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Monday, February 28, 2011
Sylvester Named Ms. Hockey
Warroad senior forward Karley Sylvester has been named Minnesota's Ms. Hockey.
 
Sylvester won the 16th annual award presented by the Let's Play Hockey newspaper on Sunday. The award goes to the top girls' high school hockey player in Minnesota, based on academics, community and extracurricular activities, citizenship, coachability and on-ice performance.
 
Sylvester helped the Warriors to a 27-3-0 record and their second consecutive state championship. She plans to play college hockey for Wisconsin.
 
The other finalists were forwards Rachael Bona of Coon Rapids, Taylor Kuehl of Mound Westonka, Mehan Lorence of Irondale and defenseman Rachel Ramsey of Minnetonka.
 
Julie Friend, of Minnetonka, was named the Let's Play Hockey senior goalie of the year.
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Monday, February 28, 2011
State Wrestling Tournament Preview
All three teams will be back to defend their titles, 21 individual champions return and the new, three-day format will make its debut when the 2011 Minnesota State High School Wretling Tournament begins Thursday, March 3 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
 
The returning team champions include: the Jackson County Central Huskies in Class A; the Simley Spartans in Class AA; and the Apple Valley Eagles in Class AAA. Jackson County Central is looking for its second consecutive title, Simley of Inver Grove Heights is looking for its fourth consecutive title, and Apple Valley is seeking its sixth consecutive title.
 
All of this year’s qualifying teams have previous tournament experience. Monticello, Hopkins, and White Bear Lake Area are both making their second appearances, while Apple Valley is making its 29th consecutive appearance and its 30th overall.
 
In the individual competition, 21 champions return for more gold medals — nine in Class AAA, six in Class AA, and six in Class A.
 
The 2011 State Wrestling Tournament opens Thursday, March 3, and runs through Saturday, March 5, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The new three-day format features all of the team dual competition on Thursday, followed by exclusive individual competition Friday and Saturday.
 
This is the third year that the teams have been seeded. The 16 coaches of the section champions ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director and Tournament Director Craig Perry announced the top four seeds and then conducted a blind draw of the four remaining teams to establish the opponent for the seeded teams.
 
Class A Team Highlights
 
Six teams that competed in the 2010 tournament, including the defending champions from Jackson County Central, return to this year’s field. The Huskies are also the top-seeded team this year. The other returning teams are: Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Section 4); Frazee (Section 8); Border West, which is a co-op between Wheaton, Herman-Norcross, and Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (Section 6); Minneota (Section 3); and Zumbrota-Mazeppa Section 1).
 
The Frazee Hornets, who are the No. 3 seed this year, are making their sixth consecutive and 19th overall appearance. They earned runner-up honors in 2010 and are in the hunt for their fourth title. They won previously in 1992, 1999, and 2002.
 
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial returns for its third consecutive and fourth overall appearance under this name. The Knights, who earned consolation honors in 2010, also made one additional appearance as a co-op with Mankato Loyola in 2004.
 
The Buccaneers of Border West lost in the consolation semifinals for the past two years and are making their third consecutive and overall appearance under this name. This is the 11th appearance for Wheaton, which made appearances in 1993 and 1994, and six additional appearances as a co-op with Herman-Norcross. As a co-op with Herman-Norcross, Wheaton’s last appearance was in 2007. That program also claimed a state title in 1996.
 
The Cougars of Zumbrota-Mazeppa, who placed fourth last year, are making their second consecutive and sixth overall appearance.
 
Minneota is the final returning team. The Vikings enter this year’s tournament as the No. 4 seed and they’re hoping to improve on last year’s third-place showing. This year marks their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance.
 
Kimball Area (Section 5) and Pierz (Section 7) round out the Class A field. The Cubs of Kimball Area, who are the No. 2 seed this year, are making their fourth appearance. Their last was in 1998. Pierz is making its eighth tournament appearance, but first since 2006. If the Pioneers win it would be their third title. They won previous back-to-back championships in 2004 and 2005.
 
The 9:00 a.m. Thursday Class A seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication:
 
No. 2 Kimball Area (31-1 No. 3) vs. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (20-1 No. 6); No. 3 Frazee (20-3 No. 2) vs. Border West 24-5 No. 9); No. 1 Jackson County Central (24-1 No. 1) vs. Pierz 22-5 No. 12); No. 4 Minneota (23-5 No. 4) vs. Zumbrota-Mazeppa 24-5 No. 8).

     

Class AA Team Highlights
 
The Spartans of Simley (Section 4) return as the three-time defending champions. This is the fourth consecutive and 17th overall appearance for the Spartans, who are the No. 1 seed this year. In addition to this past three years, Simley also won championships in 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1992.
 
Four other teams also return from the 2010 field: Kasson-Mantorville (Section 1); Scott West, a co-op between Belle Plaine, Jordan, and Holy Family Academy of Belle Plaine (Section 2); Foley (Section 6); and the co-op of Thief River Falls/Goodridge (Section 8).
 
Foley and Scott West are both making fourth consecutive appearances. The Foley Falcons are the No. 4 seed this year and are looking to improve on last year’s runner-up showing. This is their 18th overall appearance and they won previous titles in 1989, 1993, and 1994. The Scott West Panthers, who placed sixth last year, enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed. This is their 12th appearance.
 
Thief River Falls/Goodridge and Kasson-Mantorville are both making their second consecutive appearances. The Prowlers of Thief River Falls/Goodridge are making their third overall appearance. They lost in the consolation semifinals of the 2010 tournament. The KoMets of Kasson-Mantorville, who are making their fifth overall appearance, finished in third place last year. They enter this year’s tournament as the No. 2 seed.
 
The co-op of Wabasso/Red Rock Central (Section 3), which also includes students from Cedar Mountain of Morgan, is making its first appearance under this name. Wabasso made two additional appearances in 2004 and 2006, and Red Rock Central, which is located in Lamberton, made one additional appearance as a co-op with Westbrook-Walnut Grove in 2001.
 
Grand Rapids and Monticello are the final teams competing in the Class AA field. The Grand Rapids Thunderhawks are making their 11th appearance, but first since 2007, and the Monticello Magic are making their second appearance, but first since 1981.
 
The 9:00 a.m. Thursday Class AA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication:
 
No. 2 Kasson-Mantorville (27-3 No. 2) vs. Wabasso/Red Rock Central (24-2 No. 5); No. 3 Scott West (22-0 No. 3) vs. Monticello (23-2 No. 6); No. 1 Simley (28-2 No. 1) vs. Grand Rapids (19-8 No. 11); No. 4 Foley (25-4 No. 4) vs. Thief River Falls/Goodridge (18-6 No. 9).
 
Class AAA Team Highlights
 
Apple Valley (Section 3) returns as the five-time defending champion. The Eagles, who are the No. 1 seed, are making their 29th consecutive and 30th overall tournament appearance. In addition to the past five years, they also won previous team championships in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
 
Two other teams also return from the 2010 qualifying field. St. Michael-Albertville (Section 7) returns for its 13th consecutive and 21st overall appearance. The Knights placed second last year and are the No. 2 seed this year. If they win it would be their seventh title. They won previously in 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
 
White Bear Lake Area (Section 4) is making its second consecutive and overall appearance. The Bears lost in the consolation semifinals on the 2010 tournament.
 
The other teams competing in Class AAA are: Centennial of Circle Pines (Section 5); Albert Lea Area (Section 1), which includes athletes from Glenville-Emmons and Alden-Conger; Hopkins (Section 6); Prior Lake (Section 2); and Bemidji (Section 8).
 
Centennial and Albert Lea Area are both returning after a one-year absence. The Cougars of Centennial are returning for their ninth appearance, while the Tigers of Albert Lea Area are making their 11th. The Tigers, who are the No. 3 seed this year, won previous championships in 1977 and 1981.
 
The Hopkins Royals are making their second appearance, but first since 1989, and the Prior Lake Lakers are returning for their third appearance, but first since 2008. The Lakers enter this year’s tournament as the No. 4 seed.
 
The Bemidji Lumberjacks are the final qualifying team in Class AAA. This is their sixth appearance; their last was in 2005.
 
The 11:00 a.m. Thursday Class AAA seeded quarterfinal pairings and the team records followed by the final rankings of The Guillotine wrestling publication:
 
No. 2 St. Michael-Albertville (31-4 No. 3) vs. Centennial (21-12 No. 11); No. 3 Albert Lea Area (27-3 No. 4) vs. Hopkins (19-6 unranked); No. 1 Apple Valley (33-1 No. 1) vs. White Bear Lake Area (20-5 No. 10); No. 4 Prior Lake (22-10 No. 7) vs. Bemidji 21-9 unranked).
 
Class A Individual Highlights
 
103 pounds — There are no returning medalists and no perfect records.
 
112 pounds — Isaac Novacek (38-1) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, last year’s champion at 103 pounds, leads the field. Zack Kuhns (34-5) of Maple River of Mapleton is the only other returning qualifier. He placed fifth at 103 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.
 
119 pounds — Three medalists return at this weight: Will McCarthy (38-3) of Border West, third in this weight class; Mitchel Lexvold (38-4) of Kenyon-Wanamingo, runner-up at 103 pounds; and Taner Trembley of Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (31-4), fourth at 103 pounds. There are no perfect records.
 
125 pounds — This weight class features five returning medal-winners: Gus McCarthy (38-4) of Border West, runner-up at 103 pounds; Christian Skillings (36-2) of Minneota, runner-up at 119 pounds; Marcus Hamer, fourth at 103 pounds; Tanner Ellenberg (38-3) of Frazee, fifth at 119 pounds; and Jake Wirtjes (32-5) of Blue Earth Area, sixth at 119 pounds. There are no unblemished records.
 
130 pounds — Hayden Zillmer (39-1) of Crookston, champion at 112 pounds last year, is the highest returning qualifier. The only other returning medalist is Beau Buysse (35-2) of Minneota; he placed third at 125 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.
 
135 pounds — Bronson Steuber (29-3) of Jackson County Central returns in search of more gold. He took top honors at 125 pounds last year. Brett Schwartz (31-7) of LeSueur-Henderson, who placed sixth at 130 pounds in 2010, also returns. No one has a perfect record.
 
140 pounds — Clint Poster (38-0) of Pierz and Larry Bomstad (38-1) of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City lead this year’s field. Poster placed third at 135 pounds last year and Bomstad placed fifth at 130 pounds. Poster boasts the only perfect record.
 
145 pounds — Curt Maas (33-0) of Medford, who won the title at 135 pounds last year, leads the field of three returning medalists. The others are Darick Vancura (35-7) of Jackson County Central, third at 130 pounds, and Grant Hegge (40-1) of Southland of Adams, sixth in this weight class. Maas has the only unblemished record.
 
152 pounds — The 2010 runner-up at 140 pounds, Brett Pfarr (39-0) of LeSueur-Henderson, leads this year’s qualifiers. Two other medalists also return: Anthony Caputo (38-0) of Crookston, fourth at 145 pounds, and Alex Steffel (33-7) of BOLD of Olivia, fifth in this weight class. Caputo, Pfarr, and Joe Franta (36-0) of Blue Earth Area all boast perfect records.
 
160 pounds — Four 2010 medal-winners, led by defending champion Cooper Moore (36-1) of Jackson County Central, return in this weight class. The other returning medal-winners are: Stephen Erlandson (35-1) of Breckenridge/Campbell-Tintah, runner-up in this weight class; Sean Huls (29-5) of Pierz, third in this weight class; and Alex Cooling (31-2) of Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther, fifth at 145 pounds. There are no perfect records.
 
171 pounds — Defending champion Josh Willaert (36-2) of LeSueur-Henderson is the only returning medalist in this weight class. No one enters undefeated.
 
189 pounds — Kody Sorenson (40-1) of Frazee and Chad Matthees (41-2) of Zumbrota-Mazeppa are the only returning medal-winners. Sorenson placed fourth in this weight class in 2010, and Matthees was fifth at 171 pounds. There are no perfect records.
 
215 pounds — Two medal-winners from 2010 return in this field: John Gorter (38-1) of Pipestone Area was the runner-up in this weight class, and Jordan Phibbs (32-8) of Jackson County Central was third in the heavyweight class. No one has an unblemished record.
 
Heavyweight — Alex Yeager (33-3) of Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, who earned runner-up honors in this weight class in 2010, is one of two returning medalists. Cody Torkelson (30-11) of Osakis is the other; he placed fifth in this class last year. No one has a perfect record.
 
Frazee leads the Class A field with 11 qualifiers. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City qualified 10 wrestlers, and Minneota qualified nine.

 

Class AA Individual Highlights

 
103 pounds — Kyle Gliva (37-1) of Simley, who earned runner-up honors in this weight class last year, is the only returning medalist. Skyler Petry (38-0) of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton boasts the only unblemished record.
 
112 pounds — Nate Thomas (22-2) of Kasson-Mantorville, who took championship honors at 103 pounds last year, leads this class. Dru Strand (33-10) of Adrian Area is the only other returning medal-winner. He placed fourth at 103 pounds in 2010. No one enters the tournament undefeated.
 
119 pounds — Mike Fuenffinger (34-0) of Hibbing returns in search of more gold. He earned top honors at 112 pounds last year and has this year’s only perfect record. Four additional 2010 medalists also return: John Weeding (39-1) of Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley, third at 103 pounds; Jacoby Bergeron (41-2) of Thief River Falls/Goodridge, fifth at 112 pounds; Jordan Hanan (24-7) of Annandale/Maple Lake, sixth at 103 pounds; and Mitch Dunlap (31-7) of Foley, sixth at 112 pounds.
 
125 pounds — Joey Munos (37-0) of South St. Paul, who won the 119-pound title last year, is the only returning medalist. He also has the only perfect record.
 
130 pounds — Four medal-winners return: Drake Borsgard (33-1) of Windom Area/Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin, runner-up at 119 pounds; Matt Nelson (36-1) of Big Lake, runner-up at 125 pounds; Jake Kostik (31-2) of North Branch, third at 119 pounds; and Coltan Laganiere (26-12) of Kasson-Mantorville, fourth at 125 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
 
135 pounds — Garret Garness (40-2) of Kasson-Mantorville and Zach Frederich (39-1) of Montgomery-Lonsdale/Le Center are the only returning medalists. Garness was the runner-up at 130 pounds last year and Frederich was sixth at 130 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
 
140 pounds — Jake Short (39-3) of Simley jumps two weight classes in his quest for more gold. He took championship honors at 130 pounds last year. Dustin Ellsworth (26-3) of St. Paul Harding, who placed fourth at 135 pounds in 2010, also returns. There are no perfect records.
 
145 pounds — Three medal-winners return: Nick Wanzek (40-3) of Simley, runner-up in this weight class; Shawn Hatlestad (38-1) of New London-Spicer, third at 140 pounds; and Joey Stadnick (35-3) of Watertown-Mayer/Mayer Lutheran, fourth in this weight class. No competitors enter with a perfect record.
 
152 pounds — The 2010 champion at 145 pounds, Tyler Mergen (40-0) of Monticello, returns in search of more gold. He also has the only perfect record. Two additional medal-winners also return: Dan Dick 32-6) of Simley, runner-up at 140 pounds; and Jesse Munos (37-3) of South St. Paul, fifth at 145 pounds.
 
