Home      Administration




“Minnesota Made Me” Is A Book For Every Sports Fan
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/30/2019

While watching the NCAA basketball tournament on Friday evening, I flipped between games involving Duke and Kentucky. As this happened, I Tweeted the following: "Kinda cool to flip from Duke/Tre Jones to Kentucky/Reid Travis. Minnesota: State of Basketball."

Tre Jones, like his big brother Tyus, was a high school athlete at Apple Valley before playing at Duke. Reid Travis was a star at DeLaSalle High School before playing at Stanford and now Kentucky. As I write this, I'm watching Gonzaga play Texas Tech in the tournament; another DeLaSalle grad, Geno Crandall, plays for Gonzaga.

Minnesota is a state of hockey, a state of basketball, football, baseball, you name it. Minnesotans are a proud lot, whether that pride is focused on our lakes and rivers, our forests and other natural areas, our wonderful lifestyle or our athletes.

“Our” athletes are the focus of a terrific book published recently. It's titled “Minnesota Made Me” and it’s the perfect embodiment of the pride Minnesotans take in our favorite home-grown athletes. Thirty-eight individuals are profiled in the book, written by Pat Borzi, a longtime Minnesota journalist. The foreward is written by Sid Hartman, the 99-year-old sports columnist from the Minneapolis Star Tribune whose byline first appeared in 1945.

Pat and I have something in common: Neither of us are Minnesota natives. I grew up in an Iowa town about 20 miles south of the Minnesota state line, so I like to claim that I’m an honorary native of this great state. Pat is an East Coast guy who worked at newspapers in Maine, Florida, New York and New Jersey before moving to Minnesota for love; he is married to veteran Minneapolis Star Tribune sports reporter Rachel Blount, a romance that blossomed from their time covering several Olympics together. They are the finest people I know.

Pat is a noted freelance sports reporter, contributing to MinnPost and covering the midwestern American sporting scene for The New York Times. He’s lived in this state for nearly 20 years and has come to know many of Minnesota’s highest-level athletes. In this book, he tells their stories. I learned a lot.

For example, I always knew that Matt Birk had played football and earned a degree at Harvard. But I didn’t know that his decision to say yes to an offer from Harvard was a yes-or-go-home thing. Birk visited the campus the very day the football coach had to submit his list of recruits to the admissions office, so he asked Birk point-blank if he was in. The book quotes Birk, “And I said, ‘If I get into Harvard, I’ll come.’ And I did."

In Birk’s senior year, he thrived under first-year offensive line coach Joe Philbin (a future NFL head coach). That single season helped catapult Birk to a long NFL career with the Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.

I have known Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer for many years from my time covering the team as a newspaper reporter. I knew he had grown up in the little Minnesota hamlet of Dumont. I learned in “Minnesota Made Me” that Dick was adopted, for which he is clearly grateful.

If there is a theme that runs throughout the profiles in the book, it can be summed up by a comment from Bremer: “For work ethic, the one thing I took from my parents and the people I was surrounded by in Dumont was, if you commit yourself to something, then it is a commitment – you see it through to the end, and you devote yourself to that particular challenge.”

Many of the athletes profiled in the book are very familiar names: Lindsay Whalen, Adam Thielen, Tyus Jones, Herb Brooks and others. But Borzi didn’t just write about current athletes who everybody knows so well. He goes back in time with chapters about golf legend Patty Berg and 1941 Heisman Trophy winner Bruce Smith, as well as soccer stars Tony Sanneh and Briana Scurry, Olympic curling champion John Shuster and others.

The profiles are in alphabetic order, beginning with Patty Berg and ending with Lindsay Whalen. Those are two fine bookends to this project; Berg was born in 1918 and we all know almost everything about Whalen.

Whalen, the basketball legend whose playing career wound from Hutchinson High School to the University of Minnesota to the WNBA and the Olympics, is now the Gophers women’s basketball coach. After graduating from high school and before starting college, Whalen worked a summer job on a 3M assembly line in Hutchinson; that’s where her father was employed for many years.

One morning at 5 a.m., facing a 12-hour shift that would start at 6 a.m., a young, tired Lindsay begged her dad to let her skip work that day and go back to bed. Her father insisted that they were both going to work. She asked, “You can’t just tell my boss I couldn’t sleep (all night)?” He answered, “No. If you want to get fired, that’s your deal. We’re going to work.”

Borzi writes … “It taught Whalen about responsibility and accountability, lessons she still brings to everything she does; Do your best. No griping. No excuses. And most important, never disappoint those relying on you.”

Responsibility. Accountability. No excuses. Hard work. Those words provide an underlying theme to everything that’s great about Minnesota. And “Minnesota Made Me” is now part of that greatness.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to “Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Henning Hornets: Life Is Bigger Than Basketball
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/23/2019

Jacob Lewis Quam, age 16, of Vining, MN, formerly of Montrose and Delano, passed away Thursday, April 13, 2017, due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

The story of Henning High School's 2019 state championship in Class 1A boys basketball begins with an obituary. Jacob's death -- but more than that his life -- inspired the Hornets, particularly the four seniors on this year's team. They played for Jacob, had his No. 33 jersey with them at all times, and wrapped up a miraculous season with a 67-42 victory over North Woods in Saturday's championship game at Target Center.

Jacob attended Henning High School, where he was active in football, basketball, trapshooting, and weight lifting. He loved the outdoors, and enjoyed deer, duck, and goose hunting, fishing, farming, snowmobiling, and riding dirt bike. His great sense of humor, sharp wit, and kind heart will be greatly missed.

Orange-clad Henning fans came out in force to cheer for their boys, often holding up three fingers in each hand to signify Jacob's number or chanting "City Boy! City Boy!" … that was his nickname because he had previously lived in the metropolis of Delano.

"It's been tremendous and small towns are that way a lot," Henning coach Randy Misegades said of the support. "We've come together even moreso through (Jacob) and kind of learned a lot about life in general and that it's bigger than basketball."

As the final horn sounded Saturday, senior Dylan Trana held up Jacob’s jersey in front of the Hornets fans as they roared. During the awards ceremony, a gold medal hanging from a blue ribbon was placed on the black plastic hanger that held Jacon’s jersey. More roars.

Jacob was an excellent student and always received academic distinction on the honor roll. He was an incredible source of pride for his family, and all who knew him considered him to be an exceptional young man.

--To see photos of the Hornets with Jacob's jersey, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.


Tournament Tidbits

--There was a wonderful pregame moment at Target Center before Saturday’s first game. Grace Pingeon, a junior from Springfield, was doing a simple sound check as she prepared to sing the national anthem in half an hour or so. She sang a few bars, people started standing, and she went on to sing the entire song. It was great. And it was followed by an encore once the TV telecast began.

--At halftime of the Class 1A championship game, Distinguished Service Awards were awarded to longtime officials Len Brown, Lauren Else, Chuck Evert, Mike Karnas, Georgianne Kornfuehrer, Tim Litfin, Ron Poeschel and Ann Suits.

--At halftime of the Class 3A game, longtime St. Cloud Times sportswriter Tom Elliott was honored as a recipient of the MSHSL Media Service Award.

Wells Fargo All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A: Isaac Fink, Decker Scheffler, Springfield; Mason Miller, Ada-Borup; Ethan Matzke, Alex Folz, Spring Grove; Cade Goggleye, Trevor Morrison, North Woods; Parker Fraki, Sam Fisher, Isaac Fisher, Henning.

Class 2A: Preston Keaveny, Melrose; Finn Diggins, Perham; Nathan Heise, Reid Gastner, Lake City; Nasir El-Amin, Davon Townley Jr., Eli Campbell, Minneapolis North; Jalen Suggs, Prince Aligbe, Chet Holmgren, Minnehaha Academy.

Class 3A: J’Vonne Hadley, Mahtomedi; Max Gerstner, Holy Angels; Adam Williams, Princeton; Medi Obang, Austin; Kyreese Willingham, Andrew Morgan, Malik Willingham, Waseca; Tyrell Terry, Jamison Battle, Kameron Givens, DeLaSalle.

Class 4A: Drake Dobbs, Eden Prairie; Courtney Brown, East Ridge; Tommy Chatman, Dain Dainja, Park Center; Tommy Jenssen, Tyler Wahl, Jack Rusch, Lakeville North; Dane Zimmer, Kerwin Walton, Zeke Nnaji, Hopkins.

Tournament Scores

Class 1A
Fifth-place game: Springfield 91, Westbrook-Walnut Grove 61
Third-place game: Spring Grove 72, Ada-Borup 68 (OT)
Championship game: Henning 67, North Woods 42

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Melrose 66, Esko 57
Third-place game: Lake City 51, Perham 47
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 69, Minneapolis North 52

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: Holy Angels 80, Mahtomedi 73
Third-place game: Austin 88, Princeton 76
Championship game: DeLaSalle 63, Waseca 56

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Eden Prairie 76, Eastview 65
Third-place game: Park Center vs. East Ridge
Championship game: Hopkins 55, Lakeville North 40

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to "Preps Today with John Millea" wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Got It, Shot It, Made It: 'The Shot We’ll Remember Forever'
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/22/2019

The scene was set and everyone knew who was going to take the shot. In Friday's Class 1A boys basketball state semifinals at Target Center, North Woods trailed Ada-Borup 55-54 with 30 seconds to play. North Woods senior Cade Goggleye then missed a three-point shot, committed a foul and missed another three-pointer.

With four seconds left, the Grizzlies called a timeout. They had the ball, inbounding from behind the Ada-Borup basket and everyone knew who was going to take the shot.

Goggleye. From the right corner. Three-pointer. Pandemonium. Grizzlies win 57-55.

Two years ago, in the state quarterfinals at Williams Arena, Goggleye hit a half-court bomb at the buzzer to beat Central Minnesota Christian 54-51. This time, everyone knew who was going to take the shot.

"I thought we defended it very well. The kid made a tough shot," said Ada-Borup coach Trevor Stewart.

North Woods coach Will Kleppe said, "When it came down to it, we had the ball in the hands of the man who we wanted to have it. He put up the shot that we'll remember forever."

If not for Cade's last-second heroics, the Grizzlies wouldn't be playing in their third consecutive state championship game Saturday afternoon. Their opponent, Henning, advanced with a 67-34 win over Spring Grove. Both are going after their first state title.

Mason Miller, who led Ada-Borup with 20 points, gave credit to Goggleye (who scored 18).

“That was an amazing shot. Just an incredible shot,” he said. “We played outstanding in the second half and it just comes down to dumb luck sometimes.”

Goggleye, first saying “I have no words for it,” described things this way: “Before the play began I told myself I was going to make it if I got it. I got it, shot it, made it.”

Tournament Tidbits

--Ada-Borup junior Verdis Barber made history last spring during track season when he was the last athlete to ever compete for the Panthers of Norman County West High School. The high school, located in Halstad in northwest Minnesota, closed its doors when the 2017-18 school year ended. Most of the students in grades six through 12 now attend Ada-Borup. Barber’s historic designation came in the preliminaries of the Class 1A state track meet, where he ran a leg on the 4x100-meter relay team for the then-Ada-Borup-NCW cooperative squad. He and Ada-Borup students Brady Borgen, Vitor Vac Bitu Alves and Zach Pelzman did not advance to the finals.

--A number of head coaches in the 1A boys state tournament have sons on their teams, including: Spring Grove: Wade Grinde and son Caden; Ada-Borup: Trevor Stewart and son Tommy; and North Woods: Will Kleppe and son Davis.

--Spring Grove senior Ethan Matzke lost a tooth during Friday’s game, which led to a quick search of the court before it was located. Ethan is not a hockey player, but it was a fake tooth.

--When DeLaSalle and Waseca meet in Saturday’s Class 3A championship game, history – recent and extremely past – will be part of the story. DeLaSalle is trying to win the title for the seventh time in eight years. The last time Waseca won it all, and the only time, was in 1918.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Friday’s Class 1A semifinals
Noon: Henning 67, Spring Grove 34
North Woods 57, Ada-Borup 55

Saturday’s championship game
11 a.m.: Henning vs. North Woods

Friday’s Class 2A semifinals
Minnehaha Academy 82, Lake City 52
Minneapolis North 62, Perham 46

Saturday’s championship game
1 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy vs. Minneapolis North

Class 3A
Saturday’s championship game
5 p.m.: DeLaSalle vs. Waseca

Class 4A
Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m.: Lakeville North vs. Hopkins

--Championship games televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to “Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Remember Wabasso vs. Red Lake? Westbrook-Walnut Grove Coach Does
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/21/2019

Twenty-two years ago, one of the most famous games in boys state basketball tournament history was played at the St. Paul Civic Center. Just say the words "Wabasso vs. Red Lake" and people smile at the memory.

In the 1997 Class 1A semifinals, Wabasso held a 14-point lead with 1 minute, 15 seconds to play in the fourth quarter (yes, four eight-minute quarters were used then instead of the current 18-minute halves). Red Lake rallied to tie the score and send the game into overtime, where Wabasso came away with a 117-113 victory.

The game lives on in the tournament record book: Most points by a winning team, most points by a losing team, most field goals made (48 by Red Lake) and attempted (87 by Red Lake). Red Lake sophomore Gerald Kingbird scored 37 points and Wabasso junior Derrick Jenniges scored 31.

Jenniges (pictured) returned to state for the first time (other than as a fan) on Thursday. Now 39 years old, he's the head coach at Westbrook-Walnut Grove, which was defeated by North Woods 56-39 in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena. He's in his 16th season as coach of the Chargers but memories from that 1997 game are vivid.

"I remember the same things I'm experiencing here," he said, "the community support and excitement all around. All the well-wishes from surrounding teams and officials and coaches. That never really changes. But as far as the game itself, we knew the game was going to be fast. It was just a pretty amazing environment. Since then I've ran across Gerald Kingbird a couple times and it's kind of neat to have those conversations."

Wabasso then lost in the state championship game to Hancock 60-58.

“I remember we didn't win that game,” Jenniges said with a laugh. “Nobody else around the state remembers who won the championship that year.”

Westbrook-Walnut Grove came to state this year with a record of 23-7. In a winter marked by horrible weather, the Chargers have been something to rally around for their fans in southwest Minnesota.

“It’s been a real community event, especially this winter when all you could talk about was snow and weather and school was out again,” said Jenniges, who teaches first grade in the district and is a high-level football official, having worked two Prep Bowl games. “It’s kind of a fresh conversation.”

In a school with an enrollment of 100 students in grades nine through 12, there are only 17 boys playing basketball. The roster includes two eighth-graders, four ninth-graders, six sophomores, one junior and four seniors. Multiple players have been injured or ill at different times, but “We finally feel like in the last three weeks we’ve been healthy enough to hit our stride,” the coach said.

“I don’t think I have a kid on my roster who’s ever attended the state tournament, let alone thought about playing in it,” Jenniges said earlier this week. “We’ll get there early and take a look around. It won’t be like we’re walking on the moon. Once the ball goes up, it’s a basketball game.”

Henning Plays For Jacob

Every player on the Henning basketball team has two initials sewn on the back of their jersey, just below the neckline. The letters JQ stand for Jacob Quam, who would have been a senior captain on this year’s Hornets team. His jersey (number 33) also is with the team on the bench and in the locker room; the team brought the jersey to Jacob’s gravesite before they left for the state tournament.

Jacob was killed on April 13, 2017, when the driver of a semi crossed the center line and collided with Jacob’s vehicle.

The Hornets defeated Christ’s Household of Faith 63-56 in Thursday’s Class 1A quarterfinals and will meet Spring Grove in the semifinals Friday at Target Center.

“In every game, we know he’s there,” said Henning senior Sam Fisher, who led all scorers with 20 points Thursday.

Tournament Tidbits

--Among the assistant coaches at Spring Grove is one of the most successful head coaches in history. Before stepping down after the 2017-18 season, Tom Vix coached at Rushford-Peterson for 33 years, compiling a record of 683-229. His teams went to 16 state tournaments and won titles in 1989, 2006 and 2015. The unseeded Lions, making their first state appearance, beat top-seeded Springfield 78-67 on Thursday behind 60-percent shooting.

“I think it’s just confidence,” said Spring Grove senior Alex Folz, who quarterbacked the Lions to the last two nine-man football state championships and scored 21 points Thursday. “Coach Vix has been here multiple times. He brought us here early to get us adapted to the light, so when we came in it was just another game. You’ve just got to shoot your shots. We wanted to move the ball and get wide-open shots and that’s what we did. I think confidence is the main reason we shot so well.”

--Cromwell-Wright senior Jaden Gronner wears a cap to protect a cochlear implant and hearing aid. Coach Bill Pocernich wears an FM sound system that hangs around his neck in order to help Jaden hear him.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Thursday’s Class 1A quarterfinals
Spring Grove 78, Springfield 67
Henning 63, Christ’s Household of Faith 56
Ada-Borup 49, Cromwell-Wright 39
North Woods 56, Westbrook-Walnut Grove 39

Friday’s 1A semifinals
Noon: Spring Grove vs. Henning
2 p.m.: Ada-Borup vs. North Woods

Friday’s 2A semifinals
6 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy vs. Lake City
8 p.m.: Minneapolis North vs. Perham

Class 3A
Thursday’s semifinals
DeLaSalle 93, Princeton 54
Waseca 79, Austin 69

Saturday’s championship game
5 p.m.: DeLaSalle vs. Waseca

Class 4A
Thursday’s semifinals
Lakeville North 47, Park Center 45
Hopkins 71, East Ridge 47

Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m.: Lakeville North vs. Hopkins

--All semifinals and championship games televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to “Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



After 87 Years, Princeton Makes Most Of Return To State
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/20/2019

Before the boys basketball team from Princeton High School came to Williams Arena on Wednesday to play in the state tournament for the first time in 87 years, they visited the middle school and the elementary school and received congratulations from every kid in town. As coach Brett Cloutier described it, "We high-fived a thousand kids."

And then it was time for hands off, which is Cloutier's coaching style.

The Tigers made their return to state a memorable one, defeating Mahtomedi 68-63 while playing a free-and-easy, up-and-down style of basketball that has become their trademark.

"From a coaching perspective, we're super hands-off with our guys," said Cloutier, 30, who is in his sixth year coaching the Tigers. “We really let them go play and make decisions. We're not in the business of micro-managing high school kids on where they should be on the court every possession. And our kids just played great. I'm so proud of this group.”

Princeton has been to state twice before, in 1924 and 1932. They played two games in 1932 and lost both (and if you have results from the 1924 tournament you are quite a historian). Combined with Mahtomedi’s first time at state since 1961, that’s a combined absence of 145 years.

“It’s so much fun. It’s so good for the town,” said senior Adam Williams, whose 17 points Wednesday led four Tigers in double figures. Williams made five of 17 field-goal attempts, and all five of those were from three-point range. He also had seven rebounds and four steals, both game bests.

“I’ve never come across an athlete that’s as confident as Adam Williams,” Cloutier said. “When things get tough, it’s great to have Adam on the court because you know he’s going to step up, he’s going to take that shot because he has all the confidence in the world.”

Mahtomedi’s main weapon is 6-foot-6 junior J’Vonne Hadley, who averages 28 points per game. He scored 32 Wednesday, and that was just fine with the Princeton Tigers, whose plan was to let Hadley get his points and keep everyone else under control. Zac Centers had 15 points for the Zephyrs and no one else had more than five.

“We said keep him at his average, don’t let anyone else go off,” the coach explained. “Our guys executed the scouting report phenomenally.”

Williams said the Tigers have been on a mission all season; in fact, the mission began last season when they were knocked out of the Section 7 tournament by Chisago Lakes.

“I knew it last year,” he said. “And then we got upset. When that happened last year in the section semis, we all kind of locked in and focused up and knew we needed to get here this year.”

Tournament Tidbits

--In an 86-53 Class 4A loss to Hopkins on Wednesday at Target Center, the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets made 11 three-point shots in 31 attempts. That brought their season total to 361 three-point baskets, which is a state record. The previous record of 360 was set by Pine City in 2018. Cambridge-Isanti's 361 ranks 11th all-time nationally and Pine City's 360 is 12th. The national record is 486 by Texas' Houston Cypress Ridge in 2012-13.

--There was quite a coaching contrast in one of the Class 2A quarterfinals at Williams Arena. Minneapolis North's Larry McKenzie is in his 20th season as a head coach and came to state with a record of 414-148. Esko's Derek Anderson, meanwhile, is a first-year head coach whose team arrived at the tournament with a record of 21-9. North won the matchup 61-53.

--One of the best scenes during Wednesday’s games at Williams Arena: A loss already certain (the final score was 68-52 vs. Austin), Monticello starters joyfully celebrated on the bench as reserves made great hustle plays. Coach Jason Schmidt said, “We talk about being reckless for one another and that moment is the definition of having a reckless love for one another.”

--Gary Revenig might be the busiest person at the boys state basketball tournament. He's the activities director at Monticello, which is playing in Class 3A, and Wednesday he was one of the officials for the Class 2A game between Redwood Valley and Perham.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals

Class 4A
At Target Center
Park Center 77, Maple Grove 56
Lakeville North 73, Eden Prairie 48
Hopkins 86, Cambridge-Isanti 53
East Ridge 78, Eastview 41

Class 3A
At Williams Arena
DeLaSalle 76, Bemidji 45
Princeton 68, Mahtomedi 63
Waseca 82, Holy Angels 62
Austin 68, Monticello 52

Class 2A
At Target Center
Minnehaha Academy 78, St. Peter 47
Lake City 60, Melrose 44
At Williams Arena
Minneapolis North 61, Esko 53
Perham 73, Redwood Valley 58

Friday’s semifinals at Target Center
6 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy vs. Lake City
Noon: Minneapolis North vs. Perham

Thursday’s Quarterfinals
Class 1A at Williams Arena
11 a.m./ Spring Grove vs. Springfield
1 p.m./ Christ’s Household of Faith vs. Henning
3 p.m./ Cromwell-Wright vs. Ada-Borup
5 p.m./Westbrook-Walnut Grove vs. North Woods

Thursday’s Semifinals
At Target Center

Class 3A
Noon: DeLaSalle vs. Princeton
2 p.m.: Waseca vs. Austin

Class 4A:
6 p.m.: Park Center vs. Lakeville North
8 p.m.: Hopkins vs. East Ridge

--All quarterfinals webcast for free by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL. All semifinals and championship games televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to “Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Class 4A Boys State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/19/2019

Quarterfinal pairings

Wednesday at Target Center
10 a.m./ Maple Grove v #1 Park Center
Noon/ #5 Lakeville North v #4 Eden Prairie
2 p.m./ Cambridge-Isanti v #2 Hopkins
4 p.m./ Eastview v #3 East Ridge



Class 3A Boys State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/19/2019

Quarterfinal pairings

Wednesday at Williams Arena
10 a.m./ Bemidji v #1 DeLaSalle
Noon/ #5 Mahtomedi v #4 Princeton
2 p.m./ Holy Angels v #2 Waseca
4 p.m./ Monticello v #3 Austin



Class 2A Boys State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/19/2019

Quarterfinal pairings

Wednesday at Target Center
6 p.m.: St. Peter vs. #1 Minnehaha Academy
8 p.m.: #5 Lake City vs. #4 Melrose

Wednesday at Williams Arena
6 p.m.: Esko vs. #2 Minneapolis North
8 p.m.: Redwood Valley vs. #3 Perham



Class 1A Boys State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/19/2019

Quarterfinal pairings

Thursday at Williams Arena
11 a.m./ Spring Grove v #1 Springfield
1 p.m./ #5 Christ's Household of Faith v #4 Henning
3 p.m./ Cromwell-Wright v #2 Ada-Borup
5 p.m./Westbrook-Walnut Grove v #3 North Woods



TV/Webcasts Of Boys State Basketball
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/19/2019

How to view MSHSL boys state basketball tournament games...

--All quarterfinals will be webcast for free by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL

--All semifinals and championship games will be televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

--There is no TV or webcasting of consolation games



Behind The Scenes At State: Sportsmanship, Heartbreak And Smiles
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/16/2019

The state basketball tournaments are always held under bright lights and in front of a statewide television audience that extends around the world thanks to KSTC Channel 45's streaming service, prep45.com.

Basketball is a sport played with no helmets and no facemasks, and the emotions of the players can be seen pretty clearly on television and in person at the venues. This week's girls state basketball tournament, with televised semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena, has offered high emotions of champions and lows of teams that fell short, and it all was on display under the bright lights of The Barn.

There are, however, scenes that play out in quieter settings with almost no one watching. And they can be just as special as the things that take place in front of the TV cameras.

A couple hours after Friday's Class 1A semifinal game between Goodhue and Menahga, I received an email from Goodhue coach Josh Wieme, whose team had won a very narrow four-point victory. He's as high-quality a person as I know, and the subject of his email didn't surprise me. He wanted to tell me about a great act of sportsmanship. Here's his email…

John-

You probably have no shortage of stories from the tourney, but I wanted to share something about the two Menagha players today as they left the postgame press conference. Cierra Ahlf and Alyssa Peterson had obviously just played their guts out and lost a heartbreaking game. They then had to gather themselves and talk about it to media. Our players were waiting to come in, so we went to the next hallway so to give these two space when they left. When they came out, instead of putting their heads down and hustling out, they stopped for three seconds and sincerely wished our players good luck in the championship. They wished us good luck in the game they were so close to making. What amazing character these two showed, at a time when no extra display of sportsmanship would be expected. I am just so impressed by Cierra and Alyssa, and if nothing else I wanted to share it with at least one person who would appreciate it like I did.

If ever a guy needed a reminder for why he/she coaches in small-school girls basketball, this was it. Thanks for listening!
Jw


Goodhue came up short in Saturday’s championship game, falling to Minneota 40-31. Josh was joined by seniors Kate Opsahl and Lexie Lodermeier in the postgame press conference (held in the same room that the University of Minnesota teams use). He made a great point about athletics and competition when he said, "The farther you go in this tournament, the more this loss hurts."

Josh is a busy person. He’s the father of young kids, he coaches basketball, he’s the activities director at Goodhue and teaches English and social studies. This was his 11th year coaching the Wildcats, so he’s seen a few things, good and bad. And he has a wonderful perspective on what’s important.

--There was another behind-the-scenes moment, also at a postgame press conference, that displayed how much these athletes put into their teams and their dreams.

Roseau senior Kacie Borowicz is one of the top players in the state. She and her sisters Kiley (now a sophomore player at Moorhead State) and Katie (a sophomore for the Rams) have been integral parts of basketball success in Roseau. The Rams have now gone to state for five years in a row, winning the 2A title in 2017 and placing second a year ago.

Kacie became her school’s career scoring leader this season, bypassing the record of 3,300 points set by Megan Taylor in 1997 (when Taylor’s career ended she was Minnesota’s all-time scoring leader). But Kacie is about individual goals; she wanted to help her team win another first-place trophy, a quest that ended Friday with a 65-55 semifinal loss to Caledonia.

In the postgame press conference, Kacie tried to answer a question about what her high school career has meant to her. It wasn’t easy, because tears were flowing. She wiped her eyes and managed to say softly, "The best years of my life." Then more tears and sniffles. "I’m sorry, this is hard. This is not the way I wanted it to end," she said.

Kacie, who will play basketball next season at the University of North Dakota, came back with her teammates on Saturday and finished strong. The Rams placed third with an 81-43 win over Albany at Concordia University in St. Paul, and Kacie scored a game-high 37 points. In three games at state she scored a total of 102 points and was joined by Katie on the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team.

After the final game of her Roseau career, Kacie smiled as she held the third-place trophy. As the All-Tournament players posed for a photo after the championshop game at Williams Arena, she wore a big, beautiful smile. It was a great look.

--Katie Borowicz broke a 40-year-old tournament record with 20 assists in the Rams’ victory over Albany. The previous record was 17, set by Albany’s Kelly Skalicky in 1979.

Tournament Tidbits

--Fans at Williams Arena heard a wonderful national anthem Friday, performed on the violin by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse. Saturday afternoon’s session was preceded by another special anthem performance, this time on the cello by Makayla Thomas of Northfield High School. And the streak of great performances continued into Saturday’s evening session when Faith Robinson of Minnetonka High School sang a perfect rendition of the anthem.

--Winners of MSHSL ExCEL Awards from around the state were recognized on the court at halftime of the Class 2A championship game. ExCeL is shorthand for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership.

Adapted Floor Hockey State Tournament

The adapted floor hockey state tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Bloomington Jefferson High School. In the championship contests, Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 13-1 to capture its third consecutive PI Division title, and St. Cloud Area defeated South Washington 16-5 to win the CI Division crown for the second year in a row.



Girls State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A
Fifth-place game: Mountain Iron-Buhl 53, Ada-Borup 45
Third-place game: Heritage Christian 60, Menahga 52
Championship game: Minneota 40, Goodhue 31

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Holy Family Catholic 47, Proctor 33
Third-place game: Roseau 81, Albany 43
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 72, Caledonia 63

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: Marshall 75, Hibbing 60
Third-place game: Holy Angels 78, Cooper 69
Championship game: DeLaSalle 56, Becker 40

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Forest Lake 64, Maple Grove 56
Third-place game: Centennial 68, Eastview 53
Championship game: Hopkins 74, Stillwater 45

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Behind The Scenes At State: Sportsmanship, Heartbreak And Smiles
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/16/2019

The state basketball tournaments are always held under bright lights and in front of a statewide television audience that extends around the world thanks to KSTC Channel 45's streaming service, prep45.com.

Basketball is a sport played with no helmets and no facemasks, and the emotions of the players can be seen pretty clearly on television and in person at the venues. This week’s girls state basketball tournament, with televised semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena, has offered high emotions of champions and lows of teams that fell short, and it all was on display under the bright lights of The Barn.

There are, however, scenes that play out in quieter settings with almost no one watching. And they can be just as special as the things that take place in front of TV cameras.

A couple hours after Friday’s Class 1A semifinal game between Goodhue and Menahga, I received an email from Goodhue coach Josh Wieme, whose team had won a very narrow four-point victory. He’s as high-quality a person as I know, and the subject of his email didn’t surprise me. He wanted to tell me about a great act of sportsmanship. Here’s his email…

John-
You probably have no shortage of stories from the tourney, but I wanted to share something about the two Menagha players today as they left the postgame press conference. Cierra Ahlf and Alyssa Peterson had obviously just played their guts out and lost a heartbreaking game. They then had to gather themselves and talk about it to media. Our players were waiting to come in, so we went to the next hallway so to give these two space when they left. When they came out, instead of putting their heads down and hustling out, they stopped for three seconds and sincerely wished our players good luck in the championship. They wished us good luck in the game they were so close to making. What amazing character these two showed, at a time when no extra display of sportsmanship would be expected. I am just so impressed by Cierra and Alyssa, and if nothing else I wanted to share it with at least one person who would appreciate it like I did.
If ever a guy needed a reminder for why he/she coaches in small-school girls basketball, this was it. Thanks for listening!
Jw

Goodhue came up short in Saturday’s championship game, falling to Minneota 40-31. Josh was joined by seniors Kate Opsahl and Lexie Lodermeier in the postgame press conference (held in the same room that the University of Minnesota teams use). He made a great point about athletics and competition when he said, "The farther you go in this tournament, the more this loss hurts.”
Josh is a busy person. He’s the father of young kids, he coaches basketball, he’s the activities director at Goodhue and teaches English and social studies. This was his 11th year coaching the Wildcats, so he’s seen a few things, good and bad. And he has a wonderful perspective on what’s important.
--There was another behind-the-scenes moment, also at a postgame press conference, that displayed how much these athletes put into their teams and their dreams.

Roseau senior Kacie Borowicz is one of the top players in the state. She and her sisters Kiley (now a sophomore player at Moorhead State) and Katie (a sophomore for the Rams) have been integral parts of basketball success in Roseau. The Rams have now gone to state for five years in a row, winning the 2A title in 2017 and placing second a year ago.

Kacie became her school’s career scoring leader this season, bypassing the record of 3,300 points set by Megan Taylor in 1997 (when Taylor’s career ended she was Minnesota’s all-time scoring leader). But Kacie is about individual goals; she wanted to help her team win another first-place trophy, a quest that ended Friday with a 65-55 semifinal loss to Caledonia.

In the postgame press conference, Kacie tried to answer a question about what her high school career has meant to her. It wasn’t easy, because tears were flowing. She wiped her eyes and managed to say softly, “The best years of my life.” Then more tears and sniffles. “I’m sorry, this is hard. This is not the way I wanted it to end,” she said.

Kacie, who will play basketball next season at the University of North Dakota, came back with her teammates on Saturday and finished strong. The Rams placed third with an 81-43 win over Albany at Concordia University in St. Paul, and Kacie scored a game-high 37 points. In three games at state she scored a total of 102 points and was joined by Katie on the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team.

After the final game of her Roseau career, Kacie smiled as she held the third-place trophy. As the All-Tournament players posed for a photo after the championshop game at Williams Arena, she wore a big, beautiful smile. It was a great look.
Tournament Tidbits

--Katie Borowicz broke a 40-year-old tournament record with 20 assists in the Rams’ victory over Albany. The previous record was 17, set by Albany’s Kelly Skalicky in 1979.

--Fans at Williams Arena heard a wonderful national anthem Friday, performed on the violin by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse. Saturday afternoon’s session was preceded by another special anthem performance, this time on the cello by Makayla Thomas of Northfield High School. And the streak of great performances continued into Saturday’s evening session when Faith Robinson of Minnetonka High School sang a perfect rendition of the anthem.

--Winners of MSHSL ExCEL Awards from around the state were recognized on the court at halftime of the Class 2A championship game. ExCeL is shorthand for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership.

Adapted Floor Hockey State Tournament

The adapted floor hockey state tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Bloomington Jefferson High School. In the championship contests, Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 13-1 to capture its third consecutive PI Division title, and St. Cloud Area defeated South Washington 16-5 to win the CI Division crown for the second year in a row.

Wells Fargo Girls Basketball All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A: Allie Negen, Mountain Iron-Buhl; Cierra Ahlf, Menahga; Taylie Scott, Kirstin Robbins, Heritage Christian; Kate Opsahl, Lexie Lodermeier, Joslyn Carlson, Goodhue; Lizzy Gillingham, Lydia Sussner, Abby Hennen, Minneota.

Class 2A: Leigh Steiner, Holy Family Catholic; Paige Meyer, Albany; Kacie Borowicz, Katie Borowicz, Roseau; Katie Tornstrom, Ashley Schroeder, Heidi Bolduan, Caledonia; Taytum Rhoades, Mia Curtis, Nevaeh Galloway, Minnehaha Academy.

Class 3A: Jordyn Hilgemann, Marshall; Aja Wheeler, Cooper; Francesca Vascellaro, Emma Mastre, Holy Angels; Courtney Nuest, Julia Bengston, Adeline Kent, Becker; Mary Claire Francois, Nurjei Weems, Kiani Lockett, DeLaSalle.

Class 4A:

Girls State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A
Fifth-place game: Mountain Iron-Buhl 53, Ada-Borup 45
Third-place game: Heritage Christian 60, Menahga 52
Championship game: Minneota 40, Goodhue 31

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Holy Family Catholic 47, Proctor 33
Third-place game: Roseau 81, Albany 43
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 72, Caledonia 63

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: Marshall 75, Hibbing 60
Third-place game: Holy Angels 78, Cooper 69
Championship game: DeLaSalle 56, Becker 40

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Forest Lake 64, Maple Grove 56
Third-place game: Centennial 68, Eastview 53
Championship game: Hopkins vs. Stillwater

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



No Magic Wands In Class 1A Girls Championship Matchup
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/15/2019

In the Class 1A semifinals of the 2014 girls state basketball tournament, two southern Minnesota teams battled to decide who would play for a championship. Minneota defeated Goodhue 45-43 in that game before losing to Win-E-Mac in the title contest.

Five years and one round later, two of the top programs in the state will meet again Saturday at noon and the winner will take home a whole bunch of gold medals. Minneota, which has been the top-ranked team in Class 1A since the preseason, defeated Heritage Christian Academy 55-50 in Friday's semifinals and Goodhue edged Menahga 47-43.

During a stretch of five years from 2013 to 2017, Goodhue and Minneota each played in two championship games. The Minneota Vikings were state champs in 2013 before placing second in 2014, and the Goodhue Wildcats won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. The teams have each been to state eight times.

Minneota has all five starters back from last year's third-place team and the Vikings' record is 29-1; the only loss came against Brandon Valley, S.D., which will play for South Dakota's big-school state championship Saturday in Rapid City. Goodhue is 26-6.

"We have a lot of respect for (Minneota), they have a great program," Goodhue coach Josh Wieme (pictured) said. "They're a lot like us; very hard-working, they're going to move the ball around, they're not going to quit. We’re just going to have to play great basketball. It’s going to be very fundamental. I don’t think there’s a lot of magic wand waving here; it’s going to be making fundamental plays and fighting the fatigue. It should be fun."

The records of the two head coaches spell out how good their teams have been. Wieme is 271-67 in 11 seasons and Minneota coach Chad Johnston is 393-110 in 18 years.

Tradition is an important part of each team’s historical success.

