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Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/26/2018 7:53:36 PM

The following letter comes from the Region 8A Athletic Directors Association, and was signed by 32 athletic directors, principals and deans from schools in northern Minnesota.

To Whom it May Concern:

I’d like to start by saying a very sincere THANK YOU to the many, many people that support what we do at our schools, including our extra-curricular activities. There are so many people in our communities that understand the time, effort and energy that goes into providing quality programming for all of our students, many times at the sacrifice of our own families. I call these people the silent majority.

As I sit at my desk typing this letter today, I think about how the vocal minority has caused the people in our buildings; our teachers, coaches and advisors, along with countless other teachers and coaches in surrounding communities who have sacrificed to provide a positive experience for their children, to question, “Why do we do this?”. There is an uneasiness in the coaching community as a whole because some parents have cast them as the villains, who have stopped their child from reaching what they believe is their full potential. That notion could not be further from the truth. I think about how unfair it is to criticize our coaches for the decisions they make on the court, or the kids that they play in certain situations, or the plays they call, especially when done from the stands. We each have the opportunity to play one of four roles at a sporting event; spectator, coach, player, or official. When we try to be more than one of those roles, it causes problems. Which role are you going to play?

I wonder if people actually realize how it feels to put your heart and soul into something for all the right reasons, and then have it turned on you because the wins might not be coming, or because you’re not playing the right kids at the right time, or you’re calling the wrong plays. I have seen this negativity spread quickly and loudly, and although I don’t have the answers to help people see that we are doing the right things, something needs to be said. We, as educators, have the responsibility to care for, nurture and teach every single student and athlete that is given to us, and I’m proud to say that we do it enthusiastically. I have personally seen and heard from parents who undercut their child’s teammates and coaches, and who have told their children to look for individual success first, and team success second. That is not right, and it certainly isn’t making our teams stronger and is not helping to build better people. That message completely undermines the real lessons that our children should be learning from the activities they participate in.

The truth is that we have remarkable teachers and coaches doing great things for our kids. They provide them with opportunities that not all kids get. They care for their students and players, and spend more time with them than just about anyone else. They miss family meals, birthdays, and other family activities to make sure their players needs are met. They take the personal shots, comments from some parents and the crowd, and still keep coming back to help our kids become better people first, and better athletes second. Our coaches take a personal interest in each of the kids in their classrooms and in their activity that extends beyond the school walls. Even though some of the kids and parents will never see or understand that, it remains true.

I recently asked our coaches why they coach, and these were some of the responses I received:

“I coach for the kids. When you see the sparkle in their eyes when things start to click for them...there is nothing like it!”

“I remember what a pivotal role sports played in my development as a young person. I have had the pleasure of being coached by some fine leaders, and I try to carry on the lessons those people have taught me.”

“I see today's student athletes as tomorrow's leaders, and I try to impact their lives in a positive way through the game we play.”

“I want to help young people realize what they have inside them. More than just athletic ability, what they have as a leader, a teammate, and an overall citizen. Everyone has potential to be someone who can go on to positively impact the lives of others, I want to help them get there.”

“I continue to coach today because I enjoy being able to see the players having fun, and as they grow as a person. We aren’t just teaching players how to play basketball, we should also be preparing them to get ready for the real world.”

“I coach because of the connection made between the players and coaches. A team should feel like a family, and I think our team does. Most weeks, I see the players more than I see my own kids.”

“I coach because of the strong healthy relationships made while coaching that can last a lifetime. Watching the players smile and have fun when they succeed at something. The look on their face when something clicks and they start doing the right thing.”

“I have a passion to teach kids the sports that I loved playing as a kid and the life lessons that will be instilledin them for the rest of their lives.”

“I coach because there is nothing better than seeing a kid reach their goal or do something they thought was impossible. The smile on their faces is when that happens is what keeps me coaching.”

“I coach to teach kids that life is not about the result, it’s about the process and the execution. I teach kids how to perform at their highest level so they can be successful now and in life?

“I take pride in being someone who is trying to make things better and more enjoyable for the kids because I care about them and want them to experience success in school and life.”

“I do this to build relationships and help these boys become men of character, integrity, and respect. If I can play a small part in helping these boys fulfill some of their dreams, I could look back with pride at my coaching and teaching careers.”

There are common themes in each of these responses, and it is what we should be striving to find in all of our coaches. Our coaches emphasize teamwork, commitment, positive relationships and leadership. These are life skills that will help them be successful adults. The wins and losses will come and go, but focusing on these qualities, ensure that we will always be successful, no matter what the scoreboard says. I know that the people we trust to coach our kids are teaching the right values, along with the fundamentals of the sport that will help them be competitive on the court, field or ice.

Many of you already see the passion that our coaches possess for what they do. To others, it wouldn’t matter what we say or how much time we spend preparing, planning and working with our kids because you’re already convinced we are wrong. The reality is that we do this because we love it and we love all of our kids. Coaches get up in the morning, prepare for a full day of teaching, spend three more hours at practice, or six more hours at a game, and get home late, only to do it all over again the next day. Often times, the only feedback a coach gets is when things go wrong. That doesn’t sound like a job that anybody would like to have, yet they continue to do it. Why? Because they have a passion for their profession, and they care. Period.

In summary, we are profoundly fortunate to have the coaches and teachers that we have in our schools. Their sacrifices are extremely important examples for our children, and the work they do is important and they deserve our full support. THANK YOU to all of our coaches and teachers for all you do!



Multi-Sports Athletes, Back-To-Back Tournament Competitions
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/24/2018 10:06:32 PM

One of my favorite stories of the year came from a December visit to a farm in extreme western Minnesota, just a few miles from the South Dakota border. Posted on Dec. 20 under the headline, “On The Farm, Inside The Barn, Gymnastics Rules,” the story was about the home of the Hendricks/Russell-Tyler-Ruthton gymnastics team, located inside a building on the Johnson family farm on the edge of Hendricks (population 692).

Here are the opening paragraphs of that story …

HENDRICKS – In this small town near the South Dakota border, gymnastics is a family affair. Before the Hendricks/Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Grizzlies and their state-line neighbors from Brookings (S.D.) High School competed in a dual meet one evening this week, the Johnson cousins -- Greta, Sophie and Kaylee -- sang the national anthem beautifully. Grizzlies coach Sherri Johnson – mom to Greta and Sophie and aunt to Kaylee – then took the microphone to introduce the athletes and coaches.

