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Deep in the recesses of Minnesota State High School League headquarters in Brooklyn Center, the unmistakable sounds are hard at work: Computers are whirring, audio is synching, video is edited and voiceovers are rehearsed.

It's the annual rite of summer, participating in webinars and the production of online rules meetings for thousands of MSHSL registered officials.

"It's, by far, the busiest, most hectic time of the summer," said Amy Doherty, MSHSL Program Specialist.

This week, MSHSL staff members have participated in National Federation of High School Association webinars on football, soccer, volleyball, swimming and gymnastics. Those national webinars are the launching pad for state associations in the educating of their sports officials.

"We could cut and paste the federation's online meeting and call it a day, if we wanted," said Jason Nickleby, the MSHSL's Coordinator of Officials. "But that's never been the mantra of the Minnesota State High School League."

In June, the League received fall sports power-point presentations from the NFHS highlighting rules changes, points of emphasis and other news.

Using those webinars as a foundation, Doherty massages the production with a Minnesota emphasis. Photographs of Minnesota state competitions, displays of sportsmanship and visuals of the joys of participation are new accents to the online rules meetings that officials will view.

After Doherty, Nickleby and Kevin Merkle, the MSHSL Associate Director that oversees officiating, complete the many details of the online rules meetings presentations productions, it isn't quite ready for launching.

Before final presentation to the officials, rules coordinators of the various sports will converge on League headquarters to view the online rules meeting and edits will ensue.

"Before it becomes the online rules meeting, it goes through many layers of input," Doherty said. "Many sets of eyes see this before it goes live."

An online rules meetings format for League officials is beginning its eighth year. It replaced the former requirement of physically attending a rules interpretation meeting.

"Some of our officials still prefer the in-person rules meetings, but we save a lot of time, money to our schools and officials, and the energies of a lot of people by doing them online," Merkle said. "The other benefit is the consistency we get. Everyone receives the same message throughout the state of Minnesota. Overall, we are pleased with the process and we need to continue to update and do things to the best of our abilities so that we can help Minnesota officials be the best they can be."

Said Nickleby: "It's really enlightening for someone that is new to see how this all comes together. I am appreciative of the process now that I am engaged in it. I had a sense of how much work goes into delivering this top-shelf product, but now I really know."

Tim Leighton
Communications Coordinator, MSHSL

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100 Years: Top Coaches & Players
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To help us celebrate the MSHSL's 100 Year Anniversary we are asking you to vote on the top athletes and coaches and narrow down our list to the best of the best. Each week we'll run two concurrent polls selecting a few matchups from our tournament style brackets ( www.mshsl.org/100Years).
A new voting window for coaches and players begins every Thursday. To get started, click the "Vote Now" button below.

Great teams, successful programs, and lasting championship legacies all have a common denominator: Strong leadership at the top.

Minnesota high school sports are littered with successful coaches who have created championship memories and positive impacts that have spanned decades and generations.

In honor of the Minnesota State High School League's 100-year anniversary, we set out to find out who is the state's best high school coach of all time. To do that, we need your help.

Through extensive research, the top 100 coaches in a variety of MSHSL activities were determined. It was an arduous task paring the list to just 100, but those are the rules!

The communications department conducted a draft where coaches were seeded and placed in one of four regions. The regions are named after the MSHSL's most common mascots.

Eagle Regional Tiger RegionalPanther RegionalCardinal Regional

With four weeks of voting elapsed in the Minnesota State High School League's Top 100 players tournament, four upsets stand out.

In the Murrae Freng Regional, No. 21-seed Ollie Bakken, the former St. Paul Harding and University of Minnesota football standout, upended No. 12 Verne Gagne. Gagne, who passed away on April 27, was a football standout and professional wrestling icon. Bakken moves on to face No. 5 Ron Johnson in the second round.

Over in the Dave Stead Regional, Duluth's Kara Wheeler, the No. 20 seed, upset No. 13 Von Shepherd of St. Paul Central in the opening round. Wheeler, a standout distance runner, advances to take on No. 4 Terry Steinbach, a New Ulm baseball legend.

Northfield gymnast Bailey DuPay, Minnesota's first-ever Class AA three-time all-around gymnastics champion and the No. 19 seed, recorded a victory over No. 14 Jena Kluegel, a former Mahtomedi soccer standout.

