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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wolverines Trio Sign With BSU
The Bemidji State University volleyball program announced the additions of four student-athletes to its 2011 signing class, including three members of the Class AA state champion Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines.
 
Rachel Craig (MB, Wadena, Minn.), Kelsi Crawford (OH, Wadena, Minn.), Kelly Niles (OH, Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Courtney Volkmann (S, Wadena, Minn.) all signed National Letter of Intents to play collegiate volleyball for Wayne Chadwick at BSU. Craig, Crawford and Volkmann were all members of the 2010 Class AA State Championship team at Wadena-Deer Creek High School.
 
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
 
“I think all four of the players we signed are going to be solid players for us,” Chadwick said. “I think they each bring a certain set of skills to the team that are going to be a big help for us.”
 
Volkmann joins the Beavers after being selected the 2010 Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Class AA Player of the Year. She finished her career at Wadena-Deer Creek High School with 4,232 assists, 1,241 digs, 541 kills and 495 service aces. Volkmann was a Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Class AA All-State selection as a junior and senior. She also earned placement on the Class AA Minnesota State Girls Volleyball All-Tournament team during her final two seasons for the Wolverinesthe state of Minnesota by Breakdown Sports USA. In addition, she was named Brainerd Dispatch Player of the Year as a junior and senior and was selected to the Brained Dispatch All-Area team on five occasions.
 
She is the daughter of Tim and Sue Volkmann. The 5-7 setter played for her mother at Wadena-Deer Creek High School. Volkmann was born Aug. 20, 1992 in Wadena, Minn. Her mother played basketball and softball at
University of North Dakota.
 
“Courtney is a really great kid,” Chadwick said. “She is yet another player in this class that is going to give us some flexibility. Last season we were really locked in to our positions and substitution patterns. Now, along with Jessi-Beth McCannell (S, Brandon, Manitoba), we will have another very accomplished setter on the roster. We could play a 5-1 or go with a 6-2 with Jessi-Beth and Courtney both on the floor. Those are questions that will have to be answered prior to the start of the season. She knows how to run a team and puts the hitters in the best possible position.”
 
Craig joins the Beavers after being a two-time Brainerd Dispatch All-Area selection for Wadena-Deer Creek High School. The middle blocker helped led the Wolverines to a state title with a team-leading 213 blocks. Craig added 86 kills as a senior. In addition to competing in volleyball for three seasons, she lettered in basketball all four years and track for three seasons. Off the court, Craig was awarded academic all-state and has received the Bemidji Presidential Scholarship, Academic Achievement Scholarship and Campus Honors Scholarship.
 
She is the daughter of Michael and Marian Craig and was born July 3, 1993 in St. Cloud, Minn. Her father competed in track and field at University of Wisconsin from 1975-79.
 
“Rachel is one of three players that we have coming to us from the state champions from Wadena-Deer Creek High School,” Chadwick said. “She plays the middle and is about six feet tall. She is really good going off of one foot and we plan to take advantage of that.”
 
Crawford is another implant to Bemidji State from Wadena-Creek High School. She was a two-time Brainerd Dispatch All-Area selection. Crawford was selected to the 2009 Minnesota State Class AA All-Tournament team as a junior. Crawford was second on the team with 196 kills and added 90 digs.
 
“Kelsi is an outside hitter,” Chadwick said. “She is a little undersized but she is a very good athlete. Kelsi is a really strong player and gets off the ground very well. She is an athlete who gives us a little bit of a flexibity. Kelsi can play as an outside hitter but can also move back and play as a defensive specialist, as well as be a part of our serving pattern.”
 
Niles, a 6-0 outside hitter, comes to BSU from Grand Rapids High School where she was a two-time Duluth News Tribune All-Area selection. She eclipsed the 1,000 kill mark during her senior season while leading the Thunderhawks to a 20-9 record. Niles was a four-year varsity player in volleyball and women’s basketball.
 
She is the daughter of Jeffery and Georgia Niles and was born Aug. 25, 1992 in Grand Rapids, Minn. Her sister, Erin, played volleyball and basketball at College of St. Scholastica.
 
“Kelly is about six feet tall and is a good athlete that will probably be an outside hitter for us,” Chadwick said. “Because she is the best athlete on her club team, she is playing in the middle. With experience on the outside and in the middle, she adds flexibility we didn’t have in our lineup last season.”
 
The four signees join a squad which graduates six seniors including two-time All-NSIC honorable selection Nicole Olson (MB, Baudette, Minn.) and BSU’s career digs leader Brie Groskreutz (Lib., Reedsburg, Wis.).
 
The Beavers return seven players from last year’s squad including seniors-to-be Kimberly Hacker (MB/RS, Hutchinson, Minn.), McCannell and Melissa McNeely (DS/OH, Burnsville, Minn.).
 
 
Posted By Kyle Gylsen/Shawn Smith (BSU)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Moody Signs With Bulldogs
A pair of Minnesota prep standouts -- Kurt Moody from Pequot Lakes High School and Bryan Sprang from Irondale High School -- have both signed National Letters of Intent to attend and play basketball for the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2011-12.

Moody, a 6-3, 210-pound guard, averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Patriots this past winter en route to being named the Mid State Conference's Most Valuable Player. A three-time All-Mid State Conference honoree, Moody finished his career as the second leading scorer in Pequot Lakes High School history. He helped lead the Patriots to a 24-5 overall record in 2010-11.

"Kurt is a competitor who will develop into a great defender," said UMD head coach Gary Holquist. "He can create on the bounce for an effective mid-range offensive game."
 
The Pequot Lakes basketball program, it's players, coaches and fans, offers its congratualtions, and are all extremely pleased for Kurtis and wish him the best of luck as he moves with his basketball career with the Bulldogs," said Patriots' head coach Garry Grewe.  "It's a great opportunity for him!"
 
Sprang, a 6-3, 170-pound guard, was chosen the most valuable player of the North Suburban Conference this season after concluding the year with a 27.0 points per game scoring average for the 19-9 Knights. He holds the title as the Knight's all-time scoring leader and was an All-North Suburban Conference first team selection on two occasions. Earlier this month, Sprang competed against Moody in the Minnesota State Boys Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Series.

"Bryan is a prolific scorer who has the innate ability to shoot the ball from long range and stretch defenses," said Holquist. "His performance at Irondale over the past few seasons is impressive and we are excited about his skill set and upside. And, like Kurt, he is a highly-accomplished student in the class room."
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
Thursday, April 7, 2011
MSHSL Approves New Football Class (UPDATED)
The Minnesota State High School League has voted to approve a seventh class in football, starting with the 2012 season.
 
The largest class (AAAAAA) will be comprised of the 32 largest schools in the state in terms of enrollment.  Under the seven-class plan, the next two largest school classes would each have 48 schools.  The method for dividing the smallest three of the 11-man classes is yet to be determined.
 
The additional class will reduce the enrollement ratio of largest school to smallest school to approximately 1.8-to-1.  Currently, Class AAAAA's ratio is approximately 2.5-to-1.  According to the MSHSL, using enrollment numbers for the 2011-12 school year, here are the largest teams in Minnesota:
 
1 Wayzata 3060
2 Eden Prairie 3007
3 Minnetonka 2750
4 Stillwater Area 2670
5 Champlin Park 2571
6 Blaine 2551
7 Burnsville 2530
8 Anoka H.S. (Coop) 2521
9 Edina 2436
10 White Bear Lake Area 2257
11 Prior Lake 2154
12 Eagan 2147
13 Maple Grove 2142
14 Coon Rapids 2120
15 Hopkins 2070
16 Eastview 2056
17 Centennial 2017
18 Rosemount 2013
19 Osseo (Coop) 1996
20 Forest Lake 1952
21 Roseville Area 1840
22 Elk River (Coop) 1792
23 Robbinsdale Armstrong 1789
24 Lakeville South 1774
25 Minneapolis South (Coop) 1744
26 Shakopee 1736
27 Woodbury 1715
28 Lakeville North 1711
29 Brainerd 1685
30 Mounds View 1671
31 North 1671
32 Park (Cottage Grove)1656 
 
Other schools may choose to opt up to 6A if they wish.
 
The upcoming 2011 season will be played under the existing format, with six classes (9-Man - AAAAA).
 
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
Monday, April 4, 2011
Baseball Championships To Be Decided At Target Field Again
The Minnesota State High School League and Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement for the three baseball championship games to be played at Target Field again on Tuesday, June 21.
 
The Class A championship game is scheduled for a noon start, followed by the Class AA championship game at 3 p.m., and the 6 p.m. Class AAA championship game will wrap up what the League has dubbed the Prep Championship Series. 

Additionally, prior to each championship baseball game, the new 2011 girls' fast-pitch softball champion team from that same class will be recognized on the field.

"Last year's Prep Championship Series was phenomenal," said Kevin Merkle, League associate director and the baseball tournament director. "Everyone involved -- players, coaches, fans and umpires -- found the Target Field experience to be especially memorable.

"We are very pleased that we are able to continue this relationship with the Twins. Playing the championship games on a Tuesday will be somewhat of an experiment, but the baseball coaches association and the League agreed it was a minor compromise in order to keep the games at Target Field."

The Twins finish up a six-game home stand on June 19, so the June 21 date was selected as the championship date. Target Field hosted its first season of Twins baseball games in 2010. Come June 21, nearly 150 Minnesota high school players will be stepping onto that same field, some playing the last game of their high school careers.

"The Twins organization is proud to host the Prep Championship Series for a second year in a row," said Kevin Smith, Twins executive director of public affairs. "Target Field is truly a community asset being shared with our friends at the Minnesota State High School League."

The entire lower level of Target Field, from foul pole to foul pole, will be open for general admission. Tickets will cost $10 for adults and $7 for students and are good for all day and will allow fans in-and-out privileges.

"It's going to be great day of high school baseball," Merkle said. "For 10 dollars you can relax anywhere in the stadium, even the pricey and cushy seats behind home plate, and enjoy the first day of summer."

The quarterfinal games of all three classes will be played on June 16 — Class A at Athletic Park in Chaska and at the Mini Met in Jordan; Class AA at Joe Faber Field and Dick Putz Stadium in St. Cloud; and Class AAA at Dick Siebert Field in Minneapolis and Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Championship semifinals, consolation semifinals and championship, and third-place games will be played on Friday, June 17, at those same six fields.
Posted By MSHSL
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Wolhowe Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
Tom Wolhowe of Staples has been inducted into the Minnesota State High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
 
Wolhowe was enshrined, along with Tom Prosen of Eveleth/Gilbert, during ceremonies on Saturday, March 5 at the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center in St. Paul.
 
The MSHSTCA website stated,"These coaches have given so much to the sport of tennis over the years to their respective communities and are well deserving of this honor."
 
Tom Wolhowe
 
Tom has had tremendous success in his teaching and coaching career.  His career coaching record with the Staples girls' teams is 226-59.  Tom has coached tennis, basketball, baseball and girls softball and been a MSHSL official for over 30 years.
 
He has distinguished himself both in the classroom and the athletic fields.  He is a two-time Teacher of the Year, once in Starbuck (1970) and once in Staples (1980)
 
Wolhowe started coaching tennis in 1975 and his accomplishments include 12 state tournament appearances, with four teams finishing in the top four.  He won 12 consecutive Mid-state Conference Championships and was also recipient of 12 Mid-State Conference "Coach of the Year" awards from 1978-1984.
 
Tom was responsible for bringing the Staples' tennis program from 10 kids in the 1970's, to seeing players from Staples participate in the Minnesota State Tennis Tournaments, both team-wise and individually, year in and year out since then.
 
He continues to be involved in adult and senior tennis programs and was the 2009 Senior Olympics Singles and Doubles Champion at the young age of 72.
 
Tom Prosen
 
Prosen is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic teacher and coach that Region 7 has ever seen. Tom has been coaching tennis since 1971 and retired after the 2010 boys' season.  During that time, he had a 10-year break while working with a computer programming company in New York.
 
Since 1990 he had either been the head or assistant coach in both the boys' and girls' programs in his district.  Tom has achieved 330 varsity victories in his career with the boys’ and the girls’ teams. He has advanced three boys' teams to the state tournament during his tenure, two in Gilbert and one in Eveleth.  Tom has also advanced numerous individuals throughout his career.
 
He has won two Region 7 "Coach of the Year" awards and was recognized in the "Who's Who of American Teachers" in both 1998 and in 2010.
 
Region 7 coaches and the student/athletes of both Gilbert and Eveleth will always have a soft spot in their heart because of the dedication Mr. Prosen has provide to the communities of Gilbert and Eveleth over the past 30 years.
 
Tom is so well liked that this past summer he was even chosen as the 2010 Grand Marshall of the 4th of July parade in Gilbert.
 
Posted By Kyle Gylsen
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