Gymnastics is close to the hearts of Sherri and her husband Gary, along with Greta, 18, Sophie, 16, Sadie, 11, and their extended family and friends. It’s so close, in fact, that the Johnsons can exit their house in the country and take a short walk across the farm yard to the home of the Grizzlies. It’s called The Barn and it might be the most unique sporting venue in Minnesota and beyond.


Their lives are hectic, and this weekend was a great example. (The family is pictured after that home competition in December.)

On Friday night, the Hendricks girls basketball team (including Greta and Sophie) lost to Minneota in the Class 1A Section 3 playoffs. After the game, the Johnsons drove to the Twin Cities, where the two girls competed in Saturday’s Class 1A state gymnastics meet. Greta, a senior, competed on the balance beam and Sophie, a sophomore, competed on vault and floor exercise.

Neither received a medal after the competition, but they gave it everything they had and were all smiles afterwards. The family was staying in town Saturday night rather than brave the winter storm, and Greta said they planned to relax and unwind. Greta qualified for the state gymnastics meet five times in her high school career, and now Sophie will have two more chances to return.

On a busy weekend of state tournaments, section tournaments and contests in several sports, Greta and Sophie were the epitome of multi-sport athletes. Basketball one night, gymnastics the next night, both in postseason competition. Well done.

Girls State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A

Championship: Breck 3, Warroad 2 (OT)
Third-place game: Alexandria 1, Proctor/Hermantown 0
Fifth-place game: St. Paul United 3, Red Wing 2 (OT)

Class 2A
Championship: Edina 2, Centennial 1
Third-place game: Eagan 3, Eden Prairie 0
Fifth-place game: Andover 5, Lakeville South 4 (3 OT)

State Gymnastics Tournament

Class 1A all-around

1 Aliah Williams, Chisago Lakes
2 Jackson Hegg, Detroit Lakes
3 Jennifer Boyle, Austin
4 Ailsa Gilbert-11, Watertown-Mayer
5 Taryn Sellner, Mankato West
6 Katie Fahrenkamp, Waconia

Class 1A event champions
Vault: Greta Klaphake, Melrose
Bars: Jennifer Boyle, Austin
Beam: Peyton Jernberg, Detroit Lakes
Floor: Cora Okeson, Detroit Lakes

Class 2A all-around
1 Chaney Neu, Champlin Park
2 Sophie Redding, Henry Sibley
3 Rachel Steiner, Lakeville North
4 Mykaela Douglas, Lakeville South
5 Lindsay Bangs-9, Owatonna
6 Bailey Davidson, Apple Valley

Class 2A event champions
Vault: Sophie Redding, Henry Sibley
Bars: Grace Treanor-10, Wayzata
Beam: Brenna Sommerland, Park
Floor: Chaney Neu, Champlin Park

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Seven Miles Apart, A Big Weekend In Girls Sports
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/23/2018 5:59:33 PM

Two girls sports -- gymnastics and hockey -- are culminating their seasons with state championships this weekend. And it’s been a great ride so far. The girls state hockey tournament is underway at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul, a mere seven miles from the gymnastics state championships at the University of Minnesota’s Maturi Pavilion.

In hockey, Saturday’s Class 1A state championship game was set after Friday’s semifinals. Breck defeated Proctor/Hermantown 6-0 in the first semifinal, followed by Warroad defeating Alexandria 7-1. Breck and Warroad will meet in the title game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

In Friday night’s Class 2A semifinals, Centennial defeated Eagan 6-1 and Edina beat Eden Prairie 4-2. The Cougars and Hornets will meet for the title at 7 p.m. Saturday.

In gymnastics on Friday afternoon, Detroit Lakes (pictured) claimed its fourth consecutive Class 1A state team title. The Lakers finished with a team score of 150.925, followed by Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka (147.425), Mahtomedi (146.450), Sartell-St. Stephen (146.450), Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa (144.875), Willmar (144.000), Waconia (142.425) and Worthington (141.075).

In 2A gymnastics, Stillwater captured the state team title with a score of 150.250, followed by Lakeville North (149.700), Owatonna (148.700), Champlin Park (147.975), East Ridge (146.150), Eden Prairie (145.700), Cambridge-Isanti (144.675) and St. Cloud Tech (143.800).

The individual event and all-around gymnastics competitions will be held Saturday in both classes.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/23/2018 5:25:17 PM

Final team rankings from The Guillotine.

CLASS 1A
1. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1)
2. Frazee (8)
3. LPGE-Browerville (5)
4. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3)
5. Ottertail Central (6)
6. Kenyon-Wanamingo (2)
7. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
8. West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6)
9. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (4)
10. Minneota (3)
11. Goodhue (1)
12. Sibley East (4)
Lean and Mean
Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena (7), Maple River (2), Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (5), Canby (3), Jackson County Central (3), Blue Earth Area (2), Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8), Fosston/Bagley (8), Royalton/Upsala (7)



Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/23/2018 5:24:51 PM

Final team rankings from The Guillotine.

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



Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/23/2018 5:24:24 PM

Final team rankings from The Guillotine.

CLASS 3A
1. Shakopee (2)
2. Apple Valley (2)
3. Anoka (7)
4. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
5. Willmar (8)
6. Albert Lea Area (1)
7. Forest Lake (7)
8. Owatonna (1)
9. Prior Lake (2)
10. St. Francis (7)
11. Cambridge-Isanti (7)
12. New Prague (2)
Lean and Mean
Faribault (1), Hastings (3), Bemidji (8), Maple Grove (5), Stillwater Area (4), Eagan (3), Mounds View (4), St. Cloud Tech (8)



From 1996 To 2018, Breck Coach Is Familiar With State
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 8:11:02 PM

Way back in 1996, a ninth-grader named Ronda Curtin assisted on four goals in one period for the Roseville girls hockey team during the state tournament. That was the second year of the tournament, and Curtin’s achievement was a state tourney record that still stands more than two decades later.

Curtin’s four assists came in the second period of a 6-2 win over Blaine/Coon Rapids in the single-class, four-team tournament’s semifinals; three of those assists came on goals scored by Curtin’s younger sister Renee and the fourth was on a goal by Winny Brodt. That was on Feb. 23, 1996, and it was Ronda Curtin’s first appearance at state.

On Feb. 21, 2018, Ronda Curtin marked another milestone: coaching in the state tournament for the first time. Back in 1996 (and again when her Roseville team went to state in 1997, 1998 and 1999) the tournament was played at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Coliseum no longer puts down ice and the state tourney’s home is now Xcel Energy Center.

Curtin is now Ronda Engelhardt, married to husband Brett, mother of three and a counselor at Hopkins High School. She is in her fifth season as the head girls hockey coach at Breck, and Wednesday’s 9-2 Class 1A state quarterfinal win over Marshall brought her full circle as player and coach at state.

“The Coliseum was our practice rink, but there’s always a different feeling when you walk into the state tournament,” Engelhardt said. “It just elevates, no matter how familiar you are with the rink or not.”

Breck will meet Proctor/Hermantown in the state semifinals Friday at 11 a.m.; Proctor/Hermantown defeated Red Wing 3-1. In Wednesday’s other quarterfinals, Warroad defeated New Ulm 5-0 and Alexandria beat St. Paul United 3-2.

Engelhardt (pictured) was named Minnesota’s Ms. Hockey as a senior in 1999, played on two state championship teams, and went on to a stellar career at the University of Minnesota, where she was a two-time All-American.

Breck’s trip to state this year is its first since 2012, when they won their first Class 1A state championship. The Mustangs lost in the section title game for the previous five years.

“It’s such a big thing,” Engelhardt said. “It was like, ‘Hey guys, we broke the curse.’ That’s exciting, you want to earn your way in here. It makes it a little more special.”

The old Fairgrounds Coliseum and the Xcel Energy Center have nothing in common, but Engelhardt had some advice for her players before they took the ice Wednesday.

“My biggest thing for them, because it is the Xcel Center, is to demystify it,” she said. “It’s still the same ice, the same size, there’s nothing different, there’s going to be a lot more empty seats, that’s about all the difference you’re going to experience.”

Most of Breck’s players may not know all the details of their coach’s storied on-ice career, and that’s just fine with Ronda.

“I’m not someone who talks about myself,” she said. “My assistant likes to call me ‘Ronda the two-time All-American,’ and she says it all the time to embarrass me. The kids have Googled and looked it up. But they’re great. They’ve listened to me from day one.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Final Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:27:54 PM

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 151.817
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 147.875
3 Willmar 6A 146.808
4 Mahtomedi 4A 146.475
5 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 145.900
6 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 145.883
7 Worthington 3A 145.700
8 Perham 8A 144.617
9 Big Lake 7A 143.967
10 Melrose Area 6A 143.392
11 Waconia 2A 142.108
12 Monticello 7A 141.983
13 Jackson County Central 3A 141.842
14 North Branch 7A 141.225
15 Becker 7A 141.042
16 New London-Spicer 6A 140.042
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 139.825
18 Austin 1A 139.758
19 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 138.342
20 Mankato West 2A 138.275
21 Breck 5A138.242
22 Hendricks/RTR 3A 137.425
23 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A137.392
24 Fergus Falls 8A 137.267
25 Alexandria 8A 137.258



Final Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:27:26 PM

CLASS 2A
1 Lakeville North 2AA 149.483
2 Owatonna 1AA 148.817
3 Stillwater 4AA 148.642
4 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 147.817
5 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 147.633
6 East Ridge 3AA 147.158
7 Lakeville South 2AA 146.908
8 Champlin Park 5AA 146.758
9 Maple Grove 5AA 145.600
10 Anoka 7AA 144.658
11 Rosemount 1AA 144.592
12 Eden Prairie 6AA 143.917
13 Eagan 3AA 142.942
14 Prior Lake 2AA 142.942
15 Northfield 1AA 142.758
16 Apple Valley-Eastview 3AA 142.650
17 Wayzata 5AA 142.450
18 Bemidji 8AA 141.533
19 Rogers 5AA 141.033
20 Farmington 1AA 140.917
21 New Prague 2AA 140.775
22 Buffalo 8AA 140.692
23 Brainerd 8AA 140.558
24 Forest Lake 7AA140.525
25 Roseville Area 4AA 140.350



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:16:30 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Springfield 23-1
2. North Woods 22-1
3. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 24-1
4. Cass Lake-Bena 24-1
5. Minneota 21-2
6. Mayer Lutheran 21-3
7. Hinckley-Finlayson 21-3
8. Westbrook-Walnut-Grove 21-3
9. Hancock 20-2
10. BOLD 19-5
11. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 20-2
12. Parkers Prairie 19-2
13. Wrenshall 19-2
14. Nevis 20-3
15. St. Clair 19-5
16. Sacred Heart 20-4
17. Ada-Borup 16-4
18. Cleveland 19-5
19. Dawson-Boyd 18-5
20. New Ulm Cathedral 20-5



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:16:06 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minneapolis North 18-5
2. Minnehaha Academy 20-4
3. Perham 23-0
4. Caledonia 19-4
5. Brooklyn Center 17-7
6. Holy Family Catholic 15-7
7. Lake City 20-3
8. Melrose 21-2
9. Breck 14-8
10. St. Charles 21-3
11. Eden Valley-Watkins 20-2
12. Annandale 17-6
13. St. Cloud Cathedral 17-4
14. Esko 19-4
15. Virginia 18-4
16. Byron 18-6
17. Maple Lake 18-5
18. Jordan 20-5
19. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 21-2
20. Kimball 18-4



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:15:41 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 18-4
2. Austin 22-1
3. Mankato East 19-4
4. Marshall 22-3
5. Orono 18-5
6. Columbia Heights 16-5
7. St. Thomas Academy 14-9
8. Willmar 22-2
9. Mahtomedi 17-6
10. Northfield 15-7
11. Minneapolis Roosevelt 14-8
12. Waseca 21-3
13. Fergus Falls 17-6
14. Sauk Rapids-Rice 16-7
15. Fridley 12-8
16. St. Paul Johnson 18-4
17. Totino-Grace 11-12
18. Monticello 17-6
19. Robbinsdale Cooper 15-6
20. Delano 14-9



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:15:14 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Cretin-Derham Hall 21-1
2. Hopkins 23-1
3. Lakeville North 20-3
4. Apple Valley 19-4
5. East Ridge 18-5
6. Rochester John Marshall 21-2
7. Park Center 19-4
8. Champlin Park 18-5
9. Osseo 18-5
10. North St. Paul 19-4
11. Tartan 20-4
12. Wayzata 14-8
13. Maple Grove 17-6
14. Eden Prairie 17-6
15. Prior Lake 18-5
16. Edina 15-8
17. Owatonna 18-5
18. Blaine 16-7
19. Chaska 17-6
20. Woodbury 14-9



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:13:48 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Eastview 25-0
2. Hopkins 22-3
3. Centennial 22-3
4. Lakeville North 20-5
5. St. Michael-Albertville 22-3
6. Wayzata 23-2
7. Maple Grove 20-5
8. Champlin Park 21-4
9. Cretin-Derham Hall 18-5
10. Roseville 18-7
11. Moorhead 16-9
12. Minneapolis South 21-3
13. Minnetonka 15-10
14. Park-Cottage Grove 18-7
15. Park Center 15-9
16. Eden Prairie 15-10
17. Apple Valley 14-11
18. Farmington 17-8
19. Anoka 16-9
20. Stillwater 15-10



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:13:14 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Robbinsdale Cooper 23-2
2. Holy Angels 21-4
3. Mahtomedi 21-2
4. DeLaSalle 15-6
5. Northfield 22-3
6. Willmar 22-2
7. Grand Rapids 18-7
8. Hutchinson 19-6
9. Alexandria 21-4
10. Waseca 23-3
11. Fergus Falls 18-7
12. New Ulm 18-6
13. Hill-Murray 16-9
14. Mankato West 18-7
15. Red Wing 18-6
16. St. Paul Como Park 16-8
17. Hermantown 21-4
18. Waconia 17-8
19. Benilde-St. Margaret’s 17-8
20. Chisago Lakes 14-11



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:12:22 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 25-0
2. Minnehaha Academy 17-6
3. Maranatha Christian 21-4
4. Roseau 20-5
5. Rush City 20-1
6. Holy Family Catholic 18-6
7. Norwood-Young America 22-3
8. Stewartville 21-5
9. Eden Valley-Watkins 23-3
10. Rochester Lourdes 18-8
11. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 21-4
12. East Grand Forks 21-5
13. Watertown-Mayer 20-6
14. New London-Spicer 19-6
15. Byron 15-10
16. St. Peter 18-7
17. Barnesville 19-5
18. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 25-2
19. St. Cloud Cathedral 19-6
20. Proctor 18-6



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/21/2018 6:11:48 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 25-1
2. Mountain Iron-Buhl 23-2
3. Hayfield 22-4
4. Goodhue 19-7
5. Menahga 24-0
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West 21-2
7. Minneota 21-4
7. Lac qui Parle Valley 24-3
9. Grand Meadow 21-5
10. Bigfork 22-3
11. Stephen-Argyle 22-3
12. Red Lake 23-3
13. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 19-6
14. Mayer Lutheran 17-8
15. Wabasso 19-3
16. Parkers Prairie 21-2
17. BOLD 21-5
18. Sleepy Eye 21-4
19. Southwest MN Christian 21-3
20. Heritage Christian 16-9



Final Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/19/2018 9:25:40 PM

The final Class 1A gymnastics rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Detroit Lakes 8A 151.817
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 147.875
3 Willmar 6A 146.808
4 Mahtomedi 4A 146.475
5 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 145.900
6 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 145.883
7 Worthington 3A 145.700
8 Perham 8A 144.617
9 Big Lake 7A 143.967
10 Melrose Area 6A 143.392
11 Waconia 2A 142.108
12 Monticello 7A 141.983
13 Jackson County Central 3A 141.842
14 North Branch 7A 141.225
15 Becker 7A 141.042
16 New London-Spicer 6A 140.042
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 139.825
18 Austin 1A 139.758
19 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 138.342
20 Mankato West 2A 138.275
21 Breck 5A138.242
22 Hendricks/RTR 3A 137.425
23 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A137.392
24 Fergus Falls 8A 137.267
25 Alexandria 8A 137.258



Final Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/19/2018 9:25:06 PM

The final Class 2A gymnastics rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Lakeville North 2AA 149.483
2 Owatonna 1AA 148.817
3 Stillwater 4AA 148.642
4 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 147.817
5 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 147.633
6 East Ridge 3AA 147.158
7 Lakeville South 2AA 146.908
8 Champlin Park 5AA 146.758
9 Maple Grove 5AA 145.600
10 Anoka 7AA 144.658
11 Rosemount 1AA 144.592
12 Eden Prairie 6AA 143.917
13 Eagan 3AA 142.942
14 Prior Lake 2AA 142.942
15 Northfield 1AA 142.758
16 Apple Valley-Eastview 3AA 142.650
17 Wayzata 5AA 142.450
18 Bemidji 8AA 141.533
19 Rogers 5AA 141.033
20 Farmington 1AA 140.917
21 New Prague 2AA 140.775
22 Buffalo 8AA 140.692
23 Brainerd 8AA 140.558
24 Forest Lake 7AA140.525
25 Roseville Area 4AA 140.350



Frazee, Sartell-St. Stephen, Eastview Win State Dance/High Kick Titles
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/17/2018 9:00:45 PM

The high kick portion of the 2018 state dance tournament was held Friday at Target Center. Congratulations to all the competing teams.

Here are the top three high kick finishers in each class...

Class 1A
1 Frazee
2 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd
3 Aitkin

Class 2A
1 Sartell-St. Stephen
2 Totino-Grace
3 Faribault

Class 3A
1 Eastview
2 Wayzata
3 Lakeville North



Frazee, Benilde-St. Margaret's, Wayzata Win State Dance/Jazz Titles
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/17/2018 10:28:03 AM

The jazz portion of the 2018 state dance tournament was held Friday at Target Center. Congratulations to all the competing teams. High kick teams will compete on Saturday.

Here are the top three jazz finishers in each class...

Class 1A
1 Frazee
2 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd
3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Class 2A
1 Benilde-St. Margaret's
2 Totino-Grace
3 Sartell-St. Stephen

Class 3A
1 Wayzata
2 Eastview
3 Maple Grove




North Woods Boys Basketball Wants To Head South Again
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:12:39 PM

COOK – On March 25 last year, these words appeared in this space…

The North Woods Grizzlies had a dream season, going 31-2 and playing at Williams Arena and Target Center at state. The word “amazing” was repeated after Saturday’s game.

“It’s been amazing,” said sophomore Cade Goggleye. “We weren’t even supposed to be here.”

Coach Will Kleppe said, “It’s been amazing for our community, our school and of course for our program.”

George Bibeau, a 6-foot-4 center, was the only senior on the North Woods team so we may see more of the Grizzlies in the future.


Those statements were made after the Grizzlies lost to Minneapolis North in the Class 1A state championship game. And “the future” is now for North Woods, which is playing this season like a team with big goals.

Minneapolis North won the last two Class 1A state championships and is now in Class 2A. North Woods has been atop the 1A statewide rankings all season and the Grizzlies moved to 20-0 Tuesday night with a 96-68 home-court victory over International Falls. The only other undefeated Class 1A team is Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (22-0).

