Class 1A State Volleyball: Top Four Seeds Advance11/10/2016
Playing at the state volleyball tournament for the first time in school history is exciting, thrilling, and it can be a little scary. Especially if the first-time team is facing an opponent that knows the ropes.
That was the formula Thursday at Xcel Energy Center when unseeded Stephen-Argyle met top-seeded Mayer Lutheran in the Class 1A quarterfinals. The Stephen-Argyle Storm was at state for the first time; the Mayer Lutheran Crusaders were in the big show for the 12th time since winning the 1A title in 1982. Mayer Lutheran’s most recent appearance was two years ago, so lots of current players had been here before.
The result was no surprise, as the Crusaders rolled to a 3-0 victory.
“It’s huge,” Crusaders coach Joelle Grimsley said of having state tourney experience. “We basically have a routine of what we’re doing. We’re very conscious of our time and what needs to be done. The thing we stress the most is to keep everything as normal as possible.”
That can be a tough assignment, particularly for a team walking into the giant arena for the first time and looking up into that high, dark ceiling. Couple that inexperience with a talented opponent, and the task is very tall.
“They’re just a little bit bigger and faster than what we saw on tape,” said Storm coach Renae Lindgren. “It was kind of an eye-opener for our girls. But it wasn’t for lack of effort and heart.”
The day and the match went according to plan for Mayer Lutheran (27-6).
“It was kind of what we wanted, to get out fast and stay strong,” said Grimsley.
Stephen-Argyle (28-4) will play at least one more match, facing Underwood in Friday’s consolation bracket; the winner will play in Saturday’s fifth-place match. Win or lose, the Storm have made lots of memories in getting to state.
“There’s been so much excitement,” Lindgren said. “We had a fun time with the kids at our elementary school, and the high school has been pretty crazy. We’ve had to share it because our football team went to state, too. (The football team will meet Waubun in the nine-man state quarterfinals Friday night at Brainerd High School.)
“We told the girls, ‘Don’t hang your heads. We lost to a good team.’ Our goal is to get to 30 wins. And we’ve got another shot at that tomorrow.”
--Fourth-seeded Heritage Christian (26-10) held off fifth-seeded Underwood (28-5) in the match of the day in Class 1A. The teams split the first four sets before the Eagles won the fifth and deciding set 15-13.
--Second-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 victory over unseeded Kimball.
--Third-seeded Caledonia advanced by defeating unseeded Cook County 3-0.
State Volleyball Tournament
Class 1A Quarterfinals Mayer Lutheran defeated Stephen-Argyle 3-0 Heritage Christian defeated Underwood 3-2 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton defeated Kimball 3-0 Caledonia defeated Cook County 3-0
Friday’s 1A Semifinals 1 p.m./ Mayer Lutheran vs. Heritage Christian 3 p.m./ Tracy-Milroy-Balaton vs. Caledonia
Friday’s 1A Consolation 1 p.m./ Stephen-Argyle vs. Underwood 3 p.m./ Kimball vs. Cook County
Class 2A State Volleyball: “An Absolute Blast”11/10/2016
Sometimes it’s hard to tell who won and who lost. That was the case after the first match of the Class 2A state volleyball tournament Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.
The result was no shock: Top-seeded Kenyon-Wanamingo defeated unseeded Holy Angels 3-0 in the quarterfinals.
Afterwards, one of the head coaches said this: “It is and has been an absolute blast.”
One of the players said, “People always talk about how great the state tournament is. But I think some of the teams that come here more frequently take it for granted. The fact that we’ve gotten this far is really unbelievable.”
Here’s the thing. Those statements came from the losing team. Holy Angels coach Tom Emanuel and senior Mackenzie Downes were as chipper as could be despite losing to the Knights (33-1).
Holy Angels (27-5) had not been to state in volleyball since 1995, so this was an entirely new experience for everybody. And the Stars squeezed every ounce of enjoyment out of it, coming to the arena at 8:30 a.m. to watch some of the Class 3A matches, returning to school for a pep rally and then getting ready to play.
“I think we’re still all on cloud nine,” Emanuel said.
--Fourth-seeded Concordia Academy of Roseville defeated fifth-seeded Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 3-1.
--Second-seeded Maple Lake defeated unseeded Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 3-0.
Class 2A quarterfinals Kenyon-Wanamingo defeated Holy Angels 3-0 Concordia Academy defeated Morris/Chokio-Alberta 3-1 Maple Lake defeated Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 3-0 Kasson-Mantorville defeated Hermantown 3-0
Friday’s 2A Semifinals 5 p.m./ Kenyon-Wanamingo vs. Concordia Academy 7 p.m./ Maple Lake vs. Kasson-Mantorville
Friday’s 2A Consolation 5 p.m./ Holy Angels vs. Morris/Chokio-Alberta 7 p.m./ Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton vs. Hermantown
Finalists Announced For 2016 Mr. Football Award11/9/2016
The 10 finalists for the 2016 Mr. Football Award have been announced by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association.
