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St. Croix Lutheran Head Football Coach Set To Retire
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:52:14 PM

Special to John's Journal by Lucas Ailport, sports intern at LillieNews.com

One local football coach has decided to hang up the whistle and put away the playbook after 46 years of coaching and five state championships at the high school level.

Carl Lemke, 72, spent 23 years as the head football coach at West St. Paul’s St. Croix Lutheran High School. He coached the Crusaders to eight conference championships and two state titles in four prep bowl appearances.

“I care about football in the state and everywhere because I think it’s great for young men, and here at St. Croix,” Lemke said. “I knew it was my time to step back and have someone else stimulate the program.”

The lean but sturdy 5-foot-8-inch coach was born in the small town of Morrison, Wisconsin, about 18 miles south of Green Bay. That’s where football became Lemke’s life.

Some may not believe it by looking at him, but he played center and middle linebacker in high school. His coaching success may have stemmed from his following of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s when the legendary Vince Lombardi was coach.

Lemke got his first coaching job as an assistant in New Ulm at Martin Luther Academy in 1968, and the following year he was head coach of the program. After that, he took a five-year break from coaching, teaching grade school and serving as principal of a Lutheran school in Mankato.

He earned his first state title in Wisconsin when he coached at Martin Luther Preparatory School in Prairie du Chien during the 1979 season. Lemke coached there for 11 years — he’d win two more state championships in ‘82 and ‘87 before heading to the Wisconsin Lutheran Academy in Milwaukee.

Forever young

Having hung around high school kids for half a century, Lemke learned how to balance the roles of being a coach and a mentor. He credits the kids for helping him stay young at heart.

“It just happens so naturally. You just spend so much time with the kids and sometimes you joke back and forth and you just develop a relationship through team activities,” Lemke said. “I try to keep in shape by lifting weights, but these kids are the spark that makes everything go. That’s why you show up everyday — because the kids are great.”

As Lemke got up in age, some might have expected him to stick to the sidelines in a more passive role as coach, but that just wasn’t the case.

During a practice he might have filled in as running back for a few plays, or you may have seen him dusting off his offensive line skills to show kids how to really block in the trenches — he’d encourage players to full-on block him despite his age.

One time the kids were running live plays in practice and Lemke stepped on the field without knowing exactly which one was being run. That’s when Isaiah Allen, a 6-foot-3 inch, 190-pound running back, plowed into him. Instead of everyone checking on coach, Lemke got up, patted his tail back on the head and asked if the kid was alright.

A winning formula

There are four components that go into having a championship-caliber team, according to Lemke.

The first part is to have kids who are committed to playing the game. They don’t have to be the greatest athletes, but they must have the will to excel as much as possible.

Not only do you need committed players, but also committed coaches, who will put their life into making sure the team gets better every second of practice.

Another huge component is having a school administration that fully backs the program.

All of that plays a pivotal role in winning a state championship, but Lemke can’t emphasize enough how important it is too to have a supportive family. Luckily, he’s been blessed with having all four during his time as a coach.

“He’s dedicated and passionate,” said St. Croix athletic director and assistant football coach Ryan Hulse. “He has a love for football and teaching young men how important this game is to them.”

The right time

Lemke said he knew it was time for the school to bring in someone younger, someone who could bring more optimism to the program, after the number of players in it dropped from 76 to 42 at the beginning of this last season.

The Crusaders had graduated 22 seniors but only brought in eight freshmen this year.

Lemke served as an athletic director for four years while coaching at St. Croix, so he knows how important it is to have a head coach on staff who’s able to interact with the kids on a daily basis. That’s when he realized that he couldn’t get the job done any more.

“Right there is when it rang a bell with me,” Lemke said. “At my age, I’m no longer in the mode to spend that much time to do what’s necessary to have a good program. It needed to be from a younger staff member.”

Adam Frey will take over as St. Croix Lutheran’s head football coach in July 2019. He was the head coach at Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, Wisconsin, for four seasons. He’s a younger, defensive-minded coach and seems to fit the bill for what St. Croix is looking for.

Off into the sunset

Lemke’s way of life has been football, so he hopes to do some traveling during future football seasons with his wife.

“Maybe that’s why I’ve been coaching for so long,” Lemke said. “I don’t golf, I don’t hunt, I don’t fish, I don’t chase women, I don’t do anything, so football is my life.”

Although he’s stepping away from coaching, he still wants to be connected with the Lutheran church and continue to work through it.

In his final season, the coach hit one more milestone. Lemke notched his 300th win earlier in the year, becoming just the seventh coach in Minnesota high school football history to do so.

–Lucas Ailport can be reached at roseville@lillienews.com



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:51:23 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

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



Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:50:48 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

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



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:50:19 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

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




Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:49:50 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

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



Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:48:55 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.292
2 Willmar 6A 143.458
3 Mahtomedi 4A 143.358
4 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 143.142
5 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 141.575
6 Perham 8A 141.367
7 Worthington 3A 141.050
8 Big Lake 7A 141.017
9 Melrose Area 6A 139.450
10 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 139.308
11 Waconia 2A 138.525
12 Monticello 7A 137.500
13 Mankato West 2A 136.287
14 New London-Spicer 6A 134.917
15 Becker 7A 133.788
16 Winona/Cotter 1A 132.950
17 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 132.925
18 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 131.275
19 Alexandria 8A 131.217
20 Chisago Lakes 7A 131.067
21 North Branch 7A 130.700
22 Martin County Area 3A 130.067
23 Austin 1A 129.900
24 Byron 1A 129.858
25 Maple Lake 6A 129.683



Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/28/2018 11:48:20 PM

From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 146.025
2 Maple Grove 5AA 143.992
3 East Ridge 3AA 142.567
4 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 142.242
5 Champlin Park 5AA 141.700
6 Owatonna 1AA 141.517
7 Wayzata 5AA 140.650
8 Eden Prairie 6AA 140.183
9 Brainerd 8AA 140.050
10 Anoka 7AA 139.817
11 Bemidji 8AA 139.463
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 Rosemount 1AA 137.500
17 Saint Francis 7AA 137.342
18 New Prague 2AA 136.583
19 Edina 6AA 135.833
20 Northfield 1AA 135.775
21 Elk River/Zimmerman 8AA 135.192
22 Rogers 5AA 134.775
23 Mounds View 4AA 134.758
24 White Bear Lake Area 4AA 134.650
25 Saint Michael-Albertville 8AA 134.083



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:10:48 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 8-0
2. Springfield 5-0
3. Cass Lake-Bena 7-0
4. BOLD 7-0
5. North Woods 7-1
6. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 8-0
7. Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 6-0
8. Mahnomen-Waubun 5-0
9. Ortonville 5-1
10. Cromwell-Wright 4-0



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:10:27 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 4-1
2. Minneapolis North 4-2
3. Perham 5-1
4. Breck 4-2
5. Lake City 7-1
6. Caledonia 5-2
7. Osakis 6-0
8. Breckenridge 3-2
9. Spectrum 6-0
10. Hawley 7-0



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:10:03 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:09:40 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:09:14 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:08:53 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:08:26 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/26/2018 10:08:03 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



New Year, New Look For Apple Valley Boys Basketball
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:23:06 PM

Some things haven’t changed on boys basketball game nights at Apple Valley High School. Coach Zach Goring still uses body English to will three-point shots to fall and he still reaches into a pile of cough drops on the scorer’s table. The players’ shoes still squeak and the fans still cheer for the Eagles … even though the crowds are smaller.

Unlike the last few years, there are no extra ticket sellers, no extra security for crowd control, no national TV, no fire marshal keeping an eye on the jam-packed gym. This season is a return to normalcy after a stretch in which Apple Valley was one of the nation’s most high-profile basketball programs.

That’s because the Jones Era has ended. Tyus Jones is now in his third season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and his brother Tre is a freshman at Duke University, where Tyus also played. Gary Trent Jr., another former Eagle who spent his senior season at a California prep school before playing at Duke, is now with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. Beginning when Tyus Jones became a starter as an eighth-grader in the 2009-10 season, the Eagles were on the map.

