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State Robotics Tournament
Home Page Photo Greenbush-Middle River, Eden Valley-Watkins, and Frazee-Vergas claim state robotics title

Greenbush-Middle River, Eden Valley-Watkins, and Frazee-Vergas formed the winning alliance at the 2018 State Robotics Tournament. It was the first championship for Eden Valley-Watkins and Frazee-Vergas and the second for Greenbush-Middle River. The Gators of Greenbush-Middle River won their first championship in 2016 and earned runner-up honors in 2017.

The alliance of Irondale of New Brighton, East Ridge of Woodbury, and Great River School/Avalon School took runner-up honors. East Ridge was looking for its second consecutive title. The Errors won with Warroad and Duluth East in 2017.

The alliance of Prior Lake, Edina, and New London-Spicer claimed third-place honors.

This season’s game was called FIRST® POWER UPSM. Each three-team alliance had three ways to help defeat the boss: owning the scale or their switch, playing power-ups, or climbing the scale tower. Robots operated independently from preprogrammed instructions for the first 15 seconds in an autonomous period. Alliances could score points by reaching their own autonomous line or gaining ownership of their scale or switch. In the second (teleoperated) period, operators took control and scored points by gaining ownership of the scale or their switch, delivering power cubes to the alliance’s vault, parking on a scale platform, or climbing the scale. The teleoperated period was two minutes and 15 seconds.
St. Paul Johnson completes "Triple Crown" with two more titles
Home Page Photo Setting lofty season goals doesn’t intimidate the St. Paul Johnson girls’ badminton program. After all, the East Side school certainly has a tradition of success on its side to give it confidence in setting the bar of expectations so high.

But when the 2018 season started, Johnson coach Mark Fischbach wanted to take another step in the program’s dominance. Looking at the 84 participants that had assembled on opening day, he challenged them with words that not many programs can utter.

“Let’s go get that Triple Crown,” he told his team. “We’ve got the right pieces in place. Let’s make the season amazing.”

St. Paul Johnson ended the four-day state tournament at Burnsville High School on Thursday, May 17 by doing just that, making a season-long goal a reality when the Governors captured the individual singles championship and the doubles championship. The first piece of the trifecta came two days earlier when the Governors won their state-record ninth state championship and fourth in a row.

“How many ways can you say amazing?” Fischbach said amid a team celebration. “This journey has been incredible.”

Johnson senior Nou Chee Yang completed a senior season of dominance with a 21-15, 21-13 victory over St. Paul Harding senior Jumy Miko. In the doubles championship match, Johnson’s top duo of Nou Gee Xiong and Josapheena Thao recorded a 21-12, 21-15 victory over St. Paul Harding’s Ratsamee Thaosaengsiri and Xee Vue.

It is just the second time since the badminton state tournament began in 1999 that a program has had a sweep of the team, singles and doubles championships. The other season was 2013 when, you guessed it, Johnson accomplished the feat.

“What an incredible feeling to accomplish all of this,” said Nou Chee Yang, who ranks No. 9 academically in her class. “I will never forget this team or my experience of playing this sport.”

Nou Chee Yang (31-1), who won a state doubles champion in the 2017 tournament, plans to attend Hamline University next year, but is uncertain of her competitive badminton career.

“Maybe I will start a club team when I am there,” she said.

“Nou Chee Yang is the perfect example of what the Johnson badminton program is all about,” Fischbach said. “Our motto is to play every point like it will decide a match. She played that way, and others did, too. What a great, great group this has been.”

Nou Gee Xiong and Joshapheena Thao wrapped up their doubles championship a handful of minutes before the singles title match ended.

“It feels so awesome,” Nou Gee Xiong said. “Finally, the pressure is off. We won.”
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.
    Read More

    Won 800: New Ulm Cathedral Coach Reaches Big Milestone
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 5/27/2018 5:02:06 PM

    NORTH MANKATO – Saturday was special for Bob Mertz. There were cupcakes, balloons and congratulations here at Caswell Park after the New Ulm Cathedral softball team won two playoff games in a quest to reach the state tournament, which will be played at Caswell June 7-8.

    The balloons included a big silver “8” and a big silver “0” and another big silver “0” … in recognition of Mertz’s 800th career victory, more than any other softball coach in Minnesota. The cupcakes were covered in yellow frosting, with red frosting used to create stitches across the top of each one. They resembled real softballs and they were delicious.

    Mertz, a Cathedral graduate and retired math teacher, was all smiles. He posed for photos with his wife Linda as well as with the Greyhounds. He told the players, “Let’s do this again on Thursday!”

    He was referring to the postgame celebration. With victories over Cleveland and Sleepy Eye on Saturday in the Class 1A Section 2 tournament, the sixth-ranked Greyhounds (18-2) advanced to the section championship round. They will play again on Thursday against the winner of the loser’s bracket, which will be decided Tuesday among Sleepy Eye, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s and Cleveland.

    “I’m so fortunate,” said Mertz, who has been the head coach at Cathedral since 1979. His 39-year record of 800-139 translates to an astounding .851 winning percentage and an average of more than 20 victories per season.

    The Greyhounds have won seven state championships, beginning with a threepeat in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The others came in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.

    “They’re all real special, they really are,” Mertz said of the milestone wins during his career. “The year we won a state championship for the third time in a row, in 1995, that was our 300th one and it happened at the end of the state tournament. That was really special.”

    Mertz thought he might retire from coaching when he ended his teaching career a few years back, but he just couldn’t walk away. Beginning last season, he made 2007 Cathedral grad (and former softball player) Jamie Portner his co-head coach.

    “I finally figured it out and started inviting former players of mine to help coach,” he said. “So for the last 16 years I’ve always had assistant coaches who were former players. It really makes it so much easier, the kids identify with them.”

    Portner, who joined the coaching staff in 2012, said, “I don’t know if there’s anybody in the state of Minnesota who knows more about softball than Bob Mertz. And he’s just kind of a comfort; if you ask him to do something that you’re not comfortable with he’ll go out and do it. It’s kind of a confidence thing, too. If you’ve got him on your side you’ve got a good chance of winning. He’s such a creative thinker. It’s nice to have him on our side instead of playing against him.”

    Mertz was not an athlete in high school, and he was somewhat hesitant when he was asked to become an assistant softball coach at Cathedral in the 1970s. He filled that role for three years before taking over as head coach.

    “I’m a real novice,” he said. “I was a little worried about coaching when they asked me. But the smartest thing I did was say yes. I’ve never gotten to a point where I said, ‘I’ve had enough.’ I’ve always wanted to come back.”

    Bob and Linda spend winters in Arizona, and this year they planned their return to Minnesota for April 1. “I was thinking I’d miss all the practices in the gym,” Bob said. “Then we had another three weeks of practices in the gym, so I didn’t miss anything.”

    Mertz's presence during games is strong. During Saturday’s game against Sleepy Eye, he made one trip to the pitchers circle to speak with the infielders. He calls pitches, something senior catcher Rose Hazuka appreciates.

    “He is so intelligent, it is absolutely amazing,” said Rose, the fourth daughter in her family to play softball for Mertz. “He knows the game of softball like the back of his hand and he can call pitches left and right and it’ll be spot on.”

    Senior infielder Jenna Helget said, “He knows what he’s talking about and all of us have improved as softball players. We really appreciate all he does and all the time he puts in.”

    The coach has no plans to retire. Once he does make that decision, he will probably make it very, very clear. That wasn’t the case after the 2016 season, when Linda took him at his word.

    “I make goofy statements sometimes,” Mertz said. “My wife heard me say, ‘I’m going to retire.’ ”

    That triggered surreptious contact with all of his former players who could be reached, followed by a surprise retirement party. He was thrilled to see so many of his players, including four members of the first team he coached. But he actually was not planning to retire. He told Linda, “You can’t take me seriously when I say these things.”

    Portner said Mertz often talks of someday stepping down, but the players keep him coming back.

    “He always talks about it, and then he finds a group of girls that he wants to see through. He said 2007 was going to be his last year, then 2009. He just finds more players to be excited about and it carries him through.”

    --To see a photo gallery, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

    More of John's Journal
    State Adapted Bowling Tournament Recap
    Home Page Photo A dozen state championships were awarded on Friday, May 18 when the Minnesota State High School League’s Adapted Bowling State Tournament was held at Bowlero in Brooklyn Park.

    Hopkins (CI Division), North St. Paul (PI Division) and Alexandria (ASD Division) all captured team championships. Ten individual championships were won as well, including two by Simley junior Emily Rettinger, who earned a state title in the girls’ singles of the PI Division and then teamed with Brianna Richter, a freshman, to win the girls doubles title in the PI Division.

    Here is a look at the tournament:

    Crystal Krohnfeldt, a junior from Alexandria Area, won the gold medal in the CI Singles Division with a two-game score of 457. That was 19 pins better than St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Brieanna Brennan, who was runner-up with a score of 438. Mahtomedi freshman Phoebe Taylor was third with 422. Krohnfeldt finished sixth in this division during the 2017 state tournament.

    Rounding out the top 10-medal winners: St. Paul Harding junior Trinity Smith (420), Anoka-Hennepin freshman Emma Fisher (419), Cambridge-Isanti junior Desi Miller (410), St. Michael-Albertville junior Mia Camp (404), a tie for eighth between Mahtomedi seventh-grader Caroline Smith and Simley eighth-grader Jennifer Alatriste, both with 403. Anoka-Hennepin teammates Samantha Buxengard, a junior, and Alby Zmuda, another junior, tied for 10th at 402.

    In the PI Singles Division, Simley junior Emily Rettinger won the first of her two gold medals in the tournament with a convincing victory. She rolled a two-game score of 475 to win by 17 pins over teammate Brianna Richter, a freshman, who had a 458. St. Paul Central freshman Emma Fuller was third two pins behind, at 455.

    The rest of the top 10: St. Peter sophomore Emma Soderlund was fourth at 451, and she was followed by St. Paul Humboldt senior Ana Younker Zimmerman (444), North St. Paul senior Maryann Mbugua (433), Princeton freshman Ella Nehis (426), Anoka-Hennepin freshman Kerry Applegate (414), and St. Michael-Albertville senior Grace Bromley (411). Alexandria Area senior Lily Hjelle and St. Peter senior Kiersten Stierlen tied for tenth with scores of 410.

    In the ASD Singles Division, Anoka-Hennepin sophomore Hanna Naffziger won the gold medal with a two-game score of 423. That was five pins better than Albany seventh-grader Tristyn Gienger, who was runner-up at 418. Victoria Greenway, a Princeton eighth-grader, was third with a 414.

    The remaining medalists in the Top 10: Spring Lark Park freshman Libby Chlebeck was fourth at 411, followed by Monticello junior Ciara Aydt (410), Princeton junior Alexis Baxter (409), Monticello sophomore Darla Aleckson (406), a tie for eighth between East Grand Forks senior Katie Baumer and Princeton senior Caitlin Shultz (404), and then Alexandria Area sophomore Mercedes Nelson at 398.

    In the CI Singles Division, Princeton seventh-grader Dylan Glammeier out-dueled St. Michael-Albertville sophomore Derek Vetsch to win the gold medal by two pins. Glammeier had a two-game score of 470 and Vetsch was at 468. St. Paul Johnson sophomore Marcus Flockencier was third with a score of 463.

    Rounding out the medal winners were Anoka-Hennepin senior Nathan Spano (459), Hopkins junior Cole Knoploh (456), Moorhead freshman Nicolas Knight (448), St. Paul Como Park sophomore Heh Ku Htoon (444), Detroit Lakes sophomore Nick Schouviller (442), Moorhead freshman William Deschene (437) and Cambridge-Isanti junior Reed Olson (433).

    In the PI Singles Division, Simley sophomore Dallas Filek captured the blue-ribboned gold medal with a score of 491. That was 22 pins more than St. Paul Como Park senior Two Thousand, who was runner-up at 469. Simley sophomore Thomas Juneau was third at 459.

    Rounding out the medal winners were St. Peter sophomore Evan Borgmeier (449), Austin freshman Elvin Guido Gonzalez (447), Moorhead seventh-grader Mitchell Cragg (431), Alexandria Area junior Matt Senstad (425), Wayzata/Minnetonka junior Casey Steffen (419), Anoka-Hennepin junior Micah Simbek (411) and Austin senior Christopher Guido Gonzalez (409).

    In the ASD Division, St. Paul Highland Park senior Titus Natala captured the championship with a two-game score of 460, six pins more than Princeton junior Ryan Hoeft, who was runner-up at 454. Anoka-Hennepin eighth-grader Owen McKinney was third with a score of 444.

    Here are the remainder of the medal winners: St. Paul Highland Park junior Fwjchim Vang (437), St. Paul Highland Park sophomore Bao Nguyen (425), Anoka-Hennepin Gavin Sagafoos (423), Monticello freshman Trenton Job (421), St. Paul Highland Park sophomore Robert O’Leary (420), Goodhue County freshman Ethan Fox (419), and a tie for tenth between Anoka-Hennepin eighth-grader Scotty Rike and Austin William Somchay, both with scores of 415.

    CI Doubles
    It was a battle between St. Paul City Conference teams in the CI Doubles Division. This time, it was Harding juniors Trinity Smith and Cortney Bryant combinining for a six-pin victory and an 881 total. Como Park senior Sar Lay Htoo and sophomore Heh Ku Htoo were the runner-up duo with score of 875. Mankato East’s Anthony Jefferson, a sophomore, and junior Mason Schultz rolled an 844 for third place. The other medal-winning duo was Anoka-Hennepin freshman Emma Fisher and Lena Worlman, who were fourth with 842.

    In the PI Doubles event, Richter and Rettinger recorded a 10-pin victory over teammates Dallas Filek and Thomas Juneau, both sophomores. Anoka-Hennepin seniors Nathan Binstock and Trevor Prenosil were third with 896 while Wayzata/Minnetonka juniors Casey Steffen and Connor Nordvall were fourth at 876.

    In the ASD Division of the Doubles tournament, St. Paul Highland Park’s Hagop Mekaterian, a seventh-grader, and sophomore Bao Nguyen cruised to a victory with a score of 927. North Branch eighth-graders Matthew Fox and Aiden Black were runner-up at 889.

    Also receiving medals were Anoka-Hennepin’s Scotty Rike, an eighth-grader, and freshman Brayden Peterson at 884. St. Paul Highland Park’s Robert O’Leary, a sophomore, and senior Titus Natala, were fourth at 850.

    Hopkins grabbed the first two team spots in the CI Division. The Royals squad of freshman Sam Roles, junior Holden Frasee, junior Cole Knoploh and eighth-grader Charles Strozinsky rolled a combined score of 1,788 to capture the team crown. Their teammates of sophomore Mason Paul, eighth-graders Sam Broyles and Mark Cleveland, and freshman Javier Murray were runner-up with 1,729. North St. Paul was third at 1,692.

    North St. Paul did capture the team championship in the PI Division, however. The Polars compiled a score of 1,625 en route to a 67-pin victory over runner-up Alexandria. Leading the Polars were sophomores Max LeMay, Andrew Peabody, Christian Sellie, and junior Debie Morales-Campos. Alexandria was second with 1,558 and Albany was third at 1,532.

    Alexandria Area won the team title in the ASD Division with a score of 1,685 to narrowly defeat Mankato West, who was just four pins back. Leading the Cardinals was senior Brendan Fuoss, junior Ty Burg, seventh-grader Joe Mello and sophomore Marcus Decker. Wayzata/Minnetonka finished third in the team chase with a score of 1,616.

    State Tournament Results

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