Radio Legend Mike Morrissey Leaves Lasting Legacy 11/30/2015
Anyone who has listened to radio play-by-play of high school and small-college sports in southern Minnesota has surely heard the voice of Mike Morrissey. For decades he called the action on KDHL in Faribault.
Mike has died at age 75. I was proud to call Mike a good friend. We sat side-by-side at state basketball tournaments for years and I always enjoyed chatting on the air with Mike at halftime or between games. Mike broadcast state basketball tournaments games for 44 years before retiring in 2013. He also was the voice of St. Olaf College athletics and it's estimated that he did play-by-play for approximately 3,500 high school and college basketball games.
Here's an item I wrote about Mike during the 2013 boys state basketball tourney...
When the 2014 boys state basketball tournament is held, something will be very different along press row. Mike Morrissey of KDHL radio in Faribault has made play-by-play calls of every tournament but one since 1968. That’s 45 years, and that’s how legends are made. The 2013 tournament is his last one before retiring.
Mike is truly a legend. He has been the voice of St. Olaf College, a fixture in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and he is a member of Minnesota Coaches Halls of Fame in three sports (football, basketball and baseball).
Mike missed one tournament long ago when he took a radio job in Nebraska. He returned to Minnesota pretty quickly, however. “I was too far away from civilization,” he said.
Mike, 72, will be spending next winter in Florida. He has promised me that he will send me emails during the 2014 tournament, describing warm breezes and the umbrella in his drink.
Thank you, Mike, for being a gentleman, a true professional and a good friend.
Girls Basketball Rankings From Minnesota Basketball News11/25/2015
CLASS 4A 1. Hopkins 2. Minnetonka 3. Elk River 4. Eastview 5. Edina 6. Centennial 7. White Bear Lake 8. Shakopee 9. Park Center 10. Rochester Mayo 11. St. Michael-Albertville 12. Rochester John Marshall 13. Lakeville South 14. Anoka 15. Lakeville North 16. Osseo 17. Eden Prairie 18. Andover 19. Rosemount 20. Maple Grove
CLASS 3A 1. Orono 2. Winona 3. Bloomington Kennedy 4. Hutchinson 5. Thief River Falls 6. Marshall 7. Kasson-Mantorville 8. Alexandria 9. St. Paul Como Park 10. Mahtomedi 11. DeLaSalle 12. Hill-Murray 13. Totino-Grace 14. Holy Angels 15. Willmar 16. Waconia 17. Chisago Lakes Area 18. Simley 19. Grand Rapids 20. Fridley
CLASS 2A 1. Dover-Eyota 2. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 3. Sauk Centre 4. Annandale 5. Roseau 6. Pequot Lakes 7. New London-Spicer 8. Minnehaha 9. St. Croix Lutheran 10. Esko 11. Watertown-Mayer 12. Glencoe-Silver Lake 13. St. Peter 14. Minnewaska 15. Kenyon-Wanamingo 16. Pipestone 17. Pelican Rapids 18. Barnum 19. Norwood-Young America 20. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
Girls Hockey Rankings From Let’s Play Hockey11/24/2015
CLASS 2A 1 Hill-Murray (8) 2 Minnetonka (2) 3 Edina 4 Wayzata 5 Eden Prairie 6 Maple Grove 7 Elk River/Zimmerman 8 Blaine 9 Lakeville South 10 Cretin-Derham Hall 11 Chaska/Chanhassen 12 Dodge County 13 Roseau 14 Lakeville North 15 Buffalo 16 Centennial 17 Mounds View 18 White Bear Lake 19 Stillwater Area 20 Eagan
CLASS 1A 1 Blake (9) 2 Thief River Falls (1) 3 Breck 4 St. Paul United 5 Warroad 6 East Grand Forks 7 Proctor/Hermantown 8 Red Wing 9 New Prague 10 Orono 11 Alexandria 12 Mound Westonka 13 South St. Paul 14 Hutchinson 15 Hibbing/Chisholm 16 New Ulm 17 Mahtomedi 18 Northfield 19 Princeton 20 Owatonna
Boys Hockey Rankings From Let’s Play Hockey11/24/2015
CLASS 2A 1 Eden Prairie (8) 2 Lakeville North (2) 3 Grand Rapids 4 Hill-Murray 5 Wayzata 6 Edina 7 Duluth East 8 Blaine 9 Benilde-St. Margaret's 10 Bemidji 11 St. Thomas Academy 12 Minnetonka 13 Elk River/Zimmerman 14 Stillwater Area 15 Prior Lake 16 Holy Family Catholic 17 Farmington 18 Centennial 19 Bloomington Jefferson 20 Moorhead
CLASS 1A 1 Hermantown (8) 2 Breck 3 East Grand Forks (2) 4 St. Paul Academy 5 St. Cloud Apollo 6 Mahtomedi 7 Delano/Rockford 8 Luverne 9 St. Cloud Cathedral 10 Hibbing/Chisholm 11 Thief River Falls 12 Fergus Falls 13 Orono 14 Duluth Denfeld 15 Alexandria 16 New Prague 17 St. Paul Johnson 18 Warroad 19 Sartell-St. Stephen 20 Mankato West
Coming Together And Celebrating Special Moments 11/21/2015
The 2015 fall season came to an end with two pretty spectacular sights. They were simple acts that said everything about sportsmanship as well as the spirit of high school activities, and they deserve to be mentioned here.
The first took place Friday evening at the girls state swimming and diving championships. After two days of competition, the team from Wayzata had captured its third consecutive team title. The top three teams walk onto the awards stand, receive their trophies and pose for photos. As the second-place team from Minnetonka left the podium, they were greeted by a human tunnel of swimmers and divers from Wayzata.
Many of the girls on those teams know each other through high school competition and swim clubs, so it probably wasn’t a surprise that the Wayzata athletes and coaches honored the Skippers by reaching up to hold hands, form a tunnel and cheer as the Skippers passed through. It was a way to honor friends and competitors in a very human and very fun manner.
One day later, after the final event of the fall MSHSL season, came another spectacular sight. North Suburban and Park Center had played to a scoreless tie at the end of regulation in the adapted soccer CI division state championship game. Midway through a 10-minute regulation period, Park Center’s Phillip Worzie scored a goal to give his team the state title.
As is done in all MSHSL tournaments, the all-tournament team was announced and trophies and medals were awarded individually to players, managers and coaches from both teams. That’s when something special happened.
The athletes from Park Center and North Suburban came together at the center of the court at Stillwater High School in one big huddle. They posed for photos together, then raised their hands in the air in the middle of the huddle and yelled these words together: “One! Two! Three! FRIENDS!”
That says everything you need to know about what high school activities are all about. It’s easy to get caught up in who beat who, who benefitted from an official’s call, who tried to find a shortcut in the rules, etc.
The fall season has been memorable for me as I traveled all over the state to document what takes place in our great state. There were quiet moments that I didn’t write or Tweet about; teammates embracing after a tough loss, grandparents sitting together on metal bleachers and shivering on cold nights in order to watch their grandkids compete, cheerleaders working as hard as the other athletes, volunteers taking tickets and working at concessions stands, smiling all the way.
From the heat of August practices to the warmth of swimming pools and gyms in November, this has been an autumn to remember.
BY THE NUMBERS *Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 318 *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 5,951 *Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn