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June 2: Here's What's Happening

Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 8:21 AM

State tournament news

The state robotics tournament was held virtually last weekend, which is a lot different than the usual event, which has been held at Williams Arena and is a real blast.

The Faribault robotics team earned its first state championship with a narrow victory over Eagle Ridge Academy of Minnetonka. East Ridge of Woodbury finished third. Because the competition was held virtually this year, no alliances were formed as in years past, with three teams working together. 

Speaking of tournaments, section games are going on now in spring sports and we will soon be in the midst of a very busy stretch of state tournaments. Boys state tennis will be next week, with Class A at St. Cloud Tech and AA at Prior Lake. The state baseball tournament sites have been set, with Class 1A and 2A at St. Cloud’s Municipal Athletic Complex, 3A in Jordan and 4A in Chaska. CHS Field and Siebert Field, former state tournament sites, are not available this year. All four baseball state championship games are scheduled for Target Field on June 18.

No-hitters and perfect games

--I drove down to Randolph on Monday for a Memorial Day softball section opener. I wrote about Randolph’s unbeaten softball and baseball teams a couple weeks ago but was unable to get there in person for that story. But Monday was just fantastic, with a high-level softball team playing in front of a big holiday crowd on a stellar field.

The Randolph softball team, which is ranked No. 1 in Class A, scored 16 runs in the third inning and beat Kenyon-Wanamingo 20-0 in 4 innings. Morgyn Otte threw 51 pitches and struck out 12 in a perfect game, her 13th career no-hitter.

--I’ve written about Hayfield’s softball and baseball teams this spring, and the final baseball game of the regular season was pretty special for the Vikings as junior pitcher Nolan Klocke tossed a no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. He struck out 14 and only two hitters reached base (1 walk, 1 HBP). The Vikings ended the regular season 19-0.

More good stuff

--At Mounds Park Academy, cross-country coach Dan Ethier announced that he is retiring after 29 years at the school. Dan coached 3 teams to state, 6 all-state athletes and 2 state champions. Congratulations on your retirement, Dan.

--Chatfield baseball coach Brian Baum has won his 300th game. It’s a pretty good family story, because Brian succeeded his dad as head coach at Chatfield.  "Molly" Baum is in the Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and the field at Chatfield is named after him.

--Congratulations to St. Anthony Village HS softball coach Lamar Brendemuehl for winning his 300th game as the Huskies coach. Athletes from the past 18 years surprised their coach after the milestone win.

--From Rogers baseball: Shout out to St. Louis Park baseball for top-notch class & sportsmanship, sending their best wishes and a get-well burrito to our shortstop who broke his nose on an 85-mph bunt deflection at their ballpark. This IS the model of sportsmanship. Kudos to Coach Brian Kelly at St Louis Park.

--Longtime Champlin Park boys basketball coach Mark Tuchscherer has stepped down. He took teams to state in 2010, 2015, 2017, with two 4A runner-up finishes to Apple Valley. Mark is a heck of a good person.

MSHSL board news

The board met Tuesday at a hotel conference center, the first in-person board meeting since February 2020. In a large room, everyone was spaced out much more than is possible in the board room at the MSHSL office. There were really no eye-grabbing headlines from the meeting, which I see as a sign that things are returning to normal. The board elected its officers for the 2021-22 school year: President: Tom Jerome, Roseau superintendent. Vice president: Troy Stein, Edina activities director. Treasurer: Jim Smokrovich, East Ridge principal. All quality people and educators who will do a great job for our kids.

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