That stretch ended last season when Tre finished his high school career. Apple Valley won Class 4A state championships in 2013, 2015 and 2017 and was the state runner-up a year ago.

“Last season I really tried to take in every single moment, because I realize how fast it went,” Goring said Tuesday night after the Eagles lost to Farmington 45-43, giving them a record of 2-3.

In 2009-10 the Eagles finished 20-9. A year later they were 19-10. In the next seven years Apple Valley lost six games once, five games once, had two losses four times and one loss in 2012-13, when they won their first state title. The Eagles’ record in the nine Jones seasons was 236-39.

For much of that period, big-time college coaches were regular attendees at Apple Valley games. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski saw the Jones brothers and Trent play multiple times, as did coaches from colleges of all sizes who had an eye on Eagles players. Currently, 13 Apple Valley graduates are playing college basketball (see list below).

“It’s been a treat to meet coaches at all levels, and certainly the bluebloods, and we’ve had every single one of them in our gym through the nine years with those two guys,” Goring said. “We've had a good pipeline. We've sent three kids to Duke and we've sent three kids to St. Olaf.”

Tuesday night’s South Suburban Conference opener against Farmington had a different feel, beginning with the pregame introductions. Senior guard Mark Possis is the only returning varsity player from last season, and everyone who played in the three games at last year’s state tournament is gone. Tuesday’s other starters were seniors Max Sanders and Michael Christiansen, junior Elliot Ewald and sophomore Noah Friedt.

“I think I went into the season obviously understanding that it would be different, but it’s been really fun, too,” Goring said. “In the past we were so skilled and so polished at everything. Last year’s class, even if you took Tre out of it, that might have been the best class we’ve ever had here. And you put Tre with it, and that was a dynamite team.

“This year we’re doing a lot of teaching in practice. And that’s been fun, to get back to teaching kids how to play. We’ve got some younger guys who are eager to learn and older guys, too. They’re all good kids and they’re taking the instruction really well. I think that’s been the biggest difference; last year we played a lot and we fine-tuned things and we had a lot more sets because the kids were two-year starters and Tre was so advanced at the point guard spot. This year we’re keeping it really simple, teaching them how to play.”

The Jones brothers’ names are all over the team record book, as is their head coach. Goring still holds the single-season record for assists with 285 in 1994-95, when he was an Apple Valley senior. After playing at St. Cloud State, Goring was an Eagles assistant for eight years before becoming head coach 10 years ago.

The previous head coach, Mike Fritze, also was the Eagles head football coach. Goring coached the junior varsity team and also directed summer camps before Fritze stepped down.

“I give him a lot of credit,” Goring said. “He saw the Joneses coming and decided, ‘I’m going to step back, let Zach take it.’ That was really neat.”

Current Apple Valley players in the NBA and College Basketball

Tyus Jones – Minnesota Timberwolves
Gary Trent Jr – Portland Trail Blazers
Dennis Austin – University of Mary
Austin Korba – St. Olaf
Steven Christiansen – Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Brock Bertram – University of Buffalo
Cameron Kirksey – Minnesota State Mankato
Aaron Ertz – Augsburg
Kevin Totusek – Southwest Minnesota State
Mohamed Kone – North Dakota State College of Science
Tre Jones – Duke
Luke Martens – Winona State
Josh Arnold – Central Lakes Community College
Nathan Macho – Wisconsin-River Falls
Zach Korba – Bethel

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:20:01 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 5-0
2. Springfield 6-0
3. Cass Lake-Bena 5-0
4. BOLD 6-0
5. North Woods 6-1
6. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 6-0
7. Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 4-0
8. Murray County Central 5-1
9. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 4-2
10. Mahnomen-Waubun 4-0






Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:19:29 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 4-1
2. Minneapolis North 3-1
3. Perham 4-1
4. Breck 4-1
5. Lake City 6-1
6. Caledonia 4-2
7. Osakis 5-0
8. Breckenridge 2-2
9. Spectrum 5-0
10. Albany 4-1






Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:16:45 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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






Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:15:51 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:15:01 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:14:33 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Roseau (4-1)
2. Stewartville (9-1)
3. Sauk Centre (5-1)
4. Eden Valley-Watkins (6-0)
5. Holy Family Catholic (6-2)
6. Minnehaha Academy (4-5)
7. Proctor (7-1)
8. Rush City (5-1)
9. Hawley (6-0)
10.Annandale (6-1)






Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:14:06 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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




Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:13:35 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins (9-0)
2. Wayzata (8-0)
3. Eastview (3-1)
4. Stillwater (5-2)
5. St. Michael-Albertville (5-1)
6. Farmington (5-0)
7. Roseville Area (7-1)
8. Forest Lake (8-1)
9. Eden Prairie (6-1)
10.Lakeville North (4-3)



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:12:24 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

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



Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:11:56 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

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



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:11:13 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

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



Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/19/2018 7:10:28 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

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



Great Kate: ‘She’s Just Like Any Other Teenager’
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 6:01:25 PM

WESTBROOK – Kate Jorgenson stood a couple steps behind the three-point line and she was ready when the basketball came to her. She took aim at the basket, fired quickly and the ball hit nothing but net as fans of the Westbrook-Walnut Grove Chargers cheered. It was a remarkable shot by a remarkable athlete.

I first wrote about Kate when she was a ninth-grader on her school’s golf team. She’s now a 16-year-old junior, and the fact that her left arm was amputated above the elbow after an ATV accident in 2013 has never slowed her down.

“She’s just like any other teenager,” Chargers coach Adam Kletscher said before Westbrook-Walnut Grove dropped a 45-42 decision to the Adrian Dragons in a Red Rock Conference game Tuesday night. “She likes to joke around, she likes to have fun.”

Tuesday was a long day for Kate. She was awake at 4:45 a.m. and on a school bus bound for the state Capitol in St. Paul – three hours away from her home in southwest Minnesota -- by 6:15 with other American Government students who are involved in a program called “We the People.” They toured the Capitol, made a We the People presentation to a panel of judges as part of the program’s competitive process, then headed back home in the afternoon.

Kate played the first half of that evening’s B squad game and came off the bench throughout the varsity game. “I’m tired,” she said with a smile afterwards.

Her parents, Nikki and Jim, watched the games from the stands. Nikki teaches fifth grade in the district and Jim runs the family farm two miles outside of Westbrook. They, like everyone else, love their daughter’s positive attitude and are amazed by what she continues to accomplish.

“The only thing she gave up was playing the violin,” Jim said, adding that Kate continues to practice the piano and perform at recitals. She plays volleyball in the fall, golfs in the spring, is a lifeguard and certified swimming instructor.

When she came off the bench in Tuesday’s varsity game for the first time, four minutes in, she wiped the soles of both shoes with her right hand and went to work. On defense she was positioned in the lane, displaying quick footwork in the Chargers’ zone, blocking out would-be rebounders and inbounding the ball after Adrian scored.

She brought the ball upcourt at one point, passing to point guard Grace Woelber once she reached the center line.

Imagine trying to catch the ball, shoot the ball or rebound the ball with one hand. It’s not an easy proposition.

Asked if he does anything differently in coaching a player who doesn’t have two hands, Kletscher said, “Right away I wondered, I debated but then I said no. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently. She’s a normal teenage girl on my basketball team. You might talk with her about how to curl a rebound or things like that. I’ll tell her, ‘Keep your arm straight up’ (to avoid fouls) and you’re doing the same things for every other girl on the team, too.”

Kate said, “It’s really hard for me to catch the ball in the post and go for a layup, so I usually try to stay on the outside and shoot my outside shot. I can just like feel it when I let it go. I’ve spent a lot of time catching the ball and releasing it.”

In Kate’s first basketball season after the accident, Jim coached her sixth-grade team. At one of the first practices he asked for volunteers to dribble the ball upcourt. Everyone was quiet until Kate said, “I’ll do it.” That was an early example of her fearlessness.

In the wake of Kate’s accident, people in Westbrook, Walnut Grove and surrounding communities rallied around her and her family. A 2014 benefit concert in Westbrook was a great success, which inspired the Jorgenson family to create the Keeping Up The Kourage Foundation. The foundation awards college scholarships to youth from the area who have faced medial challenges and also assists families with medical expenses.

Kate headed home Tuesday night looking forward to some much-needed sleep. But the next day – like most days -- would be another busy one, starting when she drove 43 miles to Marshall early in the morning. She’s interested in becoming an anesthesiologist, and she had an appointment to job-shadow someone in that profession, beginning at 7 a.m.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:59:17 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:58:55 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Roseau
2. Stewartville
3. Sauk Centre
4. Eden Valley-Watkins
5. Proctor
6. Minnehaha Academy
7. Holy Family Catholic
8. Rush City
9. Norwood-Young America
10.Lake City





Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:58:30 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:58:05 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:57:26 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota
2. Springfield
3. Cass Lake-Bena
4. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
5. BOLD
6. North Woods
7. Ortonville
8. Minnesota Valley Lutheran
9. Cromwell-Wright
10.Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:56:58 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy
2. Minneapolis North
3. Breck
4. Perham
5. Lake City
6. Caledonia
7. Melrose
8. Breckenridge
9. Osakis
10.Minnewaska Area



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:56:31 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

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





Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:56:01 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:55:06 PM

Provided by StateOfHockey.com

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



Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:54:32 PM

Provided by StateOfHockey.com

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




Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:53:57 PM

Provided by StateOfHockey.com

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






Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2018 5:53:17 PM

Provided by StateOfHockey.com

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



Minnesota’s First Family Of Basketball, Phase Three
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/9/2018 5:28:54 PM

When a young man named Bob McDonald was hired for his first coaching job with the boys basketball team at McGregor High School in the 1955-56 season, it’s a pretty safe bet that he wasn’t thinking about the 2018-19 season.

McDonald, of course, went on to a storied career that included 53 years at Chisholm, more than 1,000 victories and induction into the National High School Hall of Fame. And 63 years later, he has grandkids doing big things in the same profession.

The family history is familiar. Bob’s four sons and two daughters all became basketball coaches. Currently, Mike (Cambridge-Isanti), Joel (Hibbing) and Tom (Ely) coach high school boys teams and Paul is in his final season coaching the men’s team at Vermilion Community College in Ely before retirement. Bob and his late wife Darlene’s daughters, Sue and Judy, are former high school basketball coaches.

And now the third generation…

Sue and her husband Neil Tesdahl, along with other family members, were at Hopkins High School’s Lindbergh Center for Saturday’s Breakdown Tipoff Classic, an annual hoops hotbed featuring 16 games on two courts. Sue is the former girls coach at Crosby-Ironton and Neil is a longtime boys assistant there to Hall of Famer Dave Galovich, but the Class 2A Rangers were not involved in this event. The Tesdahl contingent was focused on back-to-back Class 4A games: Hopkins vs. Lakeville North and East Ridge vs. Prior Lake.

That’s because Brock Tesdahl, 25, is an assistant coach at Hopkins and Bryce Tesdahl (pictured), 28, is the head coach at East Ridge. They are sons of Sue and Neil and grandsons of Bob McDonald. The day began with East Ridge ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News and Hopkins No. 2. There will be some adjustments in this week’s rankings, with East Ridge losing to Prior Lake 70-62 and Hopkins defeating Lakeville North 78-72.

“You can tell they come from coaching stock,” said Hopkins coach Ken Novak Jr., another member of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Novak hired Brock four years ago after he finished his college career at Bemidji State; the young man coaches the Royals sophomore team and assists the varsity.

“He’s a great kid, he’s a hard worker, he really invests in kids, he gets to know them,” Novak said. “He puts in a lot of time, more time than he needs to. He does a good job.”

Bryce, who also played at Bemidji State, was a graduate assistant at Minnesota-Duluth for two years, followed by two years as the head coach at New Prague. He’s now in his second season at East Ridge. Like his brother, he said he never really thought about doing anything other than teaching and coaching.

“When you’re born into it, there’s not really another decision,” he said. “I think it’s one of the most rewarding careers that you can be in, and obviously Grandpa McDonald set a pretty good note for us to follow. Then you’ve got mom and dad doing the same thing, and you’re living in the gym, living in the classroom and you’re always around the school. It was just so fun for me. When I went into college coaching, I was just missing something in my life. When I got back to high school, I felt like I was at home.”

Brock (pictured), who also is an assistant volleyball coach at Hopkins, said, “It’s been instilled in our family, coaching and teaching. That’s what we grew up with. We were gym rats, going to our mom and dad’s practices, it’s in our blood. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

The Tesdahl brothers coached against each other a week earlier, when East Ridge defeated Hopkins 74-65 in a season-opening game. After the Tipoff Classic both teams are 2-1.

“Last week was kind of fun, because I grew up always competing against Bryce,” said Brock. “Going head to head with him, it was a great game, a great matchup.”

The busy coaching brothers keep in touch mainly via texts. Eighty-four-year-old Grandpa McDonald – who resides with his wife Carol at an assisted-living facility in Chisholm -- isn’t much for texting or emails, but he keeps up on his kids’ and grandkids’ teams via family word of mouth.


Two more McDonald coaching notes…

--Mike’s son Rhett is the head boys basketball coach at Duluth East.

--In recent days, a Hibbing High School senior named Abbey McDonald reached the 2,000-career-point mark and signed a letter of intent with St. Cloud State. Her dad (Joel) is rightfully proud and her grandpa McDonald is surely beaming, too.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:55:08 PM

From The Guillotine

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



Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:54:45 PM

From The Guillotine

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




Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:54:21 PM

From The Guillotine

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



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:44:27 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota 1-0
2. Springfield 1-0
3. Cass Lake-Bena 1-0
4. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 1-0
5. BOLD 2-0
6. North Woods 2-1
7. Ortonville 1-1
8. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 1-0
9. Cromwell-Wright 1-0
10. Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 0-0



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:44:08 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 1-0
2. Minneapolis North 0-0
3. Perham 1-1
4. Lake City 2-0
5. Caledonia 1-0
6. Melrose 1-0
7. Rochester Lourdes 1-0
8. Hawley 1-0
9. Breckenridge 1-1
10. Breck 1-0



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:43:44 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:43:14 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. East Ridge 1-0
2. Hopkins 1-1
3. Lakeville North 2-0
4. Eden Prairie 1-1
5. Park Center 2-0
6. Prior Lake 0-1
7. Wayzata 2-0
8. Cretin-Derham Hall 0-1
9. Shakopee 1-0
10. Rochester John Marshall 0-0



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:42:45 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

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



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:42:22 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Roseau 2-1
2. Stewartville 4-1
3. Sauk Centre 2-1
4. Eden Valley-Watkins 2-0
5. Proctor 4-0
6. Minnehaha Academy 2-3
7. Holy Family Catholic 4-2
8. Rush City 2-1
9. Norwood-Young America 2-0
10. Lake City 3-0



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:42:00 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 3A
1. Alexandria 2-0
2. Northfield 2-0
3. DeLaSalle 1-2
4. Willmar 2-0
5. St. Paul Como Park 5-0
6. Mankato West 3-0
7. Waseca 4-0
8. Waconia 3-0
9. Hill-Murray 4-0
10. Simley 1-1



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:41:36 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News

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



Boys Nordic Ski Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:40:57 PM

Provided by skinnyski.com

TEAMS
Stillwater
Forest Lake
St. Cloud Cathedral-Sartell
Mpls Southwest
Robbinsdale-Armstrong
Ely
Mounds Park Academy
St. Paul Highland Park
Grand Rapids
Edina

INDIVIDUALS
Garrett Beckrich, Grand Rapids, 12
Peter Moore, SPA, 12
Alex Nemeth, St. Cloud Cathedral-Sartell, 12
Cooper Lennox, Mora, 11
James Schneider, Wayzata, 11
Matthew Bourne, MPA, 12
Henry Hall, Mpls Southwest, 12
Aidan Ripp, CEC, 12
Jasper Johnston, Ely, 10
Ian Ruh, Stillwater, 12



Girls Nordic Ski Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/8/2018 1:40:29 PM

Provided by skinnyski.com

TEAMS
Stillwater
Robbinsdale-Armstrong
Mpls Southwest
St. Paul Highland Park
Wayzata
Forest Lake
Andover
Duluth East
Winona-Winona Cotter
Mora

INDIVIDUALS
Mara McCollor, Wayzata, 12
Regan Duffy, Forest Lake, 12
Sarah Olson, Blaine, 12
Lucinda Anderson, Robbinsdale-Armstrong, 12
Libby Tuttle, Stillwater, 11
Molly Moening, St. Paul Highland Park, 9
Kasia Bednarski, Mpls Southwest, 12
Gretchen Haggenmiller, Duluth East, 11
Anni Skillicorn, Winona-Winona Cotter, 10
Celeste Alden, St. Paul Highland Park, 10



Brainerd’s Mike Bialka: 40 Years Of Positive Impacts
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/3/2018 2:43:29 PM

In 1978 Les Sellnow, editor of the newspaper in Brainerd, called a recent college graduate who was in his first year as the sports editor (and one-person sports department) for the Crookston Times. Les had an opening for a sports writer and invited Mike Bialka to return to his hometown for an interview.

The young scribe had a conflict. He would be playing in the state amateur baseball tournament and couldn’t make the interview. A couple of phone conversations later, Sellnow said simply, “If you want the job, it’s yours.” No interview, no hoops to jump through. So the young man’s first day on the job was the first day he walked into the newsroom of his hometown newspaper.

That young man’s last day on the job will be the first day of 2019, ending a 40-year career at the Brainerd Dispatch, the last 33 as sports editor. Mike Bialka is a real rarity: he devoted nearly his entire career to his hometown community newspaper and made a million friends along the way.

He announced his retirement plans last week. The reaction has surprised him but nobody else.

“It’s been really emotional. I’ve got a lot of people emailing and texting,” he said. “In a way you don’t know what impact you have on people. When you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re not the story. When you become the story I’m just not comfortable with that. I’m used to telling everybody else’s stories.”

Too bad. The Mike Bialka Story began when he was born in St. Cloud. He lived in Maple Lake (where his dad was a teacher) until the family moved to Brainerd when he was 10. Baseball was always his thing. He was a talented pitcher; in his senior season (1973) a new coach named Lowell Scearcy came to town. Earlier this year, Scearcy retired after 49 years of coaching baseball.

“I can’t overstate what Mike has meant to Brainerd athletics,” Scearcy said. “He will be almost impossible to replace, that’s for sure. I can’t think of one single person who would have a bad word to say about Mike.” (Bialka is pictured here with Twins great Harmon Killebrew.)

Bialka continued his baseball career at St. Cloud State, although his senior season was cut short by arm surgery (he played amateur baseball at other positions). He graduated with a degree in mass communications in 1977 and was hired in Crookston.

Work never bothered him. In high school he coached youth baseball and worked at Schaefer’s Red Owl as a grocery carryout and van driver. During college he sold fine footwear at Bonne's Shoes at Crossroads Center in St. Cloud.

But covering sports, that was his wheelhouse. Mike, 63, never tracked such things, but he estimates he has watched 4,000 sporting events. The highlights are many: Brainerd and nearby Staples winning state wrestling championships in 1982, Brainerd state baseball titles in 1995 and 2000, the 1987 and 1991 World Series and 1992 Final Four, Brainerd grads Josh Archibald (now playing in the NHL) and Joe Haeg (NFL), and Staples native Dave Joerger becoming a head coach in the NBA.

