Mary Godfrey, 1983; Les Larson, 1971; Anne Gorde, 1985 and Andy Persby, 1996.
• Harding’s Colten Sherrill scored seven goals in an 8-2 victory over Johnson in a St. Paul City Conference boys soccer game.
• Tickets for Hockey Day Minnesota are on sale. The event is Feb. 6, 2016 at Bayfront Festival Park. For more information, www.hockeydayduluth.com
• The Brainerd Dispatch reported that Pierz High School will induct five into its hall of fame: Kelly Loidolt Wesner, Class of 1998; Cindy Kimman Pohlkamp, 2000; Daniel Saehr, 2002; Shiela Stegora Klemmetsen, 2002, and Zach Solinger, 2005.
• Cretin-Derham Hall High School was presented with a Golden Football by the National Football League last week. The award was presented by 1994 Cretin-Derham Hall gradate Matt Birk. He played with the Vikings and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. He currently is the NFL’s Director of Development. Cretin-Derham Hall has produced four players that have played on Super Bowl teams: In addition to Birk, Marcus Freeman, Class of 2002; Derek Engler, 1992, and Corbin Lacina, 1989.
• The Stillwater football team hosted its ninth annual adapted football game on Sept. 19. The game followed the Ponies’ homecoming victory over the Woodbury the night before. “It was a lot of fun and great to see football bringing so many smiles to kids’ faces,” Ponies football coach Beau LaBore told the Stillwater Gazette. “We ran them through the tunnel starting line and then (out into the) open field where kids worked on throwing and catching and running some routes. We had them catching touchdown passes and kicking a field goal, and otherwise, messing around.”
• The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors meets on Thursday.
|The Minnesota State High School League is celebrating its 100th year of providing extra-curricular opportunities in athletics and fine arts. |
The League is proud of its 100-year legacy, and in honor of the milestone in 2016, we share yearly snapshots taken along the way.
Please join us in a celebratory look at our heritage.
|1942 --- War Time athletics needed for morale
|Posted by Tim Leighton (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Updated 10/2/2015 2:12:37 PM
|The Year 1942 was the midpoint of World War II, a conflict that wouldn’t be resolved for three more years. During a time when all of the nation’s resources were going toward national defense, schools and athletic programs were called upon for support.
Individuals and the school’s athletic departments were asked to invest all available funds into defense stamps or defense bonds.
The interest on those stamps and bonds were designed to help the school’s purchase equipment in later years.
Schools were also asked to keep facilities busy with athletic activities to keep youth and adult morale at a high level.
“The high schools have always been in the forefront of any movement designed to maintain and increase the appreciation of all Americans for the great privileges they enjoy in a nation devoted to the preservation of maximum liberties for its citizens,’’ wrote the National Federation of High Schools. “The schools will continue to be in the forefront of this type of activity. The ultimate safety of the nation will be determined by how efficiently this work is done. Athletic departments are one important part of the school system which can, and will, keep America thoroughly American.”
In Minnesota, girls’ sports began to disappear after 1942. The girls’ swimming state meeting was regularly held between 1924-42, but then it was discontinued.
The first era of girls' basketball ended, too.
It wouldn’t be until 1968 when the Minnesota State High School League’s Representative Assembly asked the board of directors to create a bylaw that allowed girls to participate. The first MSHSL-sanctioned state meet would come four years later at the 1972 track and field state meet.
In other news of the day:
• At the boys basketball state tournament, Buhl won its 36th consecutive game with a 30-29 victory over Marshall in the championship game. Forward George Klasna, who earlier in the game had been knocked out during a scramble under the basket, was “revived” according to history books, and made a free throw with 51 seconds remaining for the winning margin.
• Ticket pricing structure for the boys basketball state tournament: Students, general admission, 30 cents; adults, general admission, 55 cents; reserved seat, $1.10; reserved seat for five sessions, $4.40; coaches’ reserved seat for five sessions, $1.90.
• In a national survey of 44 states, there were 17,957 schools that played basketball. That was more than double the number that played 11-man football (7,498 schools). The least popular sport in 1942 was soccer with just 548 schools nationwide participating.
• George Klouda of Hopkins and Wilmar’s James Sigg both shot a 76 in the 15th annual boys golf state tournament at the University of Minnesota Recreation Field. Klouda was declared the champion, but the tie-breaking criteria are unknown.
• The Robbinsdale wrestling team won its third consecutive state championship. Four more would be coming.
• Sales of new cars are banned to save on steel, Daylight Savings Time is implemented and gasoline rationing begins.
Check back for more weekly looks at the MSHSL's "100 years of memories."
More of the Countdown to 100
|A Day Of Leadership Training In The Granite Ridge Conference
|Posted by John Millea(email@example.com)- Updated 9/30/2015 1:48:07 PM
|ST. CLOUD – Wednesday was in important day in the Granite Ridge Conference. An event was held at St. Cloud Cathedral High School: the fifth annual leadership conference for students from all eight member schools.
Administrators at each school selected 20 students to attend, meaning 160 gathered for three and half hours of learning and togetherness (and lunch). The schools in the Granite Ridge are Albany, Becker, Foley, Little Falls, Milaca, Mora, Cathedral and Zimmerman.
The topics were wide-ranging: concussions, social media, leadership, college recruiting, relationships with officials and more. I gave a presentation on social media, with the message that social media is a fantastic tool but it must be used wisely.(During a short break, all 160 students posed for photos with the John's Journal Toyota Camry.)
Cathedral activities director Emmett Keenan told the students that they need to realize how much they have in common. Yes, they compete against each other in athletics, but they are all on similar paths.
“You need to respect what the other person is doing. You need to respect where the other person is coming from,” Keenan said. “When you go to practice today, everybody on the other team is going to practice today. When you go to the game on Friday night or Tuesday night or in December, everybody that you compete against will have worked to get to that same point where you are.
“And believe me, when you respect that you’ll be better, you’ll focus more on what you’re doing and everybody will have a much better time at every one of our events.”
He also told the students that their paths are likely to cross in later years.
“You may end up working for the same company. You may end up teaching in the same school. You may end up in the same job at different schools and work with each other. That is the beauty of athletics and athletic competition.”
Kevin Schlagel, former men’s basketball coach at St. Cloud State, gave an outstanding presentation on what it means to be part of a team, to compete every day and to be disciplined. He first congratulated the students on being selected to attend the conference.
“Obviously somebody saw something in you at your schools that brought you here,” he said.
He used quotes from Alabama football coach Nick Saban, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and others to make some important points.
“Being part of a team is being part of something bigger than yourself,” Schlagel said.
In discussing competition, he told the students to compete every day in every way, reminding them that everyone in every walk of life competes against time, norms, opponents and themselves.
“You’re part of something bigger than yourself,” he said.
Paul Conrad, assistant principal at Albany and a veteran official in several sports, helped the students understand who officials are and why they officiate.
His challenge to athletes was simple: “Make your team and your school better, every day.”
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 100
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 2,870
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
More of John's Journal