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Looking For A Team And Finding New Friends
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:45:58 PM

This story, originally posted here on Jan. 15, 2018, is a remarkable testament to schools and athletes working together.

Our high schools are separated by distance, but sometimes the barriers can seem higher and stronger. There are rivalries between schools, certainly, especially schools that are in the same conference and in close proximity. One example: South St. Paul and Henry Sibley.

The schools are less than five miles apart. From South St. Paul, home of the Packers, you drive down Marie Avenue onto 7th Avenue South and then Interstate 494 for a short jaunt to Highway 110, then Delaware Avenue before arriving at Henry Sibley in Mendota Heights, home of the Warriors. The school bears the name of Minnesota’s first governor.

Both schools are in the Metro East Conference and when their teams compete against each other it is a real rivalry. All of this gives Tessa Laska an interesting perspective on schools and barriers and rivalries, as well as friendships.

Tessa is a junior at South St. Paul who competes on the Packers cross-country team in the fall and track and field in the spring. She played basketball for a while but repeated issues with injuries made her think about a different winter sport. Knowing that lots of cross-country runners also compete in Nordic skiing, she began wondering about giving that sport a try.

But there was a giant obstacle: South St. Paul does not offer Nordic skiing. Here’s where Tessa took a big leap over those barriers standing between schools. She knew that Henry Sibley had Nordic skiing, so was it possible to be part of their team? It was a little bit complicated, but the answer was yes.(Pictured, left to right, are Emma Forouhari, Anna Klein, Tessa Laska, Allie Prokosch, Bella Nelson.)

She talked to South St. Paul activities director Chad Sexauer, who signed on. They contacted administrators at Henry Sibley and Warriors Nordic coach Eric Friberg, who recalled this week, “She kind of reached out and said ‘Hey, we’re interested in doing this.’ I said, ‘Sure, why not?’ ”

Tessa is now in her second year as a Nordic skier, training with the Warriors. She paid the standard activity fee at her school, which provided racing uniforms in the school colors of maroon and white. But she trains with the skiers at Henry Sibley, who wear red and gold. She competes as a Packer, but she is grateful to the Warriors for allowing her to train with them and making her part of their team.

“I’m very lucky because it’s nerve-racking coming from a different school,” Tessa said. “They’re just really inviting, really nice people. They helped me grow as a skier, and almost as a person. I look up to how nice they are. I think about if we were to have someone from a different school come to South St. Paul, I would want to treat someone as well as they treated me.”

Friburg, a Henry Sibley alum who teaches biology, said, “A lot of kids overlap from cross-country to skiing, so a lot of them knew who she was already because they competed against her. It was kind of fun to turn that on its head, and now she’s our teammate. The kids really kind of ran with that.”

The Warriors have truly embraced Tessa. At the end of last season, she was named the team’s rookie of the year.

“On the first day of practice we kind of just flocked to Tessa because she was this new person and we were all excited to meet her, and that’s kind of continued,” said junior Allie Prokosch. “She always brings in some cool stories from her own school and her experiences. It kind of brings in a new perspective.”

Junior Laura Skemp said, “I think everybody was like, ‘Oh, this is so weird. It’s a different person from a different school.’ But she’s really part of the team and last year she got Rookie of the Year and everybody else was so surprised but we were all like, ‘Well, obviously, because she was the best person that came in.’ It’s not that odd. She just feels like one of us and it’s really nice.”

Logistically, there have been few problems. The South St. Paul school day ends at 2:30 p.m., while the last bell at Henry Sibley rings at 3:04. That gives Tessa time to make the 10-minute drive to Sibley and greet her friends as they come out to ski on the roomy school grounds.

Last year Tessa came within a few seconds of being named all-conference honorable mention. She has finished among the leaders at some races this winter. She would like to receive all-conference status this season and finish among the top half of the field at the Section 3 championships.

“I think she was a little hesitant to start but now it’s clear she loves these girls and they’re all friends,” Friberg said. “It’s worked out just great. Competitively, she’s a great athlete. It was fun for her, too, I think to struggle at something. That can be hard for a good runner to switch to skiing and not be good right away.”

Tessa said she had no idea what to expect last season, because she was with an unknown group of athletes and she had never been on skis.

“Coach Friberg says in the first year you’re learning how to stay up on skis, the second year you’re getting the feel of how to race, and the third year is when you’re competing well. I was able to learn pretty fast along with a couple of other teammates who were new,” she said.

Tessa competed in some junior varsity meets early last season and did very well. By late in the season she was skiing at the conference and sections meets. She missed the early part of training this winter because of an ankle injury suffered during cross-country. But now she’s at full strength and looking forward to the rest of the winter.

“It’s fun going over to Sibley every day, getting to hang out with that team,” she said. “It’s really been an exciting experience. It’s cool to say I ski for South St. Paul and I made this team. It’s a really fun sport and a cool experience.

“Sibley is great. They’re really nice.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.







Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:41:30 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 148.700
2 Owatonna 1AA 146.425
3 East Ridge 3AA 145.842
4 Maple Grove 5AA 145.267
5 Champlin Park 5AA 144.600
6 Lakeville North 2AA 144.042
7 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 142.983
8 Wayzata 5AA 142.500
9 Anoka 7AA 141.992
10 Eden Prairie 6AA 141.925
11 Bemidji 8AA 141.558
12 Eagan 3AA 140.967
13 Lakeville South 2AA 140.958
14 Brainerd 8AA 140.192
15 Rosemount 1AA 139.950
16 Rogers 5AA 139.925
17 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 139.758
18 Farmington 1AA 139.600
19 New Prague 2AA 139.292
20 Northfield 1AA 138.917
21 Edina 6AA 138.533
22 Hopkins 6AA 138.033
23 Saint Francis 7AA 137.342
24 Roseville Area 4AA 137.242
25 Saint Michael-Albertville 8AA 137.200




Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:41:05 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.950
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 145.542
3 Mahtomedi 4A 144.950
4 Willmar 6A 144.842
5 Big Lake 7A 143.342
6 Perham 8A 143.033
7 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 143.008
8 Worthington 3A 142.958
9 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 142.650
10 Monticello 7A 142.417
11 Melrose Area 6A 139.733
12 Waconia 2A 138.983
13 Mankato West 2A 138.150
14 Chisago Lakes 7A 136.958
15 Becker 7A 136.258
16 New London-Spicer 6A 136.033
17 Martin County Area 3A 135.775
18 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 134.542
19 St. Paul Highland Park 4A 133.950
20 North Branch 7A 133.825
21 Jackson County Central 3A 133.667
22 Alexandria 8A 133.300
23 Austin 1A 133.275
24 Litchfield 6A 132.758
25 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 132.717




Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:40:04 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 3A
1. Shakopee (2)
2. Owatonna (1)
3. Apple Valley (2)
4. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
5. Willmar (8)
6. New Prague (2)
7. Stillwater Area (4)
8. Mounds View (4)
9. Anoka (7)
10. Forest Lake (7)
11. Northfield (1)
12. East Ridge (3)
Lean and Mean
Bemidji (8), Coon Rapids (7), Blaine (7), Hastings (3), Albert Lea Area (1), Cambridge-Isanti (7), Brainerd/Pillager (8), St. Francis (7)



Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:39:11 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 2A
1. Kasson-Mantorville (1)
2. Simley (1)
3. Perham (8)
4. Fairmont/Martin County West (3)
5. Scott West (2)
6. Waconia (2)
7. Foley (6)
8. Detroit Lakes (8)
9. Hutchinson (2)
10. Marshall (3)
11. Delano (2)
12. Totino-Grace (5)
Lean and Mean
Big Lake (6), Grand Rapids (7), Litchfield (6), Mahtomedi (4), Mora (7), Pierz (8), Plainview-Elgin-Millville (1), Princeton (7), South St. Paul (4), Thief River Falls (8), Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran (2)



Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/26/2019 11:37:45 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 1A
1. LPGE-Browerville (5)
2. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3)
3. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (4)
4. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1)
5. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
6. Minnewaska Area (5)
7. Frazee (8)
8. Kenyon-Wanamingo (2)
9. Goodhue (1)
10. Minneota (3)
11. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8)
12. Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (6)
Lean and Mean
Canby (3), GMLOS (1), Ottertail Central (6), Chatfield (1), Blue Earth Area (2), Windom/Mountain Lake (3), West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6), Aitkin (7), Royalton/Upsala (7), Maple River (2), Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (5)




Hockey From The Ground Up: South St. Paul’s Dave Palmquist
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:42:18 PM

This story, originally posted here on Jan. 27, 2017, features South St. Paul girls hockey coach Dave Palmquist. In this, the 25th year of girls hockey as an MSHSL sport, Palmquist is the only active coach from the group that coached in the very first season (1994).

In 1994, a young man stood behind the bench as a head coach as the first girls hockey season in Minnesota high school history began. His name was Dave Palmquist and he’s still behind the bench at South St. Paul. He’s the last of a breed, the last coach standing from the group that got girls hockey off the ground all those years ago.

Palmquist, who will be 53 next week, has been coaching the Packers for about as long as anyone can remember … certainly longer than any of his current players have been alive. The program he built from scratch has earned a reputation for hard work, competitive spirit and playing the game the right way.

South St. Paul owns four state championships (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and has made three other appearances in championship games during a record 14 trips to state. Do the math: The Packers have played in title games in half of their state appearances. The team’s record under Palmquist is 474-146-22, but the victories on the ice are much less important than the victories for his players later in life.

“You realize those relationships are the most important thing,” he said. “You want the players to look back down the road and say it was a positive experience. That’s the most important thing to me. We want good kids who develop character. I love those relationships.”

Over the years, his players have respected the program’s long-standing tradition as well as its long-standing coach.

“He’s a great guy,” said current junior forward Mackenna Emery. “He’s always there for us when we need something. And the tradition means a lot to me. I would love to make it back to the state tournament at least once before my career is done. I was always looking up to all those girls and I wanted to be them one day.”

Junior defender Brooke Deering said Palmquist “holds everyone accountable and he’s super passionate. He is always working for the better of the team, making sure every girl has what they need whether it’s on a hockey level or a personal level. He’s there for everyone on the team, always.”

Palmquist has been a coach most of his life, even acting as a pseudo-coach with his friends growing up in Columbia Heights; he was the kid who organized games on outdoor ice and driveways.

After graduating from Minnehaha Academy and Bethel College, he returned to Minnehaha as a teacher and assistant boys hockey coach at age 23. A year later he became the head coach and was there for seven years.

He applied for the boys head-coaching position at St. South Paul and was not hired, but school officials called him about another opportunity: becoming the first coach of the girls hockey team. He had no experience in coaching girls, and admits that it was a tough transition at first.

“For my family’s sake it was the right thing to go to South St. Paul,” he said. “I needed to get into public education, finances was a part of it. But I was so involved in the boys hockey coaches association and girls hockey was new. People asked, ‘What’s going on? Why are you leaving?’

“So many of the men have gone over to the girls side, and you see that at the college level, too,” Palmquist said, mentioning University of Minnesota women’s hockey coach Brad Frost, a former assistant men’s hockey coach at Bethel, and Wisconsin women’s hockey coach Brad Johnson, one-time boys high school coach and men’s assistant with the Badgers.

“We found out that it’s a pretty neat thing,” Palmquist said. “The girls are passionate about it and it’s really fun.”

The majority of girls high school hockey coaches are men, and Palmquist said he would like to see more females in those positions. His staff includes junior varsity coaches and former Packers players Jamie Shephard and Maggie Fisher (the team’s career points leader).

“They are wonderful additions,” he said. “They are so valuable. I hope someday they want to be head coaches. These girls need good female role models in front of them.”

Palmquist’s varsity assistants are Corey McGinn and Josh Palmquist, the coach’s son.

“I get to see a whole different side of him. He’s a dedicated person and a dedicated coach,” said Josh, 27. “More so than anything on the ice, he cares about these girls off the ice. He’s an educator and a coach first. He cares deeply about these girls. He wants them to be great hockey players but more importantly great people off the ice. That’s the same thing he does as a father, too.”

Josh is one of four children of Dave and Karen Palmquist. Zach played hockey at Minnesota State Mankato and is currently with the Iowa Wild, the Minnesota Wild’s minor league affiliate. Son Luke played tennis at Bethel and daughter Abby is a student there now. The day after Abby was born, the entire Packers girls hockey team came to see her in the hospital. She ended up playing for her dad.

Asked about his favorite memories, Dave Palmquist -- who in 2013 was among the inaugural inductees into the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame -- first said there were too many to pick out one or two. Then he talked about his family.

“All the championships were so awesome, but one highlight was coaching my daughter for five years, having her play in the state tournament for four years and watching her score against Warroad in a championship game. Coaching with Josh is great and Abby wants to coach when she’s done at Bethel. Family’s everything with me. That’s been a real blessing.”

Palmquist is familiar to fans who watch the state hockey tournaments on television. He has been an analyst as part of the KSTC-TV in-arena studio crew for more than a decade. His first TV appearance was at the 2006 girls state tournament, which his team won. In that year’s boys state tourney, Palmquist was asked to fill in when a scheduled analyst couldn’t be there. And he’s been there ever since.

That's just like his coaching career, where he’s been since 1994. And he has no plans to bow out.

“I’m a career coach, I don’t see any end to it,” he said. “There’s no end in sight for me as long as I feel good and I’m passionate about it.

“This is as much fun as I’ve ever had. I don’t need to win championships to have fun. I just want to develop good kids and have a good time. I don’t care if I win another game.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:38:52 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota
2. Menahga
3. Goodhue
4. Grand Meadow
5. Pelican Rapids
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West
7. Hills-Beaver Creek
8. Stephen-Argyle
9. Heritage Christian
10. Cromwell



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:38:30 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre
2. Roseau
3. Eden Valley-Watkins
4. Minnehaha Academy
5. Rochester Lourdes
6. Holy Family
7. Rush City
8. Annandale
9. Norwood Young America
10. Medford



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:38:02 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Hill-Murray
2. Red Wing
3. Waseca
4. St. Paul Como Park
5. Willmar
6. Simley
7. Alexandria
8. Robbinsdale Cooper
9. DeLaSalle
10. Waconia




Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:37:30 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins
2. Wayzata
3. Stillwater
4. Farmington
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Park Center
7. Chaska
8. Eastview
9. Roseville
10. Eden Prairie



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:37:02 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota
2. BOLD
3. Cass Lake-Bena
4. Minnesota Valley Lutheran
5. Springfield
6. North Woods
7. Henning
8. Spring Grove
9. Ortonville
10. Randolph




Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:36:36 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy
2. Minneapolis North
3. Perham
4. Maranatha
5. Jordan
6. Breck
7. Lake City
8. Spectrum
9. St. Croix Prep
10. Caledonia



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:36:07 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle
2. Waseca
3. Princeton
4. Austin
5. Mankato East
6. Mahtomedi
7. Delano
8. Northfield
9. Waconia
10. Academy of Holy Angels



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 8:35:42 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins
2. Prior Lake
3. Park Center
4. East Ridge
5. Lakeville North
6. Shakopee
7. Wayzata
8. Edina
9. Eden Prairie
10. Chaska



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 6:22:41 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 20-0-0 1
2. Breck 15-6-0 2
3. Mound Westonka 18-0-3 3
4. South St. Paul 14-5-3 4
5. Proctor/Hermantown 14-7-2 5
6. Thief River Falls 14-6-0 6
7. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 15-6-0 8
8. Rochester Lourdes 11-8-1 7
9. East Grand Forks 12-7-2 9
10. Duluth Marshall 13-7-0 10
11. Fergus Falls 15-6-0 11
12. Alexandria 11-11-0 12
13. Delano/Rockford 12-9-1 13
14. St. Paul United 8-11-2 14
15. Hibbing/Chisholm 8-12-0 16
16. Mahtomedi 10-10-2 15
17. Minneapolis 14-8-1 17
18. Simley 10-10-2 18
19. Hutchinson 9-8-3 19
20. Chisago Lakes 9-12-1 20




Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 6:22:19 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Blake 18-2-0 2
2. Edina 18-4-0 1
3. Forest Lake 20-1-0 3
4. Andover 18-3-0 5
5. Brainerd/Little Falls 18-2-1 6
6. Eden Prairie 13-5-2 8
7. Wayzata 14-5-0 4
8. Roseau 17-4-0 7
9. Hill-Murray 16-4-1 9
10. Maple Grove 13-6-1 10
11. North Wright County 18-5-0 12
12. Elk River 14-6-3 13
13. Eagan 15-5-0 11
14. Minnetonka 11-8-1 14
15. Grand Rapids/Greenway 12-8-1 15
16. Benilde-St. Margaret's 14-5-2 16
17. Blaine 10-9-1 17
18. Farmington 10-9-2 18
19. Burnsville 15-5-1 19
20. Lakeville North 12-8-1 20



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 6:21:44 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Hermantown 13-3-1 1
2. St. Cloud Cathedral 17-1-0 2
3. East Grand Forks 14-4-0 4
4. Thief River Falls 12-5-2 5
5. Totino-Grace 13-5-0 7
6. Mahtomedi 13-3-1 3
7. Alexandria 13-4-0 6
8. Orono 11-6-0 8
9. Sartell-St. Stephen 12-5-0 9
10. Warroad 10-8-0 10
11. Monticello 13-5-1 11
12. Greenway 7-13-0 12
13. Duluth Denfeld 9-6-1 13
14. Marshall 17-2-0 15
15. Northfield 13-4-0 17
16. North Branch 12-5-2 14
17. Mankato East 9-6-1 16
18. Minnesota River 14-3-0 18
19. Mound Westonka 13-5-0 19
20. Rochester Lourdes 13-6-0



Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/23/2019 6:21:18 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

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



Eden Valley-Watkins Is Ready To Make A Run
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/20/2019 6:25:02 PM

EDEN VALLEY – The past two seasons have been exceptional for the girls basketball team from Eden Valley-Watkins. Two years ago the Eagles finished with a record of 24-4 and last season they were 26-4. That 50-8 total, however, has one caveat: neither time did they make it to the state tournament.

Eden Valley-Watkins has been to state, including in 2001 when the Eagles lost to Fosston 50-45 in the Class 1A championship game. They also went to state in 2006, as well as three times in the 1980s, with two runner-up finishes.

“It’s been a while,” said Tom Jansen, in his 22nd year as the Eagles head coach, after they defeated visiting Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 63-28 on Thursday night.

More than halfway through the 2018-19 regular season, the Eagles are making headlines. They are unbeaten in 15 games and ranked third in Class 2A by Minnesota Basketball News. The Eagles' goals, as emblazoned on team shirts, include but are not dominated by making it to the big show in Minneapolis; the shirts say simply “3-13” because the state tournament starts on March 13.

“Our main goals are to try and get better every day in practice, and then conference champs, playing in the now, always playing right now, we don’t think about the future or the past,” said junior Halle Jansen, the coach’s daughter and one of three 1,000-point scorers on the team.

“We’re playing every game one at a time, but we know (state is ) where we want to get to,” she added.

The other 1,000-point scorers are senior Emma Schultz and junior Olivia Kuechle. Schultz is averaging 16.4 points this season, Kuechle 13 and Jansen 10.6. That trio leads a talented squad that presents multiple problems for opponents.

“The challenge with them is they’re just so quick and long,” said Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted coach Rick Baumann. “And Tom does such a great job of getting those girls to play together. They close out, they pressure you, they make you play faster than you want to play. And they all contribute.”

The Eagles have won by an average score of 64-30 this season. Their closest finish was a 46-36 win over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Dec. 14.

The Eden Valley-Watkins players talk about chemistry as one of the main components in their success.

“Our team chemistry is like no other,” said Kuechle.

Schultz said, “We’ve been playing together since fourth and fifth grade. It just builds our chemistry. We know what each other can do, we know where everyone will be at certain points in time, we just know each other so well.”

Coach Jansen concurs.

“The chemistry is fantastic,” he said. “The kids get along with each other so well, they play for each other. There’s no selfishness. We have three 1,000-point scorers, which is kind of odd, but they’re extremely unselfish. And they’re great to coach. They work so hard, they’re super kids, so it’s been fun.”

Last season ended with a one-point loss to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in the Section 3 championship game. Two years ago, the Eagles fell to Holy Family Catholic in overtime in the section semifinals.

Being unbeaten and highly ranked can mean the proverbial target on the back, but the if Eagles feel any pressure it’s self-inflicted.

“I wouldn’t call it pressure. I would call it more motivation,” Halle Jansen said. “The last two years we lost in overtime and then lost by one point, so I think we’re motivating ourselves to where we want to go.”

So far, everything is working according to plan.

“In their roles they do a great job playing together as a team and they’re consistent,” Baumann said. “It’s tough to play against them. There’s no one girl you can really take away. It’s one of those things that they have so many different weapons and so many things they can do.”

--See a photo gallery on the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



For Dodge County Hockey, Even Practice Means A Road Trip
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:48:48 AM

After Tuesday night’s game at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul, the Dodge County boys hockey team boarded a charter bus for the trip back to their home rink in Kasson to stow their gear. After they arrived there, some of the players still had more driving ahead of them before getting home.

The Dodge County Wildcats are not the typical high school squad. It’s a cooperative team, with a roster that includes players from five schools in southern Minnesota: Kasson-Mantorville, Pine Island, Byron, Triton and Zumbrota-Mazeppa. Two other schools (Hayfield and Blooming Prairie) are part of the coop but have no hockey players on the roster this season.

“Dodge County” is as good a moniker as any, despite the fact that Zumbrota, Pine Island and Byron aren’t in Dodge County; Blooming Prairie has one foot in Dodge County and the other in Steele County.

