John's Journal
Football Rankings: Class 6A10/12/2016
School Total Points Prv
1. Totino-Grace (5) (6-0) 59 1
2. Lakeville North (1) (6-0) 55 2
3. Eden Prairie (5-1) 48 3
4. East Ridge (5-1) 42 5
5. Burnsville (5-1) 34 T7
6. Cretin-Derham Hall (5-1) 29 9
7. Rosemount (5-1) 23 4
8. Maple Grove (4-2) 15 NR
9. Blaine (4-2) 12 10
10. Champlin Park (4-2) 8 6
Others receiving votes: Minnetonka 4, Mounds View 1.
Minnesota Football Showcase Announced10/11/2016
The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA) are proud to announce the first Minnesota Football Showcase. Set to take place at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 3, 2016, the new partnership features an entire day of celebrating football throughout the state of Minnesota. The event will culminate in the 44th annual All-Star Football Game featuring outstanding senior football players from around the state (Tickets are now available with all proceeds going directly to the MFCA and the Tackle Cancer Campaign).

Kicking off at 3 p.m., the Showcase Game will be the 55th overall in Minnesota high school football history. The game will feature the North All-Stars vs. the South All-Stars and will be broadcast locally on KMSP FOX 9. Jeff Ferguson of Totino-Grace (North) and Mike Grant of Eden Prairie (South) will serve as the game’s head coaches. The two have a combined 49 years of head coaching experience and a total record of 467 wins and 88 losses.

“This is new and exciting ground for our Minnesota All-Star Football Game,” said Ferguson. “To have the Vikings partnership, to move the game one week after the season, to enable our Division I prospects to participate, and to play the game in U.S. Bank Stadium all make this a premier event. I am honored to serve as a coach.”

“It is an honor to coach in the All-Star Football Game,” said Grant. “Having the best high school players who have come through our great youth football programs playing in the best football venue makes for a true celebration of football across our state. This should become an annual event that brings our Minnesota football community together in an unprecedented way.”

In addition to the game, the event will feature the following:

• Youth Football Clinics
o 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Grades K-5
o 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Grades 6-9
o Registration for each clinic will be limited to the first 200 participants and will include a free event admission. To register please visit www.vikings.com/showcase
• Minnesota High School Marching Bands Performances, Cheer Teams and Dance Teams
• Autograph Sessions with Vikings Legends
• Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders and Skol Line Performance

“The Vikings have long been partners with the MFCA and we are thrilled to further that partnership through the establishment of the Minnesota Football Showcase,” said Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley. “The event is an exciting opportunity for high school players, coaches and fans of football throughout Minnesota, and hosting it in U.S. Bank Stadium is a natural fit as it combines Minnesota’s best athletes with the state’s best venue.”

“We are proud of this game and its rich history,” said MFCA Executive Director Ron Stolski, the head coach at Brainerd High School. “The MFCA could not be more thankful to have the Minnesota Vikings as partners, to bring the event to a state-of-the-art facility and to continue promoting the sport of football in our state.”

About the All-Star Game...
The Minnesota Football Coaches Association is proud of this game and its history. The first All-Star Football Game was played in 1945, and the game has been an annual event since 1974. The game was played in a North vs. South format from 1945 through 1960 and from 1974 to 1979, a Metro vs. Outstate format from 1980 to 2010 and back to a North vs. South format in 2011 (to present).

Through the years, more than 4,200 players and 475 coaches have participated in this game. A total of 89 players from the All-Star Football Game have gone on to play or coach in the National Football League, including current Minnesota Vikings player Adam Thielen (2008 All-Star alumnus from Detroit Lakes).

www.vikings.com
A Northfield Tradition: Lace For The Cure 10/10/2016
NORTHFIELD – Six years ago, tragedy struck at Northfield High School when the mother of a member of the girls soccer team died as a result of breast cancer. Teammates pitched in immediately to show support. The first effort was simple: ask athletes on all Raiders teams to wear pink shoelaces.

“That’s how they started, and it’s really grown from there,” said Raiders junior soccer player Bri Forster. “We do all sorts of events during the season to raise money.”

The biggest event of the soccer season is the annual Lace for the Cure game. The 2016 version took place Thursday night when the Raiders hosted Red Wing in a boys-girls doubleheader. Pink was everywhere, from balloons in the bleachers to Lace for the Cure t-shirts to shoelaces on the soccer players.

“I feel like it’s very important. I feel honored to be a part of it,” said junior soccer player Maddi Goldsworthy; she and Forster are the Raiders’ 2016 Lace for the Cure captains. That’s right, captains. Lace for the Cure is so important to the Northfield girls soccer team that two players each year are chosen as captains to spearhead the fundraising and support efforts.

“They get to run the show,” said Raiders girls soccer coach Troy Cohrs. “They do what worked last year and they bring in new ideas. It’s become a real memorable tradition for us.”

Northfield is among many schools in Minnesota that have embraced the MSHSL’s Why We Play program. Why We Play stresses that the purpose of education-based athletics is not to win, but to help athletes become better people, learn to work together, enjoy the experience of being on a team and take positive lessons into adulthood.

The Raiders’ Lace for the Cure efforts are a perfect example of Why We Play. The athletes, coaches and families put great effort into Lace for the Cure as a way to help others. After six years of Lace for the Cure events, Northfield has raised approximately $50,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which since 1982 has funded more than $889 million in research, more than $1.95 billion in medical care, community and provider education, and psychosocial support, serving millions in more than 60 countries.

“It’s been a blessing and I love the idea that we are contributing and yet paving the way for more years to come, more people to help lead,” Maddi said.

The Northfield girls soccer team takes a trip to Duluth before every season starts. It’s a time for important team bonding. Lace for the Cure was born during that trip six years ago.

“A lot of people know exactly why we started this,” Maddi said. “And they tell other people who don’t really know how important it is to the players and the older players who were affected.”

On Thursday night, there were countless ways for people to contribute. T-shirts were sold, items were on display for a silent action, raffle tickets were sold for a chance to win prizes. Fans were given the opportunity to throw tennis balls onto the soccer field at halftime, with prizes going to those who came closest to the center of a pink breast cancer ribbon that had been painted on the turf.

The event took place during Homecoming week in Northfield, and as Bri said, “We get the whole school completely decked out in pink. People on the Homecoming court walk around school with donation buckets. It’s awesome.”

Indeed it is.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 104
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 3,386
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Volleyball Rankings: Class 3A10/9/2016
CLASS 3A
1. Eagan (17) - 255
2. Lakeville South - 223
3. Hopkins - 221
4. Champlin Park - 212
5. Prior Lake - 178
6. Wayzata - 171
7. Shakopee - 132
8. North St. Paul - 120
9. Lakeville North - 78
10. Cretin-Derham Hall - 46
Others Receiving Votes: Roseville - 36, Bloomington Jefferson - 27, Waconia - 22, Osseo - 18, Rochester Century - 16, Northfield - 16, Blaine - 7, East Ridge - 7
Volleyball Rankings: Class 2A10/9/2016
CLASS 2A
1. Kenyon-Wanamingo (14) - 210
2. Maple Lake - 196
3. Rocori - 172
4. Belle Plaine - 165
5. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 157
6. Kasson-Mantorville - 116
7. Stewartville - 112
8. Hill-Murray - 110
9. Concordia Academy - 100
10. SW Christian - 44
Others Receiving Votes: Sauk Centre - 35, Jackson County Central - 32, Roseau - 15, Academy of Holy Angels - 6