John's Journal
Congrats To The Old Dutch Athlete And Team Of The Week11/23/2013
Jeremy Jost, a junior at Robbinsdale Armstrong who plays on the Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka Robins adapted soccer team, is the Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week.
Jeremy was one of the unsung for the Robins, who won their sixth consecutive state championship in the physically impaired division of the adapted soccer state tournament.

He played a vital role in limiting scoring chances by the Robins' opponents all weekend long, especially in the state championship game. Jeremy plays a defensive position in the back half of the court to assist the goalkeeper, and is not typically a high-scoring player. But he had a great weekend offensively, scoring seven goals and three assists for the tournament, including the vital game-tying goal with 2:47 left in the championship game.

In addition, Jeremy specifically requested to defer a spot on the all-tournament team, if nominated, as he felt he had teammates more deserving of the recognition than himself... a very selfless act!

Congratulations to Jeremy Jost for being this week's Old Dutch High School Athlete of the Week!

The Old Dutch High School Team of the Week is the Chatfield Gophers football team. The Gophers extended their season record to 12-1 with a 41-21 victory over Hawley in the Class 2A semifinals at the Metrodome. They will meet Minneota for the state title on Friday, marking the first time Chatfield has been in the Prep Bowl since a championship threepeat from 1994 through 1996.

The Gophers made it to the state tournament with a Section 1 championship game victory over Caledonia, which had won five of the last six 2A state titles.

Congratulations to the Chatfield High School Football Team for being this week's Old Dutch High School Team of the Week!
Mankato West Has A Nack (Or Two) For Swimming And Smiles11/20/2013
On a day when Section 1 reigned supreme at the Class 1A state swimming and diving championships, few teams were happier than the girls from Mankato West. The Scarlets finished a distance second in the team race to Visitation, but the smiles told the story at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

And a big part of the story was the Nack sisters, senior Danielle and junior Chantal (pictured). What kind of day did the Nacks have? Danielle won her second straight state title in the 50 freestyle and her third title in the 100 butterfly, while Chantal won her second gold medal in the 200 freestyle and also won the 500 freestyle. In addition to that, the Nacks teamed with Madison Bacon and Rachel Phinney to win the 200 freestyle relay.

Visitation won its first team title since it won four consecutive state championships from 2005 through 2008. The Blazers, from Mendota Heights, finished with 300 points, getting first-place finishes by Abbie Dolan in the 100 freestyle and two relay teams: Caroline Gaertner, Heather Farley, Emily Kishish and Lorelei Gaertner in the 200 medley relay and Caroline Gaertner, Lorelei Gaertner, Emily Connors and Dolan in the 400 freestyle relay (in a 1A meet record time).

Mankato West was second with 168 points, followed by Sartell-St. Stephen with 161, Hutchinson with 131 and Albert Lea with 130.

Wednesday marked the end of Danielle Nack high school swimming career, but her college swimming will take place at the same venue because she will attend the University of Minnesota.

Her younger sister said the state meet experience was “really cool. But it’s also kind of sad that it’s the last high school meet with my sister. It’s been a blast.”

The Scarlets’ victory in the 200 freestyle relay was a big thrill, especially considering that West had only the fifth-fastest time in Tuesday’s preliminaries.

“We had finished second four times in the relay, and to come out of fifth and take first is awesome,” said coach Dave Burgess.

Other Class 1A champions (all from Section 1)…

--Albert Lea sophomore Lindsey Horejsi, who set a 1A meet record in the 200 individual medley on Tuesday, won the event Wednesday in a slightly slower time. She also won the 100 breaststroke.

-- Northfield junior Bailey DuPay captured the 1-meter diving state title for the third year in a row.

--Cecilia Hake, a senior from Faribault, won the 100 backstroke.


--In the 200 medley relay, the Chanhassen team of Zoe Avestruz, Bridgette Grobe, Kaia Grobe and Kylie Dahlgren broke the all-time meet record for the second day in a row, winning in 1:41.96. Chanhassen also won the 400 freestyle relay in a state-record time of 3:25.69.

--Edina set an all-time meet record in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Amelia Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Emma Wittmer and Rachel Wittmer won in 1:34.06.

--Chanhassen junior Kaia Grobe captured her third consecutive state title in the 100 freestyle.

--Edina junior Olivia Anderson won the 100 breaststroke for the third year in a row.

--Chanhassen junior Zoe Avestruz won her second straight state title in two events, the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

--Edina ninth-grader Rachel Wittmer won the 50 freestyle after finishing in a third-place tie in the prelims. Placing third in the finals was two-time champion Kaia Grobe.

--Wayzata won its first state team title, finishing with 275 points. Next were Minnetonka 232, Edina 221, Stillwater 206 and Chanhassen 197.

--Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 6 for the state swimming tournament, 35 for the fall state tournaments.


*Schools/teams John has visited: 217
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 5,252
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Day Of Caring At Underwood Shows Community Spirit11/18/2013
Earlier this month, a very special all-school day was held in Underwood, a small town near Fergus Falls. Underwood’s “Day of Caring” promotes efforts to assist students in giving back to their community by performing service projects around town and the area.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade, grouped by classrooms, went to local nursing homes, assisted living centers, food shelves and state parks, where they visited the elderly, played cards, sang songs and had a wonderful day.

Older students, in grades 7 through 12, were divided into 22 teams. Those teams performed more physical projects, including raking yards, cleaning house gutters, washing windows, planting grass, cleaning areas around the school grounds and creating and completing projects at local day-care facilities.

The students had a fun experience, working together to help others and make new friends. One elderly man offered to pay the students for raking his yard, but he settled for taking a photo of the students with his phone to show to his wife when she got home. One group raked five yards and ran out of leaf bags three times.

Some of the younger students made cards and art projects that they gave to elderly residents. A group of fourth-grade students was excited to meet a veteran who is 102 years old, and residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers were delighted to hear the children sing to them.

“The Day of Caring was fantastic,” said John Hamann, the school principal for grades 5 through 12 at Underwood. “Our students really worked hard, never complained, and showed that they care about people in our community.”

Dean of students Brian Hovland and school counselor Jennifer Whipple, who put the project together, “did an excellent job, from creating the groups, finding places for kids to go, dividing the town up into sections for cleaning ... they really stepped forward and did a nice job,” said Hamann.

“Everything that we do comes down to building and maintaining relationships with people,” Hamann said. “My hope is that the community and our students continue to build on that bond that makes Underwood so special.”
Who Will Be Old Dutch Athlete of the Week? And Team Of The Week?11/17/2013
Nominations are open for the Old Dutch Athlete of the Week award, as well as a new honor: the Old Dutch Team of the Week! Read all the details by clicking here.
Numbers (Mostly Zeroes) Tell The Story For Mahnomen11/16/2013
Saturday’s Class 1A football state semifinal game at the Metrodome was another ho-hummer for the Mahnomen Indians. Their formula is a basic one: Run the football, score some points and keep the opponent floundering in a sea of scoreboard donuts.

The Indians (13-0), who will play Dawson-Boyd (12-1) in the Prep Bowl on Nov. 30, are on an amazing run. Not only are they unbeaten this season, they have a record of 51-2 since the start of the 2010 season. They lost in the state quarterfinals that year, lost to Dawson-Boyd 35-20 in the 2011 Prep Bowl and went unbeaten in winning the state championship last year.

Mahnomen defeated Bethlehem Academy 19-0 Saturday while rushing for 225 yards and holding the Cardinals to 175 total yards. Bethlehem Academy was averaging 27 points per game.

“Everyone plays their position,” said Mahnomen sophomore defensive back Kody Lefebvre, who had a team-high five tackles and one interception. “We have no heroes on this team. It’s just 11 guys doing their job.”

Quarterback Tom Pavek scored on a 1-yard run and threw a 29-yard pass to Nathan Hanson for a score. Austin Reitan also scored for the Indians on a 12-yard run.

“There’s a lot of pride in the boys,” Mahnomen coach John Clark Jr. said. “We did exactly what we wanted to do, run the ball and play defense. We gave up some plays on defense but I thought we did a great job of stiffening up when we had to. We had a lot of kids who made key plays at key times.”

Mahnomen is making its 22nd appearance in the state football playoffs, and the Indians won state championships in 1980, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2012.

After last season’s title run, there were mild concerns about the defensive side of the ball this year. But those worries pretty much went poof after the Indians opened the season by giving up only 14 points in the first four games.

“We thought we were going to take a hit on defense a little bit this year, but it’s amazing,” Clark said. “We have kids who step up. Everyboy says that, but we do. Kids who haven’t played much at all on the varsity other than mop-up time, they come in, and if they’re a senior they play like they’re a third-year starter, and if they’re a sophomore they play like they’ve been there for two years. It’s amazing.”

Mahnomen has now recorded eight shutouts in 13 games, and only two teams have scored in double figures (a 42-14 win over Red Lake County in Week 2 and a 28-12 victory over Upsala/Swanville in the state quarterfinals).

Thoughts will now turn to the Prep Bowl and Dawson-Boyd; the Blackjacks were the last team to beat Mahnomen.

“It makes it a little more exciting, I think,” said Clark. “Our teams have some assistant coaches who roomed in college together. They’ve been communicating all year; we’ve had our eye on them obviously and they’ve kind of had their eye on us. They got us last time; obviously we want to turn the tables. But two weeks is a lot of preparation. It’ll be interesting to see who can come up with something a little new and who can take away the others’ strengths.”

We can be sure of one thing: Mahnomen won’t change its winning formula.

“Play D and win ugly, that’s good enough for us,” Clark said. “I’d rather be winning ugly here in November than sitting at home looking pretty.”

--Since Bethlehem Academy didn’t score a touchdown Saturday, the fans did not get to see Cardinals kicker Lexi Temple. She came into the state semifinals with a stellar record on extra-point kicks, making 39 of 40 attempts this season. She plays on the Faribault High School girls soccer team (a cooperative team with Bethlehem Academy), and one of the season highlights came when her football teammates came en masse to the Cardinals’ Teacher Appreciation Night game and saw Lexi score two goals.


Joey Lee ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more as the Blackjacks moved to the Prep Bowl in hopes of winning their second state title in three years. Lee’s rushing touchdowns came from 1 and 38 yards, and he threw to Michael Lee for a 36-yard score and to Noah Stelter for 24 yards and a TD.

Joey Lee completed seven of 19 passes for 175 yards. Dalton Palmer led Dawson-Boyd in rushing with 13 carries for 69 yards. David Surprenant of Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s carried 16 times for 103 yards and Brandon Helget ran 19 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Helget also threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Surprenant.


The game’s only points came with three seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Crusaders’ Alex Bornschlegl kicked a 23-yard field goal. It was a defensive struggle which featured only 15 pass attempts and three completions. Proctor (9-3) finished with 86 total yards to 281 for St. Croix Lutheran (10-2). The teams combined for 15 punts.

Sr. Croix Lutheran’s Hans Klingenschmitt rushed 25 times for 135 yards. Joe Carter led Proctor with 13 rushes for 51 yards.


The Wildcats scored 20 points in the second and 16 in the third to defeat the Eagles and advance to the Prep Bowl against St. Croix Lutheran. Adam Essler rushed 18 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats and Jarret Hatlestad ran eight times for 110 yards and a TD as New London-Spicer ran for a total of 317 yards. Lourdes quarterback Michael Brandt completed eight of 16 passes for 133 yards.


The game went down to the very last second before the Warriors advanced to the Prep Bowl. Brainerd took the 20-19 lead on a 41-yard run by Conor Gessell with 7:10 left in the third quarter, and Brainerd’s defense kept the Hawks out of the end zone after that.

Chaska missed a 27-yard field goal with 5:05 to play. The Hawks’ final possession ended when they were stopped on downs at the Brainerd 32 with 50 seconds remaining. Brainerd held the ball the rest of the game.

Thursday’s Results
Nine-man/ Underwood 34, Ely 20
Class 2A/ Minneota/Lincoln HI (12-0) vs. Maple Lake (8-4)
Class 4A/ Hutchinson 35, Delano 9
Class 6A/ Rosemount 35, Roseville 28

Friday’s Results
Nine-man/ Grand Meadow 21, Kittson Central 7
Class 2A/ Chatfield 41, Hawley 21
Class 5A/ Owatonna 27, St. Michael-Albertville 7
Class 4A/ Holy Angels 33, DeLaSalle 21
Class 6A/ Eden Prairie 47, Totino-Grace 22

Saturday’s Results
Class 1A/ Dawson-Boyd 27, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 18
Class 1A/ Mahnomen 19, Bethlehem Academy 0
Class 3A/ St. Croix Lutheran 3, Proctor 0
Class 3A/ New London-Spicer 36, Rochester Lourdes 16
Class 5A/ Brainerd 20, Chaska 19


Friday, Nov. 29
10 a.m.: Nine-man/ Underwood (10-3) vs. Grand Meadow (12-1)
1 p.m: Class 2A/ Minneota (13-0) vs. Chatfield (12-1)
4 p.m.: Class 4A/ Hutchinson (12-0) vs. Holy Angels (7-5)
7 p.m.: Class 6A/ Eden Prairie (11-0) vs. Rosemount (11-1)

Saturday, Nov. 30
10 a.m.: Class 1A/ Dawson-Boyd (12-1) vs. Mahnomen (13-0)
1 p.m.: Class 3A/ St. Croix Lutheran (10-2) vs. New London-Spicer (10-2)
4 p.m.: Class 5A/ Brainerd (12-0) vs. Owatonna (12-0)

--To see a photo gallery from Saturday's games, go to the MSHSL Facebook page. Photos on this page and Facebook were provided by Ian Jamieson, a student at Prior Lake High School and a member of the MSHSL Student Media Program.

--Diet Coke Count: 4 for the day, 14 for the state football tournament, 35 for the fall state tournaments.


*Schools/teams John has visited:185
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 5,212
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn