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State Debate Tournament
Home Page Photo Anderson of Apple Valley wins Lincoln-Douglas crown;
Rawal, Wells of Edina claim Policy title;
Askari, Wheaton of St. Paul Academy & Summit School earn second Public Forum championship

Increasing military spending and restricting constitutionally protected speech at public colleges and universities were two of the topics argued at the 2017 State Debate Tournament – the 116th edition and longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League.

Kenan Anderson of Apple Valley claimed his first title in the Lincoln-Douglas competition. He defeated Sophia Kuriscak of Visitation of Mendota Heights 7-0 in the final round. Anderson’s argument against public colleges and universities restricting any constitutionally protected speech followed nine rounds of debate conducted over two days. Anderson did not qualify for the state tournament in 2016.

The results of eight rounds of debate proved that Sukriti Rawal and Maggie Wells of Edina were the very best policy debaters. Rawal and Wells drew the affirmative argument, arguing for the United States federal government to increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China. The win was an improvement for Rawal, who fell in the semifinals with Anne Lepow last year.

Adnan Askari and Sarah Wheaton of St. Paul Academy & Summit School took home top honors in Public Forum for a second consecutive year. Their victory came after nine rounds of debate and they won 5-2 with an affirmative argument over Matthew Nissen and Theo Teske of Edina. They argued that in order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.

Anderson, Rawal, Wells, Askari, and Wheaton emerged as champions after two days of debate that began with 112 students from 36 schools. The qualifiers were the first- through sixth-place finishers in Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum debate, and the first- through fifth-place finishers in Policy debate from four section tournaments.

The Policy debate portion of the tournament has been conducted since 1902 and the Lincoln-Douglas portion of the tournament, which was an invitational event from 1986 through 1989, was added to the tournament in 1990. Public Forum was introduced in 2013. This year’s tournament was held at the University of Minnesota.

Why Do I Coach?
To positively impact the students who participate on our teams, we must start with and identify our coaching purpose. In doing so, we purposefully identify the road we want to take, to get to the place we want to be, instead of
ending up down an unintentional path, wondering how we got there.

We spend a considerable amount of time on the technical and tactical aspects of the sports we coach, but there is so much more to consider. Joe Ehrmann, author of InSideOut Coaching, states, "Coaching shouldn't start with the X's and O's but with the Y's. This WHY should be a clear and concise statement defining the impact we are trying to make in our players' lives. WHY directs the expenditures of our time, energy, and effort and provides a final destination. Answering the question ‘Why do I coach?' can help a coach identify selfish agendas and develop a purpose that transcends personal, vocational, financial, or ego-driven needs. WHY prompts us to answer the questions of when and how to use the power of coaching to affect players for their lifetime."

Read More about Why We Play and how to redefine your focus as a coach, parent, and spectator.
Winter Bulletin
The latest edition of the Minnesota State High School League's Bulletin magazine has arrived and is ready for your reading enjoyment.

In this issue, see our cover story on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and a four-page pictorial salute to the League's debut appearances at U.S. Bank Stadium. In addition to the columnists making their regular appearances, be sure to check out the feature on Paul McDonald, who serves in many different capacities.

And don't forget to take the Quickie Quiz!

We hope you enjoy the latest edition of the Bulletin.


A Storybook Night Of Wrestling For Pierz and Frazee
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 1/21/2017 6:52:32 PM

PIERZ – In the world of high school wrestling, a dual match is a storybook. The book always has 14 chapters in a sport with 14 weight classes, from 106-pound sprites who seem to glide over the mat to the athletic mastodons who walk out hauling 285 pounds of muscle, grit and heart.

The book can be a horror novel for teams who know they are outmatched, or easy reading for teams that know they will dominate. Neither was the case here Friday evening, when the top two teams in The Guillotine magazine’s Class 1A rankings met up in a hammer-and-tong match that had all the anticipation of a state-tournament dual.

The Frazee Hornets and Pierz Pioneers could very well meet again at the state tourney in St. Paul in early March. If they do, Friday’s show was a grand preamble, a rollicking action novel filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, screams as well as silence.

Frazee came in with the No. 1 rankings and Pierz was No. 2. These wrestling programs are as good as it gets in Minnesota: The schools have a combined 35 trips to state (23 by Frazee, 12 by the Pioneers) and six state titles (four for the Hornets and two for Pierz).

Last season Frazee was the 1A team state runner-up and Pierz finished third. Two years ago Frazee was fourth and Pierz went 0-2 at state. The schools are 105 miles apart and don’t always meet during the regular season, so this wasn’t your ordinary Friday night exercise.

As veteran broadcaster Rick Grammond -- whose “You Are There Sports” website is well-known for first-class coverage of events across these parts -- told his listeners before the match began, “This is fun when two legendary programs get together.”

The wild evening would end with a smiling lady telling Rick, “Somebody who was listening on the internet told me it sounded like you might need oxygen!”

Indeed. This was a crazy one, with 14 chapters that involved some of the state’s best wrestlers, two veteran coaches and knowledgeable fans who cheered for their boys (“Hook the wrist! Hook the wrist!”) while offering helpful advice to the referee (“That’s a stall, ref, not a stalemate!”).

Three matches pitted wrestlers who are ranked among the top 10 in their weight classes. The action began at 6:45 p.m. with the gym lights dimmed while a set of spotlights lit up the mat.

Frazee got rolling early, with Landon Byer, Michael Miller and Tanner Schermerhorn winning at 106, 113 and 120 pounds to put the Hornets in front 10-0. Lucas Popp put the Pioneers on the board with a 2-1 decision over Kaden Hiemez at 126 and the team score was 10-3.

The Hornets’ top-ranked Tanner Reetz met No. 3 Brandon Ortman of Pierz at 132, and it began with Tanner and Brandon ramming their heads into each other only seven seconds in. Ortman got the worst of it and there was a brief timeout as Pioneers coach Mark Jensen checked on him. Brandon continued wrestling, but he was a little wobbly and Jensen walked onto the mat in the second period, figuratively throwing in the towel. Reetz won by injury default, giving Frazee a 16-3 lead.

After Reese Kapsner of Pierz beat Blaine Beaty 5-2 at 138 and Tanner Eischens of Frazee defeated Andrew Tomala 6-4 at 145, the Hornets’ lead was 19-6 and half of the book’s chapters had been completed.

As the bigger boys strode from the darkness into the light, the home team found its gait and the referee’s hand began slapping the mat with regularity. Jalen Jansen won by fall at 152. Luke Girtz pulled some magic out of his singlet at 160, scoring an escape in the absolute final second to beat Charleton Wake 8-7. The score was Frazee 19, Pierz 15.

Another pin for the Pioneers: Logan Lease at 170 … Pierz led now 21-19 with four weights to go and this was anybody’s match to win. The home fans absolutely shrieked as their Brett Kapsner rolled Logan Wacker’s shoulders onto the mat and the slap reverberated, putting the Pioneers ahead 27-19.

Amid the din, Grammond yelled into his microphone, “We are getting down to the nitty gritty here!”

Sixth-ranked Matt Kummet of Pierz defeated fifth-ranked Rory Drewes 3-1 at 195 and it was Pierz 30, Frazee 19. That 11-point margin meant the Hornets needed to win by fall in both of the final two matches to take home the victory.

An amazing thing happened at 220 pounds. Luke Tweeten of Frazee and Carson Huls of Pierz battled, battled and battled some more. In fact, the score was 3-3 and headed to overtime … or so it seemed. Huls held control of Tweeten as the third-period clock neared zero, and then – amazingly – Huls simply let go, allowing Tweeten to score a one-point escape for a 4-3 victory.

The place went nuts as everyone realized what had just happened: By losing in a decision and avoiding overtime, Huls could not be pinned … and Pierz could not be defeated. Clincher. The Pioneers led 30-22 and Troy Fischer completed the night with a pin at 285 pounds, making the final score Pierz 36, Frazee 22.

Clay Nagel, the cowboy-booted coach of the Hornets, had a message for his disappointed wrestlers.

“I told the kids, ‘Would you rather have this happen here or at the state tournament?’ I don’t know what will happen at the state tournament, but Pierz is a good solid team. We learn and get better.”

Jensen, as is customary, chatted with Grammond as the end of the broadcast neared. Mark was worn out and emotional, but mostly he was proud of his boys.

“The upper side of our lineup really wrestled well,” Jensen said. “I can’t say enough about how those kids came out and laid it on the line. They are an experienced bunch, a veteran bunch, they’ve been through the wars and they showed it tonight. Everybody had a great effort. It was phenomenal.”

Jensen broke some news as he chatted with Grammond. Mark was the Pioneers head coach from 1990 to 2006 before stepping down. He returned as head coach in 2013 and it seems like he is ready to hand the reins off once more.

“It’s just one match, it’s kind of practice for the end of the year, but I’m pretty darn proud of these kids,” the coach said. “Being this is probably my last year, it’s phenomenal, just phenomenal. I can’t say enough about this group and this school and what they’ve given me.”

Both teams were back on the mat several hours later at Saturday tournaments. The Pioneers were in action at 9 a.m. at Cambridge-Isanti and the Hornets were doing the same at Staples-Motley.

The state tournament? That book will be opened the second day of March.

*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 326
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 7,025
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

More of John's Journal

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MSHSL Behavior Expectations 
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December Board Meeting Synopsis  
Dec Tech/Coaches/Officials Comm. Agenda 
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Amy Doherty
1h ago
MN high school robotics teams, will you reply if your school awards a varsity letter for robotics? I'm creating an informal list. Thanks!

John Millea
4h ago
Happy trails to the talented @jeannaradz / devoted supporter of high school activities, departing @ABC6NEWS in Rochester for California.

John Millea
5h ago
Top 3 in gymnastics rankings:1A/ 1 Detroit Lakes, 2 Melrose, 3 Willmar2A/ 1 Lakeville N, 2 Owatonna, 3 SC Techfacebook.com/mshsl.org/

MSHSL 5h ago
This week's gymnastic rankings, provided by the coaches association.CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 150.633
2 Melrose Area 6A 147.058
3 Willmar 6A 145.233
4 Austin 1A 143.958
5 Perham 8A 142.775
6 Pine Island 1A 142.650
7 Worthington 3A 142.508
8 North Branch 7A 141.775
9 Becker 7A 141.617
10 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 140.917
11 Mahtomedi 4A 140.483
12 Mankato West 2A 140.258
13 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 140.158
14 Jackson County Central 3A 139.375
15 Byron-Lourdes 1A 138.633
16 Monticello 7A 138.550
17 New London-Spicer 6A 138.208
18 Big Lake 7A 138.158
19 Martin County Area 3A 136.858
20 Waconia 2A 136.608
21 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 135.725
22 Fergus Falls 8A 135.575
23 Alexandria 8A 135.533
24 Winona/Cotter 1A 134.550
25 Rush City/Pine City/Hinckley-F. 7A 134.433 CLASS 2A
1 Lakeville North 2AA 148.133
2 Owatonna 1AA 146.433
3 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 145.367
4 Stillwater 4AA 145.250
5 Roseville Area 4AA 144.633
6 Lakeville South 2AA 144.417
7 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 143.883
8 Champlin Park 5AA 143.525
9 Maple Grove 5AA 142.708
10 Brainerd 8AA 141.817
11 Prior Lake 2AA 141.625
12 Rosemount 3AA 140.892
13 Wayzata 5AA 140.842
14 Anoka 7AA 140.600
15 Farmington 1AA 140.083
16 New Prague 2AA 139.758
17 Saint Michael-Albertville 8AA 139.650
18 Park Center 5AA 139.542
19 Rogers 5AA 139.292
20 Eagan 3AA 138.717
21 East Ridge 3AA 138.417
22 Edina 6AA 138.150
23 Saint Francis 7AA 137.475
24 Forest Lake 7AA 137.042
25 Eden Prairie 6AA 135.967

John Millea
19h ago
Final score in boys basketball: Wayzata 78, Minneapolis South 37.

John Millea
20h ago
Halftime score in boys basketball: Wayzata 56, Minneapolis South 22.

John Millea
20h ago
Boys basketball: Minneapolis South at Wayzata. periscope.tv/w/a1VN-DF6dktO

John Millea
21h ago
One of the finest officiating crews in Minnesota has been assigned to this Mpls South-Wayzata game.

John Millea
21h ago
Spending the evening at Wayzata High School, where the Trojans boys hoopsters (13-0, ranked 4th in Class 4A) are hosting Mpls South (4-11).

John Millea
2d ago
The Pride of Minneapolis Washburn High School: Ra'Shede Hageman, number 77 in the defensive line for the Atlanta Falcons.

MSHSL 3d ago
A Storybook Night Of Wrestling For Pierz and Frazee.Check out John's Journal.John's Journal

John Millea
3d ago
A Storybook Night Of Wrestling For Pierz and Frazee. Check out John's Journal. mshsl.org/mshsl/johnsjou

John Millea
3d ago
How dare you not know when to use "they're"

John Millea
4d ago
You forgot the word "knuckleheads"

John Millea
4d ago
OK Big Red. Let's head for home.

John Millea
4d ago
#2 Pierz rallies from 16-3 deficit to beat #1 Frazee 36-22 in Class 1A wrestling.

John Millea
4d ago
Postgame: Pierz coach Mark Jensen on the air with @rgrammond

John Millea
4d ago
Fantastic wrestling in Class 1A!#2 Frazee trailed #1 Pierz 16-3, came back to win 36-22


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