In other first-round matches in the four regionals, No. 8 Bob McNamara defeated No. 25 Nikki Klingsporn, No. 8 Krissy Wendell topped No. 25 Louis Ayeni, No. 17 Whitney Taney edged No. 16 Jerry Kindall, Non. 12 Bob Blakeley defeated No. 21 Katie Class, and No. 8 Leonard Jones recorded a victory over No. 25 Kristen Schmidt. In another No. 16 vs. No. 17 matchup, South St. Paul's Doug Woog defeated Bloomington Jefferson's Ahn Nguyen.

Keeping voting and enjoy the journey to determine the top student-athlete of all time in Minnesota!

Dave Stead Regional Orv Bies RegionalMurrae Freng RegionalB.H. Hill Regional


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.

1935 --- Keep yourself fit
Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 7/22/2015 4:10:27 PM

As student activities continued to grow in the mid-1930s, The Journal of the National Educational Association weighed in on the benefits of staying fit.
“Determine to keep yourself as fit and strong as possible. If your body is weak or diseased, a stream of distracting and painful impressions will flow into your mind and distort your emotional life. You will be less than yourself and each new weakness will open the way for others.
Build strength by action. Few of us use even 10 percent of our real physical or mental energy. Study yourself. Know what foods, rest and exercise are best for you and hold to them. Avoid infection and contagion.
Man is passing swiftly today from an active out-of-door life which required little thought of physical fitness to a sedentary in-door life which must be offset by exercise, fresh air, and a variety of interests. Perhaps shorter working hours will give mankind more time for sea, forest and mountain. These are the sources of vigor and strength.’’
In other noteworthy events:
• Austin wins the boys basketball state championship
• The Sportsmanship Award winner at the boys basketball state tournament was Minneapolis Edison
• A written proposal by the St. Paul Junior Commerce Association is received by the MSHSL’s Board of Control to hold the boys basketball state tournament in St. Paul. It was placed on file. Two months later, the Representative Assembly voted to renew the contract with the Minneapolis Auditorium for three years to continue hosting the event.
• Postseason football was given favorable consideration by the Representative Assembly, but nothing formal was developed. Postseason football was still many years away from becoming a reality.
• Ten geographical regions for boys basketball was discussed by the Representative Assembly, but ultimately, dismissed.
• An estimated 7,500 boys played football this school year.
• Elk River scored a state-best 209 points in seven football games during the fall of 1934.
• The Gilbert football team wasn’t scored upon all season.

1934 --- Iron Range strikes basketball gold
Posted by Tim Leighton (tleighton@mshsl.org) - Updated 7/16/2015 1:43:21 PM

• There was a long-held belief that the Iron Range, located in northern Minnesota, was home to just great hockey programs.

“Hold on a second!’’ howled the basketball players.

They were right. The Iron Range established an early tradition of fielding formidable boys’ basketball teams.

Virginia won the first basketball championship for an Iron Range school in 1916, the fourth season of a state tournament. Seven years later, Aurora captured the state title with a 17-2 record in 1923.

In 1924, Two Harbors was the third representative from Section 7 to win a state championship following a 21-12 victory over Minneapolis South.

Some will argue that Two Harbors, along with Duluth, aren’t considered part of the Iron Range. While neither are mining towns, both are historical ports and crucial to the mining industry.

Ten years later, in 1934, the Iron Rangers struck gold again at the boys basketball state tournament. Iron Range squads were fan favorites for the up-tempo style they played.

In 1934, Chisholm coach Harvey Roels and his “point-a-minute’’ strategy claimed the state title with a 29-27 victory over St. Paul Mechanic Arts. Guard Pete Burich hit a late jumper to give the Bluestreaks a 29-26 advantage.

Chisholm then had to turn up the pressure on defense, thwarting three scoring opportunities by Mechanic Arts.

Pete Burich and Gordon Burich, a forward, were selected to the all-state team.

From 1916-51, six championships were won by schools from the Iron Range. Only the Big Nine Conference, located in southern Minnesota, had more with seven.

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

More of the Countdown to 100

Remembering MSHSL Official Jim Mylander
Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 7/29/2015 1:33:19 PM

Jim Mylander, who was a longtime official in baseball, football and basketball, died Tuesday from complications related to liver cancer. Jim lived in Bloomington with his wife Natalie and daughter Emily.

On Jim's CaringBridge website, this message was posted Monday:

Well we got home from Jim's family reunion in Chicago. We had a terrific time...Cubs game, picnic, and seeing everyone. Jim was in his glory! But as of last night, he took a real decline for the worst. So Emily and I checked him into the hospice home at 7019 Lynmar Lane in Edina this morning. It won't be long now before Jim reaches his goal of seeing his Savior. God is so good! We love you all and will stay in touch! Natalie and Emily

This was posted Wednesday morning:

Yesterday at 4 PM our Savior Jesus took Jim home to heaven. Emily and I had our chance to say our goodbyes and that we would see him in heaven. He died so peacefully after being in so much pain through the night. God's plan of the whole family reunion, getting us home safely and dying at hospice was so beautiful! He fought the good fight so courageously. One of his favorite bible verses was Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times..." And he lived it faithfully. Funeral arrangements are still pending but at this time the plan is Fri August 7th viewing at the funeral home and the funeral service Sat August 8th at our church Holy Emmanuel. I will keep you all updated! We love you all! We know Jim is at peace visiting with everybody in heaven. In Christ's name, Natalie and Emily

Everyone associated with the MSHSL, especially our family of officials, expresses our sympathy to Jim's family and friends.

I wrote about Jim on October 21, 2013. Here is that story:

A Veteran Official Can’t Wait To Get Back In The Game

Jim Mylander can’t wait to get back to officiating high school football, basketball and baseball games. His 15-year MSHSL officiating career has been put on hold while he deals with cancer, but he will be back.

The Bloomington resident, who graduated from high school in Ellsworth, Wis., in 1979, was diagnosed with liver cancer in the spring of 2012. After mysteriously losing nearly 30 pounds and feeling fatigued, tests revealed that his hemoglobin was low and he was losing blood. Cancer was discovered in his colon, which had moved to his liver in the form of four tumors. By this past July he had undergone 27 rounds of chemotherapy.

He hasn’t suffered from many serious side effects with the chemo, and he has been able to officiate some youth sporting events. While not officiating high school games, he often watches games from the sidelines and spends time with his officiating buddies before and after games, as well as at halftime.

“I have a ton of friends who do multiple sports,” he said. “They always let me join them at halftime. They ask me about what I saw and how they were doing.”

Mylander, who works as an inventory controls specialist at United Bankers' Bank in Bloomington, was a three-sport athlete in high school and became an official as a way to remain involved in athletics. He began working youth football games in 1991 and has been an MSHSL official since 1999.

“I wanted the continuation of high school sports, and above all the kids keep me young,” he said. “I enjoy it.”

Surgery to remove part of his liver was originally scheduled for early September, but doctors discovered that tumors were dangerously close to vital blood vessels. So instead of surgery he has undergone one round of radioactive embolization, a process in which a catheter is used to inject small radioactive beads into the arteries near the tumors. That procedure will be repeated in early November. If all goes well the tumors will be gone and he will be given a clean bill of health.

Jim and his family – wife Natalie and daughter Emily – have been posting regular updates on his CaringBridge website. The most recent update said …

Good Morning to all...
Jim had his first radiation treatment yesterday. We were at the hospital a good part of the day, but all went well. Praise God!! He is home resting today. His next treatment will be the beginning of November. Then we leave it all in God's hands. We pray this works to reduce or get rid of the tumors. Thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and support. We cannot tell you how much this means to Jim, Em and myself. Jim's dads favorite line was "GOD IS GOOD" and we are certainly experiencing this through our difficult journey.
God Bless you all,
The Mylanders

When Jim and I talked, he said, “I have been blessed because the main effect has been being overly tired sometimes. I never had any nausea; only a couple reactions to chemo last August put me in the hospital for two nights. I have had so much support from officiating colleagues, CaringBridge, Facebook and all the MSHSL people.”

Both of Jim’s parents died of cancer in the 1990s. When I asked him if his own experience with cancer had changed him, he said. “It’s given me a new perspective on taking care of myself better and not taking each day for granted. Because you can never know what can happen.

“I miss being out on the field, because I enjoy it. It keeps me young.”

More of John's Journal

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MSHSL Behavior Expectations 
August Board Agenda 
Job Posting: Admin Assistant - Officials 
15-16 Coaches Online Rules Mtg Schedule 
Job Posting: Accounting Assistant 
June Board Meeting Synopsis 
June Exec & Elig Committee Agenda  
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