160 pounds — Micah Barnes (33-3) of Simley, last year’s runner-up finisher at 152 pounds, is back. Taylor Lewandowski (37-4) of Foley and Jamison Evans (37-5) of Grand Rapids also return. Lewandowski was sixth in this weight class last year, and Evans was sixth at 152 pounds. No one has a perfect record.
 
171 pounds — Sebastian Gardner (38-2) of Monticello, runner-up in this weight class last year, leads the field. He is joined by returning medal-winner Pat Faber (35-3) of Fridley, who finished sixth at 160 pounds last year. No one has a perfect record.
 
189 pounds — Broc Berge (33-1) of Kasson-Mantorville, last year’s fourth-place finisher in this weight class, is the top returning qualifier. Cody Welch (33-2) of Wabasso/Red Rock Central also returns, after placing sixth in this weight class in 2010. There are no perfect records.
 
215 pounds — Michael Kroells (37-0) of Scott West and Anthony Gullickson (35-2) of Totino-Grace of Fridley both move up from 189 pounds. Kroells earned runner-up honors last year, and Gullickson followed in third place. Kroells is the only undefeated wrestler in this class.
 
Heavyweight — Austin Goergen (34-0) of Caledonia/Houston returns to defend his title. He may face Jesse Hein (39-0) of Perham, who placed fourth in this weight class last year. Goergen and Hein have the only perfect records in this weight class.
 
Simley leads the field with 13 qualified wrestlers. Both Scott West and Monticello have 10 qualifiers. Nine individual wrestlers qualified for Foley.

 

Class AAA Individual Highlights

 
103 pounds — There are no returning medalists and no perfect records.
 
112 pounds — Five 2010 medal-winners from the 103-pound class return to compete at 112 pounds: Nick Scheffert (19-7) of Owatonna, last year’s runner-up; Jordan Kingsley (39-3) of Apple Valley was third; Michael Pleski (34-7) of Forest Lake finished fourth; Cole Sladek 39-3) of St. Michael-Albertville placed fifth; and Lucas Hansen (17-13) of Albert Lea Area finished sixth. There are no perfect records.
 
119 pounds — Two 2010 champions will compete for another title at a new weight. Mitch Bengtson (37-0) of St. Cloud Apollo won the 112-pound title and Sam Brancale (33-1) claimed gold at 103 pounds. Three other medalists return: Tyler Isaacson (32-3) of Forest Lake, third at 112 pounds; Evan Green (28-4) of Owatonna, fourth at 112 pounds; and Corey Latuff (34-8) of Hastings, fifth at 119 pounds. Bengtson enters the tournament with the only perfect record.
 
125 pounds — Dakota Trom (36-2) of Apple Valley returns in search of more gold. He was the champion at 119 pounds last year. He is joined by four other returning medal winners: Austin Leibel (32-3) of St. Francis, runner-up at 119 pounds; Eric Bauer (36-6) of Hastings, runner-up at 112 pounds; Zack Gawboy (35-6) of Maple Grove, fifth at 112 pounds; and Patrick Casey (30-7) of Shakopee, sixth at 112 pounds. No one enters with an undefeated record.
 
130 pounds — Ben Morgan (36-3) of Forest Lake looks to improve on last year’s third-place finish at this weight. He is joined by one other medalist, Brady Johnshoy (37-3) of Prior Lake, who was third at 119 pounds. There are no perfect records.
 
135 pounds — Matt Kelliher (38-4) of Apple Valley, who won gold at 125 pounds last year, is the top returning qualifier. Two other 2010 medalists at 125 pounds move up in search of a title. Sam Stewart (36-3) of Andover finished fourth, and Grant Nehring 30-9) of St. Cloud Apollo placed sixth. Adam Hammer (34-0) of Osseo is the only wrestler with an unblemished record.
 
140 pounds — Last year’s champion at 135 pounds, Brandon Kingsley (39-2) of Apple Valley, leads the field. Colten LaChance (19-3) of Hastings, who placed third at 135 pounds in 2010, is the other returning medal-winner. No one in this weight class enters with a perfect record.
 
145 pounds — Five 2010 medalists return in this weight class. Daniel Woiwor (33-4) of Apple Valley, last year’s champion at 130 pounds, is the top returning qualifier. The other medal-winners are: Zach Rohr (34-4) of Hastings, who was runner-up at 140 pounds; Tanner Carlisle (38-4) of Prior Lake, fourth at 145 pounds; Dalton Westerlund (36-6) of Albert Lea Area, fifth at 130 pounds; and Luke Boroda (29-3), sixth at 145 pounds. No wrestlers are undefeated.
 
152 pounds — Destin McCauley (42-0) of Apple Valley, the defending champion at 152 pounds, leads this weight class. If McCauley wins it would be his fifth individual title. McCauley is the only returning qualifier and has the only perfect record.
 
160 pounds – Steven Keogh (30-1) of Apple Valley looks to defend his title at 160 pounds. Two other medalists also return. Cory Hansen 37-5) of Albert Lea Area, placed fourth at 135 pounds last year. Kyle Begin (37-2) of Anoka finished fifth at 152 pounds. None of the competitors enters with a perfect record.
 
171 pounds — Two 2010 medal winners at 171 pounds return. Jake Waste 41-1) of Apple Valley was runner-up and Eric Hensel (37-0) of Lakeville South was the fourth-place medalist. They are joined by Clayton Jennissen (36-6) of Cambridge-Isanti, who placed fourth at 152 pounds last year. Hensel has the only unblemished record in this class.
 
189 pounds — Matt Hechsel (32-5) of Apple Valley, who placed fifth in this weight class last year, returns. Coyte Kuefner (29-9) of Owatonna, the only other returning qualifier, placed sixth at 215 pounds in 2010. No one has a perfect record.
 
215 pounds — Two medalists who competed in 2010 will vie the title at 215 pounds. Zane Peterson (37-1) of Lakeville South, finished fifth in this weight class. Zack Vine (35-5) of Centennial, Circle Pines, placed sixth as a heavyweight. There are no undefeated competitors.
 
Heavyweight — Defending heavyweight champion Donny Longendyke (39-1) of White Bear Lake Area seeks another gold medal. Parker Betts (40-2) of St. Michael-Albertville, last year’s third-place finisher in this weight class, is also back to chase the title. There are no perfect records.
 
Apple Valley qualified 13 wrestlers and Owatonna qualified 12. Albert Lea Area and Hastings were next with nine individual qualifiers apiece.
 
The Schedule and Ticket Information
 
This year’s schedule features the team tournament running all day on Thursday, March 3. The action starts with the Class A and Class AA quarterfinals at 9 a.m. They will be followed by the Class AAA team quarterfinals at 11 a.m., which will be run simultaneously with the Class A and Class AA consolation semifinals.
 
At 1 p.m. on Thursday, all three classes will wrestle in the team championship semifinals and Class AAA will also have its consolation semifinals. The third-place team matches for all three classes will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, followed by the team championship matches for all three classes at 7 p.m.
 
On Friday, March 4, the Class A individual first round begins at 9 a.m. The Class AA individual first round starts at 11 a.m., followed by the Class AAA individual first round at 1 p.m. On Friday evening, the Class A individual quarterfinals begin at 5 p.m. The Class AA and Class AAA individual championship quarterfinals will follow at 6 and 7 p.m., respectively. The evening session will conclude with all wrestlebacks at 8 p.m.
 
On Saturday there will be five rounds of competition. The first starts at 10 a.m. and will consist of all individual consolation quarterfinals. The second round will start approximately at 11:15 a.m. and will entail all individual championship semifinals. Round Three begins approximately at 1:15 p.m. and will encompass all individual consolation semifinals. At approximately 5 p.m., all individual fifth- and third-place matches will begin, followed by awards. The day will end with all individual championships beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Awards will also follow the final round.
 
Other than the first matches of each session, all subsequent rounds will start immediately following the conclusion of the previous competition in that session. Thus, most of the start times are approximate. Fans should bear that schedule in mind in planning their arrival at Xcel Energy Center.
 
Ticket prices are $14 per adult and $9 per student for each session. Daily passes are available for $26 for adults and $17 for students. Season passes, good for the entire tournament, are available to adults for $78 and to students for $51.

 

Live Web Streaming

 
The championship semifinals and championship matches of the team and individual competition for all classes will be streamed live by www.45.GrandStadium.tv on the Web and are available at no charge.
 
Posted By MSHSL
Sunday, February 27, 2011
"Wheelers" Provided Track And Field Competition
Some wheelchair-bound high school athletes will be racing around tracks this spring, while others will be putting the shot.
 
The Minnesota State High School League is adding three track and field events exclusively for wheelchair-bound athletes effective this upcoming season. "Wheelers" is the term that refers to the athletes that compete on the track. Wheelers will be able to compete in 800-meter and 1600-meter events. Shot put will be the field event.
 
This new division of competition will be available to athletes with permanent physical disabilities. Competition can begin during the regular season and participation in a minimum of three meets to qualify for section meets. Section competition will qualify athletes to the state meet this June.
 
There will be two classifications: Class 1 for athletes with disabilities of the lower extremities; Class 2 for athletes with disabilities that affect the lower and upper extremities.
 
"These new events will fill a void for a significant number of athletes confined to wheelchairs," explained Associate Director Jody Redman who oversees track and field. "This expands the opportunities for athletic competition for wheelchair-bound students. We expect that our member schools will embrace this expansion of track and field to serve more student-athletes."
 
There are some specific rules and specifications for the wheelchair competition on the track. For example, the wheelchairs will have only three wheels, two in the rear and one in the front. And, although it might seem obvious, the wheelchairs can be maneuvered only with the hands and arms.

For the shot put, the athletes have a little more flexibility in the type of chair that can be used, but scooters and "standing chairs" are not allowed. Assistance in holding the chair to limit excessive movement is allowed.
 
All of the competition for wheelchair racers must be separate from competition for able-bodied athletes. Shot-putters in chairs may compete alongside able-bodied athletes. Team points will not be awarded for participation in wheelchair division events.
 
"Adding these events speaks directly to one of the League’s belief statements," Redman said. "That is, 'Participation in school-sponsored activities must be inclusive, not exclusive.'"
 
Minnesota becomes the seventh state to offer wheelchair track and field competition.
Posted By MSHSL
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Perham Gymnasts Win 8th Straight Class A State Championship
History was made Friday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.

The Perham gymnastics team won its eighth straight Class A State Championship, making them the greatest dynasty in Minnesota high school sports history.
 
For a program that just finished it's 10th competitive season, that’s not too bad.
 
When the Yellowjackets won their seventh title last year, they tied Mahtomedi's gymnastics team (1987-93) for the most consecutive state championships in any sport.  Any class.  Boys or girls sports.  Now, the Jacket gymnasts stand alone.
 
Becker and Melrose made runs to stop Perham's streak.  Becker, the No. 2 ranked team entering the state meet, tied the Jackets on the vault with a 37.15, and had the meet high on the floor with a 37.425, to finish as the runner-up with a 144.475.  Melrose, who snapped Mahtomedi's streak in 1994, finished third with a 143.45, scoring a meet-high on the beam with a 36.425.
 
Perham gymnast Kelsi Vomacka finally upgraded her status from runner-up to champion.  The senior cruised to the Class A all-around state title Saturday to conclude a sparkling career.
 
It was a long time coming.
 
She had finished second in the all-around four straight years.  Last year, Vomacka finished behind teammate Jenna Schmitz by 0.75 percentage points.
 
This year, Vomacka earned an all-around score of 38.725, which included top honors in floor exercise, to finish ahead of Amy Crawford of Detroit Lakes (38.075).  Hailey Brinkman of Melrose Area finished third at 37.075.
 
Vomacka has been part of six of the YellowJackets' championships and she ends her high school gymanstics career with 25 state medals.
 
For more information on the Perham gymnastics team, including photos from the state meet, go to LakesAreaSports.com.
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/John George
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Coaches Seed State Team Wrestling Tournament
Coaches have completed the seeding process for the top four seeds of the 2011 State Wrestling Tournament and the pairings have been drawn for their opponents in the team competition.
 
Jackson County Central (A), Simley (AA) and Appley Valley (AAA) received the number one seeds in their respective classes.
 
The completed brackets with seeded teams and opponents are now available here.
 
The team competiton of the tournament will be completed in one day on Thursday, March 3.
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/MSHSL
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
State Girls’ Gymnastics Meet Preview
Perham, the seven-time defending Class A champion, returns in search of more gold when the 2011 State Girls’ Gymnastics Meet opens at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus on Friday, February 25. Six other qualifying teams also return from last year’s Class A field. In Class AA, five teams, including the defending champions from Northfield, return from the 2010 field.
 
Five individual champions also return to defend their titles. In Class A, Amy Crawford of Detroit Lakes returns to defend her crown on beam, and Carly Petersen of Perham returns as champion on the vault. In Class AA, Natalie Merrifield of Bloomington Jefferson is looking for her third consecutive vault title, while Sabrina Hoover returns as the reigning champion in both the all-around and the beam.
 
Class A Highlights
 
Seven-time defending champion Perham returns with six of the Yellowjackets’ gymnasts who competed in the state meet last year. Six additional teams that competed in the 2010 team competition also return: Becker, runner-up; Martin County Area, which includes students from Fairmont, third; New Prague, fourth; Melrose Area, fifth; Delano, seventh; and Breck School of Golden Valley, eighth. The final qualifying team is Pine Island.
 
Thirteen of 30 event medal-winners will return for the 2011 Class A individual competition.

Matraca Steen of Martin County Area, who earned runner-up honors last year, is one of two returning competitors in floor exercise. The other returning medalist is Jessica Stelter of Detroit Lakes, who earned fourth-place honors.

Kelsi Vomacka of Perham, third in 2010, leads a field of four returning medal-winners in the uneven bars. The other returning medalists are: Amy Crawford of Detroit Lakes, fourth; Autumn Robinson of Becker, fifth; and Courtney Jensen of Big Lake, sixth.

In the balance beam competition, three medal-winners return, including defending champion Crawford. The other returning medalists are: Vomacka, runner-up; and Laura Jore of Big Lake, third.

Carly Petersen of Perham returns to defend her title on the vault. She will face off against Sydnee Donnelli of Jackson County Central, who placed sixth last year.

Three gymnasts return in the all-around competition: Vomacka, runner-up; Crawford, fifth; and Jensen, sixth.

Class AA Highlights
 
Northfield, which includes students from Cannon Falls and Randolph, returns as the defending champion. The Raiders return six gymnasts from last year’s team. In addition to Northfield, four other teams also return from the 2010 field: Roseville Area, runner-up; Cambridge-Isanti, third; St. Cloud Tech, which includes students from St. Cloud Cathedral, fifth; and Rogers, seventh. The other qualifying teams are Eden Prairie, which includes students from FAIR School in Minneapolis, Park of Cottage Grove, and Wayzata
 
Fifteen of 30 event medal-winners in 2010 will return for 2011 Class AA individual competition.
 
