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Let’s Do This In Minnesota: Future Teacher Signing Ceremonies
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/31/2017 11:59:57 PM

Traditions at many high schools include college signing ceremonies. These generally follow two routes: 1) honoring students who will compete in college athletics; 2) honoring students who have received academic scholarships.

The time is right for a new and important chapter: signing ceremonies to honor students who plan to become teachers.

I floated this idea on Twitter a few weeks ago; the response was immediate and enthusiastic. I had seen a Tweet from Norwalk High School in Iowa, where a signing ceremony was held this spring for eight students who plan to go into education. This was the first time Norwalk High held the event, and it will become a yearly celebration.

“Everyone loved it. It’s been huge,” Johanna MacKenzie told me. She is a teacher in Norwalk who was asked by superintendent D.T. Magee -- it was his idea -- to put together the signing ceremony for future teachers.

“The general feedback was, ‘This is so awesome, we want to see it every year,’ ” Johanna said. “The kids felt so honored. They felt like they were a really big deal that day.”

That’s the point. Nothing is more vital to the future of our world than education, and we need to do everything we can in Minnesota and elsewhere to encourage young people to consider careers in education. (Full and proud disclosure: I am the son of a teacher and the father of two teachers.)

Norwalk, which is in central Iowa, has a high school enrollment of 810. Magee said the idea for the signing ceremony came to him as a way to highlight the crucial role of educators in America.

“When I became a superintendent, I said to our staff on the first day, ‘We have to do a better job of promoting and honoring our profession.’ This ceremony dovetails off of that. We’re going to put some things in front of students who want to go into education: It’s a good career choice, a noble career choice, and we as educators support you.”

When Magee asked MacKenzie to lead the project, she did some homework.

“The first thing I did was go to Google,” Johanna said. She found no information about schools holding this type of event, so she modeled it on athletic and academic signing ceremonies. MacKenzie has been teaching for 12 years, the first 11 as a French teacher. She now teaches talented and gifted students, and next fall she will also teach an Intro to Education class. That class will be tied into a nearby community college, with high school students receiving college credit.

“D.T. said to me, ‘I have this vision and I think you would do a good job.’ He had the idea and we executed the event.”

The signing ceremony was held in early May, before school in the library. Tables were set up for the eight students, with name cards for each that also included the name of their college (plus apples at each seat). The students were each asked to invite a teacher who has inspired them. The teachers in school that day wore T-shirts in Norwalk colors bearing the message “America Needs Teachers.”

“It felt like a day to celebrate,” MacKenzie said.

She created a letter of intent for each student to sign. It included these words: “I intend to pursue a career in the field of Education. The importance of quality educators in our nation’s schools cannot be understated and I recognize that in my future role as a teacher I have both the opportunity and responsibility to positively impact students’ lives and intellectual development and to ensure that each is successful. It is for these reasons that I am enthusiastically committed to becoming an educator.”

There was a quote from Malala Yousafzai at the top of the letter: “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Each of the students made a brief statement, talking about the people who have inspired them and their goals. One of the kids referred to her favorite teacher with these words: “She’s the kind of teacher I want to be.”

A young man who plans to become a math teacher and a coach said of one of his high school teachers and coaches, “I’ve always looked at him as a father figure, as a man who I want to become. And that’s why I want to get into teaching, because I think it’s more than teaching. I think it’s about creating relationships with kids, changing lives and being impactful.”

The signing ceremony included applause, high fives and hugs. It also included special invitations to people like the director of the Iowa Department of Education and state legislators.

“That’s a recommendation, to invite local legislators,” Magee said. “It was really heartfelt and I think it was important for them to see those kids and how passionate they are.”

The educators in Norwalk hope they have started something that will spread across the country. They aren’t looking to take credit; they simply want to do all they can to reinforce the importance of education and educators.

“There’s been so much positive support,” Magee said. “We’ve had other folks talk about doing this type of thing. I think next year it’ll be the snowfall effect. I could see within five to 10 years it could be something that happens and people won’t remember that it started at Norwalk High School in Norwalk, Iowa. And that’s fine with us; anything we can do to change the national narrative.”

MacKenzie said, “We’ve had nothing but positive responses. We hope it might help change the conversation about education.”

Education in Minnesota is something we are proud of, and rightfully so. Let’s make signing ceremonies for future teachers happen here in the spring of 2018 and beyond. Teachers, administrators, parents, students … get the ball rolling in your schools. I’ll be thrilled to visit schools for their signing ceremonies and publicize all of them as much as possible.

We should do this. We can do this. Let’s do this.

--To see inspiring videos from Norwalk’s ceremony, go to YouTube and search for “Norwalk Future Educators Day.”

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 655
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 11,147
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/31/2017 11:58:32 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 1A
1. Parkers Prairie
2. BOLD
3. Legacy Christian Academy
4. Deer River
5. Springfield
6. Fosston
7. Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove
8. ML/GHEC/Truman
9. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
10. Mankato Loyola
11. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
12. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton
13. Randolph
14. Wabasso
15. South Ridge
16. Red Lake County
17. Wabasha/Kellogg
18. Hinckley-Finlayson
19. Ortonville
20. Canby
Also receiving votes: Cleveland, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, Southland, Heritage Christian Academy, Ely, New Ulm Cathedral



Class 2A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/31/2017 11:58:01 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Sauk Centre
5. Maple Lake
6. Jackson County Central
7. Rochester Lourdes
8. Caledonia
9. Pine Island
10. Esko
11. Barnesville
12. Aitkin
13. New London-Spicer
14. New Life Academy of Woodbury
15. Duluth Marshall
16. Foley
17. St. Cloud Cathedral
18. Perham
19. La Crescent
20. Providence Academy
Also receiving votes: Holy Family Catholic, Cannon Falls, Mora, Luverne, Glencoe-Silver Lake, St. Peter, Proctor



Class 3A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/31/2017 11:57:30 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. St. Cloud Tech
2. Waconia
3. Bemidji
4. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
5. Alexandria
6. Red Wing
7. Mankato West
8. Delano
9. New Ulm
10. Northfield
11. Marshall
12. Little Falls
13. Holy Angels
14. Rocori
15. South St. Paul
16. Austin
17. Fridley
18. St. Thomas Academy
19. Henry Sibley
20. Hibbing
Also receiving votes: Hutchinson, Kasson-Mantorville, Monticello, Mahtomedi, Chisago Lakes Area, Worthington



Class 4A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/31/2017 11:56:57 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Stillwater Area
2. Blaine
3. Minnetonka
4. Wayzata
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Champlin Park
7. Forest Lake
8. Burnsville
9. Lakeville North
10. Eastview
11. Chaska
12. East Ridge
13. Maple Grove
14. Rochester Century
15. Woodbury
16. Tartan
17. Mounds View
18. Anoka
19. Eden Prairie
20. Centennial
Also receiving votes: Edina, Rosemount, Prior Lake



Class 1A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/26/2017 3:20:02 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 1A
1. Parkers Prairie
2. BOLD
3. Legacy Christian Academy
4. Springfield
5. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
6. Deer River
7. Fosston
8. Mankato Loyola
9. ML/GHEC/Truman
10. Canby
11. Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove
12. Randolph
13. Sleepy Eye
14. Hinckley-Finlayson
15. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
16. Wabasso
17. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton
18. Southland
19. Wabasha/Kellogg
20. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
Also receiving votes: Heritage Christian Academy, Cleveland, Minneota, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Ortonville, Ely, South Ridge, Menahga, NCE/UH



Class 2A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/26/2017 3:19:34 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Sauk Centre
5. Maple Lake
6. Caledonia
7. Jackson County Central
8. Rochester Lourdes
9. Pine Island
10. Esko
11. New Life Academy of Woodbury
12. Barnesville
13. Aitkin
14. Glencoe-Silver Lake
15. New London-Spicer
16. Duluth Marshall
17. Perham
18. Foley
19. Cannon Falls
20. St. Peter
Also receiving votes: Providence Academy, Holy Family Catholic, St. Cloud Cathedral, Proctor, Pequot Lakes, Wadena-Deer Creek, Mora, Fillmore Central



Class 3A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/26/2017 3:18:57 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. St. Cloud Tech
2. Waconia
3. Bemidji
4. New Ulm
5. Holy Angels
6. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
7. Marshall
8. Alexandria
9. Mankato West
10. Kasson-Mantorville
11. Red Wing
12. Little Falls
13. Delano
14. Monticello
15. Rocori
16. Northfield
17. Henry Sibley
18. Hibbing
19. Austin
20. Chisago Lakes Area
Also receiving votes: Hutchinson, Worthington, Mahtomedi, South St. Paul, Fridley



Class 4A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/26/2017 3:18:20 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Stillwater Area
2. Blaine
3. Minnetonka
4. Wayzata
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Burnsville
7. Champlin Park
8. Forest Lake
9. Lakeville North
10. Eastview
11. Rochester Century
12. Chaska
13. East Ridge
14. Maple Grove
15. Mounds View
16. Anoka
17. Tartan
18. Eden Prairie
19. Woodbury
20. Edina
Also receiving votes: Prior Lake, Osseo, Centennial, Rochester Mayo



One Arm? That’s No Problem For Onamia’s Amazing Shan Donovan
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/22/2017 11:39:17 AM

ONAMIA – Shan Donovan was standing near the right-field foul line, playing catch with a teammate before the Onamia High School varsity baseball team hosted Pine City. After a couple of tosses, Shan (his name is pronounced “Shawn”) shouted, “Get a little closer. My arm’s not warmed up yet.”

As the boys got loose, Shan did what he does every day on the ballfield. He caught the ball in the glove on his right hand, flipped the glove off, grabbed the ball in mid-air with his bare hand and tossed it before leaning down to pick up the glove and re-start the process.

The fact that Shan does not have a left arm is no impediment for the Panthers’ sophomore starting catcher. He also plays football and basketball, sings in the school choir and acts in school plays. He is proficient with several musical instruments, including the tuba, trumpet and piano. And he does it all with one arm.

“If you tell him he can’t do it, he’s going to find a way to do it,” said Jason Runyan, Onamia’s head coach for baseball and boys basketball. “He lives the high school life. He’s involved in everything.”

Shan doesn’t know anything different. Born in China without a left arm, he was five years old when he was adopted by Cathy Donovan, a physican in Onamia.

Shortly after arriving in this small town a few miles south of Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota, Shan began getting involved in sports. First came karate and then taekwondo, followed by almost every other activity he could get his hand on.

“He just wants to be involved in everything and that’s how he got into sports,” said Cathy. When asked if Shan is so heavily involved in sports and other activites that he overextends himself, she laughed and said, “No. I get overextended, he doesn’t.”

Playing baseball presents specific challenges to Shan. He uses his teeth to tighten the Velcro strap on his batting glove. But like putting on shin guards and a chest protector, it’s second nature. Crouching behind home plate, he shakes off his mitt, flashes signals to the pitcher, puts the glove back on, catches the pitch and with one shake of his hand the glove flies off, he grabs the ball and throws it back to the mound. When a baserunner attempts to steal, Shan is lightning quick in getting the ball into his throwing hand and firing.

He is a switch-hitter who bats from the right side of the plate when the bases are empty; with runners on he moves to the left side and is likely to put down a bunt, using his speed to dash to first base.

“He has more power from the right side and he’s a lethal bunter from the left side,” Runyan said. “We ask a lot of him, in bunting situations especially. He’s very fast. He just works hard, that’s all there is to it.”

Runyan, who is in his first year at Onamia, admits he thought Shan was kidding when, shortly after Jason arrived in town, Shan told him, “I play catcher.”

“I thought it was a joke, honestly. I did. It wasn’t a joke, obviously. I put him back there at catcher and right away he was good, blocking every ball. What amazed me the most I guess was when the first kid stole, I didn’t know how it was going to go down. I’d seen a little in practice, but it was an instant flip of the glove and he throws.”

To perfect his catching/throwing motion, Shan watched online videos of people who had lost limbs but played baseball or softball anyway, many of them veterans.

“It’s one of those sports that’s pretty complicated because most everybody sees it as a two-arm sport,” he said. “You definitely have to use two arms; catch with one and throw with the other.”

Shan has been fitted with a prosthetic arm. He doesn’t use it, calling it “annoying.” His desire to try new things is a testament to his positive attitude.

“I don’t find really anything challenging, unless there’s absolutely ones where you definitely need two arms to do,” he said. “Most (amusement park) rides, they tell me I can’t ride them because you need to hold on with two hands. But that’s not really a problem. The one I really have an issue with is making friendship bracelets. I’m not a big fan of it and I don’t do it much.”

When his school schedule included a pottery class, he wasn’t thrilled about attempting to create pottery with one hand. In the end, though, he enjoyed the class and discovered he was a talented potter.

Playing mostly junior varsity basketball last winter, Shan didn’t do a lot of scoring but Runyan called him one of the leaders on the JV and the best defensive player. Shan’s basketball practice were sometimes limited because he had to rush off to other activities.

Runyan said, “There were three of four practices where he would come up and say, ‘Hey coach, I’ve got to go practice for the musical’ or ‘I’ve got to go practice with the jazz band.’ I thought, ‘You’re doing it all. You’re livin’ it, man.’ ”

While Shan realizes he is an inspiring figure, he doesn’t outwardly try to portray himself that way. He’s just a high school kid doing what busy high school kids do.

“I go to a camp where a lot of people look up to me,” he said. “I inspire people without realizing that I’m inspiring them. I’m not really trying to do that.”

His mom recalled when Shan helped a group of elementary students work on basketball skills. The kids, most of them righthanded, were less than excited about trying to shoot with their left hand.

“One or two of them were complaining, so Shan gave them a pep talk,” Cathy said.

Shan’s grandparents, George and Shirley Donovan, watched the Onamia-Pine City game in lawn chairs along with their daughter Cathy and the family dog, Flash. (Everybody, including Flash, nibbled on peanuts.)

Shirley talked about seeing a magazine photo of an amputee climbing Mount Everest and asking Shan, “Did you see this?”

To which Shan’s mom quickly interjected, “Don’t give him any ideas.”

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

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 655
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 11,147
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Boys Tennis Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/22/2017 9:24:30 AM

The final boys tennis rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
TEAMS
1 Blake
2 Rochester Lourdes
3 Breck
4 St. Paul Academy
5 Mound Westonka
6 Litchfield
7 Holy Family Catholic
8 St. James
9 Virginia
10 Hibbing

INDIVIDUALS
1 Ben Ingbar, Blake
2 Jack Barker, Blake
3 Joe Mairs, Blake
4 Karthik Papisetty, Breck
5 Thomas Metz, Breck
6 Mathew Metz, Breck
7 Peter Erickson, Rochester Lourdes
8 Justin Bobo, Rochester Lourdes
9 Ryan Ortega, Winona Cotter
10 Jose Williamson, Minnehaha



Class 2A Boys Tennis Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/22/2017 9:23:56 AM

The final boys tennis rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
TEAMS
1 Minnetonka
2 East Ridge
3 Lakeville South
4 Edina
5 Mounds View
6 Rochester Mayo
7 Rochester Century
8 Wayzata
9 Eastview
tie 10 Orono
tie 10 Minneapolis Washburn

INDIVIDUALS
1 Ben van der Sman, East Ridge
2 Sebastian Vile, Rochester Mayo
3 Nikita Snezhko, Armstrong
4 Conner Olsen, Orono
5 Maxim Zagrebelny, Eagan
6 Gavin Young, Eastview
7 Varun Iyer, Rochester Century
8 Chase Roseth, Lakeville South
9 Nick Aney, Rochester Century
10 Carter Mason, Eden Prairie



Shooting For A Clay Target Conference Championship
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/18/2017 12:38:10 PM

WADENA -- With cool temperatures, a light breeze and a big crowd as a backdrop, history was made Wednesday at Knob Hill Sportsman’s Club when Minnesota’s first high school conference championship was held in clay target shooting.

Teams from six Mid-State Conference schools – Wadena-Deer Creek, Crosby-Ironton, Detroit Lakes, Pequot Lakes, Park Rapids and Staples-Motley – took their best shots at shattering targets.

Minnesota is the only state in which the high school governing body recognizes clay target shooting. The MSHSL board of directors approved adding the sport in December 2012 and the first MSHSL state tournament was held in the spring of 2014. This year’s state championship will be held June 24 at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake, and it will surprise no one if shooters from the Mid-State Conference are among the competitors.

Detroit Lakes senior Zach Frothman, who was the top individual shooter at Wednesday’s conference championship, said having the sport be part of the MSHSL “means a lot. We pushed and pushed it for it until we actually got it. We finally got it and I think it’s one of the best things that ever happened to D.L. High School.”

The second-place shooter was Staples-Motley senior Katie Benson, who also was the only female among the top 15.

“There’s never been a lot of girls in this sport and I would really like to see that grow within the coming years,” she said. “There are only probably two or three girls on my team at home, as well, and so it’s not unusual to just show up and shoot with the guys. But I’m super excited to be up there because someone’s got to show them off in the end, right?”

Like most shooters, Zach and Katie have been shooting and hunting for most of their lives. Both are in their fifth year competing on their school’s teams.

“It’s for sure pretty cool,” Zach said of being the state’s first high school conferene champion. “I couldn’t do it without the coaches, that’s for sure.”

Zach and his teammates practice one day a week. “I might be there for two hours or four hours. It really depends,” he said. "I like to stay and help the other kids, too.”

Katie helped Staples-Motley capture the team championship with a one-point margin over Wadena-Deer Creek.

“It’s really been cool to watch how the league in Minnesota has grown from being so small to now being one of the largest sports in the state,” she said. “I like that it’s not necessarily competing against other people, because you have the opportunity to compete against yourself and improve every week. In other sports it’s really dependent on the other teams that you’re playing. So within trap shooting and other shooting sports in general you have the opportunity to grow as an individual and to really work on honing in your own skills.”

Mid-State Conference Trap Championship
Team Results

Staples/Motley 222
Wadena-Deer Creek 221
Detroit Lakes 221
Park Rapids 219
Pequot Lakes 215
Crosby-Ironton 180

Top Individuals
1. Zach Frothman DL 49
2. Katie Benson SM 47
3. Chris Hahn WDC 47
4. Kade Ramsey DL 47
5. Ean Voight PR 47
6. Sam Busker DL 46
7. Brady Adams WDC 46
8. Charlie Walsh PR 45
9. Ben Bartozak SM 45
10. Cole Girtz PR
11. Reid Pierzinski PL 45
12. Nick Manselle WDC 44
13. Dominik Carlson SM 44
14. Jake Johnson PR 44
15. Arthur Thew SM 44
16. Hunter Ebnet PL 44
*Ties were broken based on the first target missed in competition.

JV Results
1. Pequot Lakes 200
2. WDC 190
3. DL 185
4. SM 182
5. PR 179
6. C-I 151
Top Gun Male: Brandon Lee Pequot Lakes 45
Top Gun Female: Madyson Moats WDC 43

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 639
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 11,067
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/17/2017 7:32:39 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 1A
1. Parkers Prairie
2. BOLD
3. Legacy Christian Academy
4. Springfield
5. Mankato Loyola
6. Deer River
7. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
8. ML/GHEC/Truman
9. Canby
10. Fosston
11. Wabasso
12. Hinckley-Finlayson
13. Sleepy Eye
14. Cleveland
15. Randolph
16. Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove
17. Minneota
18. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton
19. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
20. Wabasha/Kellogg
Also receiving votes: Adrian, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Southland, Menahga, Nevis, Hill City/Northland, Heritage Christian Academy, South Ridge, Ely



Class 2A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/17/2017 7:32:11 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Sauk Centre
5. Jackson County Central
6. Caledonia
7. Maple Lake
8. New Life Academy of Woodbury
9. Pine Island
10. Rochester Lourdes
11. Barnesville
12. Glencoe-Silver Lake
13. St. Peter
14. Aitkin
15. Holy Family Catholic
16. Duluth Marshall
17. Proctor
18. Esko
19. Providence Academy
20. Pequot Lakes
Also receiving votes: Cannon Falls, Foley, New London-Spicer, Fillmore Central, La Crescent, St. Cloud Cathedral, Wadena-Deer Creek, Kenyon-Wanamingo



Class 3A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/17/2017 7:31:37 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. St. Cloud Tech
2. Waconia
3. Bemidji
4. Holy Angels
5. New Ulm
6. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
7. Marshall
8. Mankato West
9. Alexandria
10. Kasson-Mantorville
11. Monticello
12. Red Wing
13. Hibbing
14. Worthington
15. Little Falls
16. Delano
17. Northfield
18. Hutchinson
19. Rocori
20. Mahtomedi
Also receiving votes: Fridley, Chisago Lakes Area, St. Thomas Academy, St. Anthony Village, Stewartville, Mound Westonka



Class 4A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/17/2017 7:30:51 PM

The Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Stillwater Area
2. Wayzata
3. Minnetonka
4. Blaine
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Lakeville North
7. Burnsville
8. Forest Lake
9. Eastview
10. Champlin Park
11. East Ridge
12. Chaska
13. Rochester Century
14. Maple Grove
15. Tartan
16. Mounds View
17. Anoka
18. Edina
19. Osseo
20. Centennial
Also receiving votes: Eden Prairie, Prior Lake, Andover, Rochester Mayo



Monticello’s Nick Zwack: Three Sports And A Lot More
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/15/2017 7:29:49 PM

Nick Zwack is a busy young man. As graduation nears, the senior at Monticello High School is putting the wraps on a prep career that, while hard to match, will inspire the next generation of Monticello student-athletes.

If you see his name and wonder, “Where have I heard about that kid?,” think back to the Class 1A boys state hockey tournament. That’s when Nick became a statewide star in leading the unseeded cooperative team from Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake to a state runner-up finish.

He scored four goals, including two in a quarterfinal victory over second-seeded Delano and the winning goal with less than three seconds left in overtime to defeat Northfield in the semifinals. In a 4-3 double-overtime loss to Hermantown in the championship game, Zwack had one goal and one assist.

Hockey is just one-third of his athletic career. He also was the quarterback on the football team and this spring he is the No. 1 pitcher and also plays frst base for the Magic baseball team. The lefthander will stay with baseball in college, pitching at Division I Xavier University in Cincinnati.

But athletics is only part of Nick’s legacy. He was his school’s recipient of the MSHSL Triple A Award, which recognizes achievements in Academics, Arts and Athletics. Zwack is a top student who also plays violin in the school orchestra. He was named the Region 8AA winner of the Triple A Award and was recognized with other winners from around the state at a halftime ceremony on the Target Center court during the boys state basketball tournament.

“When I started as a freshman I didn’t even know that was an award,” said Nick, whose classes this spring include calculus, college economics, college composition and college English. “To actually win it for my school was special and I was glad to be a part of it.”

Zwack certainly is a gifted athlete, but a positive, team-first attitude is also one of his strengths.

“Without a doubt, he’s a great teammate and a very good leader,” said Monticello baseball coach Cole Deibele. “When he pitches, he’s always the last one off the field and congratulates everyone else. Being a hockey and football captain, that’s helped him learn, and those other coaches have done a really nice job helping him along, as his parents have done.”

Baseball has become Nick’s favorite sport, even though before high school he considered giving up the sport to concentrate on hockey.

