John's Journal
Class 1A Softball Rankings5/5/2017
Provided by the softball coaches association.

CLASS 1A
Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
1.(2) Randolph (S1)-(37)
2.(1) Edgerton/SW MN Christian* (S3)-(36)
3.(5) New York Mills (S6)-(32)
4.(3) Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's (S2)-(30)
4.(6) Maranatha Christian Academy (S4)-(30)
6.(4) New Ulm Cathedral (S2)-(27)
7.(8) Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (S3)-(20)
8.(7) Sebeka (S5)-(19)
9.(12) Blooming Prairie (S1)-(13)
10.(10) Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (S3)-(12)
10.(17) Carlton (S7)-(12)
Others receiving votes:Red Lake Falls (S8)-(9),Badger/GB-MR* (S8)-(8), Brandon-Evansville (S6)-(7), Bethlehem Academy (S1)-(5), Pine River-Backus (S5)-(5), Mankato Loyola (S2)-(4), Sacred Heart* (S8)-(2), Wabasha-Kellogg (S1)-(2), Cherry (S7)-(1), PACT Charter (S4)-(1)
A Special Baseball Game, Honoring Special People 5/4/2017
The weather was perfect, the playing field was immaculate and the contest was very well-played when Rosemount traveled to Lakeville North on Thursday for a South Suburban Conference baseball game. The final score was North 2, Rosemount 0, with each team getting just two hits off sterling pitchers Griffin Lanoue (Rosemount) and Luke DeGrammont (North).

There was one difference between this game and every other game this season. The first clue for the uninformed was seen in the jerseys worn by both teams. They were covered in interlocking puzzle pieces; that symbol is often used to reflect the mystery and complexity of autism. And since every puzzle piece is different in some way, they represent the diversity of the individuals affected.

The event was North’s second annual Autism Awareness game and special guests were students involved in the autism programs in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Lakeville schools districts.

Special honors were reserved for some of those students: J.T. Koczur threw out the ceremonial first pitch and Megan Baker, assisted by Michaela Juaire, was exquisite in singing the national anthem.

Before the pregame ceremonies, North coach Tony Market (who recorded his 200th victory with the Panthers) and J.T. sat atop buckets in the dugout and chatted like the old friends they are. As the starting lineup for the Panthers was announced, the hometown boys traded fist bumps with some of the special guests.

J.T.’s ceremonial first pitch took a hop before landing in the glove of Panthers catcher Nick Juaire, a talented junior who has made a verbal commitment to play at Texas Christian University.

Nick has a cousin, 19-year-old Conor O’Meara, who is on the Autism spectrum. Conor is also a high-level athlete. Competing for St. Paul Highland Park, he was the MSHSL state champion in adapted bowling last year.

“I’ve always been so impressed with Conor and his ability to track all sports, their players and stats,” Nick said. “He’s a huge Vikings, Wild and Twins fan. He has taught me a lot about staying positive, no matter what the situation. Also, he has won a state championship medal before I have.

“At our Autism Awareness game last year, it really brought home how blessed I am to be able to do anything I want in the classroom as well as on the baseball field. Not everyone can say that. It really special to have these kids here and to share the game I love with them.”

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

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 629
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,657
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Class 4A Baseball Rankings5/3/2017
Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 4A
1. Wayzata
2. Minnetonka
3. Lakeville North
4. Stillwater Area
5. Blaine
6. St. Michael-Albertville
7. Edina
8. Forest Lake
9. Eastview
10. Centennial
11. Osseo
12. Champlin Park
13. Burnsville
14. Mounds View
15. Eden Prairie
16. Maple Grove
17. Andover
18. Prior Lake
19. Shakopee
20. Tartan
Also receiving votes: Rochester Century, Roseville, Anoka, East Ridge, Duluth East, Totino-Grace, Minneapolis Washburn, Woodbury, Park Cottage Grove, Cretin-Derham Hall, Chaska
Class 3A Baseball Rankings5/3/2017
Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 3A
1. Waconia
2. St. Cloud Tech
3. New Ulm
4. Bemidji
5. Alexandria
6. Mahtomedi
7. Mankato West
8. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
9. Hibbing
10. Holy Angels
11. Little Falls
12. Marshall
13. Northfield
14. St. Thomas Academy
15. Winona
16. Hutchinson
17. Henry Sibley
18. Fridley
19. Worthington
20. St. Anthony Village
Also receiving votes: Red Wing, Kasson-Mantorville, Albert Lea, Stewartville, Delano, Monticello, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Rocori, Big Lake, South St. Paul
Class 2A Baseball Rankings5/3/2017
Associated Press poll for Minnesota high school baseball, provided by Let's Play Baseball newspaper.

CLASS 2A
1. Belle Plaine
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Pierz
4. Foley
5. Maple Lake
6. New Life Academy of Woodbury
7. Holy Family Catholic
8. Jackson County Central
9. Cannon Falls
10. Glencoe-Silver Lake
11. Caledonia
12. Aitkin
13. Pequot Lakes
14. Duluth Marshall
15. Rochester Lourdes
16. Pine Island
17. New London-Spicer
18. Sauk Centre
19. Kenyon-Wanamingo
20. Providence Academy
Also receiving votes: St. Charles, Warroad, St. Cloud Cathedral, Esko, Barnesville, Proctor, Fillmore Central, Perham, Frazee, Paynesville Area, Mora, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton