|State Speech Tournament
The State Speech Tournament is scheduled for April 20-21 at Apple Valley High School. Here is a look at the tournament:
9:45 a.m. Draws for Round 1
10:15 a.m. Round 1 for All Events
11:15 a.m. Draws for Round 2
11:45 a.m. Round 2 for All Events
12:45 p.m. Draws for Round 3
1:15 p.m. Round 3 for All Events
3:00 p.m. Draws for Final Round
3:30 p.m. Championship Round for All Events
5:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony
Tickets: The tournament is free and open to the public.
Social media: Follow the tournament on the League’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @MSHSL and @MSHSLJohn.
Media note: Media photographers are welcome, but must first see Chris Franson at the site for assistance. Photographers must shoot with available lighting only. No flash or other light sources are permitted.
State Speaking Order
State Draw Schedule
State Judge/Room Manager Assignments
Class A: The Class A field features five returning gold medalists from 2017, with two returning in the same category. Brianna Kreft of West Central Area of Barrett is looking to repeat in Extemporaneous Reading, and Pranay Somayajula of Mounds Park Academy of St. Paul is hoping to win his second championship in Extemporaneous Speaking. Both Kreft and Somayajula are also looking for their third medals overall.
The remaining three returning champions are: Ellie Hansen of Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, Maggie Schmaltz of Eden Valley-Watkins, and Moriah Lippert of Maple River of Mapleton. Hansen won in Original Oratory last year and will compete with Emma Burpo in Duo Interpretation this year. Schmaltz took top honors in Great Speeches and will put her skills to the test in Extemporaneous Speaking this year. Lippert, who took top honors in Serious Interpretation of Poetry last year, will compete in Original Oratory. Schmaltz is looking to win her fourth medal this year, while Hansen, and Burpo are competing for their third medals.
One additional champion returns to this year’s tournament. Grant Schlichting of Cannon Falls, who won in Extemporaneous Speaking in 2016, returns in the same category. If Schlichting earns a medal, it will be his fourth overall.
Paul Cushman of Wabasha-Kellogg is the only other qualifier looking for a fourth medal this year. He placed sixth in Storytelling in 2017 and will compete in the same category this year.
Seven additional qualifiers are looking for their third medals this year: Lexi Fischer of Fairmont; Sarah Dunn of River Valley, which is a co-op between Sleepy Eye, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, and Springfield; Samantha Nupson of Cass Lake-Bena; Sarita Hook of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; Sarah Best of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown; Jordan Peterson of New London-Spicer; and Anthony McGee of Pipestone Area.
Cannon Falls leads the Class A field by qualifying 19 competitors. Mounds Park Academy qualified 15 competitors and St. Peter qualified 11.
Class AA: Class AA: (Note: Because the 2AA tournament was not held until Tuesday, April 17, those qualifiers are not included in this release.) The Class AA field features three gold medalists from the 2017 field and two are returning in the same category. Josh Weinstein of Lakeville North is looking for his second consecutive title in Serious Interpretation of Drama and Ola Adebayo of Rochester John Marshall is competing for her second championship in Serious Interpretation of Poetry.
Izzy Larson of Moorhead, who won in Duo Interpretation with Devon Solwold in 2016 and 2017, will compete in Serious Interpretation of Poetry this year. If she earns a medal, it will be her fourth overall.
Tre Edgerton of East Ridge of Woodbury also returns. He won in Serious Interpretation of Poetry in 2016 and will compete in Original Oratory this year.
Three qualifiers are attempting to win third medals this year: Campbell Bernstein of Eastview of Apple Valley; Tram Nguyen of Eagan; and Tony May of East Ridge.
Larson is the only competitor going after a coveted fourth medal this year.
Lakeville North and Moorhead qualified 29 individuals apiece. Eastview and Eagan have 17 qualifiers each.
||Transfer Eligibility Review
General Information for Students and Parents
|The MSHSL understands that varsity eligibility is important to you. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding transfer eligibility. The information contained herein is not a bylaw or policy and is intended only to provide an overview of the transfer eligibility process. For the most current version of Bylaw 111 and MSHSL policies, please visit www.mshsl.org. Before transferring schools, please review the following so that you will understand the transfer’s impact on your varsity eligibility.|
|1.||What is a transfer?|
|A transfer student is a student who discontinues enrollment and attendance in any high school, public or non-public, and enrolls in any other high school in Minnesota, or outside of Minnesota. Essentially, a transfer occurs anytime a student’s school of record changes. A transfer is considered complete when the student attends class or participates with an athletic program at the new school. This includes home schools, charter schools, and online schools.|
|2.||If I transfer to a new high school, will I be eligible for varsity competition?|
|If you transfer to a new high school, you will be eligible for varsity athletic competition if:
|1.||You are enrolling in 9th grade for the first time;|
|2.||Your entire family moves to a new residence in a different attendance area;|
|3.||Your residence is changed pursuant to a court order;|
|4.||Your parents are divorced and you move from one parent to another.|
(This option may be used just one time after you enroll in 9th grade); or
|5.||You and your family have moved to Minnesota from another state or country.|
|If none of the above apply, you will be ineligible (for one calendar year from the date of the transfer) from participating in interscholastic varsity athletic competition. You will, however, be eligible to participate in varsity tryouts, practices, scrimmages, jamborees, etc., and non-varsity (JV, B-squad, etc.) competitions. You will not be eligible for varsity competition.|
|3.||What happens if none of the five provisions above apply and I am determined ineligible?|
|If none of the five provisions set forth above apply and you are determined ineligible, you can request that the MSHSL review the determination of ineligibility. There are seven circumstances with which you can request a review:
|1.||You are transferred to a new high school within the same school district;|
|2.||A change in family circumstances such as adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent.|
|3.||A substantial negative change in your family’s economic status. For example, if one or both parent(s) loses their job or other means of income.|
|4.||School student Bullying or Harassment as identified in Minnesota State Statutes 121A.03 and 121A.031.|
|5.||Administrative error. For example, the receiving school misapplied MSHSL bylaws or policies.|
|6.||You have completed a licensed program for chemical dependency or mental illness (provided all other eligibility rules are followed) and the receiving school will better serve the student’s needs.|
|The principals and activities directors from both the sending and receiving school agree that varsity competition eligibility should be considered.|
|4.||How do I request a Transfer Eligibility Review?|
|When you enrolled at your new school [receiving school] and indicated an interest in participating in athletics, the school compiled information and submitted a student transfer report to the MSHSL. The transfer report contains general information on your previous school(s) and the reason for your transfer. Based on this information, the receiving school makes aninitial eligibility determination. That determination is sent to the MSHSL for review to ensure compliance with MSHSL bylaws and policies.|
If you are determined ineligible, you can request further review by the MSHSL. Visit with the athletic director at the Receiving School and request a Transfer Eligibility Review. The athletic director will submit the request and supporting documentation to the League for review.
All denied Transfer Eligibility Review requests for varsity competition eligibility will be reviewed by the MSHSL Board of Directors Eligibility Committee for further review or referral to an Independent Reviewer. Ultimately, the final decisions on eligibility will be made by the MSHSL Board of Directors.
|5.||What types of information and documentation should I provide in support of my request for a Transfer Eligibility Review?|
|You should provide a written explanation and documentation supporting your request for review. This is your opportunity to support your request for eligibility so please submit whatever relevant documentation/information you have. Below are common types of documentation the MSHSL looks for under each of the seven review options:
|1. ||Internal district policies (for transfers in districts with multiple high schools)|
|The district policy or policies that precipitated the transfer|
|Correspondence from the school district describing the circumstances of the transfer|
|2. ||Adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent|
|Adoption Decree, death certifi cate, CHIPS order|
|3. ||Substantial negative change in the economic status
|The MSHSL typically considers three years of tax returns showing a negative change in the Adjusted Gross Income.
|You are encouraged to submit any other documentation showing a negative change in economic status. For example, employer notification indicating the recent loss of income or loss of employment, disability determinations from a medical professional or government agency that indicate a reduction in the ability to be employed.|
|NOTE: Discretionary spending decisions will generally not be considered to be a negative change in economic status.|
|4. ||School Bullying/Harassment|
|Documentation that a complaint was made under the district policy prior to the transfer|
|A report from the sending school that it has investigated and determined a case of bullying or harassment pursuant to Minnesota Statute 121A.03 and 121A.031.|
|Any other documentation of bullying or harassment at the sending school|
|5. ||Administrative Error|
|Documentation from a school administrator explaining the error or errors made in the initial eligibility determination.|
|6. ||Completion of a licensed program for treatment of alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance provided all other eligibility rules are followed.|
|Documentation from the director of the treatment facility/provider showing completion of a licensed program by the student|
|Documentation to show the receiving school provides specific aftercare for the student.|
|7. ||School Administrators request for review|
|The administrators from both schools agree varsity competition eligibility should be considered for the student. This Transfer Eligibility Review provision is applicable only for students who transfer from one MSHSL member school to another MSHSL member school.|
|The written request from the administrators at both the receiving school and sending school should include all documents they believe support eligibility.|
|This provision requires certifi cation from both schools confirming no recruitment or inappropriate contact has occured.|
|Molly's Game: Eastview Coach Is A Multisport Female Role Model
|Posted by John Millea(firstname.lastname@example.org)- Updated 4/19/2018 1:02:52 PM
|Molly Kasper is a young coach with an impressive resume. In her three years as the head girls basketball coach at Eastview High School, the Lightning have an overall record of 84-12 with back-to-back third-place finishes at the Class 4A state tournament before going 32-0 and winning the state title this year.
Kasper is in her second season as Eastview’s softball coach, making her a rarity among coaches at the state’s biggest schools: the head coach of two vastly different sports in back-to-back seasons. The 31-year-old and her husband Derek also have a two-year-old daughter and another daughter due in July.
Two coaching positions, full-time teaching, a young family and a pregnancy in the middle of it all? Molly’s life is a swirl of school and practice and daycare and family time, but one of her most important roles is quieter, more behind the scenes and crucial to the young athletes in her care.
Kasper is a role model not only as a multisport coach, but as a female who encourages her athletes to maximize their potential on and off the court and the field, to know their full worth and to support each other.
“It is pretty important to me,” said the native of Eau Claire, Wis., who played three sports in high school and basketball at Winona State. “I got to grow up being a multisport athlete, and it helped me with the mental health of being an athlete and being able to play different sports. It also helped me as a competitor and helped me as a teammate. It helped me so much.”
In basketball and softball, Kasper followed Eastview head coaches who stepped down to watch their kids play in college. Melissa Guebert (basketball) and Trevor Monroe (softball) both led their teams to recent state championships. If Kasper was intimidated by following in their footsteps, it never showed.
“When we did the first interviews about basketball, literally within five minutes you knew this is a person who gets it on every level,” said Eastview athletic director Matt Percival (who also has coached the Lightning to a state softball title). “The thing about her is that she has always, always, always been about the kids first and whatever she can do to help develop them as people. She wants to be such a strong role model as a female, as a mom, as a teacher, as a multisport person. That’s been important to her from the get-go.”
Kasper likes to direct her athletes to reading materials that focus on female empowerment, and she has created a Female Leadership Program at Eastview. The program, held one day each year, gives female athletes from all Lightning sports a chance to gather for interaction, instruction, hear speakers and more. Similar programs have been started at Apple Valley, Farmington and other schools.
“She’s definitely the best female role model that I’ve had. I look up to her,” said Megan Walstad, a senior who was named Minnesota’s Miss Basketball this year. “She’s so inspiring and she wants to encourage female athletes to keep doing things and keep getting out there.”
Kasper, who was inducted into the Eau Claire North High School Hall of Fame in 2017, lettered four times each in tennis, basketball and softball and was an all-state selection in basketball and softball. She played at state tournaments in tennis and softball but not in basketball despite playing on teams with a four-year regular-season record of 60-3.
She was a four-year basketball starter and two-year team captain at Winona State (she was Molly Anderson before getting married), where she was a graduate assistant women’s basketball coach for two years. She worked as an assistant girls basketball coach at Rosemount for three years before taking over as head coach at Eastview.
Coaching in back-to-back seasons means little or no down time between sports. This year, softball practice began the week of the girls state basketball tournament. Molly attended softball tryouts on Monday and stopped in briefly on Tuesday and Wednesday. Softball was called off Thursday so the players could go to the basketball tournament.
“I had all of Sunday to technically rest and softball started Monday,” she said with a laugh. “The transition’s been a lot easier probably than in the past, because we’re stuck inside.”
Yes, the weather. Like most other spring sports teams across Minnesota, Eastview softball practices have been held in the gym, with a few games played in domes and a team outing to a bowling alley to mix things up.
Whether the sport is basketball or softball, Kasper wants to make sure her athletes have a positive experience and support each other. Both teams watch other girls sports as a group, with basketball players cheering for the softball team, softball players cheering at track meets, etc. She said that’s important for all her athletes, whether they participate in one sport or more.
“There is so much specialization,” she said. “I’m a big believer that it increases injuries, especially for female athletes.
“I was able to get the other side of athletics, which was the fun part. My mom says I was always the one on the bench with traveling teams, wondering where we would be going to dinner later. I always felt it was part of being a family. I think it’s really hard for some of the teams, where they are, with single-sport athletes. I don’t want them honed in on just one aspect of their life.
“I get it, as you get older you want to specialize. But you need to also be in the weight room and take time off from your sport. I hear girls say they lost the passion, and that’s not why we play sports. We play to keep the passion and have good experiences.”
When Eastview was looking for a new softball coach, Kasper told Percival that she had a strong background in that sport. He was initially worried that she would be overworked by coaching two sports.
“We talked a lot about it because my biggest fear was burning her out,” he said. “She just said, ‘I want to show people that I can be a mom and be a coach. If I’m going to preach to these basketball kids all the time to be a multisport kid, then I can do it, too. We’re going to promote this idea of being a multisport athlete because I can do it as a coach.’ That means something.”
Andrea Abrams, a senior basketball player, said “She’s really good at encouraging everything that we do. And if we’re having a tough time she either talks to us or she knows somebody else who we should talk to. She always knows everything. She’s an amazing person to be around.”
Senior softball player Abby Lien, who will play at Iowa and plans to become a teacher and a coach, said, “She’s really good. She sends me articles and books, talking about being a good female role model. She’s a great coach and I love her so much.”
Percival added, “How does someone that young have that much wisdom? But she clearly does. She came in with a clear vision of what she wanted all this to be about.
“She’ll talk about how much she learns from these kids that has nothing to do with the sport. It has everything to do with how you develop a relationship. She is amazing. It’s been an absolute blessing to have her in our building.”
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
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Aligning Common Language with School Boards to Ensure a Purpose-Based Athletics Culture
There are a number of important steps to creating a purpose-based interscholastic athletics culture. One key undertaking is the adoption of a common language within your school community. A question many coaches and athletic directors ask is how to establish a common language and subsequent buy-in from school administration and school boards. It is easy to recognize how important common language is within an athletic department’s culture; finding ways to align this common language with school district policymakers can be easier said than done. This is especially true without a game plan on how to connect with our important stakeholders.
Idea sharing is a hallmark of educational-athletics. In this post, I want to share an idea from my school’s InSideOut Initiative journey as we work through establishing a common language and a collective definition of success for our programs. It is my hope the following ideas can be adapted and improved to trigger your own thoughts on how to implement common vernacular and communicate program goals at your school.
Many athletic departments are asked to give reports to its school board or board of education. In the St. Anthony – New Brighton School District, we are asked to present annually. We have worked very hard to produce data-rich information for our school board. For example, our report details participant and program demographics such as free or reduced lunch, ethnicity, and gender. This data analysis also gives a detailed look at how our students’ grades and attendance rates are tied to greater participation in sports and activities. We spend 40-plus hours preparing these statistics for our school board. However, in our recent hour-long annual report we spent about 10 minutes talking about these numbers! Much to my delight, the focus was on our "why." We spent 50 minutes of our hour-long presentation talking about our program’s purpose—exactly what we want our conversations to focus on.
The organization of our presentation allowed for this conversation to happen. Our board is a very engaged group who reviews the information they receive closely. We provided our data analysis to the board in advance of the meeting so they have the opportunity to preview this information—this allowed us to focus on other purpose-based topics in our presentation. Our athletics and activities report had three agenda items: 1.) a few quick updates on hot topics, 2.) our department’s purpose, and 3.). the annual data and participation report. After giving introductory remarks and quick updates, I invited three coaches to join in our presentation to the school board. The following bullet points walk through a process you could use to share and promote common language along with your definition of success. This format is simple and easy to recreate—any school could do something like this to further alignment among the policymakers in your district.
To frame your presentation, identify three of your core values you would like to use as your guide. For me, I focused on areas that connect to my goals as an athletic director: service to others, measurements of success beyond the scoreboard, and developing well-rounded character within our student-athletes.
I then enlisted three of our coaches who have a purpose statement that relates to each of these areas. Each coach spoke for 5 to 7 minutes and gave stories about the positive impact their program is making in the lives of our student-athletes.
After my introductory remarks, our first coach spoke about the service projects her teams have led—giving back to the community. She then discussed her purpose as a coach and how we embrace a serving attitude rather than be-served mindset.
Next, our second coach talked about how her program’s definition of success is based on so much more than a scoreboard. They focus on improvement, having fun, and becoming better people—not just better athletes. She then read her transformational purpose statement to the board. Her purpose statement centers on relationships, being a good teammate, and how in 20 years we will know how successful we were!
Our final coach led a discussion about our department’s emphasis on teaching the Ys and life lessons, not just Xs and Os. He talked about the impact of our weekly character education lessons, teaching not just about performance character, but also moral character. After giving powerful examples to our school board and how his team has been positively influenced by this approach, he then provided his purpose statement about playing and living a life with integrity.
It was then my turn. I spoke about our department’s book club subject, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and gave the board my why: I serve to use the power of high school athletics and activities to make the world a better place. The resulting comments, questions, and dialogue with our school board were grounded by this conversation. It was the best school board meeting I have ever been a part of!
This is a success story from my school district that I am confident could be easily repeated in yours. If anyone has any questions about how to prepare a similar presentation with your school board, please do not hesitate to contact me—I would be more than happy to help in any way I can.
Troy Urdahl, St. Anthony Village Athletic Administrator