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Hockey And Music: Farmington’s Husband And Wife Team
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2019 9:01:22 PM

Thursday was an exciting day for the Holmes family. Jon Holmes stood on the bench at Xcel Energy Center as head coach of the Farmington High School girls hockey team. Erin Holmes stood in front of the giant Farmington pep band, directing them during the Tigers’ Class 2A state quarterfinal game against Andover.

Jon and Erin’s three sons -- ninth-grader William, third-grader Henry and kindergartener Duke – cheered for the Tigers ... the hockey players as well as the musicians.

This was a special day, but most days are hectic when one parent is coaching a sports team, the other is coaching musicians and their children are busy with school and activities.

“I don’t want to say it’s chaotic because my wife is such a good planner,” Jon said. “But there’s always something to do. I’m a head coach in two sports (also boys golf), and she’s busier than I am. Life in the house is certainly interesting.”

Jon is a 1999 Farmington graduate who was the school’s male athlete of the year as a senior, lettering in hockey, golf, tennis and cross-country. They met when Erin, a musician since her days as a student at Bethlehem Academy in Faribault, was on a Farmington faculty committee interviewing candidates for a social studies teaching job. Jon was interviewed and hired.

“We started dating a year or so later, got married a couple years later, and we just keep getting busier,” Erin said.

The unseeded Farmington Tigers, making their sixth state tournament appearance, lost to second-seeded Andover 7-1 Thursday. Farmington will play unseeded White Bear Lake in Friday’s 10 a.m. consolation game at TRIA Rink.

“We didn’t really have our best stuff. Everything kind of went haywire,” said Jon, whose team is the youngest in the tournament with three seniors, three juniors, six sophomores, four ninth-graders and four eighth-graders.

While he was in charge of 20 hockey players, Erin and co-band director Bradley Mariska were leading 190 talented musicians.

The band played a wide variety of songs, including Escape (the Pina Colada song), Eye of the Tiger, My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up), and of course the school song.

Afterwards, Jon admitted that in the midst of the game he didn’t have a chance to focus on the band.

“I notice it more when we’re scoring because they play our school song,” he said. “And at home games, definitely, because we walk right through them to our benches.”

Farmington has nine different bands during the school day, with marching band offered as an after-school extracurricular option. Erin is in charge of two jazz bands, two concert ensembles, is director of the marching band and teaches individual lessons.

Last year she was named the first female jazz chair of the Minnesota Music Educators Association and one of School Band and Orchestra Magazine's 50 Directors Who Make a Difference.

If there is a typical day during the hockey season in the Holmes household, it goes something like this: Erin leaves home first because her teaching day begins earlier than Jon’s. After school Jon goes to hockey practice and Erin picks up their boys.

“We high-five each other and run our kids around to where they need to go,” Erin said. “And meet up at the end of the day and catch up.”

The night before the state tournament began, the two of them had some quiet time together while the boys were being watched by grandparents. Since their jobs are very similar – coaching, directing, mentoring, positively influencing young people – they talked about some of those themes.

“We must have had a two-hour conversation about culture and how things can really get turned in certain directions from certain events,” Jon said. “And obviously because it’s a state tournament we were talking about how this was going to be positive for the little kids.

“I’ve been to their band camps, watching her and Brad Mariska run their camps. I just take notes. She loves to sit and watch our practices. It’s really cool.”

Erin said, “We compare each other’s philosophies a lot. Music certainly relates to sports and we talk a lot about what we’re doing. These are very much team efforts, very much family-oriented situations, where you lean on each other and push each other to get better. Band is just like any sport.

“It’s such a great relationship when you’ve got each other’s passions in your hands. We feel very much supported by each other.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.

Girls State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals
--Breck 2, Fergus Falls 0
--Mound-Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/SW Christian 4, Mankato East/Loyola 2
--Warroad 4, St. Paul United 0
--Proctor/Hermantown 3, Rochester Lourdes/Dover-Eyota 2 (OT)

Thursday’s Consolation Games
--Fergus Falls 7, Mankato East/Loyola 1
--Rochester Lourdes/Dover-Eyota 4, St. Paul United 3 (OT)

Friday’s Semifinals
--Breck vs. Mound-Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/SW Christian, 11 a.m.
--Warroad vs. Proctor/Hermantown, 1:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Thursday’s Quarterfinals
--Andover 7, Farmington 1
--Brainerd 4, White Bear Lake 0
--Edina 7, East Ridge 0
--Minnetonka 7, Maple Grove 4

Friday’s Semifinals
--Andover vs. Brainerd, 6 p.m.
--Edina vs. Minnetonka, 8:30 p.m.

Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship games televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast by prep45.com. Consolation games webcast by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL

Girls State Hockey Tournament Update
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/20/2019 10:10:17 PM

Class 1A

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals

--Breck 2, Fergus Falls 0
--Mound-Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/SW Christian 4, Mankato East/Loyola 2
--Warroad 4, St. Paul United 0
--Proctor/Hermantown 3, Rochester Lourdes/Dover-Eyota 2 (OT)

Friday’s Semifinals
--Breck vs. Mound-Westonka/Watertown-Mayer/SW Christian, 11 a.m.
--Warroad vs. Proctor/Hermantown, 1:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Thursday’s Quarterfinals

--Farmington vs. Andover, 11 am.
--White Bear Lake vs. Brainerd, 1 p.m.
--East Ridge vs. Edina, 6 p.m.
--Minnetonka vs. Maple Grove, 8 p.m.

Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/20/2019 10:09:45 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

1. Edina 21-2-1 1
2. Minnetonka 20-2-3 2
3. Blaine 19-2-2 3
4. Andover 22-2-1 4
5. St. Thomas Academy 21-3-1 5
6. Maple Grove 19-4-1 6
7. White Bear Lake 18-4-1 7
8. Rosemount 22-3-0 9
9. Eden Prairie 13-9-3 8
10. Benilde-St. Margaret's 18-7-0 10
11. Moorhead 18-6-1 11
12. Duluth East 15-6-2 13
13. Chaska 18-7-0 14
14. Hill-Murray 14-8-2 12
15. Roseau 18-4-2 15
16. Wayzata 12-9-4 16
17. Eagan 18-7-0 18
18. Brainerd 16-9-0 19
19. Buffalo 17-5-3 20
20. Blake 16-7-2 17

Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/20/2019 10:09:20 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

1. Hermantown 20-3-2 1
2. Mahtomedi 18-6-1 3
3. Totino-Grace 17-7-0 2
4. Alexandria 18-5-0 4
5. St. Cloud Cathedral 21-4-0 5
6. East Grand Forks 17-8-0 6
7. Thief River Falls 14-8-3 7
8. Warroad 13-9-2 9
9. Greenway 12-13-0 10
10. Orono 16-9-0 8
11. Sartell-St. Stephen 17-7-0 11
12. Monticello 16-8-1 12
13. Marshall 21-2-1 13
14. Duluth Denfeld 13-8-3 14
15. Delano 14-9-2 16
16. Mankato East 15-9-1 15
17. Minnesota River 17-4-0 18
18. Mound Westonka 14-10-2 20
19. Northfield 15-9-0 17
20. Virginia/Mountain Iron-Bruhl 9-15-1 19

#ThankARef: Klinnert Has Worked 3,000 Games And Counting
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/18/2019 1:53:58 PM

John Klinnert did something special on Friday when he packed his officiating gear and drove fifty-some miles from Fergus Falls to Wadena, where he and the other two members of the crew got dressed, put whistles around their necks and officiated a basketball doubleheader between Sebeka and Wadena-Deer Creek.

All that was perfectly normal. What was special? It was the 3,000th time that Klinnert has officiated high school basketball.

His first game was in 1977. Think about that: for 42 years, Klinnert has officiated high school basketball as well as football. He’s 71 years old, he’s fit, he’s sharp and he has no plans to stop.

“As long as the good Lord lets me and my knees and legs hold out,” he said. “I have fun every night I go out. I look forward to it.”

Klinnert has a strong relationship with the MSHSL that goes beyond officiating. He was a member of the MSHSL board of directors from 2006 to 2010, serving as the board treasurer. He currently serves on the board of directors of the MSHSL Foundation, a body separate from the MSHSL that awards grants to school activity programs.

Klinnert says it’s all about giving back. He was a five-sport athlete in New York Mills (football and cross-country in the fall, basketball in the winter, track and baseball in the spring) before graduating in 1965 and was a member of the cross-country team in college at Moorhead State. (Pictured are Klinnert, middle, with John Wold of Underwood, left, and Chuck Evert of Battle Lake.)

His first experience in officiating came in intramurals at Moorhead State. He coached softball, baseball and cross-country for eight years in Royalton and Fergus Falls and for 32 years he has operated J.K. Sports, a sporting goods business in Fergus Falls.

In 1977, Klinnert began keeping track of every basketball game he officiated, and he’s done so ever since. He hasn’t counted football games but has risen to high levels in both sports, officiating 30 state tournament games, including four Prep Bowls.

If you count every high school gym near Interstate 94 between Maple Grove and Moorhead (a distance of 220 miles), the only spot Klinnert hasn’t worked a basketball game is Rogers.

His philosophy is simple: Treat every game like it’s the most important one, because it is.

“For those kids, that’s the biggest game in the state, and it doesn’t make any difference what the records are,” he said. “I always tell the kids to have fun and enjoy the experience. With other referees, we don’t get along very well if they’re not enthused about what they’re doing. Sometimes you can have two 0-10 teams go at each other and have a heck of a game.”

For basketball game No. 3,000, Klinnert worked with two other veterans, Chuck Evert of Battle Lake and John Wold of Underwood. Klinnert and Evert go way back; Evert – who also has passed the 3,000-game mark -- began officiating a year before Klinnert’s career started, and they have worked more than 50 postseason games together.

Klinnert has seen a lot since 1977, when he was paid $27.50 for working two games; the current standard is around $100 for two games. He said he will work 60 or so games this season. His single-season high is 94 games, and he had one stretch when he worked high school and college basketball games every day but one over 17 days.

Earlier last week, Klinnert worked with an official who graduated from high school in 2013. He enjoys partnering with young officials, knowing that more officials are needed as veterans retire.

“Some of the older guys don’t want to go with the young guys, but you’ve got to work with them,” Klinnert said. “They need it. It’s only phy ed if you don’t have registered officials.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.

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