“In my freshman year I kind of started focusing more on pitching and seeing a future in that,” he said. “I was thinking along the lines of hockey more than baseball, but once I got into high school I thought baseball might be the way to go.”

As this week began, Zwack had a 4-2 record with 65 strikeouts and 16 walks in 35 2/3 innings pitched. At the plate, his batting average is .343 with 10 RBIs.

“You look out there and he’s about 6-3, he’s over 200 pounds and he’s lefthanded,” Diebele said. “So right away he’s a big physical presence. And he has good control of four different pitches and he throws hard. A lot of times you see lefties and they’re a little more crafty. He’s the opposite, he throws really hard. He’ll hit 85-86 (mph), and by the end of the year when it warms up I’d guess he’ll be in the 87-88 range.

“I think opposing coaches like the pitch count more than anything, because they can say, ‘Yes, he pitched on Friday and we’re not going to see him.’ ”

Playing three sports and being a successful student and musician doesn’t leave a lot of free time.

“There’s not much of a break,” Zwack said. “That’s a good thing, it kind of keeps me focused on what I need to be focused on. To go from one season to the next and be a contributor in all three of my sports, it’s been fun. It’s made high school a really fun experience for me.”

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 631
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,667
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Representative Assembly Approves Five Bylaw Changes
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/15/2017 11:03:48 AM

The MSHSL Representative Assembly is a group of 48 people from schools around the state who are named to the Assembly by their respective regions; there are 16 regions, eight representing Class A (small) schools and eight representing Class AA (large) schools. Each of the 16 regions has three people on the Assembly.

The Assembly is the “legislative” body of the MSHSL and must approve any changes to League bylaws. The Assembly met Monday morning at the DoubleTree hotel in Brooklyn Center to consider five proposed bylaw changes.

Seventy-five percent approval from the members was required for passage, and all five changes were approved. All changes take effect with the 2017-18 school year.

Here are summaries of the proposals that were approved:

Proposed Amendment to Bylaw 208.5 – Non-School Competition and Training
This change would allow high school athletes to take part in college sports tryouts/auditions for scholarships during their sports season. Currently, students who do so can only take part in such events after the completion of their season. This amendment has been proposed by the MSHSL board of directors.

Proposed Amendment to Bylaw 403.00 – Cooperative Sponsorships
This change would make adjustments to the bylaws concerning cooperative sponsorships, including using similar formats for small and large schools. It also would adjust the steps required to form cooperative sponsorships, and adds updated language regarding appeals to add new coop teams and request a review of existing coop teams

Proposed Amendment to Bylaw 504-1.2 – Baseball
This change, if approved, would add a five-day conditioning period prior to the traditional two weeks of practice before the first baseball game. The five-day conditioning period would consist of arm conditioning and overall physical conditioning, using only baseballs, gloves and catcher’s equipment as well as strength training and aerobic conditioning equipment.

Proposed Amendment to Bylaw 518.3 – Girls and Boys Tennis
This amendment proposes to add a 17th contest to be used for inter-conference or intra-conference championship matches. The maximum number of contest dates would remain at 16, with the total number of team contests not to exceed 28. The 17th date could be used to determine conference championships in conferences with two divisions without needing to count the event as a regular-season event.

Proposed Amendment to Bylaw 521.3A – Wrestling
Currently, wrestling has limits of 18 regular-season event dates and 36 competitions. This change would make those numbers 16 events and 45 allowable competitions.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 631
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,667
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/11/2017 10:36:22 AM

This week's Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 1A
1. Parkers Prairie
2. Legacy Christian Academy
3. BOLD
4. Mankato Loyola
5. Deer River
6. Springfield
7. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
8. Hinckley-Finlayson
9. Wabasso
10. Canby
11. Fosston
12. Randolph
13. Cleveland
14. Adrian
15. Sleepy Eye
16. Minneota
17. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton
18. ML/GHEC/Truman
19. Menahga
20. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg
Also receiving votes: Heritage Christian Academy, New Ulm Cathedral, Wabasha/Kellogg, New York Mills, Kimball Area, Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Kittson County Central, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, South Ridge, Hill City/Northland, Red Lake County, Ortonville, Ely, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s



Class 2A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/11/2017 10:35:52 AM

This week's Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Caledonia
5. Jackson County Central
6. Maple Lake
7. New Life Academy of Woodbury
8. Glencoe-Silver Lake
9. Holy Family Catholic
10. Sauk Centre
11. Pine Island
12. Pequot Lakes
13. Esko
14. Aitkin
15. Foley
16. Rochester Lourdes
17. Cannon Falls
18. Duluth Marshall
19. New London-Spicer
20. Fillmore Central
Also receiving votes: St. Peter, Barnesville, Proctor, Melrose Area, Kenyon-Wanamingo, St. Charles, Warroad, Providence Academy, St. Cloud Cathedral



Class 3A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/11/2017 10:35:18 AM

This week's Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. Waconia
2. St. Cloud Tech
3. Bemidji
4. New Ulm
5. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
6. Alexandria
7. Mahtomedi
8. Mankato West
9. Hibbing
10. Marshall
11. Holy Angels
12. Northfield
13. Kasson-Mantorville
14. Little Falls
15. Hutchinson
16. Stewartville
17. St. Thomas Academy
18. Worthington
19. St. Anthony Village
20. Fridley
Also receiving votes: Delano, Winona, Rocori, Austin, Albert Lea, Monticello, Red Wing, South St. Paul, Henry Sibley, Jordan, Cloquet



Class 4A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/11/2017 10:34:46 AM

This week's Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Wayzata
2. Minnetonka
3. Stillwater Area
4. Lakeville North
5. Blaine
6. St. Michael-Albertville
7. Forest Lake
8. Eastview
9. Edina
10. Burnsville
11. Osseo
12. Champlin Park
13. Maple Grove
14. Chaska
15. Centennial
16. Tartan
17. Prior Lake
18. Eden Prairie
19. East Ridge
20. Rochester Century
Also receiving votes: Mounds View, Andover, Hopkins, Anoka, Minneapolis Washburn, Cretin-Derham Hall, Woodbury, Apple Valley, Shakopee, Park Cottage Grove, St. Louis Park



The Longest Jump: State Record Falls
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/10/2017 10:34:39 AM

Congratulations to St. Michael-Albertville senior Anna Keefer for setting an all-time state record in the girls long jump at a True Team section meet Tuesday in Brainerd.

Her distance of 20 feet, 1 1/4 inches bettered the previous state record of 19-10, set by Mia Barron of Minnetonka in 2014.

Anna also won the triple jump, 100 meters and 200 meters at the meet. She has signed a letter of intent to compete in track and field at the University of North Carolina.



Nothing Stops Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Kate Jorgenson
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 5:12:28 PM

WALNUT GROVE – Carter Ross, who teaches sixth grade and coaches football and girls and boys golf at Westbrook-Walnut Grove, offered brief instructions before the golfers practiced one day last week.

“We have to dial in at 150 (yards),” he told the 13 boys and seven girls assembled not on a golf course but on a grassy field behind the elementary school. “Focus on the bump and run for conference and sections in Worthington. No matter how much rain they get, the greens will be as hard as a rock.

“You’re going to have bad shots but you have to recover.”

One of the Chargers golfers epitomizes that philosophy: When something bad happens, you recover, you bounce back, you accept the challenge, you thrive.

Kate Jorgenson probably wasn’t thinking along those exact lines as she worked through the hour-long practice, hitting short irons, then mid-range irons, long irons and finishing with her driver. With each swing, she rotated her right arm in a smooth arc.

Her left arm was not a factor because the ninth-grader does not have a full left arm. Nearly three years ago, Kate was driving an ATV loaded with rocks from the family farm when it rolled over on her left arm. Doctors tried to save the arm before it was amputated above the elbow.

Kate may blush if you call her a miracle. All she wants to do is go to school, participate in her favorite sports (basketball, volleyball, golf, swimming), spend time with her family and friends and be a normal kid.

As Kate waited to be released from the hospital, she told herself, “This isn’t the end of the world. I’ll still be able to play sports, I’ll still be a friend to all my friends.” Yes, she was going to be the same Kate.

“Kate’s just the kind of girl that you want to be friends with,” said her classmate and golf teammate Halle Steen. “She’s fun, she’s nice, she’s good to be around.”

Before practice on this day, Halle helped Kate put her long hair in a ponytail. Other than a few similar small tasks, Kate is self-sufficient. Just ask her mom, Nikki.

“From the beginning, she would get upset with me because I would try to lay out things so it would be easiest for her,” said Nikki, a fifth-grade teacher. “And she would get mad at me: ‘Mom, if I need help I’ll ask.’ And she does. I try not to say too much because she’ll say, ‘Don’t you think I can do that?’ ”

Kate was on the track team as a seventh- and eighth-grader. She’s giving golf a whirl this spring because it’s something new and a sport she can take part in for a lifetime. She wore a long-sleeved t-shirt at this practice, the empty left sleeve billowing as she struck balls. She has a prosthetic arm but it isn’t equipped to grip and swing a golf club.

“It’s actually quite amazing,” Ross said. “She’s done really well at it. It’s an attitude thing.”

Kate’s attitude since the accident has been everything. She hasn’t shied away from strangers, even little kids who look at her and ask, “Where’s your arm?”

“People are usually very accepting and very surprised by what I can do,” she said.

This day’s golf practice was typical for a Wednesday. Men’s league play takes over the Chargers’ home course, Rolling Hills in Westbrook, on Wednesdays so the team hits balls behind the grade school. There’s a grove of pine trees on the left side and a gravel road on the right. Five-gallon buckets of balls are taken out of storage in a bus barn, balls are dumped on the grass and the empty buckets are placed downrange as targets. When a school bus rolls up, headed for the barn, golfers yell “bus!” and no missiles are fired until the coast is clear.

Here, just like everywhere else, Kate is no different than anyone else. At times she is serious, at times she laughs with her friends. Just like any other day. A school dance was held over the weekend, and Kate was Kate; dressed up but with nothing covering her shortened left arm.

“She just owns it,” said Nikki, whose husband Jim manages the family farm. Their son Jack is a senior who also is on the golf team, plays football and stays very busy.

People in the community and well beyond came together after Kate’s accident. Multiple fundraisers were held, including sales of orange t-shirts (Kate’s favorite color) that carried the slogan “Kate’s Kourage.”

Kate has become a role model who inspires others with her tenacity and attitude. She also has been inspired by people in similar roles, including former University of Florida basketball player Zach Hodskins, whose left arm is similar to Kate’s. They met at a summer camp for young people with limb differences; the camp was sponsored by the non-profit NubAbility Athletics Foundation.

At one of those gatherings, Kate met another camper who was becoming a lifeguard. Always an avid swimmer, Kate returned to the pool after her accident. This spring, she will begin taking instruction in becoming a certified lifeguard.

“She doesn’t ever really hold back,” said Nikki. “She says, ‘I think I can do this. Is it OK if I try?’

“We’re very proud of her. It’s pretty amazing. She’s got quite a story to tell.”

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

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 631
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,667
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Girls Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:33:55 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
Rank School Class Avg
1 BOLD A 357.50
2 Lac qui Parle Valley A 364.50
3 Belgrade Brooten Elrosa A 366.00
4 Springfield A 369.30
5 Park Christian A 374.30
6 Minneota A 377.00
7 Fillmore Central A 380.00
8 Heritage Christian Academy A 388.90
9 Legacy Christian Academy A 403.10



Class 2A Girls Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:33:26 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
Rank School Class Avg
1 Lake City AA 324.60
2 Detroit Lakes AA 331.90
3 Marshall AA 342.25
4 Minnewaska AA 345.80
5 Visitation AA 363.30
6 International Falls High School AA 369.80
7 La Crescent AA 374.60
8 Jordan AA 376.30
9 International Falls High School AA 376.60
10 Thief River Falls AA 381.60



Class 3A Girls Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:32:49 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 3A
Rank School Class Avg
1 Edina AAA 307.70
2 Red Wing AAA 321.00
3 Buffalo AAA 335.30
4 Alexandria AAA 340.90
5 Woodbury AAA 363.30
6 Orono AAA 366.00
7 Rosemount AAA 367.55



Class 1A Boys Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:31:57 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
Rank School Class Avg
1 Mahnomen/Waubun A 321.5
2 Sleepy Eye United A 324.5
3 Lac qui Parle Valley A 328.8
4 Fillmore Central A 346
5 Blooming Prairie A 349.7
6 Pine River Backus A 353.5



Class 2A Boys Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:31:27 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
Rank School Class Avg
1 Holy Family AA 303.5
2 Lake City AA 304.8
3 Red Wing AA 308.5
4 Detroit Lakes AA 311.5
5 Rochester Lourdes AA 313.2
6 Annandale AA 316.8
7 Stewartville AA 321
8 Byron AA 321.3
9 Hermantown AA 324.3
10 Minnewaska AA 326.6



Class 3A Boys Golf Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/9/2017 11:30:53 AM

From the Minnesota High School Golf Coaches Association.

CLASS 3A
Rank School Class Avg
1 Wayzata AAA 294.9
2 Chaska AAA 297.2
3 St. Thomas Academy AAA 299.5
4 St. Michael-Albertville AAA 301.5
5 Edina AAA 301.6
6 Alexandria AAA 301.8
7 Minnetonka AAA 302
8 Brainerd AAA 304.8
9 Stillwater AAA 309.1
10 Blaine AAA 314.7



Class 1A Boys Tennis Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/8/2017 10:07:50 AM

Provided by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
TEAMS
1 Blake
2 Rochester Lourdes
3 Breck
4 St. Paul Academy
5 Hibbing
6 Mound Westonka
7 Litchfield
8 Holy Family Catholic
9 Luverne
10 St. James

INDIVIDUALS
1 Ben Ingbar, Blake
2 Jack Barker, Blake
3 Joe Mairs, Blake
4 Karthik Papisetty, Breck
5 Thomas Metz, Breck
6 Mathew Metz, Breck
7 Peter Erickson, Rochester Lourdes
8 Justin Bobo, Rochester Lourdes
9 Ryan Ortega, Winona Cotter
10 Jose Williamson, Minnehaha



Class 2A Boys Tennis Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/8/2017 10:07:17 AM

Provided by the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
TEAMS
1 Minnetonka
2 East Ridge
3 Lakeville South
4 Edina
5 Rochester Century
6 Rochester Mayo
7 Mounds View
8 Wayzata
9 Eastview
tie 10 Orono
tie 10 Minneapolis Washburn

INDIVIDUALS
1 Ben van der Sman, East Ridge
2 Nikita Snezhko, Armstrong
3 Sebastian Vile, Rochester Mayo
4 Conner Olsen, Orono
5 Chase Roseth, Lakeville South
6 Maxim Zagrebelny, Eagan
7 Gavin Young, Eastview
8 Varun Iyer, Rochester Century
9 Nick Aney, Rochester Century
10 Elliot Schneider, Duluth East



Class 1A Softball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/5/2017 10:32:59 PM

Provided by the softball coaches association.

CLASS 1A
Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
1.(2) Randolph (S1)-(37)
2.(1) Edgerton/SW MN Christian* (S3)-(36)
3.(5) New York Mills (S6)-(32)
4.(3) Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's (S2)-(30)
4.(6) Maranatha Christian Academy (S4)-(30)
6.(4) New Ulm Cathedral (S2)-(27)
7.(8) Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (S3)-(20)
8.(7) Sebeka (S5)-(19)
9.(12) Blooming Prairie (S1)-(13)
10.(10) Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (S3)-(12)
10.(17) Carlton (S7)-(12)
Others receiving votes:Red Lake Falls (S8)-(9),Badger/GB-MR* (S8)-(8), Brandon-Evansville (S6)-(7), Bethlehem Academy (S1)-(5), Pine River-Backus (S5)-(5), Mankato Loyola (S2)-(4), Sacred Heart* (S8)-(2), Wabasha-Kellogg (S1)-(2), Cherry (S7)-(1), PACT Charter (S4)-(1)



Class 2A Softball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/5/2017 10:32:21 PM

Provided by the softball coaches association.

CLASS 2A
Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
1.(1) Maple Lake (S5)-(82)
2.(2) Pipestone Area (S3)-(73)
3.(5) Chatfield (S1)-(61)
4.(3) Albany (S6)-(51)
5.(4) Cotter (S1)-(44)
5.(9) Park Rapids Area (S8)-(44)
7.(7) Zumbrota-Mazeppa (S1)-(40)
8.(11) Rochester Lourdes (S1)-(37)
9.(8) Pine Island (S1)-(33)
10.(6) Fairmont (S2)-(30)
Others receiving votes: Annandale (S5)-(24), Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (S8)-(24),GMLOK Bulldogs* (S1)-(3)



Class 3A Softball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/5/2017 10:31:46 PM

Provided by the softball coaches association.

CLASS 3A
Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
1.(1) Mankato West (S2)-(84)
2.(2) Hermantown (S7)-(75)
3.(6) Faribault (S2)-(63)
4.(3) Chisago Lakes (S7)-(57)
5.(10) Rocori (S5)-(42)
6.(4) Becker (S5)-(35)
6.(12) Totino-Grace (S4)-(35)
8.(4) Visitation (S3)-(31)
9.(9) Academy of Holy Angels (S3)-(20)
10.(21) Mound Westonka (S6)-(19)
Others receiving votes: Stewartville (S1)-(18), Detroit Lakes (S8)-(18),Winona (S1)-(15), St. Anthony Village (S4)-(13), Benilde-St. Margaret's (S6)-(7), St. Paul Como Park (S4)-(5), Mankato East (S2)-(3), Bloomington Kennedy (S3)-(3), New Ulm (S2)-(2), Delano (S6)-(1)



Class 4A Softball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/5/2017 10:31:14 PM

Provided by the softball coaches association.

