John's Journal
2016 Prep Bowl To Honor Former Players, Coaches11/1/2016
A news conference was held Tuesday on the main concourse overlooking the field at U.S. Bank Stadium. Soccer was being played at the time but the news centered on football.

The MSHSL, in conjunction with the Minnesota Sports Facilitates Authority and the Minnesota Vikings, announced that all players and coaches who took part in the state football playoffs between 1972 and 2015 will be honored during this year’s Prep Bowl games Nov. 25-26.

The first 1,400 alumni players and coaches to register will receive a special commemorative Prep Bowl tag. During the Class 6A championship game on Nov. 25, Prep Bowl record-holders will be recognized at halftime. Former players and coaches, along with their guests, will be seated together in Section 120 on the lower level of the stadium.

On November 26, all head coaches of championship football teams from 1972 to 2015 will be honored during halftime of the Class 5A championship game.

Tickets and more information is available by going to

Speaking at the news conference were Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, MSHSL executive director Dave Stead, Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren and Vikings wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, who played in the Prep Bowl at Caledonia High School.


The key games Tuesday at U.S. Bank Stadium were the Class 2A girls semifinals, and the results of those contests finalized the lineups for Thursday’s state championship games.

The title games will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday with Northfield facing St. Thomas Academy in the Class 1A boys final, followed by Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West (1A girls), Stillwater vs. Wayzata (2A boys) and Centennial vs. Rosemount (2A girls).


Centennial 2, Andover 1

The Cougars trailed 1-0 when Megan Vatne scored for Andover. Centennial made up the difference after halftime, getting goals from McKenna Gieske and Ashley Ebeling to advance to Thursday’s title game.

Rosemount 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1

Megan Dahl scored for Rosemount in the ninth minute and Washburn’s Lizzie Mewes answered early in the second half. The deciding goal was scored by the Irish’s Jadyn Scholler with 8:58 to play.



2A boys/ Stillwater 6, Andover 1
2A boys/ Wayzata 2, Edina 0
1A boys/ Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2
1A girls/ Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0

2A girls/ Centennial 2, Andover 1
2A girls/ Rosemount 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1

1A boys/ Mankato West 2, Blake 0
1A girls/ Hill-Murray 3, Dover-Eyota 0
2A boys/ Edina 3, Andover 0


8 a.m.: 2A girls/ Andover vs. Minneapolis Washburn

10 a.m.: 1A boys/ Northfield vs. St. Thomas Academy
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West
3 p.m.: 2A boys/ Stillwater vs. Wayzata
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls/ Centennial vs. Rosemount

*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 168
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,537
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
An "Amazing Experience" At U.S. Bank Stadium10/31/2016
How outstanding was the first day of high school sports at U.S. Bank Stadium? Well, here is a statement from a soccer player whose team got beat Monday morning…

“This was probably the most amazing experience of my life so far. Just walking in through the tunnel to start it off was so amazing.”

Amazing indeed. Andover’s Alexander Gutenberg said those words after the Huskies lost to Stillwater 6-1 in the first game of the day, a Class 2A boys semifinal.

Kohei Adams, who scored three goals for the top-seeded Ponies, said, “I thought it was great. The atmosphere, I liked it a lot.”

After Wayzata defeated Edina in the other 2A boys semifinal, there were more raves about the stadium.

“I thought it was crazy,” said the Trojans’ Eric Aadelan, who had never been in the arena before Monday. “When I walked out on the field I just took a couple of minutes, looking around and taking it all in.”

Wayzata goalkeeper Collin Kubinski added, “It’s an amazing venue. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

After the Class 1A boys semifinal when Northfield defeated Mankato West 3-0, West senior Jake Makela, the 1A Mr. Soccer this season, said, “It’s amazing, coming up here. You walk through that tunnel and you see the field and your jaw drops.”


Stillwater 6, Andover 1

Andover’s Hector Coronado made history by scoring the first high school goal inside the new stadium eight minutes into the game, but it was all Stillwater after. The top-seeded Ponies (21-0) needed only 16 seconds to answer after Coronado’s goal, with Patrick Allan scoring. Kohei Adams scored three times for Stillwater and Colman Farrington and Miguel Caravais had the other goals.

Wayzata 2, Edina 0
The Trojans defeated the Hornets for the third time this season, and the score in all three games was 2-0. Erik Aadalen scored in the 55th minute and Maclane King made it 2-0 six minutes later.


Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
Northfield held the top-seeded Scarlets to only one shot on goal, while Matteo Lombardo scored twice for the Raiders. Thomas Gallagher had the other goal for fourth-seeded Northfield.

St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
William Mayleben’s goal on a header in the first half, coupled with a stout defense, led the Cadets into Thursday’s title game against Northfield. Game time is scheduled for 10 a.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.


Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2

Vivian Shinall scored twice and Claire Van Derh Heide scored the game-winner with 2:31 remaining in the second half.

Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0
McKenna Buisman’s first-half was all the Scarlets needed in advancing to Thursday’s title game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Shelby Lund added an insurance goal in the second half, followed by another goal on a penalty kick.


2A boys/ Stillwater 6, Andover 1
2A boys/ Wayzata 2, Edina 0
1A boys/ Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2
1A girls/ Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0

Noon: 2A girls/ Andover vs. Centennial
2 p.m.: 2A girls/ Rosemount vs. Minneapolis Washburn

8 a.m.: 1A boys/ Mankato West vs. Blake
10 a.m.: 1A girls/ Hill-Murray vs. Dover-Eyota
4 p.m.: 2A boys/ Andover vs. Edina

8 a.m.: 2A girls

10 a.m.: 1A boys/ Northfield vs. St. Thomas Academy
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West
3 p.m.: 2A boys/ Stillwater vs. Wayzata
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls

*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 164
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,492
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

State Soccer Game Schedule10/30/2016
Monday will mark history with the first day of high school sporting events inside U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The MSHSL girls and boys state soccer tournament semifinal, third-place and championship games will begin Monday and culminate Thursday. (Halloween note: masks cannot be worn at the tournament.)

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for students, and one ticket is good for an entire day's schedule of games. Tickets are sold at the stadium, but you can beat the lines by ordering online at

Here is the schedule for all three days...

8 a.m.: 2A boys/ #1 seed Stillwater vs. #4 seed Andover
10 a.m.: 2A boys/ #2 seed Wayzata vs. #3 seed Edina
Noon: 1A boys/ #1 seed Mankato West vs. #5 seed Northfield
2 p.m.: 1A boys/ #2 seed Blake vs. #3 seed St. Thomas Academy
4 p.m.: 1A girls/ #1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. #4 seed Hill-Murray
6 p.m.: 1A girls/ Dover-Eyota vs. #3 seed Mankato West

Noon: 2A girls/ Andover vs. #5 seed Centennial
2 p.m.: 2A girls/ #2 seed Rosemount vs. #3 seed Minneapolis Washburn

10 a.m.: 1A girls
4 p.m.: 2A boys


8 a.m.: 2A girls
10 a.m.: 1A boys
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls
3 p.m.: 2A boys
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls
Familiar Names Fall In Football Playoffs10/29/2016
Football section semifinal games were held Saturday around the state, and the results included defeats for a pair of two-time defending state champions.

In Class 1A, Minneota lost to Wabasso 30-20 in Section 5. Minneota, which won the last two 1A state titles, also saw its 36-game winning streak end. The Vikings had not lost since falling to Chatfield in the 2013 Prep Bowl; their 36-game streak was the second-longest current streak in the state (Grand Meadow extended its streak to 46 straight on Saturday in Nine-Man football).

In Class 4A, Big Lake kicked a field goal as time expired to defeat Becker 29-26 in the Section 6 semifinals. Becker had won the last two state titles in 4A.
Blood, Sweat And Diabetes: Staples-Motley’s Izabella Edin 10/28/2016
Izabella Edin is a fighter, and there is no doubt about that fact. Watching her during changeovers on the tennis court, you may be reminded of a prize fighter being treated by handlers between rounds.

At the Class 1A girls state tournament Friday, Izabella finished fourth among singles players. She played two matches Thursday and two more on Friday, closing the tournament with a 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-2 loss to sophomore Katie Mulvey from Trinity School at River Ridge in the third-place match.

The senior from Staples-Motley was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly two years ago. One key to dealing with diabetes is maintaining steady blood sugar counts, which is a big challenge for Edin.

The Staples-Motley coaches – head coach Kayla Janson and assistant Katie Edin (Izabella’s cousin) – rarely talk about tennis with her during changeovers. The discussion usually starts with something like this: “How do you feel?”