The Mr. Football Award is sponsored by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) and the Minnesota Vikings.
The Mr. Football Award was first presented in 2004, with the first winner being Nick Mertens of East Grand Forks High School. The 2015 winner was J.D. Spielman of Eden Prairie High School. The 2016 Mr. Football Award will be presented at the Mr. Football Banquet on Sunday, December 4th (10:00 AM) at the Doubletree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place Hotel (500 Park Place Blvd., Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55416).
The 10 finalists for the 2016 Mr. Football Award (in alphabetical order) are:
Name School Position Sub-District Class Blaise Andries Marshall OT/DT South Central Red 4A Christopher Bain Grand Meadow RB/LB N.Central Red 9M Mitchell Fulton Wabasso RB/S Southwest 1A Sam Gibas Elk River RB/LB North Central Blue 5A Noah Gindorff Crosby-Ironton QB/LB/K Northeast Blue 2A Zach Ojile Spring Lake Park QB/DB/P Suburban Red 5A Jaran Roste Alexandria QB North Central Red 5A Jacob Stanislawski Winona OL/DL Big Southeast Blue 4A Wade Sullivan Lakeville North RB Metro East White 6A Tanner Tiege Big Lake RB/WR/K North Central White 4A
Mr. Football Award Criteria:
•Nominee must be a graduating senior. •Nominee’s Head Coach must be a current member of the MFCA. •Nominee must not have any MSHSL violations. •Each player must be nominated by their Sub-District/MFCA representative.
Class 6A, 5A and Sub-Districts will be allowed to nominate two players. Class 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A and 9 man Sub-Districts will nominate one player.
Previous winners of the Mr. Football Award: 2015 – J.D. Spielman, Eden Prairie 2014 – Robbie Grimsley, Hutchinson 2013 - Jeffrey Jones, Minneapolis Washburn 2012 - Bridgeport Tusler, Osseo 2011 - Philip Nelson, Mankato West 2010 - Peter Westerhaus, Holy Family Catholic 2009 - Zach Vraa, Rosemount 2008 - Varmah Sonie, Apple Valley 2007 - Michael Floyd, Cretin-Derham Hall 2006 - Blake Sorensen, Eden Prairie 2005 - Matt Carufel, Cretin-Derham Hall 2004 - Nick Mertens, East Grand Forks
Preseason Girls Hockey Rankings From Let's Play Hockey11/9/2016
CLASS 2A 1 Eden Prairie (9) 2 Maple Grove (3) 3 Hill-Murray (2) 4 Edina (1) 5 Minnetonka 6 Cretin-Derham Hall 7 Elk River/Zimmerman 8 Centennial 9 Blaine 10 Wayzata 11 Lakeville South 12 Chaska/Chanhassen 13 Eastview 14 Eagan 15 Forest Lake 16 White Bear Lake 17 Lakeville North 18 Spring Lk Park/Coon Rapids 19 Stillwater Area 20 Dodge County Receiving votes: Mounds View, Hopkins/Park, Benilde-St. Margaret's, Farmington, Sartell/Sauk Rapids, Grand Rapids/Greenway, Cambridge-Isanti, Bloomington Jefferson, Duluth, Prior Lake, Roseau, Champlin Park, East Ridge
CLASS 1A 1 Blake (10) 2 St. Paul United 3 Breck 4 Warroad 5 Proctor/Hermantown 6 Thief River Falls 7 Mound Westonka 8 Alexandria 9 New Prague 10 Northfield 11 Red Wing 12 Hibbing/Chisholm 13 Orono 14 Owatonna 15 South St. Paul 16 Princeton 17 New Ulm 18 Moose Lake Area 19 East Grand Forks 20 Hutchinson Receiving votes: Duluth Marshall, Mahtomedi
Today’s The Day: Cross-Country State Championships11/5/2016
NORTHFIELD -- The weather forecast is excellent for today’s MSHSL cross-country state championships at St. Olaf College. The annual event brings together the state’s finest distance runners as team and individual champions are crowned in Class 1A and 2A, girls and boys.
The temperature is expected to reach into the upper 60s under sunny skies. It sounds like we have a glorious day ahead.
All of today’s races will be 5,000 meters. Separate awards ceremonies will be held for each class. And if you’re on the bubble about attending in person, you should know that admission is free.
I’ll be posting immediate updates on Twitter (@MSHSLjohn if you care to follow along) after each of the four races, followed by stories about the races here on John’s Journal.
Here is today’s race schedule…
10 a.m./ Class 1A boys 11 a.m./ Class 1A girls 1 p.m./ Class 2A boys 2 p.m./ Class 2A girls
BY THE NUMBERS *Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 234 *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,638 *Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn