| State Girls' Tennis Tournament
Breck School, Edina defend team titles;
Merzbacher chases second Class AA singles crown;
Boyer and Rosenow seek third Class AA doubles title
Breck School of Golden Valley in Class A and Edina in Class AA have qualified to defend their respective team titles. The Edina Hornets are looking for their 18th consecutive and 33rd overall title (including the three Edina East won when there were two Edina high schools). The Mustangs of Breck School are in the hunt for their second consecutive and third overall championship.
Both the singles and doubles champions return in Class AA. Edina senior Caitlyn Merzbacher is looking for her second consecutive singles crown, and the Rochester Mayo duo of seniors Kylie Bower and Kate Rosenow are in the hunt for their third doubles crown. They claimed their first in 2011 before winning again last year.
New champions will emerge in both the singles and doubles tournament in Class A.
The 2014 tournament will be conducted Tuesday, Oct. 21, through Friday, Oct. 24 — Class AA at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis and Class A at the Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Team competition is scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by singles and doubles individual competition Thursday and Friday.
Class A Highlights
The Breck School Mustangs return to defend their 2013 title. If they win it would be their second consecutive and third overall title. The Mustangs have seven players with previous tournament experience.
The three other returning teams are Rochester Lourdes, Staples Motley, and St. James. Rochester Lourdes placed second last year and Staples Motley, which includes students from Verndale, followed in third. St. James, which includes students from Butterfield-Odin, finished in fourth place. The Class A team tournament is not seeded.
The Class A team quarterfinal pairings are: (Section 2) Blue Earth Area vs. (Section 3) St. James; (Section 6) Minnewaska Area of Glenwood vs. (Section 7) Virginia; (Section 5) Holy Family Catholic of Victoria vs. (Section 8) Staples Motley; and (Section 1) Rochester Lourdes vs. (Section 4) Breck School.
All eight of the qualifying teams were ranked in the final coaches' poll: Breck School, No. 1; St. James, No. 3; Holy Family Catholic, No. 4; Rochester Lourdes, No. 5; Blue Earth Area, No. 6; Staples Motley, No. 7; Minnewaska Area, No. 8; and Virginia, No. 10.
Class AA Highlights
Seven teams return from last year's field, including the long-running defending champions from Edina. The Hornets, ranked No. 1 in the final coaches' association poll, return with nine players with 2013 tournament experience and are seeking their 18th consecutive team title. Edina's 17 straight titles from 1997 to 2013 is a national record.
The six other returning teams are Minnetonka, Rochester Mayo, Prior Lake, St. Cloud Tech, Mahtomedi, and Mounds View. The Minnetonka Skippers placed second last year, and they were followed by Rochester Mayo in third and Prior Lake in fourth. The St. Cloud Tech Tigers earned fifth-place honors and Mahtomedi placed sixth. Mounds View lost in the consolation semifinals.
All eight of the Class AA qualifiers were ranked in the final poll. After Edina, the other ranked teams were: Prior Lake, No. 2; Minnetonka, No. 3; Mahtomedi, No. 6; Rochester Mayo, No. 7; St. Cloud Tech, No. 8; Mounds View, No. 9; and Princeton, No. 10.
The Class AA team quarterfinal pairings are: (No. 1 Seed – Section 6) Edina vs. (Section 5) Mounds View; (No. 4 Seed – Section 4) Mahtomedi vs. (No. 5 Seed – Section 1) Rochester Mayo; (No. 2 Seed – Section 3) Prior Lake vs. (Section 7) Princeton; and (No. 3 Seed – Section 2) Minnetonka vs. (Section 8) St. Cloud Tech.
All Class A competition will be conducted at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. All Class AA competition will be conducted at the Baseline Tennis Center on the University of Minnesota campus.
Team quarterfinals will be held at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21. Team consolation semifinals will be played at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Team championship semifinals will be played at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, the consolation championships will be played at noon, the third-place matches will follow at 2 p.m., and the championship matches will be played at 4 p.m.
First-round singles matches will be played at 8 a.m. on Thursday followed by noon championship quarterfinal and consolation quarterfinal matches. Consolation and championship semifinal matches will be played at 8 a.m. on Friday, followed by consolation championship, third-place and championship matches at 11:30 a.m.
First-round doubles matches will be played at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Consolation quarterfinal and championship quarterfinal matches will follow at 2 p.m. Consolation and championship semifinal matches will be played at 8 a.m. Friday, followed by the consolation championship, third-place and championship matches at 11:30 a.m.
|State Boys' and Girls' Soccer Tournament
St. Paul Como Park boys only team to defend title
The boys of St. Paul Como Park, in Class A, are the only returning champions to defend their title at the 2014 State Soccer Tournament. Of the 32 qualified teams, only six teams played in the 2013 state tournament. Eight of the 32 teams are first-time qualifiers. Anoka is the only school that has qualified both a boys' team and a girls' team.
St. Paul Como Park is the No. 4 seed for Class A boys. East Ridge of Woodbury is the No. 1 seed for Class AA boys. Minneapolis Washburn is the No. 1 seed for Class A girls. Eagan is the No. 1 seed for Class AA girls.
Class A Boys Highlights
No. 1 Seed (Section 5) DeLaSalle, Minneapolis (17-1-1) vs. (Section 4) Mahtomedi (12-3-4) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom: The Islanders of DeLaSalle are making their first state tournament appearance. The Zephyrs of Mahtomedi are making their sixth appearance and won the 2009 title.
No. 4 Seed (Section 3) St. Paul Como Park (14-4-2) vs. No. 5 Seed (Section 6) Chaska (13-5-0) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom: The defending champion St. Paul Como Park Cougars are making their third consecutive and overall appearance. The Hawks of Chaska are making their first tournament appearance.
No. 2 Seed (Section 8) St. Cloud Apollo (18-0-2) vs. (Section 1) Rochester Lourdes (15-5-0) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Osseo High School: The Eagles of St. Cloud Apollo are making their third appearance. The Eagles of Rochester Lourdes are making their fifth consecutive and 13th overall appearance. Rochester Lourdes won titles in 1998, 1999 and 2012, but lost in the 2013 quarterfinals.
No. 3 Seed (Section 2) Mankato West (18-1-0) vs. (Section 7) Monticello (13-4-2) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Osseo High School: The Mankato West Scarlets return to make their fifth appearance. The Magic of Monticello are making their first tournament appearance.
Class AA Boys Highlights
No. 1 Seed (Section 4) East Ridge, Woodbury (19-0-0) vs. (Section 7) Duluth East (12-3-4) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Chisago Lakes High School, Lindstrom: The Raptors of East Ridge are making their first tournament appearance. The Greyhounds of Duluth East are making their third appearance and enter with a 15-game unbeaten streak. Their two previous appearances were as a Class A team.
No. 4 Seed (Section 6) Wayzata (13-3-3) vs. No. 5 Seed (Section 1) Rochester John Marshall (13-3-2) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Chisago Lakes High School, Lindstrom: The Trojans of Wayzata return for their 12th appearance. The Rockets of Rochester John Marshall are making their second appearance.
No. 2 Seed (Section 5) Maple Grove (19-0-0) vs. (Section 3) Rosemount (7-8-3) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 21, at Osseo High School: The Crimson of Maple Grove are making their fifth tournament appearance. The Irish of Rosemount are making their second appearance.
No. 3 Seed (Section 2) Minnetonka (16-0-2) vs. (Section 8) Anoka (12-6-1) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21, at Osseo High School: The Skippers of Minnetonka return for their third appearance. The Anoka Tornadoes return to make their 13th appearance and won the 2007 title.
Class A Girls Highlights
No. 1 Seed (Section 3) Minneapolis Washburn (18-0-0) vs. (Section 8) Sartell-St. Stephen (13-3-4) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at St. Cloud State University: The Minneapolis Washburn Millers are returning to make their 11th appearance. The Millers qualified nine consecutive times from 1981 through 1989 and won the 1981 title. The Sabres of Sartell-St. Stephen are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.
No. 4 Seed (Section 7) Princeton (18-1-0) vs. No. 5 Seed (Section 4) Hill-Murray, Maplewood (9-6-4) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at St. Cloud State University: The Tigers of Princeton are making their first tournament appearance in just their fifth varsity season. The Hill-Murray Pioneers are making their second consecutive and fifth overall appearance.
No. 2 Seed (Section 6) Orono (16-2-1) vs. (Section 1) Dover-Eyota (15-2-1) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Park High School, Cottage Grove: The Spartans of Orono are making their seventh tournament appearance and won the 2009 title. The Eagles of Dover-Eyota are making their first tournament appearance.
No. 3 Seed (Section 5) Park Center, Brooklyn Park (16-3-0) vs. (Section 2) Albert Lea (12-3-2) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at Park High School, Cottage Grove: The Pirates of Park Center are making their first tournament appearance. The Tigers of Albert Lea are making their third appearance.
Class AA Girls Highlights
No. 1 Seed (Section 3) Eagan (18-0-1) vs. (Section 6) Hopkins (12-5-2) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 21 at Park High School, Cottage Grove: The Wildcats of Eagan are making their sixth appearance. The Royals of Hopkins are making their inaugural tournament appearance.
No. 4 Seed (Section 5) Centennial, Circle Pines (16-1-2) vs. No. 5 Seed (Section 4) Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul (14-5-0) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21, at Park High School, Cottage Grove: The fourth-ranked Cougars of Centennial are making their fourth appearance. Cretin-Derham Hall is making its eighth appearance.
No. 2 Seed (Section 1) Lakeville North (15-2-1) vs. (Section 8) St. Michael-Albertville (16-3-0) — 5:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at St. Cloud State University: The Panthers of Lakeville North return to make their fourth consecutive and fifth overall appearance. They were the 2013 runners-up and finished third in 2012. The Knights of St. Michael-Albertville are making their third state tournament appearance.
No. 3 Seed (Section 2) Eden Prairie (15-2-1) vs. (Section 7) Anoka (9-8-2) — 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22, at St. Cloud State University: The Eden Prairie Eaglesare making their third consecutive and ninth overall tournament appearance. They tied for third in the 2013 tournament. The Tornadoes of Anoka are making their seventh appearance and won the 1989 title.
After this week's quarterfinal rounds Tuesday through Thursday, all semifinal games will be played at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University.
Class AA boys' semifinals will be played at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, followed by the Class AA girls' semifinals at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Class A boys will take to the field at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 29, and the girls will follow at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The tournament concludes on Thursday, Oct. 30, with all championship games being played at Husky Stadium. The Class A boys will play at 9:30 a.m. and the Class A girls will compete at noon. The Class AA boys' will play at 2:30 p.m. and the girls will follow at 5 p.m.
All third-place games will be held at Selke Field across the river from Husky Stadium in St. Cloud. That schedule begins with the Class A boys at 8:30 a.m. and the Class A girls at 10:30 a.m. The Class AA boys will start at 12:30 p.m. followed by the girls at 2:30 p.m.
All four championship matches will be webcast live at www.Prep45.com for a fee of $4.97 per day.
Official Tournament Ball
The official state soccer tournament ball is the Nike Catalyst (SC2353-161).
|Coaching for Change
League advances education module addressing sexual harassment and violence against girls
Long before the advent of current public and media attention to accusations of violence against women by some high profile National Football League players, the Minnesota State High School League began the process of developing educational curriculum to assist high school coaches with educating their athletes about the problem of violence against teenage girls.
The curriculum is one of several educational modules that all coaches working with athletes in grades 9-12 must take. It is titled Coaching for Change: A Game Plan to Prevent Violence and was created in partnership with the Sexual and Domestic Violence Council of Anoka County, Men as Peace Makers, the Gender Violence Institute, and the Men's Action Network. Funding was provided by a grant from the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
The module was available for fall sport coaches this year and thus far nearly 9,000 coaches have completed it, with an additional 15,000 recipients expected by the end of the 2014-15 school year.
"Sexual and domestic violence are difficult topics to understand and discuss, and there are few coaches who are trained to deal with these topics effectively," explained Jody Redman, associate director of the League. "If we expect coaches to challenge the current status quo and immerse their programs in a counter-cultural belief system, we must provide them with consequential and ongoing professional development and support so they are prepared to address these issues effectively."
The goal is to create a heightened awareness of a team's culture and the social norms that are shaping student athlete's attitudes and behaviors related to teen dating violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. With this increased awareness, coaches can positively impact the lives of their athletes.
Coaches will learn basic strategies that will help them address these tough issues as they arise and proactive approaches they can use throughout the year.
The education module first introduces coaches to the socialization of boys. Former NFL defensive lineman (Baltimore Colts and Detroit Lions) Joe Ehrman narrates this portion of the module, including what he dubs the three scariest words that every man has heard in his lifetime: "Be a man!"
Ehrman, the author of InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives, a book whose principles form the framework for the League's Why We Play initiative, explains that boys are taught to separate their heart from their head. He believes that boys and men measure their masculinity based on three myths:
1) Boys learn by ages 7, 8 or 9 that masculinity is measured on the athletic platform by their ability and skills, their size and their strength.
2) By the time boys reach seventh, eighth or ninth grade, many believe their masculinity must be measured by sexual conquest.
3) And later in life, the primary measure becomes economic success.
"We need to reframe sports," Ehrman explains. "We need to redefine what it means to be a coach. We need to rewire the broken men who have separated their hearts from their heads. They've got to get connected again.
"And then we've got to do the preventive work, give every boy affirmations, validation of all of their feelings."
Although some forms of abuse may appear harmless, they indeed are not. The types of behavior that must be addressed can range from emotional abuse, to controlling behavior, to sexual harassment, to sexual assault, to physical assault.
Staggering statistics are offered. According to the 2010 Minnesota Student Survey and the 2008 Minnesota Crime Survey, one of every four teens have or will experience dating violence and that one of every five girls will become victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18, with that ratio increasing to one in three by the time they reach mid-life.
The preventive work is at the heart of the League's Continuing Education Requirement (CER) for coaches. This module, estimated to require just 45 minutes of a coach's time, presents a number of different scenarios that coaches could face, along with several options on how to respond, and then the most appropriate response must be chosen.
Coaches are encouraged to think differently about what they are teaching young people regarding honor and respect. There is no single right way to teach these values, they are told, adding that with any message that matters, they will need to find their own voice and deliver their message in an authentic way.
The appropriate responses to the scenarios presented always require immediate attention and usually face-to-face conversations with both perpetrators and victims. In some cases, issues must be referred to administrators, and in many cases referrals to counseling are paramount.
A number of possible proactive prevention actions are offered. Number one on that list is very simple: "Add respect to your team rules." Coaches of boys' teams are also encouraged to create this culture by supporting the success of a girls' team, or incorporate a female role model into a practice, game or team event, or host an event to honor the women important in the lives of the boys on their team.
"All who are involved in a student's education must understand the purpose of WHY WE PLAY and what we want students to acquire through participation," Redman adds, "which includes providing them with an environment where they are developing appropriate beliefs and ideals around their identity, sexual harassment and violence."
|District Football 2015-16, 2016-17
League adopts District Football scheduling plan for 2015 and beyond
Minnesota State High School League schools should no longer have a reason to travel far out of state to find football opponents or play less than an eight-game regular season football schedule. The League Board of Directors today unanimously adopted a plan that places all member schools with football programs into Districts. The members of each district will divide the district into sub-districts, and then create a full schedule for each team. In nearly all cases the placement of schools will not negatively affect traditional rivalries or preferred opponents.
For several years League staff, school administrators and football coaches have sought a solution for schools that have had difficulty filling their regular season football schedule. A committee of coaches, athletic administrators and Board members developed a District Football Scheduling System that was approved by the Board in January. A separate District Placement Committee made up of coaches and administrators worked hard to group schools into districts based on enrollment, geography and like schools, while also considering individual school preferences for maintaining traditional opponents.
"Everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a step in the process of developing actual schedules for our member schools," explained Associate Director Kevin Merkle in presenting the plan to the Board. "Some districts have a wide range in school enrollment and geography, but once the districts determine their sub-district alignments, most of the enrollment and geographical issues will be solved."
The recommendation approved by the Board of Directors included:
Placement of all schools in a scheduling district
Final decision on appeals from schools who requested to be placed in 9-Man
Bylaws to guide the work of each district
Allowing limited inter-district play upon approval of the Board of Directors
A plan for the initial meetings for each district that will be lead by members of the District Football Placement Committee.
The 10-member District Football Placement Committee met five times since mid-March to place schools in districts, using enrollment, geography, like schools and current conference membership and current opponents as key criteria. Schools were given the opportunity to provide information to the committee in advance, including three teams that they would like to continue to schedule. Those requests were reviewed carefully and were met to the extent possible. More than 90 percent of the schools' requests were met, and a significant majority of schools were placed in a district with most, if not all, of the schools that they now play.
Districts will have initial meetings in the near future to discuss the placements and the next steps in the process. The next major step will be for districts to decide on sub-district alignments. Once that is completed, schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons can be developed. The goal is for all schools to have a complete schedule for both years by Nov. 1, 2014.
"We are indebted to the members of the District Football Placement Committee for their diligence and hard work in this process," Merkle told the Board, "They put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort and their focus was always on doing what was best for our member schools and their students."
To view the new football districts listing the schools placed in each district, click on the link below.
|Nicollet: Football, Food And A Room With A View
|Posted by John Millea(firstname.lastname@example.org)- Updated 10/22/2014 12:22:01 PM
|NICOLLET – With a postseason-opening victory in hand and the reserves playing out the final minutes of Tuesday’s nine-man football game, the topic of discussion on the Nicollet Raiders sideline turned to something very important in this southern Minnesota town of 1,126 carnivores: meat.
A discussion between seniors Colin Bloemke and Andrew Radke went like this…
Colin: “How many pounds of summer sausage did Schmidts sell last year?”
Andrew: “More than you can ever imagine.”
Schmidts and George’s City Meats & Sausage Shop are two of Nicollet’s best-known businesses, with jerky, beef sticks, sausage, bacon, bratwurst and other delicacies being sold to locals as well as customers far and wide. Some of the Raiders are employed at the meat shops, which leads us to something else Nicollet is famous for: football.
The Raiders were nine-man state runners-up in 1999, 2002 and 2009 and have gone to the state playoffs four other times, most recently in 2010, 2011 and last year. They defeated Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman 42-8 Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Section 2 playoffs; they will take a record of 8-1 into Saturday’s home semifinal against Madelia.
The best-known Raider is senior quarterback Dalton Elliott, who holds state records for career touchdown passes (106) and all-purpose yards and is close to records for career passing yards, attempts and completions. In Tuesday’s game he threw scoring passes of 4 and 26 yards to Kenny Fischer and also ran for three TDs. (On Elliott’s heels in the career TD pass category is Blooming Prairie senior John Rumpza, who has 105 after throwing for three scores Tuesday in a 60-13 Class 1A Section 1 victory over Fillmore Central.)
“I get a lot of flack for playing nine-man, but football is football,” said Elliott, who is hearing from North Dakota State, Drake, all the Northern Sun colleges and others. He plans to make his college decision after playing in the Jan. 4 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Orlando.
Elliott (pictured) is one of eight seniors on Nicollet’s 26-man football roster. The high school enrollment is 72, making the Raiders the epitome of small-town football.
Nicollet’s football field and school sit on the northeast corner of town, and until this season the scoreboard operator, public-address announcer, statisticians, media and others were relegated to sitting in the top row of the metal bleachers. But a big change arrived in time for the 2014 season in the form of one of the best press boxes in the state.
It’s a unique deal, because the press box came from Raceway Park in Shakopee, an auto-racing track that closed a year ago. After Raceway went dark, Nicollet athletic director and assistant football coach Kevin Christenson was brousing online auction sites when he saw a press box for sale.
The purchase was made, a crane was hired to remove the box from Raceway Park and install it atop the bleachers in Nicollet, surrounded by a spacious patio on three sides. Thanks to the local Lions Club and other community volunteers who helped with the project, the Raiders have a press box that’s better than what most of the big Twin Cities schools have. Game film can be shot from the roof and the press box is air-conditioned, too.
“It’s more than we would ever need,” said head coach Tom Murphy, who has been guiding the Raiders for 24 years and reached the 150-career-victory milestone this season. “No.1, it’s nice. No. 2, we try to be very hospitable. Kevin always has some food up there.
“At our first game, a reporter from the New Ulm Journal said, ‘I hope it’s OK but I ate like five sandwiches.’ We’ve heard a lot of positive comments on the press box. It’s kind of finished our facility. It gives it a stadium look, even though it’s in a small town.”
I can testify about the food. Murphy had samples from both meat markets waiting for me in the press box, and there was an all-out buffet on a table in the back. Crock pots, barbecued beef, summer sausage, bratwurst, pickles, chips, brownies, bars and just about everything you can imagine. The officials at Tuesday’s game came up for a bite at halftime, and I wondered if they would decide to spend the rest of the night at the buffet. Who could blame them?
A small town, a strong football tradition, a record-setting quarterback, a playoff game, a beautiful evening on the prairie, all the food you can swallow, a sensational view of the action and the nicest folks you'll ever meet. There’s a name for that.
--To see a photo gallery from Nicollet, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 88
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 3,338
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