John's Journal
75th Hockey Tournament TV: History And Familiar Voices 3/4/2019
The 75th MSHSL boys state hockey tournament will be special in many ways, including memories of past tournaments, great moments and all-time top players. In the television broadcast booth, more history will be made this week.

KSTC Channel 45, the longtime television partner of the MSHSL, will bring back former tournament veterans to call games and also will have the first female play-by-play voice in tournament history.
Sloane Martin, becoming the first female play-by-play person to cover the boys hockey tournament, will call the first Class 1A doubleheader session on Wednesday. She is a news reporter at WCCO Radio and a veteran play-by-play sports broadcaster who previously has been on the call for Prep Bowl football games. She will call these Class 1A quarterfinals: North Branch vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, Minnesota River vs. East Grand Forks.

For Wednesday's second Class 1A quarterfinal session, a voice familiar to Minnesota hockey fans will have the play-by-play call. Wally Shaver has been the voice of Gophers men’s hockey for nearly two decades and has been a hockey broadcaster for 45 years. Wally will call these games: New Ulm vs. Mahtomedi, Delano vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.

For the opening session of Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday, Doug McLeod of Fox Sports North will have the call. Doug has had a long and varied career in broadcasting, including 19 years in the NHL with the North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. Doug will call these games: White Bear Lake vs. Blaine, Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie.

ESPN veteran Clay Matvick will be on the microphone for Thursday’s second pair of Class 2A quarterfinals. Clay is a native of Princeton, Minnesota, and graduate of St. Cloud State University. His duties at ESPN include college football, college basketball, hockey, baseball, softball and the Little League World Series. Clay will call these games: Moorhead vs. Edina, Duluth East vs. St. Thomas Academy.

For the Class 1A semifinals that begin Friday morning, former Wild TV play-by-play voice Dan Terhaar will have the call. Dan, who spent seven seasons with the Wild, has called Prep Bowl games for KSTC Channel 45, has worked for WCCO Radio and has been the play-by-play voice of Gophers hockey and University of North Dakota hockey.

Beginning with Friday’s second session (the Class 2A semifinals), veteran tournament voice Jim Erickson will take over the play-by-play duties for the rest of the tourney. The native of Braham, Minnesota, is familiar to hockey fans through his time broadcasting previous girls and boys state tournaments. Jim is the play-by-play voice of St. Cloud State men’s hockey and has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, covering nearly every high school sport in Minnesota.

Working as analysts on the broadcasts will be two familiar names: Mark Parrish and Lou Nanne. Parrish, who will call all the Class 1A games, won two high school state championships at Bloomington Jefferson in the 1990s, played at St. Cloud State and spent 11 years in the NHL. Nanne, who will call all Class 2A games, has been the color commentator for the MSHSL boys hockey tournament since 1964.

Along with television coverage on KSTC, Channel 45, tournament games will be webcast by prep45com.

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinal Pairings

Class 1A

Wednesday, March 6
11 a.m./ North Branch (19-7-2) vs. #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4)
1 p.m./ Minnesota River (20-4) vs. #3 seed East Grand Forks (20-8)
6 p.m./ New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. #1 seed Mahtomedi (21-6-1)
8 p.m./ #5 seed Delano (17-9-2) vs. #4 seed Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (15-13)


Class 2A

Thursday, March 7
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
75th Hockey Tournament TV: History And Familiar Voices 3/4/2019
The 75th MSHSL boys state hockey tournament will be special in many ways, including memories of past tournaments, great moments and all-time top players. In the television broadcast booth, more history will be made this week.

KSTC Channel 45, the longtime television partner of the MSHSL, will bring back former tournament veterans to call games and also will have the first female play-by-play voice in tournament history.

Sloane Martin, becoming the first female play-by-play person to cover the boys hockey tournament, will call the first Class 1A doubleheader session on Wednesday. She is a news reporter at WCCO Radio and a veteran play-by-play sports broadcaster who previously has been on the call for Prep Bowl football games. She will call these Class 1A quarterfinals: North Branch vs. St. Cloud Cathedral, Minnesota River vs. East Grand Forks.

For Wednesday's second Class 1A quarterfinal session, a voice familiar to Minnesota hockey fans will have the play-by-play call. Wally Shaver has been the voice of Gophers men's hockey for nearly two decades and has been a hockey broadcaster for 45 years. Wally will call these games: New Ulm vs. Mahtomedi, Delano vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin.

For the opening session of Class 2A quarterfinals on Thursday, Doug McLeod of Fox Sports North will have the call. Doug has had a long and varied career in broadcasting, including 19 years in the NHL with the North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. Doug will call these games: White Bear Lake vs. Blaine, Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie.

ESPN veteran Clay Matvick will be on the microphone for Thursday's second pair of Class 2A quarterfinals. Clay is a native of Princeton, Minnesota, and graduate of St. Cloud State University. His duties at ESPN include college football, college basketball, hockey, baseball, softball and the Little League World Series. Clay will call these games: Moorhead vs. Edina, Duluth East vs. St. Thomas Academy.

For the Class 1A semifinals that begin Friday morning, former Wild TV play-by-play voice Dan Terhaar will have the call. Dan, who spent seven seasons with the Wild, has called Prep Bowl games for KSTC Channel 45, has worked for WCCO Radio and has been the play-by-play voice of Gophers hockey and University of North Dakota hockey.

Beginning with Friday's second session (the Class 2A semifinals), veteran tournament voice Jim Erickson will take over the play-by-play duties for the rest of the tourney. The native of Braham, Minnesota, is familiar to hockey fans through his time broadcasting previous girls and boys state tournaments, beginning in 2012. Jim is the play-by-play voice of St. Cloud State men's hockey and has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, covering nearly every high school sport in Minnesota.

Working as analysts on the broadcasts will be two familiar names: Mark Parrish and Lou Nanne. Parrish, who will call all the Class 1A games, won two high school state championships at Bloomington Jefferson in the 1990s, played at St. Cloud State and spent 11 years in the NHL. Nanne, who will call all Class 2A games, has been the color commentator for the MSHSL boys hockey tournament since 1964.

Along with television coverage on KSTC, Channel 45, tournament games will be webcast by prep45com.

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinal Pairings

Class 1A

Wednesday, March 6
11 a.m./ North Branch (19-7-2) vs. #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4)
1 p.m./ Minnesota River (20-4) vs. #3 seed East Grand Forks (20-8)
6 p.m./ New Ulm (17-8-1) vs. #1 seed Mahtomedi (21-6-1)
8 p.m./ #5 seed Delano (17-9-2) vs. #4 seed Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin (15-13)

Class 2A

Thursday, March 7
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Wrestling State Championship Matches3/2/2019
The 2019 state wrestling tournament will culminate Saturday night with individual championship match. The final session of the tournament at Xcel Energy Center will begin at 4 p.m. with fifth- and third-place matches, followed by the championship matches.

Class 1A
106/ Michael Majerus, Zumbrota-Mazeppa vs. Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford vs. Derek Steele, Sibley East
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo vs. Trevor Janssen, Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena
126/ Canon Swanson, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Mason Gode, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville vs. Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles vs. Blake Legred, United South Central
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston vs. Willie Von Ruden, Medford
152/ Chandler Mooney, Roseau vs. Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo vs. Owen Bjerga, Staples-Motley
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska vs. Kaleb O’Reilly, Goodhue
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby vs. Trevor Eisfeld, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/W-WG
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota vs. Tyler VanLuik, Minnewaska
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River vs. Luke Tweeton, Frazee
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie vs. Scot Edwards, Adrian

Class 2A
106/ Dylan Louwagie, Marshall vs. Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace vs. Maxwell Petersen, Byron
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley vs. Jaxson Rohman, Fairmont/Martin County West
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace vs. Mitchel Petersen, Byron
132/ Charlie Pickell, Mankato West vs. Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West vs. Cael Berg, Simley
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville vs. Kellen Schauer, Grand Rapids
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia vs. Dylan Fudge, Perham
160/ Cade Mueller, Waconia vs. Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes vs. Nolan Wanzek, Simley
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville vs. Zachary Peterson, Perham
195/ Ty Moser, Perham vs. Grant Parrish, Kasson-Mantorville
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono vs. Garsen Schorr, Kasson-Mantorville
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley vs. Logan Wingert, Plainview-Elgin-Millville

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee vs. Jore Volk, Lakeville North
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee vs. Ryan Henningson, Winona/Cotter
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake vs. Ben Lunn, Shakopee
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater vs. Ryan Schurber, Buffalo
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield vs. Adam Mickelson, Apple Valley
138/ Drew Woodley, Northfield vs. Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar vs. Brady Gross, Apple Valley
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South vs. Moise Madimba, Coon Rapids
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls vs. Brock Rinehart, Woodbury
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo vs Chase Dressel, Mounds View
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea vs Cade King, Owatonna
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake vs. Lincoln Shinn, Willmar
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount vs. Cole Fibranz, Sartell-St. Stephen
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North vs. Marco Cavallaro, East Ridge
Park Rapids’ Ashton Clark: Perseverance, Dedication, Commitment3/2/2019
Saturday night was special at Xcel Energy Center. The final matches of the high school wrestling season, in which individual state champions are crowned, are always held in a joyous, raucous setting, with gold medals being awarded in front of cheering crowds.

High school wrestling careers sometimes end quietly, too.

Ashton Clark, a senior from Park Rapids, was hoping to go out on top. He placed second in Class 2A as a sophomore and junior and came to the 2019 state tournament in the 120-pound class with dreams of a first-place finish. That dream was dashed when he lost an opening-round match on Friday morning in the most dramatic way possible.

As the was match winding down, Clark held a 4-0 lead over Spencer Ruedy of Mankato East. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ruedy scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to win the match 5-4. Clark, in his fifth trip to state, was done.

But the story, the story that really matters, the story that says so much about the young man, is how he made it back to state when it seemed impossible.

Ashton (pictured in the top position in this photo) suffered a broken leg on Jan. 5 while wrestling in the championship match at a tournament in Ogilvie. He won that match, despite a broken bone just above the ankle. Doctors told him his wrestling season was over.

He wasn’t hearing it.

“I didn’t really want to think about it,” he said. “I tried to think about other things.”

Things like rehabbing his injury. Things like staying in condition. Things like doing everything in his power to be ready for the Section 8 individual section tournament.

He had a couple of important people in his corner. Matt Clark is the Park Rapids wrestling coach and Angel Clark is the school’s athletic trainer. They also are Ashton’s parents.

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have been very, very surprised (to see Ashton at state),” said Matt. “But knowing everything he did, there are not many kids who would do that or could do that. He’s a strong young kid.”

His leg and foot were never put in a cast; Ashton had a walking boot and crutches at first. He ditched the crutches after a while and was able to remove the boot at times. Angel helped her son by first using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. “We talked about how we were going to do everything perfectly,” she said. “I’ve looked at fractures like this and they don’t come back like that.”

Three weeks after the injury, a doctor looked at a fresh X-ray and was astounded. “He said, ‘Oh my God. Wow, this looks super good,’ ” Angel recalled. “We were like, ‘Oh thank God.’ Then he turned to Ashton and said, ‘What kind of chance do you have to make it to state?’ We said, ‘Well, this would be his fifth time.’ ”

The Clarks asked a custodian at the school to remove the left pedal from a stationary bike so Ashton could ride it for conditioning. He did work in the swimming pool.

“That’s discipline,” Angel said. “A part of me thinks that Ashton was coming back and he knew it. He’s so, so disciplined.”

The news kept getting better as the section tournament got closer.

“The first time we went to the doctor he said there wasn’t much of a chance,” Ashton said. “The second time he said we were a week or two ahead of schedule, and to keep doing what we were doing. The third time he said it was going to be ready.”

He finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 161-22. What matters much more than how it ended is what he accomplished along the way, and how he finished. With perseverance, dedication and commitment.

--Simley senior Daniel Kerkvliet won the Class 2A state title at heavyweight Saturday night, becoming the 20th wrestler in Minnesota history with four championships.

--Total attendance for the three-day state wrestling tournament was 50,199. The tournament record is 64,001, set in 2003. One year ago the total attendance was 51,705.

Wrestling State Champions

Class 1A
106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A
106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace
132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
195/ Ty Moser, Perham
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Park Rapids’ Ashton Clark: Perseverance, Dedication, Commitment3/2/2019
Saturday night was special at Xcel Energy Center. The final matches of the high school wrestling season, in which individual state champions are crowned, are always held in a joyous, raucous setting, with gold medals being awarded in front of cheering crowds.

High school wrestling careers sometimes end quietly, too.

Ashton Clark, a senior from Park Rapids, was hoping to go out on top. He placed second in Class 2A as a sophomore and junior and came to the 2019 state tournament in the 120-pound class with dreams of a first-place finish. That dream was dashed when he lost an opening-round match on Friday morning in the most dramatic way possible.

As the was match winding down, Clark held a 4-0 lead over Spencer Ruedy of Mankato East. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Ruedy scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to win the match 5-4. Clark, in his fifth trip to state, was done.

