John's Journal
Student Media Members Take In A Wild Game3/4/2013
Sunday night was another highlight in the growth of the MSHSL Student Media program, with several high school students enjoying the Wild’s home game vs. the Edmonton Oilers as credentialed media members. The Student Media program encourages students to act as reporters for their schools (information on the program can be found by scrolling to the bottom right of the MSHSL home page.)

Nick Wagner of Ada-Borup, JoNathan Chartrand of Chisago Lakes, Jared Rubado of Brainerd and Zach Halverson of White Bear Lake were met in the Xcel Energy Center lobby by Ryan Stanzel of the Wild media relations staff. Ryan gave the students a quick tour of the building and they enjoyed a pregame meal in the media dining dining room on the ice level. (They also posed for a photo with FSN North Wild play-by-play broadcaster Anthony LaPanta.)

Before game time, the students had a question-and-answer session with Michael Russo, who is the Wild beat writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and KARE 11 television sports anchor/reporter Dave Schwartz. They talked about their career paths and offered advice to the young journalists.

The students watched the game from a booth in the press box, and between periods they toured the NHL statistics booth as well as the NHL video replay booth. After the game, the students attended Wild coach Mike Yeo’s postgame press conference.

Members of the Student Media program have had similar outings at Timberwolves games (twice) and a Twins game, and we are happy to have the Wild join our group. The professional franchises treat the students very well, and they all go home with outstanding memories and a working knowledge of what takes place behind the scenes at a professional sporting event.

--More photos can be viewed on the MSHSL Facebook page.
It's Time For The Nation's Premier High School Sporting Event3/4/2013
This is a big week in Minnesota, as the boys state hockey tournament takes center stage at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Every year, the event draws interest from all across the country as well as in Canada.

For example, The Hockey News -- a Toronto-based publication that is known for its in-depth hockey coverage -- will be represented at the tournament.

The tournament begins Wednesday and will end Saturday with the Class 1A and 2A state championship games. All quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games will be televised by KSTC Channel 45.

Wednesday’s Class 1A Quarterfinals
(# seeds)

#2 Breck (24-3-1) vs. Marshall (14-10-1), 11 a.m.
#3 Hermantown (23-4-1) vs. Duluth Marshall (16-12), 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. game
#1 St. Thomas Academy (24-2-2) vs. St. Cloud Apollo (18-10), 6 p.m.
#4 East Grand Forks (22-3-3) vs. #5 Rochester Lourdes (20-8), 30 minutes after end of 6 p.m. game

Thursday’s Class 2A Quarterfinals
(# seeds)

#2 Duluth East (24-4) vs. Moorhead (14-11-2), 11 a.m.
#3 Edina (22-6) vs. Lakeville North (11-16-1), 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. game
#1 Hill-Murray (25-2-1) vs. Eastview (18-9-1), 6 p.m.
#4 Wayzata (21-7) vs. #5 Centennial (22-4-2), 30 minutes after end of 6 p.m. game
Boys State Hockey Tournament Pairings Are Set3/2/2013
The process of setting the brackets for next week’s boys state hockey tournament at Xcel Energy Center was completed this morning. The coaches in each class determine which five teams will be seeded via electronic voting. The teams seeded fourth and fifth meet in the state quarterfinals, and the opponents for the top three seeds are decided by random draw.

Here are the pairings…

Class 1A
Wednesday’s Quarterfinals
#2 Breck (24-3-1) vs. Marshall (14-10-1), 11 a.m.
#3 Hermantown (23-4-1) vs. Duluth Marshall (16-12), 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. game
#1 St. Thomas Academy (24-2-2) vs. St. Cloud Apollo (18-10), 6 p.m.
#4 East Grand Forks (22-3-3) vs. #5 Rochester Lourdes (20-8), 30 minutes after end of 6 p.m. game

Class 2A
Thursday’s Quarterfinals
#2 Duluth East (24-4) vs. Moorhead (14-11-2), 11 a.m.
#3 Edina (22-6) vs. Lakeville North (11-16-1), 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. game
#1 Hill-Murray (25-2-1) vs. Eastview (18-9-1), 6 p.m.
#4 Wayzata (21-7) vs. #5 Centennial (22-4-2), 30 minutes after end of 6 p.m. game
A Night For Champions At State Wrestling Tournament3/2/2013
Championship Saturday at the state wrestling tournament is always a night filled with drama and celebrations, and the 2013 version filled the bill perfectly. My favorite moment came when Grand Rapids 182-pound senior Jamison Evans completed an unbeaten season with a last-second decision over Christian DuLaney and then ran into his coach’s arms … and head.

Evans is a big young man, but he is no match for Thunderhawks coach Dan Jinks. Evans not only leaped into the coach’s arms, but went extra vertical and landed almost right on top of Jinks. It was a tremdendously happy scene, just one of many on one of the greatest nights of the year for high school sports in Minnesota.

The familiar names carved their names a little deeper into the record books. Simley senior Jake Short (Class 2A, 152 pounds) won his fourth state title, as did St. Cloud Apollo senior Mitch Bengston (3A, 138). Apple Valley ninth-grader Mark Hall (3A, 152) won for the second time, staying on track to become the state's first six-time state champ.

Overall, six wrestlers repeated as champions in Class 1A, six did so in 2A and six did the same in 3A. That’s what you call symmetry.

Apple Valley had seven individual 3A champions, going 7-1 in the final round.

Three of Saturday’s title matches pitted past state champions.

--In Class 2A at 138 pounds, Coltan Laganiere of Kasson-Mantorville defeated Brett Stolarzyk of Stewartville.

--In 2A at 195, Lance Benick of Totino-Grace beat Broc Berge of Kasso-Mantorville.

--And in 3A at 195, Tommy Petersen of Lakeville South beat Chase Morlock of Moorhead.

--To see a photo gallery from the tournament, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

BY THE NUMBERS

*Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 10 for the tournament, 22 for the winter state tournaments
*Schools/teams John has visited: 488
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 7,289
(*During the 2012-13 school year)
Eden Prairie Historically Dominant In Winning 2A Swim Title3/2/2013
Eden Prairie cruised to the Class 2A boys state swimming and diving championship Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, and St. Thomas Academy won the Class 1A crown. Read Luke Sleeper's story by clicking here.