Sabrina Hoover of Rogers returns to defend her title on the beam. Two additional medalists also return: Mariah Miller of St. Cloud Tech, third; and Julia Wolter of Eagan, fifth.
 
Three medal-winners, including two-time defending champion Natalia Merrifield of Bloomington Jefferson, return in the vault competition. The other returning medalists are Hoover, who placed fourth, and Leah Robinette of East Ridge of Woodbury, who was fourth in Class A.
 
Four medal-winners return on the uneven bars: Kellie Dougherty of White Bear Lake Area, runner-up; Hoover, third; Allie Bartholomew of Mahtomedi, fourth; and Terra Klima of Farmington, sixth.
 
Hoover and Robinette are the only returning medalists in the floor exercise. Hoover placed fifth last year, and Robinette was sixth in Class A.
 
Hoover returns to defend her all-around title. She will face tough competition from Merrifield, who was the runner-up last year, and Miller, who placed sixth.
 
Schedule & Tickets
 
The meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Team competition is scheduled for Friday, with Class A competition beginning at 11 a.m. and Class AA competition beginning at 6 p.m. The identical time schedule will be followed for Saturday's individual and all-around events, with Class A beginning in the morning and Class AA beginning in the evening.
 
Tickets for the meet are available at the Sports Pavilion. Adult tickets cost $12.00 per session and student tickets cost $8.00 per session.
 
A visit to any participating Wells Fargo metro location can yield a $2 discount coupon for students 13 and younger. The discount coupons are also available for the following tournaments: Girls’ Hockey, Class A Boys’ Hockey, and Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball.
 
Posted By MSHSL
Sunday, February 20, 2011
State Girls’ Hockey Tournament Preview
Section 6A champion Alexandria will be one 16 teams participating when the 17th State Girls' Hockey Tournament begins on Wednesday, February 23 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
 
Six of the eight Class A teams that played last year have qualified again, while in Class AA there is only one team qualified that played last year. Four of the eight Class AA teams are making first tournament appearances.
 
Warroad earned the top Class A seed for its quest to defend its 2010 title. The No. 2 seed is last year’s runner-up, Breck School of Golden Valley.
 
First-time qualifier Minnetonka is the No. 1 seed in Class AA. Edina, the 2010 runner-up and making its third consecutive and overall appearance, is the No. 2 seed.
 
This is the 17th state tournament, but only the third year that the event has been seeded. It is the fifth consecutive year that eight teams will compete in both Class A and Class AA. Only four teams competed in the 1995 and 1996 state tournaments, and eight teams competed from 1997 through 2001. From 2002 through 2006 only four teams qualified for Class A competition. Two hundred forty-one schools comprised the 124 teams that competed during the 2010-11 regular season — 53 in Class A and 71 in Class AA.

This also is the fifth year that all championship rounds of the tournament will be played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. All consolation games will be conducted at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

The Class A teams will start play on Wednesday, February 23, at 11 a.m., and the Class AA teams will take to the ice at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 24. Championship semifinals in both classes will be played Friday, February 25. The third-place and championship games will be played on Saturday at 9 a.m. and noon for Class A and at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for Class AA, respectively.

The 16 coaches of the section champions logged onto a special page of the League Web site and each coach ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top four seeds were selected. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Craig Perry announced the top four seeds. Dale Sager of the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association then conducted a blind draw of the four remaining teams to establish the opponent for each seeded team.

Class A Quarterfinal Highlights

(No. 2 Seed) Breck School, Golden Valley (16-11-1) vs. New Ulm (12-10-3) — 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23: Breck School, which is making its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance, was ranked No. 5 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. The Mustangs were defeated 3-1 by Warroad in last year’s championship game. The only Class A qualifier Breck faced during the regular season was Eveleth-Gilbert and the Mustangs won 4-1. Five of their losses were against Class AA qualifiers Edina, Hill-Murray, Lakeville South, Minnetonka and Rosemount. Eight players are veterans of last year’s tournament campaign. Breck School did not provide team or individual statistics. The unranked Eagles of New Ulm are making their third consecutive and overall tournament appearance. They lost to Breck School 10-0 in last year’s quarterfinals and later lost to Hutchinson 8-2 in the consolation semifinals. The team, which includes students from New Ulm Cathedral, Sleepy Eye and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, lost to Hutchinson 10-2 during the regular season. The Eagles did not provide team or individual statistics. Neither team has won a championship.

(No. 3 Seed) South St. Paul (22-5-0) vs. Hutchinson (14-13-1) — 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23: The Packers of South St. Paul, ranked No. 3 by Let’s Play Hockey, return to tournament action for the second consecutive year and 1lth overall appearance. This game, too, is a rematch of a 2010 quarterfinal that South St. Paul won 6-0. The Packers went on to finish third in the tournament while Hutchinson finished sixth. South St. Paul won titles in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. During the regular season the Packers defeated Class A qualifier Red Wing 5-1 and lost to Class A qualifier Alexandria 3-2, and lost a 2-1 contest against Class AA qualifier Minnetonka and split two games against Class AA qualifier Hill-Murray, winning 5-0 and losing 5-2. Fourteen veterans of their 2010 tournament campaign return, led by junior defender Sam LaShomb with a team-leading 27 goals and 57 points. Three other players have more than 30 points this season, with junior center Emily Reibert leading the way with 49; junior defender Lauren Wilcox has 44 and junior center Riley Viner has 33. Senior goaltender Katie Felton has a 0.90 save percentage, made 391 saves and her goals-against average is 1.65. The Hutchinson Tigers, who were not ranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, return for their third consecutive and overall appearance. During regular-season play this year the Tigers defeated New Ulm 10-2 and lost 8-1 to Class AA qualifier North Wright County. Junior forward Sara Carlson led this year’s team with 45 goals and 29 assists. Junior forward Claire Cripps contributed 63 points on 25 goals and 38 assists. Senior Mary Cummins guarded the net the bulk of the season and has a save percentage of 0.875, making 476 saves and has a 3.14 goals-against average.

(No. 1 Seed) Warroad (24-3-0) vs. Alexandria (11-15-2) — 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23: The Warriors of Warroad return in hopes of defending their 2010 championship, their first after runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2009. Warroad, which also was the No. 1 team in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, is making its third consecutive and fourth overall appearance. All three of Warroad’s losses came against Class AA qualifiers, twice to Minnetonka 3-2 and 1-0, and 2-1 by Edina. The Warriors did not play any other Class A qualifiers, but also defeated Class AA qualifiers Hill-Murray 7-3 and North Wright County 6-0. Senior forward Layla Marvin leads the team with 70 points on 30 goals and 40 assists. Sophomore forward Kayla Gardner isn’t far behind Marvin with her 69 points on 32 goals and 37 assists. Senior forward Megan Brettingen added 17 goals and 26 assists. Senior Shelby Amsley-Benzie played in every game and has a save percentage of 0.960, made 492 saves and gave up only 24 goals. Senior forward Karley Sylvester and Layla Marvin participated on the gold medal winning USA U18 team in Stockholm, Sweden, January 1-8. The 14th-ranked Cardinals of Alexandria are making their second consecutive and seventh overall appearance. They won the 2008 title. Last year they finished fourth. They opened their season with a 3-2 defeat of South St. Paul, but didn’t play any other tournament qualifiers of either class. Senior forward Claire Illies led the offense with 19 assists and 11 goals. Ninth-grade forward Kalley Kragenbring led the team with 16 goals. Junior forward Alia Kopischke has 13 goals and 11 assists. Junior goaltender Stephanie Drown went 8-8-1 in the net and has a .885 save percentage, and sophomore Lindsey Lien went 3-7-1 and has a .896 save percentage.

(No. 4 Seed) Eveleth-Gilbert (19-8-0) vs. Red Wing (14-12-1) — 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23: The Golden Bears of Eveleth-Gilbert, a co-op that includes Virginia, Mesabi East of Aurora and Mountain Iron-Buhl, were ranked No. 12 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll and are making their second tournament appearance. During the regular season the Golden Bears were 4-1 victims of Breck School, the only tournament qualifier they played. Senior wing Amanda Arbogast leads the team with 30 goals and 21 assists. Senior center Kayla Moe added 23 goals and 15 assists. Senior wing Kaylen Erchul scored 18 goals and had 17 assists. Junior Vicky Fossland handled the bulk of the goaltending duties, giving up 53 goals and making 492 saves. The Red Wing Wingers return to tournament play after a one-year hiatus to make their second appearance. The Wingers, who were ranked No. 8 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll, did not face any other qualifiers during the regular season. Ninth-grade forward Nicole Schammel paced Red Wing with 43 goals and 17 assists this year. Sophomore defender Paige Haley has 24 goals and 25 assists, while eighth-grade forward Reagan Haley scored nine times but added 25 assists. Junior goalie Lisa Nibbe went 12-8-1, saved 510 shots and has a .884 save percentage.
 
Class AA Quarterfinal Highlights

(No. 2 Seed) Edina (24-3-1) vs. Rosemount (22-5-1) — 11:00 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 24: The Edina Hornets, who were ranked No. 2 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, return for their third consecutive and overall appearance. They claimed runner-up honors in 2010, losing 4-0 to Roseville Area. During the regular season the Hornets went 5-1-1 against tournament qualifiers, defeating Class AA opponents Hill-Murray twice, 5-1 and 2-0, Coon Rapids 4-1, losing 1-0 and tying Minnetonka 2-2, and defeating Class A qualifiers Breck School 3-1 and Warroad 2-1. Thirteen players have 2010 tournament experience, led by senior forwards Sami Reber with 67 points on 26 goals and 41 assists and Christie Brauer with 48 points on 31 goals and 17 assists. Sophomore forward Sarah Nielsen contributed 15 goals and 31 assists. Junior goaltender Maddie Dahl went 23-3-1 with a .941 save percentage and made 476 saves. The ninth-ranked Irish of Rosemount are making their debut appearance at this year’s tournament. The Irish tied Class AA qualifier Lakeville South 4-4 and lost a second matchup 2-1, but defeated Class A qualifier Breck School 3-2. Senior forward Rachael Kelly arrives with 71 points on 30 goals and 41 assists, complemented by junior forward Taylor Sampson’s 19 goals and 30 assists. Senior forward Allison Micheletti added 20 goals and 12 assists. Junior Caitlin Dantzscher minds the net with a .907 save percentage, making 543 saves. Head Coach Tracy Cassano (maiden name Engstrom) played with Edina Head Coach Laura Slominski at the University of Minnesota. Both were captains and they roomed together for four years and shared a national championship.

(No. 3 Seed) Lakeville South (24-2-2) vs. Hill-Murray, Maplewood (21-7-0) — 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24: This game is a rematch of a regular-season game that Hill-Murray won 3-2 in overtime. The Lakeville South Cougars, ranked fourth in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, return to tournament play after a one-year hiatus to make their second appearance. They also defeated Class AA qualifier Coon Rapids 6-3, tied Rosemount 4-4 and defeated the Irish 2-1, plus defeated Class A qualifier Breck School 6-2. Senior forward Sam Moore has a team-high 40 assists and also scored 23 times. Senior forward Morgan Fritz-Ward has a team-high 27 goals and 34 assists. Senior forward Mara Post added 25 goals and 18 assists. Senior goalie Chelsea Laden went 22-2-2 in the net for the Cougars and has a save percentage of 0.929. The Pioneers of Hill-Murray are making their debut tournament appearance. They were ranked No. 8 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll. Lakeville South was the only qualifying Class AA team the Pioneers defeated this year. They lost twice to Edina, 5-1 and 2-0, and once to Minnetonka, 3-1. Hill-Murray lost to Class A qualifier Warroad 7-3 and split games against South St. Paul, losing 5-0 and winning 5-2. They also beat Class A qualifier Breck School 4-3. Junior forward Hannah Brandt leads the Pioneers with 42 goals and 23 assists. Brandt was a member of the U18 USA gold medal winning team. She was the only Minnesota high school player selected to try out at the USA National Team camp. The players selected from this camp will compete in the world championships in Switzerland in mid-April. Senior Margo Lund added 20 goals and 22 assists, while three other teammates – junior Tory Heller, senior Marissa Brandt, ninth-grader Brittney Anderson and ninth-grader Sarah Bobrowski – added 20 or more points. Two seniors play in the net. Ali McKeever went 13-5 with a .915 save percentage and Erin Maguire went 8-2 with a .894 save percentage

(No. 1 Seed) Minnetonka (26-1-1) vs. Elk River/Zimmerman (20-8-0) — 6:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24: The Skippers of Minnetonka, ranked and seeded No. 1, are also in the hunt for their first title in their first tournament appearance. Their only loss of the season, 6-1, came against Shattuck St. Mary’s of Faribault, a member school that doesn’t compete in Minnesota State High School League hockey. The 2-2 tie was with Edina. During the regular season the Skippers defeated Hill-Murray 3-1 and Edina 1-0. They also beat No. 1 Class A seed Warroad twice, 3-2 and 1-0. South St. Paul and Breck School were also Class A victims, 2-1 and 5-0, respectively. Five players scored 15 or more goals – sophomore forward Laura Bowman with 22 goals and 26 assists, sophomore forward Amy Petersen with 19 goals and 19 assists, senior forward Paige Baldwin with 17 goals and 25 assists, senior forward Carolyn Draayer with 17 goals and 15 assists, and senior defender Rachel Ramsey with 15 goals and a team-high 31 assists. Senior goaltender Julie Friend went 20-0-1 and gave up only 15 goals while making 347 saves. Sophomore Sydney Rossman went 6-1 and has a .917 save percentage. The No. 19-ranked Elks of Elk River/Zimmerman are making their second appearance. Elk River Area qualified three times and won the 2004 title. During the regular season the Elks were twice victims to Class AA qualifier Coon Rapids, 5-1 and 7-4. Junior Jonna Curtis is the forward to watch, having scored 47 goals and adding 24 assists. Senior forward Cassi Schreckenghaust is the next highest scorer with 13 goals plus eight assists. No other player has more than eight goals. The team scored 95 goals coming into the tournament. Senior goaltender Samantha Geissler went 10-8 with a .887 save percentage, making 369 saves. Junior Victoria Herrmann went 10-0 with a .964 save percentage, making 169 saves.

(No. 4 Seed) Coon Rapids (23-5-0) vs. North Wright County (22-5-1) — 8:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24: The Coon Rapids Cardinals return for their second consecutive appearance, having finished second in 2006. The Cardinals, who were ranked No. 6 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, are a co-op with Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park. They defeated conference rival Elk River/Zimmerman twice, 5-1 and 7-4, and lost to Edina 4-1 and Lakeville South 6-3. Senior forward Rachael Bona, who paced the Cardinals with 53 goals and 35 assist, is the school’s career record holder with 260 points and is a Ms. Hockey finalist. Ninth-grade forward Amy Schlagel is second on the scoring leader board with 21 goals and 25 assists. Junior forwards Brenna Paskey and Addie Rust have each added 27 points. Senior Crystal Amunrud has played all of Coon Rapids’ games in net and has a .906 save percentage and made 566 saves. The North Wright County River Hawks, who came in at No. 18 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, are making their debut tournament appearance. St. Michael-Albertville hosts this co-op that includes Annandale and Monticello. The River Hawks did not play any Class AA qualifiers, but lost 6-0 to Class A top seed Warroad. Senior Kasey Blomberg leads the team with 32 goals and 24 assists. Sophomore forwards Dani Sibley and Maddi Sjelin added 24 goals-17 assists and 16 goals-21 assists, respectively. Junior goaltender Amanda Koep went 19-5-1 in the net with a save percentage of 0.920, making 451 saves. Sophomore Dayna Duncan went 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 0.91.

Schedule

Consolation semifinals in Class A will be played at 10 a.m. and noon on Thursday, February 24 at Ridder Arena. The consolation championship will be played at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 26 at Ridder Arena. The Class A championship semifinals will take place at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday, February 25 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The third-place game will be played at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 26 and the championship game will be played at noon, both at Xcel Energy Center.

In Class AA, the consolation semifinal games will be played at 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, February 25 at Ridder Arena. The consolation championship will take place at noon on Saturday, February 26, at Ridder Arena. The championship semifinal games will be played at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday at Xcel Energy Center. The third-place game will be conducted on Saturday, February 26, at 4 p.m., followed by the championship game at 7 p.m., both at Xcel Energy Center.

The championship semifinals and championship games for both classes will be broadcast live on KSTC TV, Channel 45, as well as on other broadcast and cable outlets throughout the state. Those games, plus the quarterfinals, will also be streamed live and free by www.45.GrandStadium.tv on the Web. Fans may follow the games statistically live online by clicking on special links posted on the League Web site – www.MSHSL.org.

Tickets and Special Promotions

Tickets for the 2011 State Girls’ Hockey Tournament will be available one hour before each afternoon or evening two-game session at the respective venues. Tickets cost $17.00 for adults and $11.00 for students for all championship sessions, and $12.00 for adults and $8.00 for students for all consolation sessions.

A visit to any area Wells Fargo bank can yield a $2 discount coupon for students 13 and younger. The discount coupons are also available for Girls’ Gymnastics, Class A Boys’ Hockey, and Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball.
 
Posted By MSHSL
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Pequot Lakes Seeking Hall of Fame Nominees
The Pequot Lakes High School activities department is seeking nominations for its Athletic Hall of Fame.
 
"Pequot Lakes is well known for its great athletic tradition and accomplishments," said activities director Marc Helmrichs.  "The PLHS Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes the contributions and achievements of the individuals that helped develop 'Patriot Pride'."
 
CRITERIA
 
All inductees must, during and following their career, have exemplified the pride and spirit that is Patriot Athletics.
 
CATEGORIES
 
Player- An athlete that has excelled in athletics and has been out of school for at least ten years.
 
Coach- A coach that has made a positive impact on the Pequot Lakes athletic tradition and has been out of coaching for two or more years.
 
Friend of Sport- A member of the school or community that has made a significant impact to Pequot Lakes High School athletics.
 
Nomination forms can be found on the Pequot Lakes school website under Activities.  Deadline is April 21.  Contact Marc Helmrichs at 218-568-9213 or email mhelmrichs@pequotlakes.k12.mn.us for more information.
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/Marc Helmrichs
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Aeling, Schuldt Named ExCEL Award Winners (UPDATED)
Autumn Aeling of Bertha-Hewitt and Bryon Schuldt of Nevis have been recognized by the Minnesota State High School League as 2011 ExCEL Award winners.
 
The Minnesota State High School League and AAA Minneapolis will honor the 2011 ExCEL Award recipients at the State Girls’ Basketball Tournament in March.
 
ExCEL—Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership—is a unique recognition program that is given annually to high school juniors who are leaders in their schools and who work voluntarily in their community helping others. AAA Minneapolis is the award sponsor.
 
“The ExCEL program seeks to recognize student leaders who consistently shine with a strong sense of school pride and community loyalty,” said Lisa Lissimore, the League associate director who oversees the award program. “Their achievements are not necessarily measured by finishing first or even placing. Rather, their achievements are gauged by what they have given back to others.”
 
The 2011 ExCEL award recipients share their talent and offer time to many worthy causes to end hunger, house the homeless, and provide disaster relief for those in dire need. Many perform at community music events while others coach youth sport teams, teach Sunday school, assist seniors, and mentor at-risk children.
 
"Our partnership with the Minnesota State High School League dates back over 20 years to the inception of the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award program,” said Rod Shilkrot, Vice President, Marketing, AAA Minneapolis. "We are very proud of this stake-hold with the League and thrilled to take our mission of recognition of outstanding high school student achievers and leaders to this incredible next level--the ExCEL Awards program."
 
Aeling has played volleyball, basektball and softball.  She has also participated in fine arts activities including: choir, band, drama and visual arts.  Aeling has also been involved in numerous organizations,activities and events, both in school and in the community.
 
"It is a huge honor to recieve the ExCEL award because it stands for all the things I believe are important, including community, accedemics, and leadership," Aeling stated through an email.
 
KSTC- TV, Channel 45, the League’s broadcast partner, will recognize the 2011 ExCEL award recipients during its broadcast of the winter tournaments, beginning with the semifinals of the State Girls’ Hockey Tournament. Each student will also participate in an on-court award ceremony during the halftime of the Class AA girls’ basketball championship game on March 19.
 
The ExCEL award program began in 1996. Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves League member schools and an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. More than 3,000 students have been recognized with this award program. A total of 274 students were nominated by their schools this year.
 
2011 ExCEL Award winners:
 
Autumn Aeling, Bertha-Hewitt
Molly Larson, Norwood-Young America
Spencer Brand, Alexandria
Ellen Mathiowetz, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
Michael Burgdorf, Buffalo
Richell Mehus, Spring Grove
Maria Donnay, Kimball Area
Samantha Paripovich, Buffalo
Shannon Field, Eastview
Zac Plein, Kasson-Mantorville
Brittany Fossell, Mesabi East
Cody Preisler, LeCenter
Alex Golbuff, Glenville-Emmons
Elias Radtke, Woodbury
Shane Halverson, Orr
Robert Rasmussen, Hutchinson
Desiree Hartman, Bloomington Kennedy
Sydney Remus, Sleepy Eye
Kara Helgeson, Ortonville
Thomas Roberts, Morris Area
Arianna Hesemann, Southwest Star Concept
Bryon Schuldt, Nevis
Jackson Houston, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted
Ashley Trout, Deer River
Makayla Jorgensen, Little Falls
Lauren Trumm, Alexandria
Megan Kilbride, Lakeville South
Ryan Watkins, Maranatha Christian Academy
Ryan Killion, Providence Academy
Preston Weber, Pierz
Kyle Krzmarzick, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
Afton Windsperger, Watertown-Mayer
Kaylen Larson, East Grand Forks
 
Additional information about the 2011 ExCEL Award recipients may be obtained by visiting the League’s Web site at www.MSHSL.org
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/MSHSL
Saturday, February 12, 2011
State Alpine Ski Meet Preview
The St. Thomas Academy boys' team will seek its third consecutive title, while the Cadets' Dylan Thomas also seeks to repeat as an individual champion when the 2011 State Alpine Ski Meet will be held on Wednesday, February 16 at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
 
The Cadets of St. Thomas Academy, located in Mendota Heights, appear to be in a strong position to defend their boys' Alpine ski title. If successful it would be their third consecutive championship.
 
In the girls' team competition, the Lakeville South girls will be relinquishing their two-year domination at the top. The Cougars failed to qualify. Runner-up Bloomington Jefferson does return with two Top 10 finishers, and 2009 co-champion Edina also qualified from the Cougars’ section.
 
A new girls’ individual champion will emerge because Lakeville South’s Niki Larson, the 2010 champion, graduated. Six other Top 10 finishers have qualified again. The boys’ individual competition features the defending champion Thomas of St. Thomas Academy and only three other Top 10 finishers from last year.
 
Girls Highlights
 
Four of the teams that competed in the 2010 meet return to this year’s event. The two-time champion Cougars of Lakeville South finished seventh in the Section 6 meet this year, so there will be a new team champion, and it could be runner-up Bloomington Jefferson, this year’s Section 6 champion. The Edina Hornets, second in Section 6, return after a one-year hiatus and, having shared the 2009 title with Lakeville South, could also be a title contender.
 
The other three qualifiers and their 2010 finish are: Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis (Section 4 champion), fifth; Minnetonka (Section 5 champion), sixth; and Benilde-St. Margaret’s of St. Louis Park (Section 5 runner-up), seventh.
 
Besides Edina, the three other teams that qualified for this year’s meet are: East Ridge of Woodbury (Section 4 runner-up); Hermantown (Section 7 champion); and Duluth East (Section 7 runner-up).
 
Four of Bloomington Jefferson’s six skiers, the team’s underclassmen from last year, return. Two of them, senior Brenna Murray and junior Erin Spong, finished in the Top 10 last year. Senior Caitlin Fontaine and sophomore Isabelle Iwen also return from last year’s Jaguars squad. The two newcomers are sophomore Danielle Blais and eighth-grader Annalise Iwen.
 
Six skiers who placed third through eighth last year are back. Senior Maisie Ide of The Blake School, Minneapolis, is the highest finisher at third. Laura Post, an Eden Prairie junior, finished fourth. Jefferson’s Murray finished fifth. Hermantown sophomore Megan Danielski finished sixth. Jefferson’s Spong finished seventh. Junior Sarah Yockers of Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, finished eighth.
 
Overall, 39 of this year’s 88 competitors also skied last year.
 
Boys Highlights
 
The two-time defending champions from St. Thomas Academy (Section 4 champion) return to defend their title. The Cadets return with five veterans from last year’s meet: senior and defending individual champion Dylan Thomas, seniors Tom Grojean and Madison Whalen, junior Max Thorpe, and ninth-grader Keilan O’Brien. Sophomore Chayden Schmitz is the St. Thomas Academy newcomer.
 
Only two additional teams also return from the 2010 field: Duluth East (Section 7 runner-up), sixth; and Orono (Section 5 runner-up), eighth.
 
The five other qualifying teams are: Stillwater Area (Section 4 runner-up); Minnetonka (Section 5 champion); Edina (Section 6 champion); Burnsville (Section 6 runner-up); and Centennial, Circle Pines (Section 7 champion).
 
In the individual competition, Thomas will attempt to defend his title. He also earned runner-up honors in 2009. Only three other Top 10 individual finishers are also returning: Duluth East senior Henry Roningen, third; St. Thomas Academy’s Whalen, sixth; and Hopkins junior Brett Bremer, 10th.
 
Overall, 40 of the 88 skiers are veterans of last year’s meet.
 
The Schedule
 
The team and individual competitions are combined as a single event. The first runs are slated to begin at 9 a.m. and the second runs will start at noon. The boys and girls ski on separate courses. Awards for both teams and individuals will be presented at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Posted By MSHSL
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Raccoon Stops Wrestling Match
According to the Fargo Forum, a high school wrestling team in North Dakota was pulled from a tournament when officials discovered the athletes had been exposed to a live raccoon.
 
Police said the raccoon was found while the Carrington High School team was traveling to the tournament in Grafton, and it was stowed in the storage area of the bus. Team officials told police they picked up the animal because they thought it was dead.
 
Grafton police Sgt. Anthony Dumas said the storage area was opened later and the raccoon “just trotted away.” Dumas says no one was scratched or bit by the animal.
 
School officials decided to bring the team home as a precaution. State health officials say there’s no health risk to athletes who competed against Carrington.
 
“We (school administrators) found out as the tournament was going on that while our students were on the way to the event, they were exposed to a raccoon,” Carrington school superintendent Brian Duchscherer said.
 
“Once we found that out, we didn’t know if there was the potential of spreading anything, if the raccoon had rabies or not, so we decided to bring our kids home.”
 
There has been no determination if the raccoon had rabies. All types of mammals can contract rabies, but the vast majority of cases involve wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
 
Michelle Feist, a public health official with the North Dakota Department of Health, was contacted by Carrington school officials after the raccoon was discovered.
 
Feist said there is no concern about health risks to wrestlers who competed against Carrington’s athletes.
 
“The Carrington wres­tlers, if they were bitten or scratched by the raccoon or were playing around the raccoon’s mouth and had an open cut, that could be exposure to it,” Feist said. “We haven’t assessed any of those kids yet. But just petting the raccoon or being on the bus with the animal is not exposure. And anybody who came in contact with any of the (Carrington) wrestlers who were in contact with the raccoon, we’re not worried about health risks for them. That is not an exposure concern.”
 
Dumas, who responded to the call, said police looked for the raccoon, hoping to catch it so it could be tested for rabies, but it was not found.
 
The school isn’t sure how many wrestlers were exposed to the raccoon.
 
Carrington beat Larimore 64-15 in the quarterfinals and Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg 66-13 in the semifinals and was scheduled to meet North Border-Cavalier in the championship.
 
Instead, North Border-Cavalier won the championship by forfeit.
 
Posted By
Friday, February 4, 2011
Zach Gabbard Night At NYM A Big Success
Over 700 people attended Thursday night's Park Region Conference match-up between the New York Mills and the Bertha-Hewitt boys' basketball teams.  Bears versus Eagles is a great local rivalry, but the game held a more important focus as the teams battled on the court.
 
At halftime of the varsity game, both teams gathered on the court in a joint effort to help raise funds for Perham basketball player Zach Gabbard, as he lies in a coma in Minneapolis.  A heated conference battle took backstage as both communities listened to team captains from both teams talk about Zach and his battle.
 
After a brief video of Zach, all basketball players from both teams entered the bleachers for two minutes and collected donations from the crowd for the Gabbard family.  After those 120 seconds concluded, both teams entered the locker room and prepared for the second half of action.
 
Just minutes before the game concluded, New York Mills Superintendent Todd Cameron delivered the final tabulation to the head scorer's table and an amazing announcement was made during a time-out -- the communities of Bertha, Hewitt and New York Mills had donated $1,443.17 in just two minutes!
 
An enormous cheer erupted in the gym and high fives were shared as a sense of pride arose out of a heated game.
 
"It is something to be part of a group, team or organization, but to be part of an amazing area such as central Minnesota is something that I am most proud of," commented New York Mills Activities Director/Dean of Students Travis Hensch.  "Thank you to all participants and donators from the game.  It truly was a night to be proud to be a member of this area!"
 
After Hensch's email on the success of the evening, Perham Activities Director Fred Sailer responded:
 
Travis and all who helped,
 
Your report from the NYM Eagles-Bertha-Hewitt Bears game is a shining example of what people can and will do for another.  While it is not my place to speak for Zach’s family, I can state with confidence that our school and community are in awe of what others will do for someone in need. Zach’s situation and his ongoing battle is the stuff of legend; what good people will do for another is equally as moving.
 
Throughout all of this, I believe we have learned a lesson or two about perspective, the value of a greater community, and the thin line of leading a healthy, active life yet in the blink of an eye struggling to preserve it. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.
 
Sincerely,
Fred Sailer, AD
Perham High School
 
KVLY-TV of Fargo had a reporter/Camerman at Thursday night's game.  If you would like to take a look at the news clip, click here.
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/Travis Hensch
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