"You can look at your seniors and say, ‘This is your game. This is the time for you to step up,’ " Johnston said after Friday’s win. "Everybody stepped up. That’s the experience we have from being here before. When it came to crunch time they were all confident in what they were capable of doing.”

Minneota also has one of the top volleyball programs in the state, winning the Class 1A state championship in November. They also won a state title in 2006 and have been to state in that sport seven times since 2009.

“We’re very fortunate that these girls have not only had great success in basketball but they’ve had success in volleyball and I think those two things feed off each other,” Johnston said. “The thing that I think I’m most proud of is yes, we have a tradition and we work hard, but they’re a hard-working group in multiple sports. They handle the pressure. We put it on them, we say, ‘Hey, this is what we expect.’ This group, being preseason No. 1, they stayed the course all year long.

“We’ve been very, very fortunate. We’ve been up here quite a bit and we’ve had a lot of different players go through our program. One of the things I always say about tradition is with that comes a little bit of pressure. Nobody wants to be that group to drop the ball. It motivates them in the offseason.”

Wieme said, “(Tradition) doesn’t do it all for you, but our younger kids see what the older players have done and they want to experience it themselves. They see that it’s possible, what a little bit of hard work can get them.”

Class 2A Semifinals

--Caledonia 65, Roseau 55: The Warriors advanced to the state championship game with a comeback victory over the Rams, last year’s state runner-up. Roseau led by eight at halftime but made only seven of 28 field-goal attempts in the second half as Caledonia surged. Four players scored in double figures for the Warriors, led by Heidi Bolduan with 24. Kacie Borowicz had 28 for Roseau.

--Minnehaha Academy 70, Albany 67: Unseeded Albany held a four-point lead at halftime but the third-seeded Redhawks came on strong down the stretch to come away with a close win. Minnehaha Academy led by one point with under three minutes to play and the lead changed hands four times in the next minute. Paige Meyer led the Huskies with 29 points and Taytum Rhoades scored 27 for the Redhawks.

Tournament Tidbits

--Among the highlights of Friday’s games at Williams Arena was a dandy national anthem performance by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse (pictured) on the violin.

-- Caledonia coach Scott Sorenson recorded his 300th career victory (with 113 losses) in 15 years when the Warriors defeated Proctor in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, and the number grew to 301 with the semifinal win over Roseau. Assistant coach Carl Fruechte is the head coach of Caledonia’s football team, which has won nine state titles.

--The adapted floor hockey state tournament began Friday at Bloomington Jefferson and will continue Saturday with consolation play, semifinals and championship rounds. Eight teams qualified for the tournament in each division (CI and PI). Saturday’s championship games will be webcast for free on PrepSpotlight.TV starting at 2:30 p.m. PI teams advancing in Friday’s quarterfinals were Brainerd, Dakota United Hawks, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka and the Rochester Raiders. In CI, teams reaching Saturday’s semifinals are St. Cloud Area Slapshots, New Prague/TCU/LSH/Belle Plaine/Jordan, South Washington and Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville.

--Girls basketball championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

Girls State Basketball Tournament

CLASS 1A
Semifinals

Minneota 55, Heritage Christian 50
Goodhue 47, Menahga 43

Saturday’s championship game
Noon: Minneota vs. Goodhue

CLASS 2A
Semifinals

Caledonia 65, Roseau 55
Minnehaha Academy 70, Albany 67

Saturday’s championship game
2 p.m.: Caledonia vs. Minnehaha Academy

CLASS 3A
Semifinals

DeLaSalle 61, Holy Angels 59
Becker 68, Cooper 66

Saturday’s championship game
6 p.m.: DeLaSalle vs. Becker

CLASS 4A
Semifinals

Hopkins 75, Centennial 51
Stillwater 65, Eastview 52

Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m.: Hopkins vs. Stillwater

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Menahga Basketball: Knee Braces, Mono And The State Semifinals
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/14/2019

Megan Hendrickson and Timbr Berttunen have a few things in common. They both play basketball for the Menahga High School team; Megan is a senior and Timbr is a sophomore. Both would have been in the starting lineup on Thursday when the Braves faced BOLD in the Class 1A state quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion.

Another thing they have in common: season-ending knee surgery. Megan's right knee is in a brace and Timbr's left knee is in a similar brace; those braced knees were next to each other on the bench, as they have been since late February. Since they can't play, they have become de facto assistant coaches for the Braves, who won 65-54 Thursday and will take a record of 30-1 into Friday's 2 p.m. state semifinal against Goodhue (25-6) at Williams Arena.

Coach Cody Pulju explained. "When they both got hurt, we said, 'You’re not done with this team, you’re not going to feel bad, you’re going to sit next to me and you’re going to be part of the coaching staff.’ They have signs for our plays, they work in practice, they have a role."

Megan, who was last season’s Park Region Conference MVP, first suffered a knee injury last summer. Knowing surgery would take away her senior season, she opted for physical therapy and she was in the lineup until the knee went sideways again on Feb. 3. She had surgery 10 days later. Timbr suffered a similar injury (ACL, meniscus, etc.) on Feb. 11 and underwent surgery Feb. 25.

Oh, another starter, senior Cierra Ahlf, came down with mononucleosis with two games left in the regular season. She was hospitalized for a time, missed school for two weeks and didn’t return until a subsection game March 5. So the Braves made it through part of the postseason with three starters on the bench, and have continued to win with two in knee braces.

Cierra scored a game-high 21 points against BOLD on Thursday, making five of nine three-point shots while grabbing 12 rebounds.

Without Megan and Timbr, Pulju admitted that he thought the season might have gone down the drain. But the rest of the players responded. He saw hope when the Braves defeated Park Rapids in the regular-season finale, and then they swept through four Section 5 playoff games.

"We had players like Annika Aho (10 points Thursday), Martha Peterson hitting threes, Greta Hillukka is a freshman starter and she’s played great post defense." Alyssa Peterson had 18 points against BOLD and Tara Hendrickson had nine points and four steals.

The Braves made history by reaching the state tournament for the first time last year. They lost in the quarterfinals in 2018 so this year’s run to at least the state semifinals made more history.

"We have a strong team so I knew people would step up,” said Megan. “Just to see these girls working hard every day for us, it’s unbelievable. It’s much fun to be part of the team and making history.”

Tournament Tidbits

--This is a big weekend for the Kockelman family. Dale Kockelman is an assistant coach at Minneota (Class 1A) and he has two daughters and two brothers also involved in postseason basketball. His daughter Morgan is a senior starter for the Vikings and his daughter Taya Kockelman is the head coach at Redwood Valley, which is at state for the first time in five years (in Class 2A). Next week Dean and Duane Kockelman (Dale’s brothers) will be officials at the boys state basketball tournament.

“It’s been great, especially for our daughter and Redwood,” Dale said after Minneota defeated Red Lake 66-46 Thursday. “Obviously I want to win for Minneota but Redwood really wasn’t expected to do much this year, they’ve got a young team with a bunch of sophomores.

“We’re really enjoying this,” Dale said, mentioning his wife Melissa. “It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun.”

--The McDonald family basketball tree is well known, starting with former Chisholm boys coach Bob McDonald, a member of the National High School Hall of Fame. His granddaughter Abbey McDonald (daughter of Hibbing boys coach Joel McDonald) is playing with Hibbing at the girls state tournament this week. Next week, Bob’s son Mike, the boys coach at Cambridge-Isanti, will bring his team to the Class 4A state tournament, and Bob’s grandson Bryce Tesdahl, the boys coach at East Ridge, will also have his team in the 4A tourney. One of the assistant coaches with the Hopkins boys, who also will play in 4A next week, is Brock Tesdahl (brother of Bryce). The Hibbing boys came a game away from state, falling to Princeton in Thursday’s 3A Section 7 title game. Oh, Cambridge-Isanti beat Duluth East in the 4A Section 7 semifinals … East is coached by Rhett McDonald, son of Mike and grandson of Bob.

--The best officials in Minnesota are chosen to work games at state, and this year one of those officials is currently a non-Minnesotan. Ben Scheevel lives in Estherville, Iowa, where he is a police officer and member of the Mankato Area Officials Association. But he has strong Minnesota roots, because he was a talented high school athlete at Heron Lake-Okabena.

--Semifinals and championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

Girls State Basketball Tournament

CLASS 1A
Quarterfinals

Minneota 66, Red Lake 46
Ada-Borup vs. Heritage Christian
Goodhue 50, Mountain Iron-Buhl 48
Menahga 65, BOLD 54

Friday’s semifinals at Williams Arena
Noon: Minneota vs. Heritage Christian
2 p.m.: Goodhue vs. Menahga

CLASS 2A
Quarterfinals

Roseau 75, Redwood Valley 74
Caledonia 56, Proctor 44
Albany 60, Holy Family 49
Minnehaha Academy 56, St. Peter 37

Friday’s semifinals at Williams Arena
6 p.m.: Roseau vs. Caledonia
8 p.m.: Albany vs. Minnehaha Academy

CLASS 3A
Quarterfinals

DeLaSalle 61, Hibbing 53
Holy Angels 58, Fergus Falls 57
Cooper 72, Austin 40
Becker 68, Marshall 67

Thursday’s semifinals
DeLaSalle 61, Holy Angels 59
Becker 68, Cooper 66

Saturday’s championship game at Williams Arena
6 p.m.: DeLaSalle vs. Becker


CLASS 4A
Quarterfinals

Hopkins 68, Lakeville North 46
Centennial 74, Maple Grove 64
Stillwater 73, Shakopee 48
Eastview 48, Forest Lake 38

Semifinals
Hopkins 75, Centennial 51
Stillwater 65, Eastview 52

Saturday’s championship game at Williams Arena
8 p.m.: Hopkins vs. Stillwater

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



The Pride Of Marshall: Four Sports, Ten Trips To State
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/13/2019

The question was very straightforward, as was the answer from Marshall High School girls basketball coach Dan Westby: "No, no, no."

The question: Have you had any other athletes like Kaia Sueker in your coaching career?

No, no, no.

Kaia, a 5-foot-5 senior, is a rarity for several reasons. She's a four-sport athlete, competing in both volleyball and cross-country in the fall, basketball in the winter and track and field in the spring. She plays marimba in the school band and violin in the school orchestra. She's been involved in so many other school clubs and events that it’s hard to keep track.

And then there’s this: She has now competed in 10 state tournaments … or 11 if you count her stint as a basketball team manager when she was in eighth grade. And that number is likely to reach 11 (or 12) when her final track season rolls around this spring. That’s how it all began, when she qualified for the state track meet as an eighth-grader.

“I don’t know where she gets the energy,” said Westby – also the Tigers volleyball coach -- after Marshall lost to Becker 68-67 in Wednesday’s Class 3A state quarterfinals at Maturi Pavilion. “She’s a pretty amazing kid.”

Kaia had 14 points, three assists and three steals in the game. It was a heartbreaking loss, coming in the final seconds, but she was all smiles afterwards.

“I think it’s really cool to be up here,” she said. “It’s such a great experience and I’ve enjoyed it with all my teammates. I’m really proud of everyone.”

Kaia is the only player who was also a member of Marshall’s last trip to the state basketball tournament in 2016. In the fall she’ll be a freshman on the cross-country and track teams at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. The end of her high school days will certainly be felt back in her hometown.

“There just aren’t kids like that anymore,” Westby said. “She’s quite a kid. It’ll be different in all sports, not having her. She’s been a part of it for so long.”

I asked Kaia to look ahead 10 years or so and predict what she will remember most about her high school career. Her answer said a lot about herself, her family, Marshall High School and how important school activities are everywhere.

“I think I’ll remember these moments with my team and how special they are,” she said with that big smile. “I’m never going to forget them. I’m going to miss it a lot, I know that, and I’m going to miss my teammates for sure. It’s just been a great experience.”

Tournament Tidbits

--Hibbing senior Abbey McDonald has a pretty strong basketball pedigree. Her father, Joel, is the Hibbing boys coach and former holder of the state scoring record, and her grandpa is Bob McDonald of Chishom coaching fame. Abbey will play at St. Cloud State, just like her dad.

--Play of the day: Becker sophomore Courtney Nuest took a pass from classmate Julia Bengston and made a three-point shot at the buzzer to lift the Bulldogs past Marshall. Marshall led by 16 points with 10:27 left in the first half before Becker came back to trail by three at halftime. The Bulldogs led by 14 in the second half before Albany roared back.

-- All quarterfinals are being webcast for free by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL All semifinals and championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

Girls State Basketball Tournament

CLASS 1A
Thursday at Maturi Pavilion

Red Lake vs. Minneota, 11 a.m.
Ada-Borup vs. Heritage Christian, 1 p.m.
Mountain. Iron-Buhl vs. Goodhue, 3 p.m.
BOLD vs. Menahga, 5 p.m.

CLASS 2A
Wednesday at Williams Arena

Roseau 75, Redwood Valley 74
Caledonia 56, Proctor 44
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion
Albany 60, Holy Family 49
Minnehaha Academy 56, St. Peter 37

Friday’s semifinals at Williams Arena
6 p.m.: Roseau vs. Caledonia
8 p.m.: Albany vs. Minnehaha Academy

CLASS 3A
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion

DeLaSalle 61, Hibbing 53
Holy Angels 58, Fergus Falls 57
Cooper 72, Austin 40
Becker 68, Marshall 67

Thursday’s semifinals at Williams Arena
Noon: DeLaSalle vs. Holy Angels
2 p.m.: Cooper vs. Becker

CLASS 4A
Wednesday at Williams Arena

Hopkins 68, Lakeville North 46
Centennial 74, Maple Grove 64
Stillwater 73, Shakopee 48
Eastview 48, Forest Lake 38

Thursday’s semifinals at Williams Arena
6 p.m.: Hopkins vs. Centennial
2 p.m.: Stillwater vs. Eastview

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.




Waseca High School Receives Hearts Of The Arts Award
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/12/2019

INDIANAPOLIS ? The Waseca (Minnesota) High School Theatre Department has been selected as the 2019 Section 5 recipient of the "National High School Heart of the Arts Award? by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the sixth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

?Booby Trap? ? which is the story of an American soldier who sits in a far-off combat zone trapped in place by a land mine ? has been performed by school groups around the country. However, perhaps none of them captured the emotions involved with it as well as the Waseca High School version, which contained a rare personal touch.

Waseca's presentation is dedicated to Caleb Erickson, a Waseca High School graduate and member of the United States Marine Corps who was killed while serving his nation. Adding to the emotions of the experience, Erickson?s family grew very close to the students who performed, and the play also raised money to assist area military veterans.

Erickson, who was only 20 years old when he died, was a member of the Waseca High School football and wrestling programs. He joined the Marines after graduation and was killed in combat in 2014 in Afghanistan when a line of military vehicles was attacked. He was a gunner on the final vehicle in the convoy.

After rehearsals had begun, Waseca High School theatre director Karen Pfarr Anderson came up with the idea of dedicating the play to Caleb. She contacted Caleb?s older sister, Rue Erickson, about it, and she approved the proposal.

What followed was nothing short of amazing, as people came to see the play in droves. While there are no admission fees for one-act plays at the school, thousands of dollars in donations were raised. More than mere monetary gain, the cast and crew of the production forged a very strong personal relationship with Caleb?s family.

About the Award
The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 5 are Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.
While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.




Class 4A Girls State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/11/2019

Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 4A
Wednesday at Williams Arena

Lakeville North vs. Hopkins, 10 a.m.
Maple Grove vs. Centennial, noon
Shakopee vs. Stillwater, 2 p.m.
Forest Lake vs. Eastview, 4 p.m.





Class 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/11/2019

Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 3A
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion

Hibbing vs. DeLaSalle, 10 a.m.
Fergus Falls vs. Holy Angels, noon
Austin vs. Cooper, 2 p.m.
Marshall vs. Becker, 4 p.m.



Class 2A Girls State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/11/2019

Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 2A
Wednesday at Williams Arena

Redwood Valley vs. Roseau, 6 p.m.
Proctor vs. Caledonia, 8 p.m.
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion
Albany vs. Holy Family, 6 p.m.
St. Peter vs. Minnehaha Academy, 8 p.m.



Class 1A Girls State Basketball Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/11/2019

Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 1A
Thursday at Maturi Pavilion

Red Lake vs. Minneota, 11 a.m.
Ada-Borup vs. Heritage Christian, 1 p.m.
Mountain. Iron-Buhl vs. Goodhue, 3 p.m.
BOLD vs. Menahga, 5 p.m.



In A Surprise Matchup, Cathedral Defeats Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/9/2019

Four days into 2019, the boys hockey team from St. Cloud Cathedral took the ice for a home game against Hermantown. This was the biggest regular-season contest in Class 1A hockey: Cathedral was ranked No. 1 and the Hawks were No. 2.

Hermantown came away with a 2-1 victory in overtime. I was in attendance on that Friday night at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex and wrote that it was "as good a hockey game as you will ever see."

It was a measuring-stick game for both teams. "You look at the calendar in October and you circle this one," said Hermantown coach Patrick Andrews after his team's big victory.

Cathedral coach Derrick Brown said, "We try really hard to schedule as many tough teams as we can. This was such a great atmosphere and such a great game for us to play, and like I told the boys, we're only four days into January. The potential is there to only get better. So when the moments really do happen, in hopefully February and maybe March if we're fortunate enough, we've been there, we've played these teams, we know what to expect.”

In the wake of that game, an assumption was made by many hockey fans: We may see these teams meet again in the state tournament, maybe even in the championship game.

If that had happened, hardly anyone would have been surprised.

On that same Jan. 4 evening, the Raiders of Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin had made the trip from the Iron Range to the Twin Cities for a game at Chaska. The Raiders lost 5-4 in overtime, and lost by the same score in the same fashion the next day at Orono. That gave them a record of 5 wins and 9 losses.

One win and three more losses followed, but the Raiders started to roll in late January. They closed the regular season on a six-game winning streak before defeating North Shore 7-1 and Duluth Denfeld 6-2 in the Section 7 playoffs.

Then came the earthquake in the section championship game: Raiders 3, mighty Hermantown 2 in double overtime. The Raiders won two games at state before falling to St. Cloud Cathedral 5-2 in Saturday’s title game at Xcel Energy Center.

“It’s a cliché and it sounds weird to say, but when you believe, you believe,” Greenway coach Grant Clafton said. “It’s not an arrogance or a cockiness or anything like that. When you go through what these guys have gone through all season, and you’re that battle-tested … preparation breeds confidence and these guys are prepared. They’ve gone through every situation throughout the season. I keep saying it’s like a protective shield of armor to have that belief.”

The Raiders became the darlings of the tournament, regardless of class. They seemingly had it all: Iron Range appeal, an 18-year state tourney drought and fears a decade or so ago of losing the hockey program due to a lack of players.

But through hard work by coaches, parents and others, the hockey team survived and now has thrived in recent years, capped by this year’s playoff run.

“Iron Range hockey is a huge tradition, and we’re not just playing for Coleraine and the Greenway area, we’re representing Virginia, Eveleth and International Falls, Hibbing and those schools,” Clafton said. “And there’s a lot of pride in that.”

Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin senior Donte Lawson, who was named to the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team and also received the Herb Brooks Award, said he never had a doubt.

“I always knew, no matter what, all the adversity we’ve battled, I knew at the end we’d be here,” he said. “We stuck together as a group throughout the season, through the hard times.”

Class 2A Championship: Edina 3, Eden Prairie 2 (OT)

During the regular season, Edina defeated Lake Conference rival Eden Prairie three times by a combined score of 18-5. The fourth game in the season series needed overtime before Edina won 3-2. Peter Colby scored the winning goal at 2:41 of overtime to secure the championship.

--In celebration of 75 years of state hockey tournaments, an all-time all-tournament team was announced: Coach: Willard Ikola, Edina Goalie: Greg Stutz, Centennial Defense: Ryan McDonough, Cretin-Derham Hall Defense: Henry Boucha, Warroad Forward: Mike Antonovich, Greenway Forward: Dave Spehar, Duluth East Forward: John Mayasich, Eveleth.

Wells-Fargo All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A: Trey Ausmus, East Grand Forks; Colin Hagstrom, Noah Skillings, Mahtomedi; Logan Wright, Ben Troumbly, Cameron Lantz, Donte Lawson, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin; Jon Bell, Nate Warner, Jack Smith, Jackson Savoie, Noah Amundson, St. Cloud Cathedral.

Class 2A: Carsen Richels, Cole Hansen, Blaine; Ryder Donovan, Duluth East; Henry Welsch, Lakeville South; Keegan Langefels, Jack Jensen, Luke Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie; Jake Boltmann, Liam Malmquist, Mike Vorlicky, Jett Jungels, Louden Hogg, Edina.

Herb Brooks Award Winners

Class 1A: Donte Lawson, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A: Jack Jensen, Eden Prairie

Tournament Recordbook

Lakeville South goaltender Henry Welsch set a state tournament record for combined saves with 131 in three games. He made 63 saves in a triple-overtime loss to Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals, 34 in a victory over White Bear Lake in the consolation semifinals and 34 against Duluth East in the consolation final. The previous record was 124, set in 1970 by St. Paul Johnson’s Doug Long.

Saturday’s Games

Class 1A


Fifth-place game: Delano 2, North Branch 1
Third-place game: Mahtomedi 7, East Grand Forks 3
Championship game: St. Cloud Cathedral 5, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 2

Class 2A

Fifth-place game: Duluth East 5, Lakeville South 0
Third-place game: Blaine 5, St. Thomas Academy 1
Championship game: Edina 3, Eden Prairie 2 (OT)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



From Nine Time Zones Away, A Minnesota Hockey Fan Tunes In
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/8/2019

A day ago in this digital playground I recounted the story of a gold medal from the very first boys state hockey tournament in 1945. Much of the details came via email, and later that evening another item in my inbox sparked another reminder of how far and wide the hockey tournament's reach extends.

As we all know, KSTC Channel 45 does a world-class job of televising MSHSL state tournaments, and boys hockey is the crown jewel. And viewers who don't have access to the television broadcast can watch the games online via prep45.com.

I have received emails and Twitter messages from viewers far away, including (as mentioned here the other day) Thailand and France. This latest dispatch arrived late Thursday night from someone who was watching the day's final game between Duluth East and St. Thomas Academy.

The first line in the email read: "CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED."

This was a pretty good clue that it was from someone in the military. The message was brief, ending with this: "0745 here, nothing like a little morning hockey in the sun."

More emails were traded, more details were discovered, and this really says something about the appeal of the tournament. Even from a time zone nine hours away from Minnesota, native-born hockey fans want their tournament fix.

The email came from Army Captain John A. Reich, who lives in Duluth and is with an Army Reserve unit in Kuwait. His unit is based in Milwaukee.

He wrote, "Cool thing is, there are a little over 600 Minnesota National Guard Red Bull Soldiers here. So, it's almost like being at home."

He grew up in Montrose, was a hockey manager for the Buffalo High School team under coach Carl Davis and fell in love with the game. He was in the Marines from 1989 to 1993, spending time in Tennessee, San Diego and Japan. He attended St. Cloud State and played pickup hockey, then went to school at Minnesota Duluth.

He wrote that he “followed the UMD women's team religiously because the women DO NOT get the support they deserve.”

John's hockey ties include some big names in the game. Godparents of his children include Reed Larson, who coached in Willmar and Virginia; UMD star and four-time Olympian Jenny Potter; and former UMD player Julianne Vasichek.

He wrote, “Nope, not much of a hockey guy;)”

No surprise here, but John said he is missing his family a ton.

“My wife Crystal (Super Hockey Mom) is holding down the fort with our 4 children, Celeste 12 (goalie), Savannah 7 (probably a defenseman), Anthony John (AJ) 5 (instigator) and Brandon 3 (probably enforcer after dealing with his siblings).”

Our email exchange ended with these final words from John:

Hope this finds you well.
Respectfully,
CPT Reich
368th Public Affairs Detachment
U.S. Army

Tournament Tidbits

--Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin senior Donte Lawson had a special group of kids cheering for him during Friday's Class 1A semifinal game against Mahtomedi. The fans were from the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis, where Donte’s younger brother Dominik has spent a lot of time.

Dominik, 13, recently underwent a third kidney transplant at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. But he has been able to join family and friends in watching the Raiders play at state this week.

The friends of Dominik and Donte brought handmade signs with messages that read “Go Donte Go” and “Good Luck Raiders.”

Donte scored the first goal of Friday’s game, which went to overtime before the Raiders’ Ben Troumbly scored the winning goal, his second of the game, to defeat Mahtomedi 3-2.

--Speaking of Greenway High School, there is no town by that name on the Iron Range. The school, located in Coleraine, is named for John Campbell Greenway (1872-1926), one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. He oversaw the first mine in Coleraine and raised $100,000 in 1908 to build the school that bears his name.

--St. Cloud Cathedral 6, East Grand Forks 2: The Crusaders advanced to Saturday’s noon state championship game against Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin. Jack Smith led Cathedral with two goals and Blake Perbix had a goal and three assists.

--Eden Prairie 4, Blaine 3: The Eagles used the power play to their advantage, scoring three goals with an extra man during a four-goal second period in defeating the Bengals in the Class 2A semifinals. Blaine opened the game with an early 2-0 lead before the Eagles rallied.

--Edina 6, St. Thomas Academy 3: The Eagles’ victory set up an all-Lake Conference 2A championship game. Eden Prairie and Edina will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday.

--Championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast at no charge by prep45.com

--Third-place games are webcast at no charge by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A


Wednesday’s Quarterfinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 7, North Branch 0
East Grand Forks 5, Minnesota River 2
Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4

Friday’s Semifinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 6, East Grand Forks 2
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 3, Mahtomedi 2 (OT)

Saturday’s Championship game
Noon: St. Cloud Cathedral vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A

Thursday’s Quarterfinals
Blaine 4, White Bear Lake 2
Eden Prairie 3, Lakeville South 2 (3 OT)
Edina 4, Moorhead 2
St. Thomas Academy 3, Duluth East 1

Friday’s Semifinals
Eden Prairie 4, Blaine 3
Edina 6, St. Thomas Academy 3

Saturday’s Championship game
7 p.m.: Eden Prairie vs. Edina

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Eveleth's 1945 Mystery Medal Returns To The State Tournament
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/7/2019

Way back in 1945, a few months before World War II ended, a small group of boys traveled south from the Iron Range to Minnesota's capitol city of St. Paul. The Eveleth High School hockey team made history by winning the first high school state tournament in their sport.

The boys from Eveleth won three tournament games at the St. Paul Auditorium, defeating Granite Falls 16-0, St. Paul Washington 10-0 and Thief River Falls 4-3.

The scoring leaders for that squad (and in the tournament) were seniors Wally Grant and Pat Finnegan. Both finished the three games with 13 points; Wally had nine goals and four assists, Pat had eight and five.

The other players on the 11-man roster were seniors Neil Celley, Clem Cossalter, Garfield Gulbranson and Mel Peterson, and juniors Milan Begich, Ron Drobnick, Andre Gambucci, Ronald Martinson and Bice Ventrucci. The coach was Cliff Thompson and the student manager was George Campbell. Celley, Cossalter, Finnegan and Grant were named to the eight-player all-tournament team.

After the championship game, the Eveleth Eleven were awarded gold medals. The medals were small, about the size of an Iron Range thumbnail, hanging from small blue ribbons with pins to attach them to a shirt or a coat.

From there, one of those gold medals traveled a circuitous path to end up in my possession all these years later, and back at the state tournament in St. Paul. In October I received an email from former MSHSL associate director Dorothy McIntyre. Dorothy said a friend of hers, Janet Carpenter, was in possession of a medal that Janet's son, Guy Griffiths, had found in Texas.

Janet is famous in her own right. She was a 1952 Olympian (then Janet Gerhauser), competing in pairs figure skating with John Nightingale. Janet is only the second female Winter Olympian from Minnesota, and she also was an Olympic team leader and Olympic judge. She was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dorothy wondered if the MSHSL would be interested in the medal (and a couple others that don't hold quite as much historical significance). She put me in touch with Janet and before long a package arrived in the mail.

I also was able to trade emails with Guy, a graduate of Sibley High School who now lives in Austin, Texas. That's where he found the 1945 medal. Here are email excerpts from him:

"I bought a collection from a man who passed away. They were part of a silent auction at Goodwill. He must have lived here. The man was also military. I believe he played basketball, too. Glad they are in good hands. Pretty special. I recognized the value and had to bring those back to my home state."

Between periods of Thursday's Class 2A boys hockey quarterfinal game between Lakeville South and Eden Prairie at Xcel Energy Center, I displayed the medal and talked about it on television with Tom Hauser on KSTC-TV's in-arena set. Tom, like everyone else who sees the medal, took some photos of it. Little kids and grandparents asked to see it, hold it and be photographed with it.

In an email after the medal's TV appearance, Guy wrote from Texas: "I've bled Minnesota hockey my whole life. Considering my mother's skating accomplishments and being season ticket holders for North Stars and Gophers hockey since 1950, I realized the significance.

"I was privileged to play hockey in Minnesota with Hall of Famers like Phil Housley and Brett Hull. Despite all the greatness, Phil never won a state championship, nor did I! But I got really close once and it was a thrill of a lifetime. Imagine what it would have been like to hoist the trophy. It still makes me feel like a kid. There's nothing like the state tournament. Enjoy."

At this point the story of how the gold medal got from Eveleth to Texas is a mystery. As I said during the TV segment, if anyone in Eveleth or elsewhere can help in solving this riddle, we would be most grateful.

A big thank you to Guy, Janet and Dorothy. And hats off to the Eveleth Eleven.

--To see photos of the 1945 medal and what the 2019 medals look like, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

Thursday's Class 2A Quarterfinals

--Blaine 2, White Bear Lake 0: Cole Hansen had two goals and one assist for the Bengals and Carsen Richels had one goal and a pair of assists.

--Eden Prairie 3, Lakeville South 2 (3 overtimes): Jack Jensen scored the winning goal in the third overtime. Eden Prairie goaltender Axel Rosenlund had 27 saves and Lakeville South's Henry Welsch stopped 63 shots. The tournament record is 65, set by Karl Goehring of Apple Valley in 1996.

--Eden Prairie 4, Moorhead 2: Seven players factored into the scoring for the top-seeded Hornets. Jett Jungels, Liam Malmquist and Delaney each had one goal and one assist, while Mason Nevers had one goal.

--St. Thomas Academy 3, Duluth East 1: The fourth-seeded Cadets held off the fifth-seeded Greyhounds, clinching the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

--Semifinals and championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast at no charge by prep45.com

--Consolation games and third-place games are webcast at no charge by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A


Wednesday's Quarterfinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 7, North Branch 0
East Grand Forks 5, Minnesota River 2
Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4

Friday's Semifinals
11 a.m./ St. Cloud Cathedral vs. East Grand Forks
1:30 p.m./ Mahtomedi vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A

Thursday's Quarterfinals
Blaine 4, White Bear Lake 2
Eden Prairie 3, Lakeville South 2 (3 OT)
Edina 4, Moorhead 2
St. Thomas Academy 3, Duluth East 1

Friday's Semifinals
6 p.m./ Blaine vs. Eden Prairie
8:30 p.m./ Edina vs. St. Thomas Academy

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Hockey Broadcaster Sloan Martin Aces The Big Test
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/6/2019

Sloane Martin made history on Wednesday, and that's something that has been happening in recent days. Last Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Marney Gellner became the first female to handle play-by-play duties for Minnesota Twins broadcasts, calling spring training games from Florida for Fox Sports North and WCCO Radio.

In downtown St. Paul on Wednesday, Martin made her mark as the first women to do television play-by-play at the MHSL boys state hockey tournament. She worked the first two Class 1A games with Mark Parrish, the analyst for all the 1A games.

It has been a little bit of a whirlwind for Martin (pictured). Last weekend she was in Indianapolis calling a women's basketball game between Indiana and Purdue on the Big Ten Network.

"As soon as the game was over, I drove to the airport and was pulling out my hockey stuff and looking at my notecards," she said after Wednesday's broadcast had ended.

Now a reporter with WCCO Radio, Martin is a Los Angeles native who played basketball at Division III St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. She has previously called girls state hockey tournament games as well as several Prep Bowl football games.

"I always say that I'm so happy to have had an introduction to Minnesota hockey with the girls because that exposed me to the kind of talent that's in this state, the kind of skill that we see," she said. "I felt like I was able to easily slide into things and it wasn't any kind of adjustment because of my three years doing the girls tournament.

"It's open notes but it's a test. But it's not just a test, it's a big one. It's like the bar exam or the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or something. I really take a lot of pride in being as prepared as possible. Of course it's knowing players, but I think being a reporter myself I'm very big on narratives and storylines and background stories."

During the telecast Martin was informative, excited and stayed on top of the action. She takes pride in being the first woman to call boys state tournament games, and knows the impact this can have.

"It's been very exciting. And to me the most important thing about this is that representation is important. When you have women who are visible in these roles, it's just going to normalize someone occupying this position. And that's the goal with all of this.

"It's not that I would want any attention for myself, and I'm sure (Marney) would think the same way. It's letting more people see this, so it just becomes something that we accept and know is going to happen in the future."

Tournament Tidbits

--The first goal of the 75th annual tournament was scored by St. Cloud Cathedral's Jackson Savoie at 13:25 of the first period in the Crusaders' 7-0 victory over North Branch. A crucial goal for Cathedral came shorthanded by Nate Warner in the second period, making it 3-0. Warner, who finished with a hat trick, missed half the season with an injury. He will play collegiately at Minnesota. He's also a former neighbor of Minnesota coach Bob Motzko, who coached at St. Cloud State prior to this season.

--North Branch is a team without a rink. The Vikings drive 13 miles to use the rink at Chisago Lakes; that's the team they defeated in the Section 5 championship game to earn the trip to state. On many days they met at school to board a bus at 4:20 a.m. and head to practice. No wonder they use the hashtag #NoRinkNoProblem. After the Vikings lost to St. Cloud Cathedral in a game that started shortly after 11 a.m., coach Matt Cottingham was asked if playing early in the day was a factor. His answer (with a smile): "We should have started at 5:15 in the morning."

--St. Cloud Cathedral's enrollment in grades 7 through 12 is 621. According to school officials, 554 of those students were on hand to watch the Crusaders face North Branch.

--In Wednesday's second game, East Grand Forks defeated Minnesota River 5-2. Tanner Mack and Landon Parker each scored two goals for the Green Wave and Jade Reicks scored the Minnesota River goals.

--A common question before and during the tournament has been: Who is Minnesota River? That hockey team is a cooperative program involving five school districts: Le Sueur-Henderson, St. Peter, Tri-City United, Cleveland and Belle Plaine.

--Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0: Mahtomedi's goal scorers included senior twins Tom and Joe Paradise, who are grandsons of Herb Brooks. Tom Paradise scored twice, as did J.D. Metz.

--Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4: The Raiders advanced to Friday's semifinals with an exciting, back-and-forth victory over the Tigers.

--Delano's school colors are orange and black but many of the fans wore purple to honor 18-year-old Marleena Anna Dieterich, who died in a car accident earlier this month. Tigers coach Gerrit van Bergen and his assistants wore purple ties.

--Online webstreaming of the tournament via prep45.com makes it possible to watch the action anywhere. Two of the most far-flung viewers Wednesday were Tweeting from Thailand and France.

--Best sign in the stands: "I just hope both teams have fun."

--A limited number of tickets for Thursday's Class 2A quarterfinals will be sold at the Xcel Energy Center box office beginning one hour prior to the first game of each session (tickets will go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Standing-room-only tickets will be available if reserved seats are sold out.

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A


Wednesday's Quarterfinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 7, North Branch 0
East Grand Forks 5, Minnesota River 2
Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4

Friday's Semifinals
11 a.m./ St. Cloud Cathedral vs. East Grand Forks
1:30 p.m./ Mahtomedi vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A

Thursday's Quarterfinals
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1:30 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8:30 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



75th Hockey Tournament TV: History And Familiar Voices
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/4/2019 12:57:52 PM

The 75th MSHSL boys state hockey tournament will be special in many ways, including memories of past tournaments, great moments and all-time top players. In the television broadcast booth, more history will be made this week.

KSTC Channel 45, the longtime television partner of the MSHSL, will bring back former tournament veterans to call games and also will have the first female play-by-play voice in tournament history.

Sloane Martin, becoming the first female play-by-play person to cover the boys hockey tournament, will call the first Class 1A doubleheader session on Wednesday. She is a news reporter at WCCO Radio and a veteran play-by-play sports broadcaster who previously has been on the call for Prep Bowl football games. She will call these Class 1A quarterfinals: North Branch vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, Minnesota River vs. East Grand Forks.

For Wednesday's second Class 1A quarterfinal session, a voice familiar to Minnesota hockey fans will have the play-by-play call. Wally Shaver has been the voice of Gophers men's hockey for nearly two decades and has been a hockey broadcaster for 45 years. Wally will call these games: New Ulm vs. Mahtomedi, Delano vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.

For the opening session of Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday, Doug McLeod of Fox Sports North will have the call. Doug has had a long and varied career in broadcasting, including 19 years in the NHL with the North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. Doug will call these games: White Bear Lake vs. Blaine, Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie.

ESPN veteran Clay Matvick will be on the microphone for Thursday's second pair of Class 2A quarterfinals. Clay is a native of Princeton, Minnesota, and graduate of St. Cloud State University. His duties at ESPN include college football, college basketball, hockey, baseball, softball and the Little League World Series. Clay will call these games: Moorhead vs. Edina, Duluth East vs. St. Thomas Academy.

For the Class 1A semifinals that begin Friday morning, former Wild TV play-by-play voice Dan Terhaar will have the call. Dan, who spent seven seasons with the Wild, has called Prep Bowl games for KSTC Channel 45, has worked for WCCO Radio and has been the play-by-play voice of Gophers hockey and University of North Dakota hockey.

Beginning with Friday's second session (the Class 2A semifinals), veteran tournament voice Jim Erickson will take over the play-by-play duties for the rest of the tourney. The native of Braham, Minnesota, is familiar to hockey fans through his time broadcasting previous girls and boys state tournaments, beginning in 2012. Jim is the play-by-play voice of St. Cloud State men's hockey and has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, covering nearly every high school sport in Minnesota.

Working as analysts on the broadcasts will be two familiar names: Mark Parrish and Lou Nanne. Parrish, who will call all the Class 1A games, won two high school state championships at Bloomington Jefferson in the 1990s, played at St. Cloud State and spent 11 years in the NHL. Nanne, who will call all Class 2A games, has been the color commentator for the MSHSL boys hockey tournament since 1964.

Along with television coverage on KSTC, Channel 45, tournament games will be webcast by prep45com.

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinal Pairings

Class 1A

Wednesday, March 6
11 a.m./ North Branch (19-7-2) vs. #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4)
1 p.m./ Minnesota River (20-4) vs. #3 seed East Grand Forks (20-8)
6 p.m./ New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. #1 seed Mahtomedi (21-6-1)
8 p.m./ #5 seed Delano (17-9-2) vs. #4 seed Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (15-13)

Class 2A

Thursday, March 7
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



75th Boys State Hockey Tournament/ Class 2A
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/4/2019 9:26:14 AM

Thursday, March 7

11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)

1 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)

6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)

8 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)



75th Boys State Hockey Tournament/ Class 1A
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/4/2019 9:25:27 AM

Wednesday, March 6

11 a.m./ North Branch (19-7-2) vs. #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4)

1 p.m./ Minnesota River (20-4) vs. #3 seed East Grand Forks (20-8)

6 p.m./ New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. #1 seed Mahtomedi (21-6-1)

8 p.m./ #5 seed Delano (17-9-2) vs. #4 seed Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (15-13)



75th Hockey Tournament TV: History And Familiar Voices
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/4/2019

The 75th MSHSL boys state hockey tournament will be special in many ways, including memories of past tournaments, great moments and all-time top players. In the television broadcast booth, more history will be made this week.

KSTC Channel 45, the longtime television partner of the MSHSL, will bring back former tournament veterans to call games and also will have the first female play-by-play voice in tournament history.
Sloane Martin, becoming the first female play-by-play person to cover the boys hockey tournament, will call the first Class 1A doubleheader session on Wednesday. She is a news reporter at WCCO Radio and a veteran play-by-play sports broadcaster who previously has been on the call for Prep Bowl football games. She will call these Class 1A quarterfinals: North Branch vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, Minnesota River vs. East Grand Forks.

For Wednesday's second Class 1A quarterfinal session, a voice familiar to Minnesota hockey fans will have the play-by-play call. Wally Shaver has been the voice of Gophers men’s hockey for nearly two decades and has been a hockey broadcaster for 45 years. Wally will call these games: New Ulm vs. Mahtomedi, Delano vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.

For the opening session of Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday, Doug McLeod of Fox Sports North will have the call. Doug has had a long and varied career in broadcasting, including 19 years in the NHL with the North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. Doug will call these games: White Bear Lake vs. Blaine, Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie.

ESPN veteran Clay Matvick will be on the microphone for Thursday’s second pair of Class 2A quarterfinals. Clay is a native of Princeton, Minnesota, and graduate of St. Cloud State University. His duties at ESPN include college football, college basketball, hockey, baseball, softball and the Little League World Series. Clay will call these games: Moorhead vs. Edina, Duluth East vs. St. Thomas Academy.

For the Class 1A semifinals that begin Friday morning, former Wild TV play-by-play voice Dan Terhaar will have the call. Dan, who spent seven seasons with the Wild, has called Prep Bowl games for KSTC Channel 45, has worked for WCCO Radio and has been the play-by-play voice of Gophers hockey and University of North Dakota hockey.

Beginning with Friday’s second session (the Class 2A semifinals), veteran tournament voice Jim Erickson will take over the play-by-play duties for the rest of the tourney. The native of Braham, Minnesota, is familiar to hockey fans through his time broadcasting previous girls and boys state tournaments. Jim is the play-by-play voice of St. Cloud State men’s hockey and has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, covering nearly every high school sport in Minnesota.

Working as analysts on the broadcasts will be two familiar names: Mark Parrish and Lou Nanne. Parrish, who will call all the Class 1A games, won two high school state championships at Bloomington Jefferson in the 1990s, played at St. Cloud State and spent 11 years in the NHL. Nanne, who will call all Class 2A games, has been the color commentator for the MSHSL boys hockey tournament since 1964.

Along with television coverage on KSTC, Channel 45, tournament games will be webcast by prep45com.

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinal Pairings

Class 1A

Wednesday, March 6
11 a.m./ North Branch (19-7-2) vs. #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4)
1 p.m./ Minnesota River (20-4) vs. #3 seed East Grand Forks (20-8)
6 p.m./ New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. #1 seed Mahtomedi (21-6-1)
8 p.m./ #5 seed Delano (17-9-2) vs. #4 seed Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (15-13)


Class 2A

Thursday, March 7
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Park Rapids' Ashton Clark: Perseverance, Dedication, Commitment
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2019 9:43:59 PM

Saturday night was special at Xcel Energy Center. The final matches of the high school wrestling season, in which individual state champions are crowned, are always held in a joyous, raucous setting, with gold medals being awarded in front of cheering crowds.

High school wrestling careers sometimes end quietly, too.

Ashton Clark, a senior from Park Rapids, was hoping to go out on top. He placed second in Class 2A as a sophomore and junior and came to the 2019 state tournament in the 120-pound class with dreams of a first-place finish. That dream was dashed when he lost an opening-round match on Friday morning in the most dramatic way possible.

As the match was winding down, Clark held a 4-0 lead over Spencer Ruedy of Mankato East. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ruedy scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to win the match 5-4. Clark, in his fifth trip to state, was done.

But the story, the story that really matters, the story that says so much about the young man, is how he made it back to state when it seemed impossible.

Ashton (pictured in the top position in this photo) suffered a broken leg on Jan. 5 while wrestling in the championship match at a tournament in Ogilvie. He won that match, despite a broken bone just above the ankle. Doctors told him his wrestling season was over.

He wasn't hearing it.

"I didn't really want to think about it," he said. "I tried to think about other things."

Things like rehabbing his injury. Things like staying in condition. Things like doing everything in his power to be ready for the Section 8 individual section tournament.

He had a couple of important people in his corner. Matt Clark is the Park Rapids wrestling coach and Angel Clark is the school's athletic trainer. They also are Ashton's parents.

"If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have been very, very surprised (to see Ashton at state)," said Matt. "But knowing everything he did, there are not many kids who would do that or could do that. He's a strong young kid."

His leg and foot were never put in a cast; Ashton had a walking boot and crutches at first. He ditched the crutches after a while and was able to remove the boot at times. Angel helped her son by first using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. "We talked about how we were going to do everything perfectly," she said. "I've looked at fractures like this and they don't come back like that."

Three weeks after the injury, a doctor looked at a fresh X-ray and was astounded. "He said, 'Oh my God. Wow, this looks super good,' " Angel recalled. "We were like, 'Oh thank God.' Then he turned to Ashton and said, 'What kind of chance do you have to make it to state?' We said, 'Well, this would be his fifth time.' "

The Clarks asked a custodian at the school to remove the left pedal from a stationary bike so Ashton could ride it for conditioning. He did work in the swimming pool.

"That's discipline," Angel said. "A part of me thinks that Ashton was coming back and he knew it. He's so, so disciplined."

The news kept getting better as the section tournament got closer.

"The first time we went to the doctor he said there wasn't much of a chance," Ashton said. "The second time he said we were a week or two ahead of schedule, and to keep doing what we were doing. The third time he said it was going to be ready."

He finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 161-22. What matters much more than how it ended, however, is what he accomplished along the way, and how he finished. With perseverance, dedication and commitment.

--Simley senior Daniel Kerkvliet won the Class 2A state title at heavyweight Saturday night, becoming the 20th wrestler in Minnesota history with four championships.

Wrestling State Champions

Class 1A

106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East

113/ Charley Elwood, Medford

120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo

126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake

132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland

138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles

145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston

152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo

160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo

170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska

182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby

195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota

220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River

285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A

106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca

113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace

120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley

126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace

132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley

138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West

145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville

152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia

160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville

170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes

182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville

195/ Ty Moser, Perham

220/ Danny Striggow, Orono

285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A

106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee

113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee

120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake

126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater

132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield

138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley

145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar

152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South

160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls

170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo

182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea

195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake

220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount

285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Wrestling State Championship Matches
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2019

The 2019 state wrestling tournament will culminate Saturday night with individual championship match. The final session of the tournament at Xcel Energy Center will begin at 4 p.m. with fifth- and third-place matches, followed by the championship matches.

Class 1A
106/ Michael Majerus, Zumbrota-Mazeppa vs. Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford vs. Derek Steele, Sibley East
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo vs. Trevor Janssen, Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena
126/ Canon Swanson, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Mason Gode, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville vs. Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles vs. Blake Legred, United South Central
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston vs. Willie Von Ruden, Medford
152/ Chandler Mooney, Roseau vs. Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo vs. Owen Bjerga, Staples-Motley
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska vs. Kaleb O’Reilly, Goodhue
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby vs. Trevor Eisfeld, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/W-WG
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota vs. Tyler VanLuik, Minnewaska
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River vs. Luke Tweeton, Frazee
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie vs. Scot Edwards, Adrian

Class 2A
106/ Dylan Louwagie, Marshall vs. Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace vs. Maxwell Petersen, Byron
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley vs. Jaxson Rohman, Fairmont/Martin County West
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace vs. Mitchel Petersen, Byron
132/ Charlie Pickell, Mankato West vs. Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West vs. Cael Berg, Simley
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville vs. Kellen Schauer, Grand Rapids
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia vs. Dylan Fudge, Perham
160/ Cade Mueller, Waconia vs. Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes vs. Nolan Wanzek, Simley
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville vs. Zachary Peterson, Perham
195/ Ty Moser, Perham vs. Grant Parrish, Kasson-Mantorville
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono vs. Garsen Schorr, Kasson-Mantorville
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley vs. Logan Wingert, Plainview-Elgin-Millville

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee vs. Jore Volk, Lakeville North
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee vs. Ryan Henningson, Winona/Cotter
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake vs. Ben Lunn, Shakopee
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater vs. Ryan Schurber, Buffalo
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield vs. Adam Mickelson, Apple Valley
138/ Drew Woodley, Northfield vs. Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar vs. Brady Gross, Apple Valley
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South vs. Moise Madimba, Coon Rapids
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls vs. Brock Rinehart, Woodbury
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo vs Chase Dressel, Mounds View
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea vs Cade King, Owatonna
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake vs. Lincoln Shinn, Willmar
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount vs. Cole Fibranz, Sartell-St. Stephen
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North vs. Marco Cavallaro, East Ridge



Park Rapids’ Ashton Clark: Perseverance, Dedication, Commitment
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2019

Saturday night was special at Xcel Energy Center. The final matches of the high school wrestling season, in which individual state champions are crowned, are always held in a joyous, raucous setting, with gold medals being awarded in front of cheering crowds.

High school wrestling careers sometimes end quietly, too.

Ashton Clark, a senior from Park Rapids, was hoping to go out on top. He placed second in Class 2A as a sophomore and junior and came to the 2019 state tournament in the 120-pound class with dreams of a first-place finish. That dream was dashed when he lost an opening-round match on Friday morning in the most dramatic way possible.

As the was match winding down, Clark held a 4-0 lead over Spencer Ruedy of Mankato East. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ruedy scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to win the match 5-4. Clark, in his fifth trip to state, was done.

But the story, the story that really matters, the story that says so much about the young man, is how he made it back to state when it seemed impossible.

Ashton (pictured in the top position in this photo) suffered a broken leg on Jan. 5 while wrestling in the championship match at a tournament in Ogilvie. He won that match, despite a broken bone just above the ankle. Doctors told him his wrestling season was over.

He wasn’t hearing it.

“I didn’t really want to think about it,” he said. “I tried to think about other things.”

Things like rehabbing his injury. Things like staying in condition. Things like doing everything in his power to be ready for the Section 8 individual section tournament.

He had a couple of important people in his corner. Matt Clark is the Park Rapids wrestling coach and Angel Clark is the school’s athletic trainer. They also are Ashton’s parents.

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have been very, very surprised (to see Ashton at state),” said Matt. “But knowing everything he did, there are not many kids who would do that or could do that. He’s a strong young kid.”

His leg and foot were never put in a cast; Ashton had a walking boot and crutches at first. He ditched the crutches after a while and was able to remove the boot at times. Angel helped her son by first using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. “We talked about how we were going to do everything perfectly,” she said. “I’ve looked at fractures like this and they don’t come back like that.”

Three weeks after the injury, a doctor looked at a fresh X-ray and was astounded. “He said, ‘Oh my God. Wow, this looks super good,’ ” Angel recalled. “We were like, ‘Oh thank God.’ Then he turned to Ashton and said, ‘What kind of chance do you have to make it to state?’ We said, ‘Well, this would be his fifth time.’ ”

The Clarks asked a custodian at the school to remove the left pedal from a stationary bike so Ashton could ride it for conditioning. He did work in the swimming pool.

“That’s discipline,” Angel said. “A part of me thinks that Ashton was coming back and he knew it. He’s so, so disciplined.”

The news kept getting better as the section tournament got closer.

“The first time we went to the doctor he said there wasn’t much of a chance,” Ashton said. “The second time he said we were a week or two ahead of schedule, and to keep doing what we were doing. The third time he said it was going to be ready.”

He finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 161-22. What matters much more than how it ended is what he accomplished along the way, and how he finished. With perseverance, dedication and commitment.

--Simley senior Daniel Kerkvliet won the Class 2A state title at heavyweight Saturday night, becoming the 20th wrestler in Minnesota history with four championships.

--Total attendance for the three-day state wrestling tournament was 50,199. The tournament record is 64,001, set in 2003. One year ago the total attendance was 51,705.

Wrestling State Champions

Class 1A
106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A
106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace
132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
195/ Ty Moser, Perham
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Park Rapids’ Ashton Clark: Perseverance, Dedication, Commitment
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2019

Saturday night was special at Xcel Energy Center. The final matches of the high school wrestling season, in which individual state champions are crowned, are always held in a joyous, raucous setting, with gold medals being awarded in front of cheering crowds.

High school wrestling careers sometimes end quietly, too.

Ashton Clark, a senior from Park Rapids, was hoping to go out on top. He placed second in Class 2A as a sophomore and junior and came to the 2019 state tournament in the 120-pound class with dreams of a first-place finish. That dream was dashed when he lost an opening-round match on Friday morning in the most dramatic way possible.

As the was match winding down, Clark held a 4-0 lead over Spencer Ruedy of Mankato East. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ruedy scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to win the match 5-4. Clark, in his fifth trip to state, was done.

But the story, the story that really matters, the story that says so much about the young man, is how he made it back to state when it seemed impossible.

Ashton suffered a broken leg on Jan. 5 while wrestling in the championship match at a tournament in Ogilvie. He won that match, despite a broken bone just above the ankle. Doctors told him his wrestling season was over.

He wasn’t hearing it.

“I didn’t really want to think about it,” he said. “I tried to think about other things.”

Things like rehabbing his injury. Things like staying in condition. Things like doing everything in his power to be ready for the Section 8 individual section tournament.

He had a couple of important people in his corner. Matt Clark is the Park Rapids wrestling coach and Angel Clark is the school’s athletic trainer. They also are Ashton’s parents.

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have been very, very surprised (to see Ashton at state),” said Matt. “But knowing everything he did, there are not many kids who would do that or could do that. He’s a strong young kid.”

His leg and foot were never put in a cast; Ashton had a walking boot and crutches at first. He ditched the crutches after a while and was able to remove the boot at times. Angel helped her son by first using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. “We talked about how we were going to do everything perfectly,” she said. “I’ve looked at fractures like this and they don’t come back like that.”

Three weeks after the injury, a doctor looked at a fresh X-ray and was astounded. “He said, ‘Oh my God. Wow, this looks super good,’ ” Angel recalled. “We were like, ‘Oh thank God.’ Then he turned to Ashton and said, ‘What kind of chance do you have to make it to state?’ We said, ‘Well, this would be his fifth time.’ ”

The Clarks asked a custodian at the school to remove the left pedal from a stationary bike so Ashton could ride it for conditioning. He did work in the swimming pool.

“That’s discipline,” Angel said. “A part of me thinks that Ashton was coming back and he knew it. He’s so, so disciplined.”

The news kept getting better as the section tournament got closer.

“The first time we went to the doctor he said there wasn’t much of a chance,” Ashton said. “The second time he said we were a week or two ahead of schedule, and to keep doing what we were doing. The third time he said it was going to be ready.”

He finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 161-22. What matters much more than how it ended is what he accomplished along the way, and how he finished. With perseverance, dedication and commitment.

--Simley senior Daniel Kerkvliet won the Class 2A state title at heavyweight Saturday night, becoming the 20th wrestler in Minnesota history with four championships.

Wrestling State Champions

Class 1A
106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A
106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace
132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
195/ Ty Moser, Perham
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



Wrestling State Champions
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2019

Class 1A
106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A
106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace
132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
195/ Ty Moser, Perham
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North




Tuffy From Grand Rapids: 56 Years Of State Wrestling
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/1/2019

Hardly anybody calls Tuffy Hoard by his given name. The longtime Grand Rapids assistant wrestling coach's real name is Laverne, which is a fine name. But ever since his cousins started calling him Tuffy when he was just a little sprout in Grand Rapids nearly seven decades ago, he has been known as Tuffy.

When the late Skip Nalan, Grand Rapids' Hall of Fame wrestling coach, first laid eyes on Hoard he asked, "Who is that little guy?" The answer: "That's Tuffy."

The name was fitting. Hoard was small, weighing only 75 pounds when he wrestled in the 95-pound division as a ninth-grader in 1963. He was only 90 pounds when he graduated in 1966. But boy, could he wrestle.

Tuffy was the first four-time Region 7 champ, meaning he wrestled at state four times. He finished third at state as a junior and second as a senior.

"When you don't finish first it bugs you," he said this week. "You always remember that one."

The 1963 state tournament was held in St. Peter, the 1964 event in Mankato and in 1965 and 1966 at Williams Arena. The current location, of course, is Xcel Energy Center and Tuffy, 70, is back at state this week, 56 years after his first appearance. Along with Grand Rapids head coach Mike Schauer and fellow assistants Jackson Schauer and Roy Peterson, the Thunderhawks were represented on the mat in Class 2A by three wrestlers: Connor Wakefield at 113 pounds, Kellen Schauer at 145 and Brendin Morian at 152.

Wakefield and Morian were eliminated with opening-round losses Friday but Schauer is one of the favorites, coming to state with a record of 51-0. He pinned Jan Soto-Henderson of Minneapolis Patrick Henry in Friday's opening round and defeated Sean Howk of New Ulm 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Schauer will meet Tucker Gifferson of Hutchinson in Saturday's semifinals, hoping to advance to the championship round Saturday night.

During Tuffy's four years wrestling at state in a single-class tournament, the team champions were Hopkins, Mankato, Cooper and Albert Lea. Grand Rapids has sent teams to state 13 times with 2A runner-up finishes in 1977 and 1987. The Thunderhawks were at the team state tournament in 2017 and 2018 before losing to Mora in this year's Section 7 finals.

"I'm not positive but I believe every year since wrestling started here in 1952 we've probably had individuals in the state tournament every year," Hoard said. "The team has gone for quite a few years, we're always in the running."

After graduating from Grand Rapids High School, Tuffy was drafted and served in Vietnam. Afterwards he returned to his hometown and has never left, working as a carpenter and in construction.

Wrestling was always part of his life, it seems.

"I got the opportunity to help coach and started out at the grade school," he said, "then junior high, then high school, boy probably in the early to middle '80s."

When Grand Rapids activities director Anne Campbell asked Tuffy to sit still last week for a photo (seen above) and a Tweet commemorating his long ties with the state tournament, he said OK but he wouldn't smile because, he told her, "wrestlers don't smile." (Here's a secret: Tuffy smiles a lot.)

"Oh my gosh," Campbell said. "He is the legend of Grand Rapids wrestling. He's been here forever and the kids love him. "He's just unbelievable. He cares about the kids and they love him, they work hard for him. He's a huge asset to our program."

Tournaments Tidbits

Eighteen returning state champions qualified for the 2019 tournament and all 18 advanced through Friday's first two rounds of competition. Semifinals will be held during Saturday's first session, which begins at 9:30 a.m. The final session, featuring fifth-place, third-place and championship matches, will begin at 4 p.m.

Class 1A returning champions

120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A returning champions
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
113/ Maxwell Petersen, Byron
120/ Jaxson Rohman, Fairmont/Martin Co. West
126/ Mitchel Petersen, Byron
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
160/ Cade Mueller, Waconia
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A returning champs
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stiillwater
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
182/ Cade King, Owatonna

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.



View Posts by Month:  
April, 2019 (4)  
March, 2019 (34)  
February, 2019 (54)  
January, 2019 (67)  
December, 2018 (56)  
November, 2018 (30)  
October, 2018 (38)  
September, 2018 (63)  
August, 2018 (13)  
July, 2018 (14)  
June, 2018 (14)  
May, 2018 (36)  
April, 2018 (14)  
March, 2018 (30)  
February, 2018 (48)  
January, 2018 (67)  
December, 2017 (50)  
November, 2017 (35)  
October, 2017 (45)  
September, 2017 (71)  
August, 2017 (17)  
July, 2017 (11)  
June, 2017 (22)  
May, 2017 (42)  
April, 2017 (35)  
March, 2017 (29)  
February, 2017 (38)  
January, 2017 (47)  
December, 2016 (26)  
November, 2016 (42)  
October, 2016 (49)  
September, 2016 (25)  
August, 2016 (11)  
July, 2016 (6)  
June, 2016 (15)  
May, 2016 (11)  
April, 2016 (9)  
March, 2016 (14)  
February, 2016 (18)  
January, 2016 (5)  
December, 2015 (7)  
November, 2015 (18)  
October, 2015 (11)  
September, 2015 (12)  
August, 2015 (11)  
July, 2015 (3)  
June, 2015 (12)  
May, 2015 (10)  
April, 2015 (8)  
March, 2015 (14)  
February, 2015 (16)  
January, 2015 (8)  
December, 2014 (4)  
November, 2014 (14)  
October, 2014 (8)  
September, 2014 (11)  
August, 2014 (8)  
July, 2014 (5)  
June, 2014 (12)  
May, 2014 (9)  
April, 2014 (10)  
March, 2014 (17)  
February, 2014 (15)  
January, 2014 (11)  
December, 2013 (8)  
November, 2013 (27)  
October, 2013 (24)  
September, 2013 (16)  
August, 2013 (14)  
July, 2013 (5)  
June, 2013 (13)  
May, 2013 (12)  
April, 2013 (14)  
March, 2013 (25)  
February, 2013 (20)  
January, 2013 (13)  
December, 2012 (15)  
November, 2012 (31)  
October, 2012 (26)  
September, 2012 (25)  
August, 2012 (12)  
July, 2012 (3)  
June, 2012 (20)  
May, 2012 (10)  
April, 2012 (11)  
March, 2012 (39)  
February, 2012 (19)  
January, 2012 (11)  
December, 2011 (13)  
November, 2011 (29)  
October, 2011 (29)  
September, 2011 (28)  
August, 2011 (15)  
July, 2011 (3)  
June, 2011 (22)  
May, 2011 (16)  
April, 2011 (15)  
March, 2011 (42)  
February, 2011 (20)  
January, 2011 (16)  
December, 2010 (14)  
November, 2010 (47)  
October, 2010 (39)  
September, 2010 (30)  
August, 2010 (26)  
July, 2010 (8)  
June, 2010 (45)  
May, 2010 (28)  
April, 2010 (29)  
March, 2010 (88)  
 


Copyright 1994-2019 Minnesota State High School League
2100 Freeway Boulevard Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-1735    |    (763) 560-2262     |     FAX (763) 569-0499