During the third-place match, there were times when both coaches were rubbing IcyHot cream on Izabella’s arms and legs as she battled cramps. An athletic trainer worked on her right arm – the arm that swings the racket – during changeovers.

After Friday’s awards ceremony, I asked Izabella how she was feeling.

“I’m super sore,” she said. “I feel like I’m going to cramp up any second if I move the wrong way. There’s a lot of IcyHot on my body.”

Izabella constantly checks her blood sugar during matches and carries an assortment of drinks and food items, all in an effort to maintain her blood sugar level. With Type I diabetes the pancreas does not produce insulin, which the body uses to deliver glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells and provide energy. If not managed properly, diabetes can be life-threatening.

During Friday’s tournament play, Izabella checked her blood sugar around 300 times, pricking a finger, placing a drop of blood on a test strip and inserting the test strip into a glucose monitor.

“I checked my blood sugar on every changeover,” she said. “I went through at least three bottles of strips today and there are a hundred strips in a bottle.”

She carried a bottle of Mountain Dew or strawberry soda with her on the court, placing it at the back wall and taking drinks when possible. Juice boxes and Rice Krispie bars are also normal supplies.

After the third-place match, I asked Izabella to talk me through it and how she felt along the way. Here are some highlights…

--After warming up, her blood sugar was very low (69). “Everything got really heavy in my limbs,” she said. After the first three games she drank some strawberry pop and Mountain Dew. “I was pretty out of it,” she said.

--The next check showed her blood sugar was 112 before dropping again to 80 (a normal count is between 90 and 140). She drank a lot of Mountain Dew but “I still felt really heavy and couldn’t really move well. … I was wanting to throw up from so much carbonation in me.”

--“My legs started cramping. I went for a forehand and my right calf, I couldn’t put any weight on it.” She won the first-set tebreaker 7-1, “which was a miracle. I couldn’t walk or move or anything. Every ball I got to I kind of teed off on. I had to finish the point before (Katie) could touch the ball.”

Later in the match her right hand began to cramp up. She took a 10-minute break to eat some pretzels and visit the restroom.

“It’s hard,” Katie Edin said. “I’m a counselor so I deal with high-stress situations. There’s always that concern, ‘How is she doing?’ But we stay calm. We reassure her that she will be OK.”

Kayla said, “We always check with her on changeovers, see where her numbers are.”

Opponents who are unaware of Izabella’s condition can be confused when they see her during changeovers.

“I don’t think they notice unless I take a medical timeout,” she said. “They’re looking to play tennis and I’m making sure I don’t pass out. They look at me and I’m physically fine. I get a lot of, ‘She looks fine, what’s wrong her?’ ”

Dealing with diabetes is a minute-by-minute concern.

“It’s never out of my mind,” Izabella said. “There’s not one second that it’s not a constant battle. I’ve gotten to the point where physically I can feel it, because I hit so often and do off-court training a lot. If I’m doing planks, for instance, I can feel my blood sugar (change). The feeling is running up and down my arms. My coaches will say, ‘You’ve got to go check because your blood sugar is high.’ It’s pretty obvious.

“If I run across the court and don’t get to a ball like usual, they’ll say, ‘Go drink some Mountain Dew, eat a Rice Krispie bar, check your blood sugar.’ ”

She remembers the date she was diagnosed (November 25, 2014). Her weight had fallen to 95 pounds and something was clearly wrong. It was a thunderbolt.

“It was really bad the first year, especially when you can still remember what it was like to eat without having to worry about anything,” Izabella said.

She didn’t play high school tennis last season, taking the time to train and rest. That was a great decision, she said.

“It was probably the most I improved in my whole tennis career. And it was probably the least stressful my diabetes has ever been. I wasn’t sitting on a court and checking my blood sugar 100 times. There was a lot less stress. I don’t regret taking that year off. I needed a break.”

While saying “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” she and her teammates have found ways to have fun despite her condition.

When some of them first saw Izabella checking her blood sugar, they said, “I want to do that.” They also try to guess what her blood sugar count is when she’s taking a reading.

“They’ll guess during matches: ‘120, 130, 85.’ They were really good about it, really supportive about it,” Izabella said.

“One thing diabetes has taught me is that life is way more than just tennis,” she said. “I don’t play tennis, I play life on the tennis court.”

*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 150
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,287
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn