Tradition Continues As We Turn The Page On A New Toyota Camry 12/2/2015
In early December 2012 an exciting new partnership was formed. If you have seen the vehicle I have driven for the last three years or posed for a photo with that vehicle (as countless athletes, teams, coaches and fans have done), you know what I’m talking about.
I am a very proud driver of a Toyota Camry. On that December day three years ago the MSHSL took possession of a 2012 Camry that was decorated with MSHSL logos, Facebook and Twitter addresses and a couple giant cartoon caricatures of my head. The main color of that Camry was blue; I drove the Blue Beauty for three years and covered more than 70,000 miles traveling all over the state while attending events and telling stories about the great things associated with high school activities.
Toyota is a proud supporter of high school activities, and Maplewood Toyota has taken the lead in providing John’s Journal with a first-rate vehicle. Through a valuable partnership between the MSHSL, Maplewood Toyota and Twin Cities Toyota dealers, I have the great pleasure of traveling all over Minnesota in a very recognizable vehicle.
A new page was turned this week as the 2012 Camry was replaced by a 2016 Camry. This one is a distinctive and attractive red color and bears even larger caricatures of my already big head.
As with the 2012 Camry, Big Red will soon bear stickers representing teams that have won state championships. The 2012 model was covered with such stickers; the 2016 Camry does not yet have any stickers attached, but that will soon change. I already am in possession of a couple of stickers from teams that won state titles this fall, and I know that more will arrive in the mail.
To me, the John’s Journal Camry represents all of us. I am the driver, but I symbolically carry you with me; and “you” means everyone who is involved with high school athletics and activities. Every time I visit a school I try to park the car in front of a sign or main entrance and take a photo that pairs the Camry with the school. I have a collection of hundreds of those photos with the 2012 blue Camry, and I’m starting a new photo collection with the 2016 red Camry.
At regular-season events as well as state tournaments, the Camry is a focal point for photos that are posted by people on Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. I have taken many photographs of entire teams posing with the car; oftentimes athletes will pose with the Camry while I’m somewhere else, post the picture on Twitter and tag me. I love to see those.
A few people have snapped photos of the Camry while I’m behind the wheel. When such photos are snapped by a passenger, it’s all good. A couple of drivers, however, have pulled up alongside me on the highway to shoot a photo from behind the wheel (not smart).
When I drove the 2016 Camry off the lot at Maplewood Toyota on Tuesday, Big Red’s odometer reading was 81 miles. That number will go up and up as I continue to spend time on the roads of our great state, seeing old friends, making new friends and sharing the good news that comes from what you do.
John’s Journal is driven by Toyota. And it's a great ride.
BY THE NUMBERS *Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 320 *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 6,011 *Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
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