The only community with indoor ice is Kasson, where the Wildcats boys and girls teams play their home games.

“It makes it a unique challenge, just with logistics and getting to the rink,” said first-year head coach Nick Worden. “Pine Island’s about a half hour away, Zumbrota is probably 40 minutes, so that’s a pretty big commitment to make every day.”

A 2-0 loss to South St. Paul (6-9-1) dropped the Wildcats’ record to 1-14-1, but there is reason for optimism. The numbers of hockey players in the coop is climbing, from 38 this season to possibly the mid-50s next season.

“Numbers are not a problem,” Worden said. “We have a great group of kids coming up that we’re excited about, and we’re not very far away from being a decent hockey team.”

Despite the lack of on-ice success this season, the players are excited about the opportunity.

“I feel like we’ve been getting a lot better these last three, four games,” said Charlie Blaisdell, a sophomore at Kasson-Mantorville who leads the team in scoring with six goals and seven assists.

“We’ve been playing 10 times better than we did in the first couple games this season. I think the turnaround has been pretty good.”

Nick Retzer, a senior from Byron, said, “I definitely agree. The season is fun, it’s a lot of fun, especially playing hockey with these guys. We’re getting better throughout the season.”

Retzer said having players from different schools can be a plus on the ice.

“I honestly think it brings us closer together. There’s more of a team culture, that when we’re there, we’re there for hockey and to play as a team, more than even schools that are all together.”

The Wildcats have been outscored 89-32 in their 16 games, an average of 5.5 goals to 2. In Tuesday’s game at South St. Paul, the Wildcats had 20 shots on goal to 50 for the Packers, but Dodge County had numerous scoring opportunities and enthusiasm never wavered. Senior goaltender Cole Kundert had a .960 save percentage in only his fourth game of the season.

“Getting the kids to jell together and the friendships is one thing we try to focus on a lot,” said Worden, 36, who played hockey at Rochester Century High School as well as junior hockey with the Rochester Ice Hawks.

“They played hockey growing up together but it’s different when you’re not in school together every day. The relationships, that’s a big piece.”

Ten games remain on the regular-season schedule, starting with Friday’s date with Southwest Christian/Richfield at Dodge County Ice Arena in Kasson. The postseason is a real challenge for the Wildcats because while the schools in the coop are relatively small, the total enrollment puts them in Class 2A Section 1 with much larger schools from Lakeville, Rochester, Farmington, Owatonna and Hastings.

“That makes it hard for us to compete,” said Worden (pictured), who was a Wildcats assistant coach a year ago. “There’s an opportunity to appeal, and I think we might pursue that. I think it would give our kids an opportunity to compete more.”

In February the MSHSL will begin the reclassification process, which takes place every two years. During that process, Dodge County could appeal to be placed in Class 1A for the next two years.

In the meantime, the Wildcats will continue to hit the road … just to get to practice.

“Sometimes we practice at 3:30, sometimes at 5 o’clock, sometimes at 6 in the morning,” Worden said. “All the schools are just phenomenal to help out and make it possible. We appreciate that.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:43:50 AM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Hermantown 11-3-1 1
2. St. Cloud Cathedral 15-1-0 2
3. Mahtomedi 12-2-1 3
4. East Grand Forks 13-4-0 4
5. Thief River Falls 11-4-2 5
6. Alexandria 11-4-0 8
7. Totino-Grace 11-4-0 10
8. Orono 9-6-0 6
9. Sartell-St. Stephen 11-4-0 7
10. Warroad 9-6-0 9
11. Monticello 10-5-1 11
12. Greenway 6-12-0 12
13. Duluth Denfeld 8-5-1 13
14. North Branch 12-3-2 14
15. Marshall 15-2-0 16
16. Mankato East 9-6-1 17
17. Northfield 11-4-0 18
18. Minnesota River 13-3-0
19. Mound Westonka 13-4-0 19
20. Detroit Lakes 9-3-2 15




Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:43:26 AM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

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



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:42:56 AM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 18-0-0 1
2. Breck 14-6-0 2
3. Mound Westonka 16-0-3 3
4. South St. Paul 12-5-2 5
5. Proctor/Hermantown 12-7-2 4
6. Thief River Falls 13-5-0 6
7. Rochester Lourdes 11-7-1 7
8. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 14-5-0 8
9. East Grand Forks 11-6-2 9
10. Duluth Marshall 12-6-0 10
11. Fergus Falls 15-5-0 11
12. Alexandria 10-11-0 13
13. Delano/Rockford 11-8-1 15
14. St. Paul United 7-10-2 12
15. Mahtomedi 9-8-2 14
16. Hibbing/Chisholm 8-11-0 16
17. Minneapolis 13-6-1 17
18. Simley 10-9-1 18
19. Hutchinson 9-7-3 19
20. Chisago Lakes 8-11-1 20




Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:42:25 AM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Edina 17-3-0 2
2. Blake 17-2-0 1
3. Forest Lake 20-1-0 4
4. Wayzata 14-4-0 3
5. Andover 16-3-0 5
6. Brainerd/Little Falls 15-2-1 6
7. Roseau 15-4-0 7
8. Eden Prairie 11-5-2 8
9. Hill-Murray 14-4-1 10
10. Maple Grove 11-6-1 9
11. Eagan 15-3-0 12
12. North Wright County 17-4-0 13
13. Elk River 13-6-2 15
14. Minnetonka 9-8-1 14
15. Grand Rapids/Greenway 12-7-1 11
16. Benilde-St. Margaret's 11-5-2 19
17. Blaine 8-9-1 17
18. Farmington 10-7-1
19. Burnsville 14-4-1 16
20. Lakeville North 11-7-1 20




Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:41:31 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota
2. BOLD
3. Cass Lake-Bena
4. Minnesota Valley Lutheran
5. Springfield
6. North Woods
7. Henning
8. Mountain Lake Area
9. Spring Grove
10. Ortonville



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:41:09 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy
2. Minneapolis North
3. Perham
4. Breck
5. Lake City
6. Maranatha
7. St. Croix Prep
8. Caledonia
9. Jordan
10. Holy Family




Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:40:45 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle
2. Princeton
3. Waseca
4. Austin
5. Mankato East
6. Mahtomedi
7. Delano
8. Robbinsdale Cooper
9. Bemidji
10. Northfield



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:40:18 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Prior Lake
2. Hopkins
3. Park Center
4. East Ridge
5. Edina
6. Lakeville North
7. Shakopee
8. Wayzata
9. Eden Prairie
10. Chaska



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:39:49 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota
2. Menahga
3. Goodhue
4. Grand Meadow
5. Pelican Rapids
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West
7. Heritage Christian
8. Mountain Iron-Buhl
9. Hills-Beaver Creek
10. Parkers Prairie





Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:39:23 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre
2. Roseau
3. Eden Valley-Watkins
4. Minnehaha Academy
5. Holy Family
6. Rochester Lourdes
7. Rush City
8. Minneapolis North
9. Annandale
10. Hawley



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:38:54 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Hill-Murray
2. Alexandria
3. Academy of Holy Angels
4. St. Paul Como Park
5. Red Wing
6. Waseca
7. Waconia
8. Willmar
9. Simley
10. Robbinsdale Cooper




Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/17/2019 10:38:26 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins
2. Wayzata
3. Stillwater
4. Farmington
5. Eastview
6. St. Michael-Albertville
7. Roseville
8. Park Center
9. Forest Lake
10. Eden Prairie




Sack Hunger: A Night Of Celebration In Spring Grove
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 3:05:13 PM

SPRING GROVE – The school colors at Spring Grove High School are red and black, and the Lions girls basketball players wore their colors with pride during Friday night’s Southeast Conference game against Lanesboro. The visiting Burros’ colors are orange and black.

And yet, an intriguing shade of light blue was seen everywhere inside the gym. Both teams wore light-blue t-shirts during warmups. The Spring Grove pep band wore the same shirts. Little kids, moms and dads; it seemed like there must have been a hundred of those same light-blue t-shirts in the gym.

That’s because there were 100 shirts in the gym. Along with the basketball game – and the familiar tradition of a community gathering for a ballgame – the evening was designated as a celebration of Spring Grove’s community commitment to serving others. And it was my great pleasure to bring those 100 t-shirts to town as part of the celebration. The shirts carried the logo of a collaboration between the MSHSL and Second Harvest Heartland, which provides millions of meals every year in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

I was honored to use the @MSHSLjohn Twitter account to help publicize what we called the #mshslSackHunger campaign during the football playoffs in November. All 28 schools that had teams play in the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium were invited to collect food donations and feed the hungry. Spring Grove did a phenomenal job, collecting more than three and a half tons of food to help their neighbors in Houston County.

During a pregame ceremony, Spring Grove Student Council president Rhiannon Skauge told the crowd, “Students, staff and the community have donated cash and food items. Together we are feeding people and changing lives. Let’s give ourselves a big round of applause for coming together as a community to support this cause.”

The numbers are remarkable. For a community of 1,330 people and a K-12 school of 350 students to gather so much food – plus thousands of dollars in cash donations to purchase more food – is a real testament to the people who inhabit a southeast Minnesota community known as the first Norwegian settlement in the state.

Traveling with me to Spring Grove was Marcus Schmit, the director of advocacy at Second Harvest Heartland. Marcus was a fine athlete at Red Wing High School not too many years ago, and he and I loved spending a few hours with the great folks in Spring Grove.

During the pregame ceremony, Marcus presented a framed certificate of recognition from Second Harvest Heartland to Spring Grove High School. It read: “In recognition of their heroic dedication to hunger relief and achievement as the 2018 Sack Hunger champion, on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland and those we serve, thank you for your support and commitment in providing 11,466 meals for the one in 11 neighbors facing hunger.”

This was a true community effort. Rhiannon (pictured) mentioned many of the leading contributors during her remarks.

“We have a lot of community support during the food drive,” she said. “Bekah Leafblad and the Trinity Youth worked with student council to canvas the town collecting canned goods and cash. Teresa Fegyak and Merchants Bank hosted a two-day bake sale with student council members and bank employees donating baked goods for the sale. Patrick and Red Longmire from Red’s IGA (grocery store) are huge supporters of the school and community. They had a turkey takeout dinner with proceeds going toward the food shelf and also provided a spot in the store for us to have a bake sale. Ellingson Elevator weighs all the food items before they are taken over to the food shelf. Renee Eiken, past student council advisor, has laid the groundwork for the success of this standing tradition.”

If you click on a website called www.springgrovemn.com you’ll see a wonderful slogan: “Pretty. Neat. Small town.”

Indeed. Congratulations to everyone in Spring Grove.

--See a photo gallery on the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 2:56:40 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 146.958
2 Owatonna 1AA 146.167
3 Maple Grove 5AA 145.267
4 East Ridge 3AA 143.733
5 Champlin Park 5AA 143.058
6 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 142.700
7 Lakeville North 2AA 142.050
8 Bemidji 8AA 141.558
9 Wayzata 5AA 141.183
10 Anoka 7AA 141.075
11 Eden Prairie 6AA 140.683
12 Eagan 3AA 140.283
13 Brainerd 8AA 140.192
14 Lakeville South 2AA 140.125
15 New Prague 2AA 138.558
16 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 138.450
17 Rosemount 1AA 138.000
18 Northfield 1AA 137.983
19 Farmington 1AA 137.733
20 Edina 6AA 137.475
21 Saint Francis 7AA 137.342
22 Rogers 5AA 137.325
23 Elk River/Zimmerman 8AA 137.158
24 Hopkins 6AA 136.983
25 Roseville Area 4AA 136.658




Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 2:56:18 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.425
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 144.892
3 Mahtomedi 4A 144.358
4 Willmar 6A 143.783
5 Big Lake 7A 143.300
6 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 143.008
7 Worthington 3A 142.942
8 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 142.650
9 Perham 8A 142.183
10 Monticello 7A 140.758
11 Melrose Area 6A 139.450
12 Waconia 2A 138.675
13 Mankato West 2A 138.150
14 New London-Spicer 6A 136.033
15 Chisago Lakes 7A 134.567
16 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 134.483
17 Becker 7A 133.875
18 North Branch 7A 133.117
19 Jackson County Central 3A 133.067
20 Austin 1A 132.942
21 Litchfield 6A 132.758
22 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 132.083
23 Winona/Cotter 1A 131.675
24 Martin County Area 3A 131.608
25 Red Wing 1A 131.492



Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 2:55:36 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 3A
1. Shakopee (2)
2. Owatonna (1)
3. Apple Valley (2)
4. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
5. Willmar (8)
6. New Prague (2)
7. Anoka (7)
8. Stillwater Area (4)
9. Mounds View (4)
10. Forest Lake (7)
11. Northfield (1)
12. East Ridge (3)
Lean and Mean
Bemidji (8), Blaine (7), Coon Rapids (7), Hastings (3), Albert Lea Area (1), Cambridge-Isanti (7), Brainerd/Pillager (8), St. Francis (7)



Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 2:55:10 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 2A
1. Kasson-Mantorville (1)
2. Simley (1)
3. Perham (8)
4. Scott West (2)
5. Fairmont/Martin County West (3)
6. Foley (6)
7. Waconia (2)
8. Totino-Grace (5)
9. Detroit Lakes (8)
10. Hutchinson (2)
11. Marshall (3)
12. Plainview-Elgin-Millville (1)
Lean and Mean
Big Lake (6), Delano (2), Grand Rapids (7), Litchfield (6), Mahtomedi (4), Mora (7), Pierz (8), Princeton (7), South St. Paul (4), Thief River Falls (8), Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran (2)




Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/14/2019 2:53:39 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 1A
1. LPGE-Browerville (5)
2. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3)
3. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (4)
4. Minneota (3)
5. Frazee (8)
6. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1)
7. Kenyon-Wanamingo (2)
8. Goodhue (1)
9. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
10. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8)
11. Minnewaska Area (5)
12. Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (6)
Lean and Mean
Windom/Mountain Lake (3), Ottertail Central (6), Chatfield (1), Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena (7), Blue Earth Area (2), West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6), GMLOS (1), Maple River (2)



A Celebration Of History And Education In Perham
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:41:52 PM

PERHAM – The most impactful tribute to history in the new ultra-modern high school here is a giant photo of young football players. They were the starting 11 on the 1934 Perham team and they provide inspiration to everyone who stands in front of them, quietly looks up into their faces and ponders what they accomplished.

Their football team was pretty good: six wins, two losses. But their deeds after high school make them especially memorable.

Bill Durrenberger became a two-star Army Major General, serving in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. His brother, Bob Durrenberger, was a major in the Army Air Corp during WWII and received a PhD from UCLA in climatology. Paul Feyerheisen, another two-star Army Major General, oversaw construction of the first telephone and telegram communications between Burma and China. Jim Doll, a team captain, won a $1,000 grand prize in a national essay contest in high school, became a Notre Dame grad, a research scientist and a priest who is buried at Notre Dame. Bud Morganroth, who served in the Navy during WWII, was one of the boys who bought black and yellow jackets prior to a basketball game in the 1934-35 season; from that time on, Perham athletic teams have been known as the Yellowjackets. Phil Stoll was a Navy pilot who flew bombing missions over Japan. On one mission his bomber was badly damaged but he skimmed the water back to his base and earned the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross. George Rasmussen was scheduled to go on leave from the Navy in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, to meet his parents and wife in California. That morning, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and George remains entombed in the USS Arizona.

The photo of the boys has one word superimposed on it: Service. Their names are listed underneath, along with this line linked to the movie Dead Poets Society: “Live extraordinary lives, make your time on earth matter to those you encounter.”

The longest-living of the 11 boys died in 2012. But their photo provides a tremendous link between long-ago history in this town of 3,5000 people in Otter Tail County and the students who now inhabit their new showplace high school. When it opened last fall, it replaced a 101-year-old building where generations of Perham kids, including the boys of 1934, were educated. Voters approved the $45 million project in November 2015, which included renovations of the elementary and middle schools.

“You get the chance once every 100 years to build a high school in Perham,” said superintendent Mitch Anderson. “We’re pretty happy with what we’ve got.”

One of the major sporting events on the school calendar took place Saturday when seven basketball games were held in the school’s new gymnasium – known as The Hive -- as part of the Breakdown Crossover Classic. To call it a gym, however, seems to fall short; it’s an arena, complete with a large scoreboard hanging above center court and scoreboards in every corner. Natural light flows through large windows and fans watch from all four sides of the court. With seats for 2,400, it is large yet intimate.

The Hive is decorated with a honeycomb theme. There are honeycomb patterns inside the free throw lanes, on each baseline and even on the ceilings underneath the entrances to The Hive. Everywhere you look, you see something special.

A running/walking track circles The Hive above the seating areas. There are large photo displays of Perham athletics through the years on the walls behind the end zones. The original plans called for those walls to be covered by black acoustic panels, but creative thinking led to the photos. They are remarkable and inspiring.

Links to community support are also highly visible. On the corners of the basketball court are logos for KLN Family Brands and Sanford/Perham Health. Ads on the scoreboards include Bremer Bank, Arvig, Grandstay Hotel & Suites, BHH Partners, United Community Insurance and Perham Family Dentistry.

A wrestling room and fitness center are located on the second level, just off the running/walking track. In further proof that no details were overlooked, there is a
pole vault box in the gym floor that can be used when spring weather is a question.

The academic areas of the school are equally impressive, with cutting-edge technology, quiet study areas for small groups, and everything a teacher or student would need.

The Career Tech Center, which includes computer-controlled mills, lathes, plasma cutters, laser engravers and 3-D printers, is the home of a student-run business called Jacket Manufacturing. With support from area businesses such as Kitmasters, Lund Boats and KLN Family Brands, students create and sell a variety of products. Jacket Manufacturing gives students hands-on training and work experience, with expected outcomes of employment after high school.

The long-range planning for the new school actually began 25 years ago, when the old school was remodeled for the final time.

“(The school board) knew it was kind of a band-aid fix,” Anderson said. “About 15 years ago the school board bought the land where the new school is, so this has kind of been in the works. That’s really been a blessing for us because the location has never been in question.”

In 2014 school board members started holding serious discussions about what the future should hold. A community task force was formed to study the options, which included remodeling the old high school once more. When the referendum was passed in 2015, 4,249 votes were cast and the new school was approved by a margin of 89 votes.

When the school year began last fall, everything was new.

“It’s been a lot of excitement and it’s really carried on over the last couple of years, with the design plans and watching it get constructed,” Anderson said. “It was a mad scramble to get into it this summer, but we hit the ground running. We’ve been in the building long enough now that we can look back and ask if we could have done anything differently. And I don’t think there’s any looking back and certainly no regrets.”

Somewhere, the boys of 1934 are beaming with pride at what their hometown has accomplished.

--See a photo gallery on the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:38:24 PM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 17-0-0 1
2. Breck 11-6-0 2
3. Mound Westonka 15-0-2 3
4. Proctor/Hermantown 11-6-2 4
5. South St. Paul 11-5-2 5
6. Thief River Falls 13-4-0 6
7. Rochester Lourdes 10-7-1 7
8. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 13-3-0 9
9. East Grand Forks 10-5-2 8
10. Duluth Marshall 10-6-0 11
11. Fergus Falls 12-5-0 12
12. St. Paul United 5-9-2 13
13. Alexandria 8-11-0 14
14. Mahtomedi 8-7-2 10
15. Delano/Rockford 10-7-1 15
16. Hibbing/Chisholm 8-8-0 16
17. Minneapolis 11-6-1 17
18. Simley 9-9-1 19
19. Hutchinson 7-7-3 18
20. Chisago Lakes 8-9-1




Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:38:00 PM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Blake 16-1-0 1
2. Edina 15-3-0 2
3. Wayzata 13-2-0 3
4. Forest Lake 17-1-0 4
5. Andover 14-3-0 5
6. Brainerd/Little Falls 14-2-1 7
7. Roseau 14-3-0 6
8. Eden Prairie 10-4-2 8
9. Maple Grove 10-5-1 9
10. Hill-Murray 12-4-1 11
11. Grand Rapids/Greenway 12-4-1 10
12. Eagan 13-3-0 12
13. North Wright County 15-4-0 13
14. Minnetonka 9-7-1 14
15. Elk River 11-5-2 15
16. Burnsville 14-3-1 16
17. Blaine 7-7-1 20
18. Shakopee 9-7-1 18
19. Benilde-St. Margaret's 10-5-2 19
20. Lakeville North 9-7-1 17




Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:37:26 PM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Hermantown 9-3-0 2
2. St. Cloud Cathedral 12-1-0 1
3. Mahtomedi 10-2-0 3
4. East Grand Forks 11-3-0 4
5. Thief River Falls 10-4-2 6
6. Orono 8-4-0 7
7. Sartell-St. Stephen 10-2-0 8
8. Alexandria 10-4-0 5
9. Warroad 8-5-0 9
10. Totino-Grace 9-4-0 11
11. Monticello 9-4-1 10
12. Greenway 6-10-0 12
13. Duluth Denfeld 8-4-1 14
14. North Branch 11-2-1 17
15. Detroit Lakes 9-1-2 13
16. Marshall 12-2-1 15
17. Mankato East 7-6-1 16
18. Northfield 9-4-0 20
19. Mound Westonka 11-4-0 18
20. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 8-4-1 19



Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:36:57 PM

Provided by Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnetonka 14-0-0 1
2. Andover 12-0-1 2
3. Edina 11-1-1 3
4. Maple Grove 10-1-1 4
5. Duluth East 9-3-1 5
6. White Bear Lake 11-1-1 7
7. Blaine 7-2-2 8
8. Eden Prairie 7-4-2 6
9. St. Thomas Academy 10-3-1 11
10. Chaska 9-5-0 12
11. Benilde-St. Margaret's 10-4-0 15
12. Hill-Murray 8-3-1 9
13. Rosemount 11-3-0 10
14. Wayzata 8-4-2 13
15. Moorhead 9-6-0 14
16. Blake 8-4-0
17. Roseau 9-2-1 18
18. Cretin-Derham Hall 7-5-1 19
19. Stillwater 7-5-0 16
20. Lakeville North 8-4-1 20



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:36:12 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 9-0
2. Mountain Iron-Buhl 11-1
3. Menahga 11-0
4. Grand Meadow 13-0
5. Pelican Rapids 10-1
6. Ada-Borup 8-1
7. Heritage Christian 9-1
8. Goodhue 12-2
9. Lac qui Parle Valley 10-0
10. Hills-Beaver Creek 13-0



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:35:50 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 10-2
2. Roseau 9-2
3. Eden Valley-Watkins 11-0
4. Holy Family 12-2
5. Minnehaha Academy 9-5
6. Hawley 6-0
7. Rochester Lourdes 8-5
8. Rush City 8-1
9. Minneapolis North 8-3
10. Stewartville 9-3



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:35:25 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Alexandria 12-0
2. Hill-Murray 12-1
3. Holy Angels 9-2
4. St. Paul Como Park 10-1
5. Red Wing 11-2
6. Waseca 13-1
7. Waconia 9-3
8. Willmar 8-2
9. Simley 9-3
10. Benilde-St. Margaret's 11-2



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:35:01 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 11-0
2. Wayzata 13-0
3. Stillwater 9-2
4. Farmington 11-0
5. Eastview 9-2
6. St. Michael-Albertville 10-2
7. Roseville Area 11-2
8. Eden Prairie 10-1
9. Park Center 10-2
10. Forest Lake 12-3



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:34:34 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 12-0
2. Springfield 9-1
3. Cass Lake-Bena 11-0
4. BOLD 12-0
5. North Woods 9-1
6. Henning 10-0
7. Mtn Lake Area-Comfrey 8-1
8. Mahnomen-Waubun 7-1
9. Spring Grove 9-1
10. Ortonville 7-1



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:34:10 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 8-2
2. Minneapolis North 6-3
3. Perham 9-1
4. Breck 8-2
5. Lake City 10-2
6. St. Croix Prep 9-2
7. Holy Family Catholic 9-2
8. Maranatha Christian 10-1
9. Caledonia 8-3
10. Providence Academy 8-3




Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:33:44 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 6-3
2. Princeton 10-0
3. Waseca 11-0
4. Austin 8-2
5. Delano 6-3
6. Mankato East 7-1
7. Robbinsdale Cooper 5-3
8. Mahtomedi 7-3
9. Bemidji 6-0
10. Northfield 8-2



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:33:19 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 12-1
2. Prior Lake 7-1
3. Park Center 9-1
4. Shakopee 9-2
5. East Ridge 8-2
6. Eden Prairie 7-4
7. Lakeville North 8-3
8. Wayzata 9-3
9. Champlin Park 7-3
10. Chaska 6-4




Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:32:30 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 146.675
2 Maple Grove 5AA 145.125
3 Owatonna 1AA 145.025
4 East Ridge 3AA 143.733
5 Champlin Park 5AA 143.058
6 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 142.700
7 Wayzata 5AA 141.183
8 Anoka 7AA 141.075
9 Eden Prairie 6AA 140.183
10 Bemidji 8AA 140.108
11 Brainerd 8AA 140.050
12 Eagan 3AA 138.525
13 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 138.450
14 Lakeville North 2AA 138.317
15 Lakeville South 2AA 138.308
16 New Prague 2AA 138.275
17 Northfield 1AA 137.837
18 Rosemount 1AA 137.667
19 Saint Francis 7AA 137.342
20 Elk River/Zimmerman 8AA 136.708
21 Edina 6AA 136.575
22 Saint Michael-Albertville 8AA 136.075
23 Rogers 5AA 135.083
24 White Bear Lake Area 4AA 134.858
25 Mounds View 4AA 134.758




Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/9/2019 7:32:07 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.292
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 144.892
3 Mahtomedi 4A 143.475
4 Willmar 6A 143.458
5 Big Lake 7A 143.225
6 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 142.808
7 Perham 8A 142.183
8 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 142.150
9 Worthington 3A 141.050
10 Melrose Area 6A 139.450
11 Monticello 7A 139.133
12 Mankato West 2A 138.150
13 Waconia 2A 138.142
14 New London-Spicer 6A 135.792
15 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 134.042
16 Becker 7A 133.875
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 133.017
18 Delano 5A 132.425
19 Winona/Cotter 1A 131.675
20 Litchfield 6A 131.475
21 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 131.367
22 Alexandria 8A 131.217
23 Martin County Area 3A 131.133
24 Austin 1A 130.933
25 North Branch 7A 130.700




Circling The Calendar: Hermantown Edges St. Cloud Cathedral
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:05:19 AM

ST. CLOUD – Boys high school hockey practices in Minnesota began on Nov. 12, a Monday that was full of promise and anticipation. Teams can play a maximum of 25 games during the regular season before the postseason commences. That all leads up to the second Saturday in March, when state champions will be crowned at Xcel Energy Center.

Back before practices got underway, coaches, players and fans from a couple of the top teams in Class 1A knew what was going to happen on Friday night at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex, a two-sheet hockey center that is much more spectacular than its name.

“You look at the calendar in October and you circle this one,” said Hermantown coach Patrick Andrews. He said this after as good a hockey game as you will ever see; the second-ranked Hawks’ 2-1 overtime victory over top-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral.

Those rankings will surely flip-flop next week, which is just fine. In early January, the focus is much more on improving than on rankings.

“We try really hard to schedule as many tough teams as we can,” said Cathedral coach Derrick Brown, whose teams went to state in 2016 and 2017 (he also led Luverne to state in 2014 before being hired at Cathedral). “This was such a great atmosphere and such a great game for us to play, and like I told the boys, we’re only four days into January. The potential is there to only get better. So when the moments really do happen, in hopefully February and maybe March if we’re fortunate enough, we’ve been there, we’ve played these teams, we know what to expect.”

Everybody who follows hockey knows about Hermantown. Three stars on the back of the Hawks’ jerseys signify the three state titles they won during the 28 years that Bruce Plante was their coach. Andrews took over last season after Plante retired, and the Hawks finished third at state in their 15th trip to the state tournament.

Hermantown has an 8-3 record (with losses to Wayzata, Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Rosemount, all ranked in the Class 2A top 15). Cathedral’s loss Friday was its first after opening the season with 12 wins.

Friday’s contest was scoreless after the first period and each team scored once in the second; Blake Perbix for Cathedral and Ethan Lund for Hermantown. Cathedral came out firing, getting 16 first-period shots on goal to the Hawks’ 10 before Hermantown outshot the Crusaders 23-17 in the second and third periods.

The Hawks held a 5-1 advantage in shots in goal as the final minute wound down in the eight-minute overtime. It appeared the game would end in a 1-1 tie (only one overtime is played in the regular season). Then came a faceoff in the Hermantown defensive zone, and … let’s allow Hawks senior scoring leader Blake Biondi to describe what happened.

“That started off with Sam High right off the draw making a nice play. It went out to Justin Thomas on the wall and he made a great play. There was a nice chip right to me and I could have skated one-on-one; I looked back and saw Joey (Pierce) beat his guy so I kind of stalled up and waited for him to get some space, put it right on his stick and he buried it. It was a really nice play going all the way back to the defensive zone where it started.”

Yes, it was a really nice play in a game that was full of them. Pierce’s goal came with 32 seconds on the clock, and he of course was mobbed by his teammates.

Afterwards, everyone agreed that this was a solid experience for both teams.

“Biondi and Pierce are pretty special on their side of the ice and they made a play, and unfortunately for us they won a hockey game,” Brown said. “We’d love to win but sometimes you learn from losses. We kind of need something like this to maybe be a wakeup call. In the same sense, we learned a tough one last year; we had a great regular season and we were the number one seed (in the Section 6 playoffs before losing to Alexandria) and we didn’t get to where we wanted. So this will hopefully build our toughness when those moments happen, that we’re ready for the playoffs.”

Both teams have lots of big games to play. Cathedral will meet eighth-ranked Sartell-St. Stephen next week and then defending state champion Orono. Hermantown will play host to top-ranked 2A Minnetonka eight days after edging Cathedral.

And no matter what the rest of the season holds, everybody who was at Friday’s game will remember it.

“Oh, for sure,” Pierce said. “We’ve had this one on our calendar for a long time.”

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:03:05 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 9-0
2. Springfield 6-1
3. Cass Lake-Bena 9-0
4. BOLD 9-0
5. North Woods 7-1
6. Henning 8-0
7. Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 6-1
8. Mahnomen-Waubun 6-1
9. Ortonville 5-1
10.New Ulm Cathedral 8-1




Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:02:45 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 6-2
2. Minneapolis North 5-2
3. Perham 7-1
4. Breck 6-2
5. Lake City 8-2
6. Caledonia 6-3
7. Holy Family Catholic 9-0
8. Maranatha Christian 8-1
9. Providence Academy 6-2
10.Spectrum 7-1




Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:02:17 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 5-3
2. Princeton 8-0
3. Waseca 9-0
4. Austin 5-2
5. Waconia 6-3
6. Delano 4-3
7. Mankato East 5-1
8. St. Thomas Academy 5-4
9. Robbinsdale Cooper 4-3
10.Bemidji 5-0



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:01:54 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Park Center 8-0
2. Prior Lake 4-1
3. Hopkins 10-1
4. Shakopee 7-2
5. Eden Prairie 6-3
6. East Ridge 6-2
7. Lakeville North 5-3
8. Champlin Park 6-1
9. Wayzata 7-2
10.Chaska 5-4



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:01:25 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 8-0
2. Mountain Iron-Buhl 7-1
3. Menahga 10-0
4. Grand Meadow 11-0
5. Pelican Rapids 8-1
6. Ada-Borup 7-1
7. Heritage Christian 8-1
8. Goodhue 10-2
9. Lac qui Parle Valley 7-0
10.Hills-Beaver Creek 10-0




Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:00:58 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 8-2
2. Roseau 7-2
3. Eden Valley-Watkins 6-0
4. Holy Family 10-2
5. Minnehaha 6-5
6. Rochester Lourdes 7-4
7. Stewartville 9-2
8. Rush City 6-1
9. Hawley 6-0
10.Minneapolis North 7-3




Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:00:35 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Alexandria 9-0
2. Hill-Murray 10-1
3. Holy Angels 7-2
4. St. Paul Como Park 8-1
5. Red Wing 9-2
6. Waseca 10-1
7. Waconia 8-3
8. Willmar 5-2
9. Mankato West 7-2
10. New Ulm 10-1



Class 4A Girls Basketball Ranking4
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/5/2019 12:00:09 AM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 10-0
2. Wayzata 12-0
3. Stillwater 7-2
4. Farmington 8-0
5. Eastview 7-2
6. St. Michael-Albertville 8-2
7. Roseville 10-2
8. Eden Prairie 10-1
9. Park Center 8-2
10.Forest Lake 11-2



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/4/2019 11:59:14 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 15-0-0 1
2. Breck 11-4-0 2
3. Mound Westonka 14-0-1 3
4. Proctor/Hermantown 9-6-2 4
5. South St. Paul 9-5-2 5
6. Thief River Falls 12-4-0 6
7. Rochester Lourdes 8-7-1 7
8. East Grand Forks 8-4-2 10
9. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 10-3-0 11
10. Mahtomedi 7-6-2 9
11. Duluth Marshall 8-6-0 12
12. Fergus Falls 10-5-0 14
13. St. Paul United 4-8-2 8
14. Alexandria 6-10-0 13
15. Delano/Rockford 9-7-0 16
16. Hibbing/Chisholm 8-7-0 15
17. Minneapolis 11-5-1 17
18. Hutchinson 7-5-3
19. Simley 7-8-1 20
20. Mankato East 10-3-2 18




Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/4/2019 11:58:46 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Blake 14-1-0 2
2. Edina 14-2-0 1
3. Wayzata 11-2-0 3
4. Forest Lake 14-1-0 4
5. Andover 12-3-0 5
6. Roseau 13-2-0 8
7. Brainerd/Little Falls 12-2-1 9
8. Eden Prairie 10-2-2 6
9. Maple Grove 9-4-1 7
10. Grand Rapids/Greenway 12-3-1 10
11. Hill-Murray 10-4-1 11
12. Eagan 12-3-0 12
13. North Wright County 12-4-0 15
14. Minnetonka 8-6-1 13
15. Elk River 10-3-2 14
16. Burnsville 13-3-1 17
17. Lakeville North 9-6-1 19
18. Shakopee 8-6-1 20
19. Benilde-St. Margaret's 7-5-2
20. Blaine 6-7-1 16



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/4/2019 11:58:17 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. St. Cloud Cathedral 12-0-0 1
2. Hermantown 7-3-0 2
3. Mahtomedi 9-1-0 3
4. East Grand Forks 10-1-0 4
5. Alexandria 9-3-0 5
6. Thief River Falls 8-4-2 6
7. Orono 5-4-0 8
8. Sartell-St. Stephen 8-2-0 7
9. Warroad 6-5-0 11
10. Monticello 9-3-1 16
11. Totino-Grace 8-4-0 14
12. Greenway 4-8-0 9
13. Detroit Lakes 9-0-0 15
14. Duluth Denfeld 6-3-1 10
15. Marshall 12-1-0 13
16. Mankato East 6-6-1 12
17. North Branch 8-2-1
18. Mound Westonka 9-3-0 17
19. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 6-3-1
20. Northfield 6-4-0 19




Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 1/4/2019 11:57:51 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnetonka 12-0-0 1
2. Andover 9-0-1 3
3. Edina 9-1-1 2
4. Maple Grove 8-1-1 5
5. Duluth East 7-2-1 4
6. Eden Prairie 8-3-1 6
7. White Bear Lake 9-1-1 7
8. Blaine 5-2-2 9
9. Hill-Murray 8-2-1 10
10. Rosemount 10-1-0 13
11. St. Thomas Academy 7-3-1 11
12. Chaska 7-5-0
13. Wayzata 7-3-2 8
14. Moorhead 7-5-0 12
15. Benilde-St. Margaret's 9-3-0 19
16. Stillwater 7-2-0 15
17. Eagan 7-3-0 16
18. Roseau 8-2-1 20
19. Cretin-Derham Hall 5-4-1 18
20. Lakeville North 6-5-0 17



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