And then, of course, there are the thousands of stories he has written about kids and teams in Brainerd and surrounding towns, articles that for four decades have been carefully clipped out of the newspaper, displayed proudly on refrigerators, placed in frames, tucked into boxes filled with memories and kept as treasured family keepsakes.

“They had a unique feel up there, with the Dispatch covering Brainerd sports like it was college sports,” said Ty Eigner, who coached boys hockey in Brainerd for nine years and is now an assistant coach at Bowling Greem University. “It was a daily paper with preseason stories, Athletes of the Week, lots of neat things. Mike was outstanding. It was great for those athletes who grew up in Brainerd and little kids who wanted to be Athlete of the Week and wanted to be interviewed by Mike. There’s nobody like him.”

One of Mike’s boyhood friends and baseball teammates was Alan Wallace, whose father was the famously crusty sports editor back then. Jim Wallace would let the two kids tag along when he covered games, and the young Bialka boy thought that seemed like a pretty cool way to make a living.

Brainerd High School athletic director Charlie Campbell said he is not alone in appreciating everything Mike has done.

“I’ve heard that culture is created and perpetuated by the stories you tell,” he said. “Mike is the guy who told our stories so well. Since my first introduction to Mike, the guy has always been very professional, he told the right stories the right way. He never tried to sensationalize anything just to get clicks. He just wanted to tell the story of what our programs are about.”

Ron Stolski, the dean of Minnesota high school football coaches, has been coaching for 57 years, the last 44 at Brainerd. For most of those years, he has met with Bialka for an interview every Thursday during the season. Mike has stood on the sidelines for all those games all those years, keeping statistics.

“Mike has always been fair and honest,” Stolski said. “The thing I liked about him most is he wrote some really compelling human-interest stories. And the thing that endeared him to me was he never looked for an angle. He reported the game the way he saw the game. He wasn’t looking to create anything that wasn’t there. He’s a hardworking, honest reporter and he was always fair.”

Eigner said, “The industry has changed dramatically, the paper changed dramatically. He’s been passionate about what he did and I think he felt a loyalty to the people he worked for and the people of Brainerd. Who’s going to do it for 40 years like Mike did? Nobody.”

Mike’s wife, Judy, is an educator who retired six years ago. Their son Troy lives in Fargo.

“We just kind of thought we’d like to do some different things while we’re still able,” Mike said. “It looked like it was just the time to do it. I agonized over it, I had a hard time sleeping. Until I told people, and then that was a big relief.

“I haven’t had to give notice that I’m leaving anywhere for 40 years. And all of a sudden, it’s like OK, it’s final now. I’m just glad that part of it is over, the notice thing.”

Mike and Judy are thinking about spending time in Arizona during the winters and maybe taking some baseball spring training trips, which they did before they became parents.

His final day at the Dispatch will be Jan. 1. That’s fitting, because it will be a quiet day in the office. He’ll map out the next edition’s sports coverage, log off the computer for the final time, turn in his key, collect his stuff and close the book on a splendid journalism career that has had a positive impact on more people than Mike will ever know.

“It won’t be too busy that day,” he said. “I want to walk out the door and not have a parade, just kind of sneak away.

“You don’t realize how much it just becomes part of you. Right now it doesn’t seem like I’m retired because I’m still working. I will miss telling stories about people, telling their stories. And it’s big to be able to leave on your own terms.”

Mike was inducted into the Brainerd Warriors Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame earlier this year. In 2017 he became the first newspaper professional to receive the MSHSL Outstanding Media Service Award (pictured). The award he might be most proud of receiving was the 2009 Media Award presented during the National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration at the State Capitol.

Stolski still chuckles about Bialka’s induction into the Brainerd Hall of Fame.

“It was the shortest speech in history,” Stolski said. “Mike accepted the plaque, said, ‘Thank you very much’ and sat down. I said ‘Mike, this is your moment.’ ”

Nope. It’s never been about him.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



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