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State Alpine Ski Meet
Home Page Photo Co-champions from Edina, Forest Lake return to defend boys' team title; New individual champions to emerge

The boys' teams from Edina and Forest Lake, who tied for top honors in 2015, both return to this year's event. Each team has four competitors with previous state meet experience. A new team champion will emerge in the girls' event as the defending champions from Brainerd failed to qualify for this year's meet.
New individual champions will emerge in both the boys' and girls' events. The girls' champion, Kate Hanson of Rochester Century, graduated last spring. Elliot Boman of Northfield, who captured the boys' title in 2015, did not ski for the Raiders this year.
The 2016 State Alpine Ski Meet will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

Girls Highlights
The Bears of The Blake School of Minneapolis (Section 4 champions) are the highest returning qualifiers. They claimed runner-up honors in 2016 and have four skiers with prior state meet experience: senior Maddie Dekko, junior Nellie Ide, sophomore Sarah DeMane, and ninth-grader Lauren Nida. Seniors Evelyn Hinke and Annika Ekholm round out Blake's squad.
The other three returning team qualifiers and their 2015 finish are: Minnetonka (Section 5 champion), third; Mankato West (Section 6 runner-up), sixth; and Eden Prairie (Section 6 champion), seventh.
The four other teams that qualified for this year's meet are: Minneapolis Southwest (Section 4 runner-up); Orono (Section 5 runner-up); Cook County/Silver Bay (Section 7 runner-up); and Stillwater Area (Section 7 runner-up).
Junior Rosie Hust of Orono is the highest returning individual; she placed second last year. Hust is joined by 10 other Top 20 finishers: junior Nellie Ide of The Blake School, third; senior Juliana Damberg of Mounds View, fourth; junior Elizabeth Frischmon of Chisago Lakes of Lindstrom, fifth; junior Chloe Townsend of Edina, seventh; junior Bailey Servais of Lakeville North, 10th; senior Allison Heorr of Roseville Area, 12th; junior Alex Stone of Brainerd, 13th; senior Berit Thorson of Mahtomedi, 14th; junior Skye Sonnega of Northfield, 15th; and junior Avery Plude of Duluth East, 19th.

Boys Highlights
Last year's co-champions, Forest Lake (Section 7 runner-up) and Edina (Section 6 champion), both return in search of more gold. The Forest Lake Rangers return four skiers with previous state meet experience: seniors Marty Longsdorf, Nathan Patterson, and Joe Alberg, and junior Zachary Ochsenbauer. The newcomers are ninth-grader Mitchell Longsdorf, and senior Max Stangler.
The Edina Hornets also return with four competitors with previous experience: junior Daniel Brunker, and sophomores Christopher Reichling, Andrew Shideman, and Soren Lindquist. Junior Jack Keenan and ninth-grader Carl Berghult also ski for Edina.
Two additional teams return from the 2015 field: Minnetonka (Section 5 champion), tied for fourth; and Hastings (Section 4 champion), seventh.
The four other qualifying teams are: St. Thomas Academy of Mendota Heights (Section 4 runner-up); Wayzata (Section 5 runner-up); Bloomington Jefferson (Section 6 runner-up); and Hermantown, which includes students from Proctor (Section 7 champion).
Thirteen Top 20 finishers return to this year's event. Senior Peter Baker of St. Paul Academy & Summit School, who placed third last year, is the highest returning qualifier. The others are: senior Jack Midtlien of Woodbury, fourth; junior Anders Bowen of Chisago Lakes of Lindstrom, fifth; junior Jack Lindsay of Burnsville, sixth; senior Roscoe Ide of The Blake School, seventh; junior Luke Doolittle of Eastview of Apple Valley, 10th; senior Robert Hapke of Apple Valley, 12th; sophomore Austin Danelski of Hermantown, 13th; junior Daniel Brunker of Edina, 16th; senior Ryan Murray of Bloomington Jefferson, 17th; junior Ryan Nordin of Duluth East, 18th; sophomore Andrew Shideman of Edina, 19th; and senior Stephen O'Connor of Hastings, 20th.

The Schedule
The team and individual competitions are combined as a single event. The first runs are slated to begin at 10 a.m. and the second runs are scheduled for 1 p.m. The boys and girls will each ski once on separate courses. Awards for both teams and individuals will be presented at approximately 3:30 p.m.
      
Advance News Release
State Nordic Ski Racing Meet
Home Page Photo Wayzata girls looking for fourth consecutive title; Forest Lake boys seeking third consecutive championship; New pursuit champions to emerge

The Wayzata Trojans are back as the three-time defending girls' champions at the 2016 State Nordic Ski Racing Meet. If they win it would be their fourth consecutive and fifth overall title.
The two-time defending champions from Forest Lake are the highest returning qualifiers in the boys' team competition. The Rangers are looking for their third consecutive crown and their seventh overall.
New champions will emerge in both of the pursuit events. Junior Xavier Mansfield of Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village is the highest returning qualifier in the boys' race. He is looking to improve on last year's sixth-place showing. Wayzata senior Michaela Keller-Miller leads the returning qualifiers in the girls' race. She earned runner-up honors in 2015.
The current race format, introduced in 2007, eliminates separate individual titles in the classical and freestyle events. The meet is a pure pursuit event with only one individual title. The freestyle race will be run first, followed by the classical race with starts based on freestyle times.
The state meet is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11, at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Team scoring is determined by adding the scores of each team's top four skiers in the pursuit event. The first and second place teams from each section have qualified for the team event. In addition to the advancing teams, each section also qualifies six individual pursuit skiers. All skiers, who must ski both the freestyle and classical races, are eligible for individual pursuit awards.

Boys' Highlights
The Forest Lake Rangers (Section 4 champion) return as the two-time defending champions. If they win, it would be their seventh title overall. In addition to the past two years, Forest Lake also won in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Forest Lake returns with four skiers with 2015 state meet experience: senior Davis Long, sophomores Ryan Mead and Spencer Kotys, and ninth-grader Andrew Haines. Eighth-graders Ethan Erickson, Nick Parent, and Beck Hope, and seventh-graders Quinlan Bonnet and Jonathan Hudrlik round out Forest Lake's squad.
Five other teams also return from the 2015 field: Duluth East (Section 7 runner-up), second; Stillwater Area (Section 4 runner-up), third; St. Louis Park (Section 6 runner-up), fifth; Eden Prairie (Section 2 runner-up), sixth; and Wayzata (Section 6 champion), seventh.
The other qualified teams are: Eagan (Section 1 champion); Burnsville (Section 1 runner-up); Minneapolis Southwest (Section 2 champion); Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis (Section 3 champion); St. Paul Central, which includes students from Open World Learning (Section 3 runner-up); Mora (Section 5 champion); Champlin Park (Section 5 runner-up); Ely (Section 7 champion); Brainerd, which includes students from Pequot Lakes (Section 8 champion); and Bemidji (Section 8 runner-up).
A new champion will emerge in the pursuit event. Junior Xavier Mansfield of Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village leads the field of six returning Top 20 finishers. Mansfield, who skied for Minneapolis Patrick Henry in 2015, placed sixth last year. The others are: senior Davis Long of Forest Lake, 10th; senior Seth Prigge of Ely, 11th; junior Josh Jones of Mesabi East, 15th; senior Sam Hanson of Stillwater Area, 16th; and senior Sam Olson of Proctor/Hermantown, 20th.

Girls' Highlights
Six teams return from the 2015 girls' field, including the three-time defending champions from Wayzata (Section 6 runner-up). The Trojans are in the hunt for their fifth title. In addition to the past three years they also won in 1980.
Wayzata returns with six veterans of last year's state meet: seniors Michaela Keller-Miller, Kristine Keller-Miller, Evelyn Frenz, and Madeline Williams, junior Jaycie Thomsen, and ninth-grader Mara McCollor. This year's team also includes junior Anna Ingemann, ninth-grader Carolyn House, and seventh-grader Lauren McCollor.
The other returning teams are: Robbinsdale Armstrong (Section 6 champion), runner-up; Stillwater Area (Section 4 champion), third; Eden Prairie (Section 2 runner-up), fourth; Forest Lake (Section 4 runner-up), fifth; and Eastview of Apple Valley (section 1 champion), sixth.
The other qualified teams are: Burnsville (Section 1 runner-up); Edina (Section 2 champion); St. Paul Highland Park (Section 3 champion); East Ridge of Woodbury (Section 3 runner-up); Andover (Section 5 champion); Champlin Park (Section 5 runner-up); Ely (Section 7 champion); Duluth East (Section 7 runner-up); Little Falls (Section 8 champion); and St. Cloud Cathedral/Sartell (Section 8 runner-up).
In the individual pursuit competition, 11 of last year's Top 20 are back. Wayzata senior Michaela Keller-Miller, who placed second in 2015, leads the returning qualifiers. The additional Top 20 finishers are: senior Margie Freed of Eastview, third; junior Erin Moening of St. Paul Highland Park, fourth; junior Anja Maijala of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, sixth; junior Anna Johnson of Mesabi East, ninth; junior Hannah Rudd of Robbinsdale Armstrong, 11th; sophomore Kelly Koch of Burnsville, 13th; junior Erika Fox of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, 14th; senior Hanna Trovi of Roseville Area, 15th; junior Dorothy Anderson of Robbinsdale Armstrong, 17th; and junior Erin Bianco of Ely, 19th.

The Schedule
The girls' 5K freestyle race starts at 10 a.m., followed by the boys' 5K freestyle race at 11:15 a.m. The girls' 5K classical race will begin at 2 p.m., and the boys' 5K classical race will follow at 3 p.m. A combined awards presentation will follow shortly after the conclusion of the final race.
      
Advance News Release
State One Act Play Festival
Home Page Photo Eagan seeks 19th 'starred performance' in 20th appearance

How do people in a small town in Iowa cope with the emotional fallout after a fire in a school? What happens when a young Irish girl goes on an odyssey to heal her foot? How does a bourgeois businessman in Paris in the late 17th century deal with delusions of grandeur? What happens to a brother and sister when they're taken captive by pirates? These are a few of the topics that will play themselves out on stage during the 2016 State One Act Play Festival.

Scores of the state's most promising actors and actresses will take to the stage performing 16 one act plays this Thursday and Friday, Feb. 11 and 12, at St. Catherine University's O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul during the 68th annual festival.

Eagan (Class AA) leads all qualified schools by making its 20th festival appearance. Eagan also leads all schools in “starred performances” and is hoping to earn its 19th "star". Belle Plaine is making its 11th appearance in the Class A festival.

Trinity School at River Ridge of Eagan and Browerville (Class A) are the only schools making their first appearances at this year's festival.

Thursday's opening production will be The Would-Be Gentleman by Trinity School at River Ridge and the day concludes with Radium Girls by Bagley. The other Class A selections to be presented on Thursday are: An Unfortunate Treasure; Anatomy of a Gray; The Fifth Sun; The Least Offensive Play in the Whole Darn World; Rocky's Road; and Oz.

The curtain opens on Friday with Doubt: A Parable by Eastview of Apple Valley and the day's concluding play will be The Cripple of Inishmaan by Alexandria Area. The other Class AA productions scheduled on Friday are: An Echo of Wings; Third; Journey to the World's Edge: A Folk Tale in the Irish Tradition; Engendered Shakespeare: An Experiment in the Male and Female; Doubt: A Parable; and The Importance of Being Earnest.

The plays are limited to no more than 35 minutes, following a maximum 10-minute stage set-up. Total cast and crew cannot exceed 20 students.
It is a festival — not a competition. However, each production will be judged and publicly critiqued immediately following each performance. Each cast will attempt to achieve an exceptional rating known as a "starred performance." In 2015, for example, 10 of the 16 plays, five from Class AA and five from Class A, were awarded "starred performance" ratings.

The Spotlight on the Arts Award of Excellence will also be presented at the 2016 festival, a unique form of recognition for fine arts participants created by Wells Fargo, the League's premier corporate sponsor, in cooperation with the League. Each cast and crew member of schools earning a "starred performance" rating will receive a handsome acrylic trophy incorporating the Spotlight on the Arts logo.

The Class A schools participating this year (including number of appearances and * starred performance years) are: Trinity School at River Ridge, Eagan (first); Browerville/Eagle Valley (first for Browerville; Eagle Valley made one additional appearance in 1991); Belle Plaine (13th; * in 1993, '97, '99, 2000, '07, '08, '09, '11, '12, '13, and '14); East Central (ninth; * in 1989, 2002, '04,'12, and '15); Hawley (second); Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (sixth under this name; * in 1999; Tyler made one additional appearance in 1949); Fillmore Central, Harmony (fourth); and Bagley (fourth).

The Class AA schools participating this year (including number of appearances and * starred performance years) are: Eastview, Apple Valley (11th; * in 1998, 2002, '03, '07, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, and '14); Buffalo (18th; * in 1973, '82, '86, '97, 2002, '05, '14, and '15); Minnetonka (11th; * in 1969, 2003, '06, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, and '13); Cambridge-Isanti (fifth under this name; Cambridge make two additional appearances in 1953 and 1981); Academy of Holy Angels, Richfield (11th; * in 1989, 1993, '97, '98, 2002, '03, '04, '05, and '15); Eagan (20th; * in 1991, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, 2000, '01, '05, '06, '07, '08, '10, '11, '12, and '14); Irondale, New Brighton (second; * in 2014); and Alexandria Area (eighth; * in 1951).

The public is invited to attend the 2016 Minnesota State High School League One Act Play Festival. Admission is $10.00 per four-play session for students and adults, and there are two sessions per day. A daily pass is available for $15.00 per day.
O'Shaughnessy Auditorium is located at 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.
      
Advance News Release Schedule
Around the MSHSL
Home Page Photo From the Stillwater School District:

Stillwater Area High School is now home to two Super Bowl mementos. The National Football League presented SAHS with two golden footballs in honor of two former Ponies who played for Super Bowl teams. Bob Nelson and Bill Barnett played for the Ponies during the 1970’s, they both went on to the University of Nebraska and capped their careers with Super Bowl rings.

Bob Nelson (Class of 1971) was an All State linebacker for Stillwater. He earned a football scholarship at the University of Nebraska followed by an 11 year career in the NFL. Nelson was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1975 and played 3 seasons for them. He went on to play for the Oakland Raiders and earned a pair of Super Bowl rings. Nelson was a starting linebacker for the Raiders in Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII. In Super Bowl XV, the 1980 AFC champion Raiders became the first wild-card team to ever win a Super Bowl, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10. Nelson added a second Super Bowl ring when the Raiders cruised to a 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins.

Bill Barnett (Class of 1974) was an All America guard for Stillwater and was named the 1973 WCCO Player of the Year. Barnett earned a football scholarship at the University of Nebraska followed by a six year career in the NFL. He played with the Miami Dolphins, where he was an original member of the “Killer Bees” Dolphins defense. The team won the 1985 AFC championship and reached Super Bowl XIX, losing 16-18 to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Super Bowl High School Honor Roll was launched this season by the NFL to coincide with the 50th Super Bowl. About 3,000 players and coaches representing more than 2,000 schools across the country have been honored.
      


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.

1965 --- Barnstorming baseball team proposed
Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/8/2016 11:12:15 AM

From the League’s archives:

The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Control considered a proposal to form a baseball team made up of boys that graduated in the spring of 1965. The team would be selected from an area of approximately a 100-mile radius surrounding Redwood Falls.

The board was asked to consider whether such a team could affect the eligibility of the boys on the team or high school boys they played that had not graduated.

The question as to the eligibility of those on the team is not one that could be determined by the League. The question, the board determined, should be referred to the appropriate college and conference officials to determine whether it could affect at boys’ college eligibility.

As the boys in question have graduated from high school, the League no longer has the authority or desire to regulate or determine their future eligibility.

The Board of Control has a responsibility to determine whether playing against such a team could affect the eligibility of a high school student with remaining high school eligibility. It was determined that such a team would be an all-star team as defined in Article IV, Section 2 of the League Athletic Bylaws. The rules provide that any student playing against an all-star team will forfeit his eligibility.

In other news of the day:

• Written by MSHSL staff following the 1965 boys basketball state tournament: “In spite of the intense interest and highly emotional situation, fans seemed less partisan and more considerate of players and game officials than in any prior tournament. We believe the participating schools, their fans and the thousands of students in attendance are due much credit for this trend.”

• In that tournament, Minnetonka used its height, shooting and balanced scoring to record a 71-60 victory over Faribault in the championship game.

• Baseball clinics sponsored by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Minnesota Twins were sanctioned by the Board of Control.

• Bermuda shorts are allowed to be used as wrestling tights.

• Robbinsdale Cooper edged Fridley 49-48 for the state wrestling championship. Grand Rapids was a distant third with 24 points.

• The 1965 state track and field meet was held at Macalester College in St. Paul. The venue featured a new rubberized track. The result? Seven new records were set.





Check back for more weekly looks at the MSHSL's "100 years of memories."


More of the Countdown to 100


Big D In The Big Nine: Red Wing Is On A Roll
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 2/7/2016 1:50:58 PM

RED WING – The scene inside the high school gymnasium here Saturday night was everything a road-tripping scribe could hope for. A full house and two boys basketball teams battling hammer and tong, one coming in undefeated and the other hoping to put an end to that distinction.

Implications? This one was big in the Big Nine Conference, in Class 3A Section 1 playoff jockeying and in the 3A state rankings. Red Wing was 20-0 overall, 16-0 in the Big Nine and carried the No. 1 spot in the polls. Austin was ranked No. 4 at 16-4 overall and 14-3 in Big Nine play. The first time they met this season, Red Wing won by nine points in Austin on Dec. 15.

Another key statistic: The Wingers came into the game with a sterling defensive number: their opponents had averaged only 47 points per game.

Defensive skill and intensity isn’t built from scratch starting on the first day of practice in November. The current Wingers have been learning about defense since they were little.

“To be honest with you I kind of inherited all these guys from traveling basketball way back when,” Red Wing coach Doug Toivonen said, mentioning two of his senior starters. “Ben Munson’s dad and Carson Bryan’s dad really taught these kids to take pride in their defense. When you’re the varsity coach and you inherit these kids as freshmen and sophomores, and you see how hard they work every day, it’s just a joy.

“We feel like we’re a pretty athletic group and it’s not very often that you get a team, especially high school kids, to buy into defense. But our kids really have. Every defensive drill we do in practice, these kids go 100 percent. Sometimes I have to stop practice; it’s like, ‘OK, I get it, we don’t need to get anybody hurt.’ ”

Those words from Toivonen came after the Wingers moved to 21-0 with a 56-47 (yes, 47) victory that was forged on an anvil of defense. Austin was held to nine points in the opening 16 minutes, including an eight-minute scoreless stretch. The score was 25-13 at halftime and it was all about defense and discipline.

“They put us on lockdown,” said Austin coach Kris Fadness, whose Packers lost to DeLaSalle in the 2013 and 2014 Class 3A state championship games. “They’re very good, they’re athletic and they’re physical. They’re very disciplined on defense. They make you work for every shot, they make you run through screens because they’re very physical.”

The second half was a marked change from the first. Austin played smarter offensively and hit enough three-point shots to stay in the game. Threes by Tate Hebrink and Duoth Gach cut Red Wing’s lead to seven with 10 minutes to play, but a three by Bryan and two close-range shots by the 6-foot-7 Joe Sevlie pushed the Wingers’ lead back to 10, 39-29.

The final push by the Packers was again sparked when Gach and Hebrink hit threes. The score was Wingers 47, Packers 41 with two minutes left and the large group of Austin fans who had made the 85-mile drive were whoopin’ it up.

Gach kept firing but missed back-to-back threes and teammate Oman Oman fouled out trying to snag a rebound; Bryan made two free throws. After another Packers miss, Gach fouled out; Munson hit a free throw.

You know the rest of the story: fouls and free throws. Red Wing made nine of 11 from the line in those last two minutes to seal the deal.

“Their defense is what makes them so good,” Fadness said. “And you have to be impressed with their senior leadership, because down the stretch they were making their free throws. There’s a reason they’re No. 1 in the state right now. They’re well-coached, they’re very disciplined, they do all the little fundamentals right.”

Red Wing is talented and hard-working on offense but so much of its success stems from defense that scoring can almost appear to be a secondary matter. The Wingers attempted only 32 field goals in the 36-minute game; they made 17 of them, and shooting 53 percent will win plenty of games. Austin made 19 of 44 (43 percent).

The difference was at the foul line, where Red Wing hit 18 of 26 and the Packers made four of nine. Another key number was total rebounds: 30 for the Wingers and 17 for Austin.

Credit the Packers, who are an exciting albeit young team. Their leading scorers Friday were all sophomores: Both Gach with 18, Duoth Gach with 12 and Hebrink with eight. Sevlie and coach’s kid Travis Toivonen scored 14 each for the Wingers, Munson had 12 and Bryan 10.

I asked Doug Toivonen if there was pressure from being unbeaten.

“I think the pressure you feel is when a whole bunch of people come to watch, you feel like because you’re 21-0 you have to prove things to everybody,” he said. “We’re not blowing-people-out-of-the-water 21-0. We have a nice team that’s showed up to play every night. I don’t think we have a lot of superstars on our team; I think we have a team that plays really well together and we’ve found ways to win basketball games.

“We really needed to show up against Austin and I was real proud of the effort. It was a really nice win.”

The Big Nine is having a banner year in boys basketball. Lurking behind Red Wing in the standings are Rochester John Marshall (18-3 overall, 16-1 Big Nine) and Austin (16-5, 14-4), with Northfield and Mankato East on the perimeter ready to throw wrenches.

John Marshall’s only league loss was a 10-point game at Red Wing on Jan. 12 and the rematch will come in the regular-season finale. John Marshall is a 4A team, leaving Red Wing and Austin as the top two teams in 3A Section 1.

“We’re hoping we get a shot at them again,” Fadness said.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 384
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 7,691
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn





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