Last season marked the Grizzlies’ first appearance at state. An issue this season is keeping their enthusiastic fans, who are looking forward to a return trip, under control.

“The expectations are so high, it’s unbelievable,” said Kleppe. “It’s been kind of surprising, all the talk of getting back to where we were. And there are a lot of stops to be able to get there.”

The North Woods gym was nearly filled to capacity for Tuesday’s game, in which the Grizzlies led 58-40 at halftime. They have scored 100 or more points five times, winning by an average margin of 86-42. Six North Woods players scored in double figures Tuesday, led by Trevor Morrison with 21 and Brendan Parson and Tate Olson with 15 each.

Goggleye, who scored 11 points on Tuesday, leads the team with a 21.8 scoring average. He became the king of highlight reels at last year’s state tournament when he hit a last-second half-court buzzer-beater to lift the Grizzlies past Central Minnesota Christian 54-51 in the quarterfinals at Williams Arena. How often has he been asked about that shot?

“Almost every day,” he said with a smile. “I just remember my teammates piling on me. It kinda hurt. It was a nice feeling.”

Offense grabs the headlines but defense is the Grizzlies’ priority. Their full-court pressure is a riddle for opposing teams, and they can transform turnovers into points at a dizzying pace.

“That’s our main focus in every practice. We have more defense time than offense,” said Parson. “It’s been a thing since (assistant coach) Jerry (Chiabotti) came and we strictly focus on that. Every game we set a defensive goal for what we want and we set a personal goal for what we want to hold our opponent to.”

Kleppe said of his team’s defense, “That is our strength. We get after the ball, we double well, we get a hand on a lot of passes. Coach Chiabotti does a great job with that.”

Despite the No. 1 ranking and unblemished record, there remains an underdog feeling on the team. Goggleye said that’s due to North Woods’ location in northern Minnesota, 226 miles from the Twin Cities and 73 miles from the Canadian border at International Falls.

“We don’t feel pressure because we think we’re still the underdog, because we’re from up north,” Goggleye said. “We’ve just got to get down there and play hard again.”

The Grizzlies’ path through the Section 7 playoffs could be challenging, with the likes of Wrenshall (18-1) and Ely (18-3) in the mix.

“There’s a lot of talk of this and that, as far as what’s coming down the pike,” Kleppe said. “We’ve got a tough section tournament ahead of us. Our job as coaches is not to look ahead and keep everybody focused.”

The memories of last year’s dream season are still fresh, and they provide inspiration for this year’s team.

“It was unreal,” Parson said. “Fans everywhere, big lights, big stage. It was cool. Even the hotel, the bus ride, hanging with the guys, everything was fun.”

And now, with six games remaining in the regular season, the Grizzlies know what needs to be done.

“There’s pressure from the community, but we keep our poise,” Parson said. “We come out and play every game like we did last year, as hard as we can, and the end goal is to get back to state.”

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

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:05:24 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods
2. Springfield
3. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
4. Cass Lake-Bena
5. Mayer Lutheran
6. Hinckley-Finlayson
7. Minneota
8. Westbrook-Walnut Grove
9. Hancock
10. BOLD




Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:05:00 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minneapolis North
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Perham
4. Caledonia
5. Brooklyn Center
6. Holy Family
7. Lake City
8. Melrose
9. St. Charles
10. Annandale



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:04:37 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle
2. Austin
3. Mankato East
4. Marshall
5. Orono
6. Willmar
7. Columbia Heights
8. St. Thomas Academy
9. Mahtomedi
10. Northfield



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:04:13 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Cretin-Derham Hall
2. Hopkins
3. Lakeville North
4. Apple Valley
5. East Ridge
6. Rochester John Marshall
7. Tartan
8. North St. Paul
9. Champlin Park
10. Park Center



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:03:09 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle/Pacelli
2. Mountain Iron-Buhl
3. Hayfield
4. Goodhue
5. Menahga
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West
7. Bigfork
8. Minneota
9. Lac qui Parle Valley
10. Grand Meadow



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:02:48 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

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



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:02:24 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Robbinsdale Cooper
2. Academy of Holy Angels
3. Mahtomedi
4. DeLaSalle
5. Northfield
6. Willmar
7. Alexandria
8. Grand Rapids
9. Hutchinson
10. Waseca



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:01:57 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Eastview
2. Wayzata
3. Hopkins
4. Lakeville North
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Centennial
7. Cretin-Derham Hall
8. Maple Grove
9. Champlin Park
10. Roseville



Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:01:02 PM

From The Guillotine.

Class 1A
1. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1)
2. Frazee (8)
3. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3)
4. Goodhue (1)
5. LPGE-Browerville (5)
6. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
7. West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6)
8. Minneota (3)
9. Ottertail Central (6)
10. Maple River (2)
11. Kenyon-Wanamingo (2)
12. Sibley East (4)
Lean and Mean
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (4), Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (5), Canby (3), Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8), Fosston/Bagley (8), New York Mills (6), Wabasso/Red Rock Central (3), Westfield (2), Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena (7)



Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:00:38 PM

From The Guillotine.

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



Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 6:00:07 PM

From The Guillotine.

Class 3A
1. Shakopee (2)
2. Apple Valley (2)
3. Anoka (7)
4. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
5. Willmar (8)
6. Owatonna (1)
7. Forest Lake (7)
8. Albert Lea Area (1)
9. Prior Lake (2)
10. St. Francis (7)
11. Cambridge-Isanti (7)
12. New Prague (2)
Lean and Mean
Faribault (1), Maple Grove (5), Hastings (3), Mounds View (4), Bemidji (8), St. Cloud Tech (8), Stillwater Area (4), Eagan (3), Northfield (1), Farmington (1), Coon Rapids (7)



Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 5:58:45 PM

CLASS 2A
1 Lakeville North 2AA 148.717
2 Stillwater 4AA 148.358
3 Owatonna 1AA 148.058
4 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 147.817
5 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 147.633
6 East Ridge 3AA 147.158
7 Lakeville South 2AA 146.600
8 Champlin Park 5AA 145.667
9 Maple Grove 5AA 144.908
10 Anoka 7AA 144.600
11 Rosemount 1AA 143.058
12 Prior Lake 2AA 142.942
13 Eden Prairie 6AA 142.900
14 Apple Valley-Eastview 3AA 142.550
15 Eagan 3AA 142.308
16 Wayzata 5AA 141.592
17 Bemidji 8AA 141.533
18 Rogers 5AA 141.033
19 Northfield 1AA 140.583
20 Brainerd 8AA 140.558
21 Buffalo 8AA 140.250
22 New Prague 2AA 140.225
23 Farmington 1AA 139.667
24 Forest Lake 7AA 139.633
25 Roseville Area 4AA 139.233



Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/14/2018 5:58:12 PM

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 151.092
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 147.875
3 Willmar 6A 146.808
4 Mahtomedi 4A 146.267
5 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 145.883
6 Worthington 3A 145.700
7 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 145.275
8 Perham 8A 143.875
9 Melrose Area 6A 143.392
10 Big Lake 7A 143.033
11 Waconia 2A 141.892
12 Monticello 7A 141.692
13 Jackson County Central 3A 141.358
14 North Branch 7A 141.058
15 Becker 7A 141.042
16 New London-Spicer 6A 140.042
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 139.825
18 Austin 1A 138.767
19 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 138.342
20 Mankato West 2A 137.575
21 Breck 5A 137.425
22 Hendricks/RTR 3A 137.425
23 Fergus Falls 8A 137.109
24 Alexandria 8A 136.725
25 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 136.550



Montevideo Dancer Kristin DeJong: Pure Inspiration
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/11/2018 4:30:25 PM

MONTEVIDEO – Kristin DeJong is no different than any other teenager in this southwest Minnesota town. She’s a sophomore in high school who plays volleyball in the fall and is a member of the Montevideo Gold Dusters dance team in the winter.

The fact that she has a partially prosthetic left leg is an absolute afterthought. Absolutely.

“We’ve never doubted anything that she could do,” said her mother, Andrea.

The Gold Dusters did not quality for this weekend’s state dance tournament at Target Center. They made it to state last year and Kristin and the other non-seniors will have more chances to return. The Gold Dusters put on a great show in both categories – jazz and kick – at Saturday’s Class 1A Section 3 championships in the Montevideo gym, but it wasn’t enough to advance from an extremely strong section. Teams from Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, Yellow Medicine East and BOLD will represent Section 3 in both categories at state.

Kristin was 4 years old when she lost her leg below the knee in a lawn mower accident. She was involved in dance before the accident, and it didn’t take very long for her to resume a very normal and active childhood

The accident took place on August 20, 2006, and she began going to Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis in late September. Shriners does amazing work in prosthetics, and Kristin was walking with a prosthesis by late October. She has been routinely fitted with new prosthetics as she has grown.

“No one usually notices,” she said. “I walk normal, like everyone else. Usually people are surprised when I tell them about it.”

For unknowing people watching the Gold Dusters, it would be next to impossible to notice that one of the dancers was unlike the others.

“She does everything that the other dancers do,” said Montevideo coach Amanda Macziewski. “If we come across a move that she struggles with a little bit, she’s open to telling us and we adjust as needed. She’s an amazing dancer, amazing kicks.”

Kristin, who became a varsity dancer last season, isn’t afraid to have a little fun with her friends when the subject is her prosthetic leg.

“One time during softball I got hit (in the prosthetic) with a pitch and the (pitcher) was like, ‘Oooooh.’ But my team was laughing because I walking just fine. As a joke, one of my friends printed the word ‘bruise’ and taped it on my leg. It’s an ongoing joke.”

She has lost a prosthetic leg while tubing, watching it pop off and sink to the bottom of the lake. She has broken them, another sign of how active she is.

“When they’re more stiff on the ankle they don’t bend as much,” she said. “I wear them out pretty fast, jumping up and down and just running. My doctor tells me I wear them out faster than other people because I’m so active.”

Andrea said that after the accident it was difficult for her and her husband, Doug, to imagine what the future would hold. But Kristin can’t be kept down.

“We had no idea what was in store and what she’d be able to do,” Andrea said. “She handles things quite well and she’s a very good communicator. She lets us know how things are going and if anything is changing.” (Pictured are the Gold Dusters; Kristin is in the front row, fourth from right.)

Kristin gets fitted for a new prosthesis every six months to a year, depending on her growth rate. As a member of the Montevideo kick team, she and her teammates wear matching black shoes and leggings while performing. It’s possible to see the upper cuff of the prosthetic leg sticking out ever so slightly just under Kristin’s knee, but she has to be in the right position for it to be visible.

“People don’t notice it and they’re amazed when they do,” Andrea said. “Being from small communities, word of mouth gets around, and we have friends in other towns. People come up to us and say she’s an inspiration.”

Kristin looks exactly like everyone else on the floor because she is exactly like everyone else on the floor.

“She’s definitely given the girls something to push forward to,” said Macziewski. “She’s never used it as an excuse for not being able to do anything. The girls treat her just like anybody else.”

Which is exactly how Kristin wants it.

“I love going to competitions and competing,” she said. “And I like the family part, being part of the team.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Waseca One-Act Play Honors Hometown Soldier’s Memory
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:23:40 PM

Barry Erickson wants his son Caleb, who died way too young, to be remembered. Caleb Erickson, a 20-year-old Marine who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2014, was a graduate of Waseca High School, and the school’s theater department has been paying tribute to Caleb in a special and very personal way.

The one-act play “Booby Trap,” which Waseca students have been performing this winter, is a work of fiction in which a soldier accidentally sits on a landmine and cannot move.

The play “kind of shows him reliving his past, and his future, which he hasn’t seen yet. And him having to cope with maybe giving his own life up,” said Waseca senior Garrett Natysin, who plays the soldier in the school production.

“Booby Trap” also was performed this spring by Springfield and Jordan high schools in Minnesota, and has been performed by hundreds of other schools around the country since 2001. It was written by Ed Monk, a longtime high school theater teacher and playwright in Virginia.

After rehearsals had begun, Waseca theater director Karen Pfarr Anderson had an idea. One of her friends is Rue Erickson, Caleb’s older sister. Karen contacted Rue with an idea: “We should do this for Caleb. I talked to Rue first and said I didn’t want to do it without their blessing. We talked about raising money and we thought we might get a couple hundred bucks because not many people come to the play.”

What happened was amazing. People heard about the play and the efforts to raise money, and they came to see the play in droves. There is normally no fee for one-act plays at school, but donations were accepted and the dollar figure has reached nearly $2,000.

“Besides Caleb being a humble guy, we are not, as a family, going to let his memory disappear,” said his father after the play was performed at Lakeville South in the Class 2A Section 1 finals. “We may be a little arrogant about that once in a while, but that kid deserves to be remembered. When I heard about this play and that they were doing it in honor of Caleb and his memory, and to raise a few bucks to help out other Marines, it just wound me up completely.”

Natysin and Allison Dufault, who portrays the soldier’s wife in “Booby Trap,” are Waseca seniors who were in junior high when Caleb was killed. (Caleb is pictured.)

“We have received so much support from our community,” Allison said. “It’s been incredible to be able to do something for people who give so much to us. And it’s really opened our eyes to what being in the military means.”

The donations have gone to the Caleb Erickson Memorial Fund, which is dedicated to helping veterans in need. Veterans from Waseca and beyond have seen the play, and the high school students are aware of the impact they have had on the wider community.

“We’re usually doing comedies and slapstick,” Allison said. “So it’s really amazing to be able to do something that has a lot of substance and means a lot to people. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Most of the students involved in the play didn’t know Caleb personally and some were not fully aware of the sacrifices made by members of the military and their families.

“This is a great opportunity for them to learn about this hometown hero,” Pfarr Anderson said. “To not only understand the sacrifice that he gave, but that all military men and women give. Whether they come home or not, that’s the price they put on the line.”

When Barry Erickson attended rehearsal and saw the performance for the first time, it was emotional for everybody. He spoke to the students, telling them, “I see Caleb in each one of your faces.”

“That touched my heart,” Pfarr Anderson said, “it touched the kids’ hearts, and that made them want to do the best they possibly could. They would do that anyway, but it added something that you almost can’t describe. It added a different element.”

One-act play is an MSHSL activity, and this year’s season will culminate with the state festival Thursday and Friday at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on the campus of St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Waseca did not advance to state, but the competitive side of the activity was almost an afterthought to them.

“When we started talking about competing, they were like, ‘I haven’t thought about that,’ ” Pfarr Anderson said. “They were so focused on ‘This is for Caleb. This is for his family.’ Because this story is not just about the man, the soldier, it’s about the people they leave behind. That really meant a lot to the kids.”

Garrett and other actors wear military uniforms on stage, with the uniforms and patches donated by Waseca area veterans. Among the service members who have seen the play is the soldier who delivered Caleb’s dog tags to his family. (Pictured are the cast and crew with Caleb's family.)

Before the play was performed in Waseca, Caleb’s dad spoke to the audience.

“I explained the anger I felt that he is not with us anymore and he deserves to be,” Barry said. “He deserved to see this play. He deserved to have babies. It wasn’t meant to be. He was not scared of dying. He was a Marine and that’s the Marine spirit.

“These kids do this with all their heart. You can tell they’re determined to do a good job, whether they knew him or not.”

Pfarr Anderson said, “While we are saddened that this show is ending, we know that what we've done with it will last. I know and every one of my cast and crew members know that we accomplished infinitely more than we ever dreamed with this show. We put together a wonderful show that was powerful, purposeful, and performed with attention to detail and reality.

“We made new friends in the Erickson family and the contingent of veterans and supporters that came to see us and our show. Most importantly, we learned about, remembered, and honored a wonderful young man, Caleb Erickson, and raised almost $2,000 for his memorial fund. That gift and the lessons about bravery and service these kids learned will go on to do far more than winning a trophy.”

For more information and to donate, go to https://www.calebericksonmemorial.com

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:18:40 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods 18-0
2. Springfield 18-1
3. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 19-0
4. Cass Lake-Bena 20-1
5. Mayer Lutheran 17-3
6. Hinckley-Finlayson 18-2
7. Sacred Heart 18-1
8. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 17-1
9. Hancock 16-1
10. Minneota 17-2
11. Wesrbrook-Walnut-Grove 17-3
12. Wrenshall 16-1
13. Southwest MN Christian 14-4
14. Rushford-Peterson 16-6
15. Nevis 16-3
16. Parkers Prairie 16-2
17. Cleveland 15-4
18. BOLD 16-4
19. New Ulm Cathedral 16-5
20. Ortonville 15-4



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:18:08 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minneapolis North 14-4
2. Minnehaha Academy 16-4
3. Perham 19-0
4. Caledonia 16-3
5. Brooklyn Center 14-6
6. Holy Family Catholic 13-4
7. Lake City 17-3
8. Melrose 18-2
9. St. Charles 17-3
10. Annandale 14-4
11. St. Cloud Cathedral 14-4
12. Esko 15-4
13. Byron 15-5
14. Breckenridge 16-3
15. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 17-1
16. Jordan 17-4
17. Eden Valley-Watkins 15-1
18. Kimball 15-4
19. Virginia 14-3
20. Cristo Rey Jesuit 15-2



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:17:27 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 14-3
2. Austin 18-1
3. Mankato East 16-2
4. Marshall 17-3
5. Orono 14-5
6. Willmar 18-0
7. Columbia Heights 14-2
8. St. Thomas Academy 12-7
9. Mahtomedi 13-6
10. Northfield 13-5
11. Sauk Rapids-Rice 14-6
12. Waseca 16-3
13. Fridley 12-5
14. St. Paul Johnson 14-4
15. Totino-Grace 9-10
16. Monticello 15-5
17. Minneapolis Roosevelt 11-6
18. Robbinsdale Cooper 10-6
19. Waconia 11-8
20. Bemidji 13-6



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:16:57 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Cretin-Derham Hall 16-1
2. Hopkins 20-1
3. Lakeville North 17-2
4. Eden Prairie 15-3
5. Apple Valley 15-4
6. Osseo 15-3
7. Rochester John Marshall 18-2
8. North St. Paul 16-3
9. Champlin Park 13-6
10. Park Center 15-4
11. East Ridge 13-5
12. Wayzata 12-7
13. Edina 12-6
14. Woodbury 12-7
15. Forest Lake 14-6
16. Owatonna 14-4
17. Tartan 15-3
18. Chaska 13-5
19. Prior Lake 15-3
20. Maple Grove 14-5



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:16:24 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 21-1
2. Mountain Iron-Buhl 21-2
3. Hayfield 17-4
4. Goodhue 17-5
5. Menahga 19-0
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West 17-1
7. Bigfork 20-2
8. Minneota 17-4
9. Stephen-Argyle 19-2
10. Lac Qui Parle Valley 19-3
11. Grand Meadow 18-4
12. Red Lake 18-3
13. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 16-6
14. Mayer Lutheran 14-7
15. Wabasso 16-3
16. Parkers Prairie 17-2
17. BOLD 18-5
18. Sleepy Eye 17-4
19. Southwest MN Christian 16-3
20. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 17-3



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:15:55 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 20-0
2. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 19-1
3. Maranatha Christian 16-3
4. Roseau 16-4
5. Minnehaha Academy 13-6
6. Rush City 16-1
7. Holy Family 14-5
8. Norwood-Young America 20-3
9. Stewartville 18-4
10. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 20-1
11. Eden Valley-Watkins 19-2
12. Watertown-Mayer 16-5
13. New London-Spicer 15-6
14. St. Peter 14-6
15. Rochester Lourdes 15-8
16. Barnesville 16-3
17. Duluth Marshall 18-2
18. St. Cloud Cathedral 16-4
19. East Grand Forks 16-5
20. Annandale 13-7



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:15:27 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Robbinsdale Cooper 17-2
2. Mahtomedi 17-1
3. DeLaSalle 13-4
4. Holy Angels 19-3
5. Northfield 17-3
6. Willmar 17-2
7. Hutchinson 16-5
8. Alexandria 17-3
9. Hermantown 20-2
10. Fergus Falls 15-5
11. Red Wing 15-4
12. Waseca 18-3
13. Grand Rapids 15-7
14. Waconia 16-5
15. Chisago Lakes 13-7
16. New Ulm 16-5
17. Mankato West 14-6
18. Hill-Murray 12-8
19. Benilde-St. Margaret’s 14-6
20. St. Paul Como Park 13-7



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:14:57 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Eastview 19-0
2. Wayzata 21-0
3. Hopkins 19-3
4. Lakeville North 16-5
5. St. Michael-Albertville 18-3
6. Centennial 18-3
7. Cretin-Derham Hall 14-3
8. Maple Grove 17-4
9. Champlin Park 17-4
10. Roseville 14-5
11. Park-Cottage Grove 16-4
12. Moorhead 12-8
13. Minnetonka 11-8
14. Park Center 13-8
15. Minneapolis South 17-2
16. Apple Valley 12-9
17. Farmington 14-7
18. Anoka 14-8
19. Eden Prairie 13-8
20. Stillwater 12-9



Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:14:03 PM

Provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 148.350
2 Owatonna 1AA 148.058
3 Lakeville North 2AA 147.717
4 East Ridge 3AA 146.858
5 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 146.833
6 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 146.758
7 Lakeville South 2AA 146.600
8 Maple Grove 5AA 144.908
9 Anoka 7AA 144.600
10 Rosemount 1AA 143.058
11 Champlin Park 5AA 142.833
12 Apple Valley-Eastview 3AA 142.383
13 Eden Prairie 6AA 142.200
14 Prior Lake 2AA 141.775
15 Eagan 3AA 141.625
16 Wayzata 5AA 141.592
17 Rogers 5AA 140.783
18 Bemidji 8AA 140.283
19 Buffalo 8AA 140.250
20 New Prague 2AA 139.867
21 Brainerd 8AA 139.367
22 Farmington 1AA 139.308
23 Northfield 1AA 139.208
24 Saint Francis 7AA 139.142
25 Forest Lake 7AA 139.108



Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/7/2018 6:13:36 PM

Provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 151.092
2 Willmar 6A 146.808
3 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 146.625
4 Mahtomedi 4A 145.925
5 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 145.883
6 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 145.275
7 Worthington 3A 144.500
8 Perham 8A 143.700
9 Big Lake 7A 143.033
10 Waconia 2A 41.892
11 Monticello 7A 141.317
12 Melrose Area 6A 140.900
13 Becker 7A 140.667
14 North Branch 7A 140.583
15 Jackson County Central 3A 140.433
16 Chisago Lakes 7A 139.825
17 New London-Spicer 6A 139.417
18 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 138.342
19 Austin 1A 137.775
20 Mankato West 2A 137.125
21 Fergus Falls 8A 137.109
22 Breck 5A 136.892
23 Hendricks/RTR 3A 136.783
24 Alexandria 8A 136.625
25 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 134.975



Honoring A Hometown Hero At St. Paul Como Park
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 2/5/2018 10:27:10 PM

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter was standing at center court in the gymnasium at St. Paul Como Park High School on Monday evening, speaking about an athlete who has and is inspiring countless young people in the community.

It was halftime of a St. Paul City Conference girls basketball game between Harding and Como Park. Halftime stretched a little longer than usual, with a 17-minute ceremony that was equal parts celebration and inspiration. The star of the show was Andrayah Adams, a 2016 Como Park grad who is a sophomore basketball player at St. John’s University in New York.

The objective was to do something that had never been done before: retire the jersey number of a Como Park girls basketball player. And during the halftime ceremony, it became very clear how much Andrayah means to the Como Park and wider St. Paul community.

“This is beyond Como,” Carter told the cheering crowd. “This is the whole city of St. Paul celebrating right now.”

He turned to face Andrayah as he said, “Athletic accomplishments are very important, because young people in our community, people of all ages, are looking to you and seeing an example. When they look at how you pushed yourself to heights and greatness, it’s an example of what we can do ourselves. What’s even more important than the athleticism that you show is the leadership that you’ve shown in this community. You’ve inspired people to be their best selves, starting with your teammates.”

During the first half of Como Park’s 67-36 victory, Andrayah sat on the bench with the Cougars. After the halftime ceremony, she spent the second half visiting with friends in the bleachers, posing for photos and signing autographs. She seemed just a little bit overwhelmed … and who wouldn’t be?

“I used to be in the gym all the time,” she said. “I lived here. This is pretty cool.”

It also was pretty cool that she and St. John's coach Joe Tartamella were able to get away from their Division I season for one day. The Red Storm won a home game against Xavier 70-36 Sunday in Queens, and don’t play again until they go to Villanova in Philadelphia on Friday.

“I’m glad I was able to get away to be here,” Andrayah said. “We had a day off today and go back tomorrow.”

Monday’s victory gave the Como Park Cougars a record of 13-7 this season, including 9-0 in the City Conference. Adams played a large role in helping build the program. The Cougars are chasing their fourth consecutive conference title and they have a conference record of 43-1 in that time, winning 36 consecutive conference games.

Other halftime speakers included Como Park coach Alexis Gray-Larson, principal Theresa Neal, former and current teammates, Andrayah’s siblings Raiyne and Robert and parents Patrick and Leigh. Raiyne is a senior on the Como Park girls basketball team and Robert is a senior on the boys team.

Surrounded by players, coaches, family and friends, Andryah was handed a beautifully framed Cougars jersey bearing her famous No. 15. No one on the Como Park girls basketball team will ever wear that number again.

But No. 15 will live on for Andrayah … it’s also her number in college.

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

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



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