But the story, the story that really matters, the story that says so much about the young man, is how he made it back to state when it seemed impossible.

Ashton suffered a broken leg on Jan. 5 while wrestling in the championship match at a tournament in Ogilvie. He won that match, despite a broken bone just above the ankle. Doctors told him his wrestling season was over.

He wasn’t hearing it.

“I didn’t really want to think about it,” he said. “I tried to think about other things.”

Things like rehabbing his injury. Things like staying in condition. Things like doing everything in his power to be ready for the Section 8 individual section tournament.

He had a couple of important people in his corner. Matt Clark is the Park Rapids wrestling coach and Angel Clark is the school’s athletic trainer. They also are Ashton’s parents.

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have been very, very surprised (to see Ashton at state),” said Matt. “But knowing everything he did, there are not many kids who would do that or could do that. He’s a strong young kid.”

His leg and foot were never put in a cast; Ashton had a walking boot and crutches at first. He ditched the crutches after a while and was able to remove the boot at times. Angel helped her son by first using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. “We talked about how we were going to do everything perfectly,” she said. “I’ve looked at fractures like this and they don’t come back like that.”

Three weeks after the injury, a doctor looked at a fresh X-ray and was astounded. “He said, ‘Oh my God. Wow, this looks super good,’ ” Angel recalled. “We were like, ‘Oh thank God.’ Then he turned to Ashton and said, ‘What kind of chance do you have to make it to state?’ We said, ‘Well, this would be his fifth time.’ ”

The Clarks asked a custodian at the school to remove the left pedal from a stationary bike so Ashton could ride it for conditioning. He did work in the swimming pool.

“That’s discipline,” Angel said. “A part of me thinks that Ashton was coming back and he knew it. He’s so, so disciplined.”

The news kept getting better as the section tournament got closer.

“The first time we went to the doctor he said there wasn’t much of a chance,” Ashton said. “The second time he said we were a week or two ahead of schedule, and to keep doing what we were doing. The third time he said it was going to be ready.”

He finished his high school wrestling career with a record of 161-22. What matters much more than how it ended is what he accomplished along the way, and how he finished. With perseverance, dedication and commitment.

--Simley senior Daniel Kerkvliet won the Class 2A state title at heavyweight Saturday night, becoming the 20th wrestler in Minnesota history with four championships.

Wrestling State Champions

Class 1A
106/ Drayden Morton, Sibley East
113/ Charley Elwood, Medford
120/ Jeron Matson, Kenyon-Wanamingo
126/ Brett Willaby, Windom-Mountain Lake
132/ Jackson Hale, Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Southland
138/ Mark Buringa, St. Charles
145/ Kyle Cavanaugh, Caledonia/Houston
152/ Seth Brossard, Kenyon-Wanamingo
160/ Tyler Ryan, Kenyon-Wanamingo
170/ Tyson Meyer, Minnewaska
182/ Jaden Kindopp, Canby
195/ Michael Nelson, Dover-Eyota
220/ Dominik Vacura, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River
285/ Craig Orlando, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie

Class 2A
106/ Mason Gelhoff, Waseca
113/ Joey Thompson, Totino-Grace
120/ Chase DeBlaere, Simley
126/ Jake Svihel, Totino-Grace
132/ Ryan Sokol, Simley
138/ Tyler Shackle, Scott West
145/ Carlos Ruffo, Kasson-Mantorville
152/ Tim Stapleton, Waconia
160/ Bennett Berge, Kasson-Mantorville
170/ Isaiah Thompson, Detroit Lakes
182/ Patrick Kennedy, Kasson-Mantorville
195/ Ty Moser, Perham
220/ Danny Striggow, Orono
285/ Daniel Kerkvliet, Simley

Class 3A
106/ Pierson Manville, Shakopee
113/ Paxton Creese, Shakopee
120/ Derrick Cardinal, Forest Lake
126/ Reid Ballantyne, Stillwater
132/ Trayton Anderson, Northfield
138/ Sebas Swiggum, Apple Valley
145/ Cael Carlson, Willmar
152/ Willie Bastyr, Lakeville South
160/ Gabe Nagel, Little Falls
170/ Riley Habisch, Buffalo
182/ Zach Glazier, Albert Lea
195/ Calvin Sund, Prior Lake
220/ Ezayah Oropeza, Rosemount
285/ Bryce Benhart, Lakeville North

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.