CLASS 4A
Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
1.(1) Chanhassen (S2)-(58)
2.(3) Anoka (S7)-(54)
3.(7) Prior Lake (S2)-(43)
4.(5) Farmington (S1)-(42)
5.(2) Forest Lake (S7)-(41)
6.(4) Park (S3)-(31)
7.(5) Blaine (S7)-(26)
7.(8) Woodbury (S4)-(26)
9.(9) Stillwater Area (S4)-(23)
10.(12) New Prague (S1)-(17)
Others receiving votes: Hopkins (S6)-(11), Bloomington Jefferson (S2)-(5),Eagan (S3)-(5), Buffalo (S8)-(3), Maple Grove (S5)-(3), North (S4)-(2)



A Special Baseball Game, Honoring Special People
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/4/2017 7:56:09 PM

The weather was perfect, the playing field was immaculate and the contest was very well-played when Rosemount traveled to Lakeville North on Thursday for a South Suburban Conference baseball game. The final score was North 2, Rosemount 0, with each team getting just two hits off sterling pitchers Griffin Lanoue (Rosemount) and Luke DeGrammont (North).

There was one difference between this game and every other game this season. The first clue for the uninformed was seen in the jerseys worn by both teams. They were covered in interlocking puzzle pieces; that symbol is often used to reflect the mystery and complexity of autism. And since every puzzle piece is different in some way, they represent the diversity of the individuals affected.

The event was North’s second annual Autism Awareness game and special guests were students involved in the autism programs in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Lakeville schools districts.

Special honors were reserved for some of those students: J.T. Koczur threw out the ceremonial first pitch and Megan Baker, assisted by Michaela Juaire, was exquisite in singing the national anthem.

Before the pregame ceremonies, North coach Tony Market (who recorded his 200th victory with the Panthers) and J.T. sat atop buckets in the dugout and chatted like the old friends they are. As the starting lineup for the Panthers was announced, the hometown boys traded fist bumps with some of the special guests.

J.T.’s ceremonial first pitch took a hop before landing in the glove of Panthers catcher Nick Juaire, a talented junior who has made a verbal commitment to play at Texas Christian University.

Nick has a cousin, 19-year-old Conor O’Meara, who is on the Autism spectrum. Conor is also a high-level athlete. Competing for St. Paul Highland Park, he was the MSHSL state champion in adapted bowling last year.

“I’ve always been so impressed with Conor and his ability to track all sports, their players and stats,” Nick said. “He’s a huge Vikings, Wild and Twins fan. He has taught me a lot about staying positive, no matter what the situation. Also, he has won a state championship medal before I have.

“At our Autism Awareness game last year, it really brought home how blessed I am to be able to do anything I want in the classroom as well as on the baseball field. Not everyone can say that. It really special to have these kids here and to share the game I love with them.”

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

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 629
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,657
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/3/2017 12:06:21 PM

Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 1A
1. Parkers Prairie
2. Legacy Christian Academy
3. BOLD
4. Mankato Loyola
5. Springfield
6. Deer River
7. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
8. Hinckley-Finlayson
9. Randolph
10. Wabasso
11. Adrian
12. Cleveland
13. Red Lake County
14. Heritage Christian Academy
15. Minneota
16. Fosston
17. Canby
18. Menahga
19. New Ulm Cathedral
20. New York Mills
Also receiving votes: Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, Kimball Area, South Ridge, Hill City/Northland, Wabasha/Kellogg, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Nevis, Kittson County Central, Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Minnesota Valley Lutheran, Sleepy Eye, Norman County, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, ML/GHEC/Truman, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s



Class 2A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/3/2017 12:05:49 PM

Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Foley
5. Maple Lake
6. New Life Academy of Woodbury
7. Holy Family Catholic
8. Jackson County Central
9. Cannon Falls
10. Glencoe-Silver Lake
11. Caledonia
12. Aitkin
13. Pequot Lakes
14. Duluth Marshall
15. Rochester Lourdes
16. Pine Island
17. New London-Spicer
18. Sauk Centre
19. Kenyon-Wanamingo
20. Providence Academy
Also receiving votes: St. Charles, Warroad, St. Cloud Cathedral, Esko, Barnesville, Proctor, Fillmore Central, Perham, Frazee, Paynesville Area, Mora, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton



Class 3A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/3/2017 12:05:15 PM

Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. Waconia
2. St. Cloud Tech
3. New Ulm
4. Bemidji
5. Alexandria
6. Mahtomedi
7. Mankato West
8. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
9. Hibbing
10. Holy Angels
11. Little Falls
12. Marshall
13. Northfield
14. St. Thomas Academy
15. Winona
16. Hutchinson
17. Henry Sibley
18. Fridley
19. Worthington
20. St. Anthony Village
Also receiving votes: Red Wing, Kasson-Mantorville, Albert Lea, Stewartville, Delano, Monticello, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Rocori, Big Lake, South St. Paul



Class 4A Baseball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 5/3/2017 12:04:41 PM

Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Wayzata
2. Minnetonka
3. Lakeville North
4. Stillwater Area
5. Blaine
6. St. Michael-Albertville
7. Edina
8. Forest Lake
9. Eastview
10. Centennial
11. Osseo
12. Champlin Park
13. Burnsville
14. Mounds View
15. Eden Prairie
16. Maple Grove
17. Andover
18. Prior Lake
19. Shakopee
20. Tartan
Also receiving votes: Rochester Century, Roseville, Anoka, East Ridge, Duluth East, Totino-Grace, Minneapolis Washburn, Woodbury, Park Cottage Grove, Cretin-Derham Hall, Chaska



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