John's Journal
Friday's Football Playoff Report From The Metrodome11/11/2011
Volleyball All-State Teams, Players Of The Year, Ms. Volleyball11/10/2011
The Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association has announced this year’s postseason awards. Here are the all-state players for each class, as well as the players of the year and the identity of this year’s Ms. Volleyball award winner…

Jessie Mathews, Junior, OH, Bethlehem Academy
Kalyn Biever, Junior, S, Wabasha-Kellogg
Maddie Borwege, Junior, MH, Bethlehem Academy
Jennifer Mundt, Senior, MH, Lewiston-Altura
Riley Nordgaard, Senior, OH, Canby
Erica Handley, Junior, S, Win-E-Mac
Riley Hanson, Junior, MH, Nevis
Kelsey Hennen, Senior, LIB, Minneota
Mackenzie Horkey, Sophomore, OH, Southwest Christian
Kendra Schmidgall, Senior, OH, Hancock
Jennifer Krentz, Senior, LIB, Mayer Lutheran
Tiffany Strand, Senior, MH, Ada-Borup
Katie Lubben, Junior, S, Southwest Christian
Abbey Thissen, Senior, MH, MACCRAY

Casie Baer, Senior, S, Canby
Teagan Molden, Senior, MH, MACCRAY
Tori Davidson, Junior, MH, Northern Freeze
Erin Radke, Senior, MH, Nicollet
Brittany Roelike, Junior, OH, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa
Belle Sand, Sophomore, OH, Mabel-Canton
Olivia Kaster, Senior, MH, Win-E-Mac
Nicole Schmidt, Junior, OH, Mayer Lutheran

Emilee Gutzmer, Senior, S, Jordan
Kenzie Beekman, Sophomore, OH, Marshall
Kaia Buck, Senior, S, Kasson-Mantorville
Whitney Burmeister, Senior, OH, Jackson Co. Central
Morgan McKittrick, Senior, OH, Marshall
Kelsey Chambers, Senior, OH, Jordan
Emily Miron, Junior, MH, Wadena-Deer Creek
Brittney Noon, Senior, OH, Wadena-Deer Creek
Brooke Decker, Senior, S, Maple Lake
Alexandra Duxbury, Sophomore, LIB, Chatfield
Hannah Tapp, Junior, MH, Stewartville
Haley Fogarty, Junior, OH/S, Belle Plaine
Abby Wolpern, Senior, MH, Belle Plaine

Stephanie Bandelin, Senior, MH, Esko
Jillian Krier, Junior, S, Byron
Emma Lange, Junior, MH, Caledonia
Anne Debertin, Junior, OH/RS, Visitation
Samantha Schlangen, Junior, S, Albany
Jessica Thelemann, Junior, OH/MH, LeSueur-Henderson
Sydney Griffin, Sophomore, MH/S, Marshall

Karlie Hauer, Senior, OH, Andover
Julianne Blomberg, Senior, OH, Chanhassen
Taylr McNeil, Sophomore, OH, Eagan
Sydney Dimke, Senior, RS, Blaine
Anna Pioske, Junior, OH, Waconia
Leigh Pudwill, Senior, OH, Centennial
Taylor Dordan, Senior, LIB, Blaine
Claire Sames, Senior, MH, Shakopee
Julia Doyle, Senior, S, Wayzata
Monica Turner, Senior, MH, Lakeville South
Sarah Wilhite, Junior, OH, Eden Prairie
Alyssa Goehner, Sophomore, OH, Lakeville North

McKell Anderson, Senior, OH, Lakeville South
Alex Berger, Senior, LIB, Shakopee
Maren Loe, Senior, OH, Apple Valley
Lydia Dimke, Sophomore, OH/RS, Blaine
Maggie Ewen, Junior, OH/MH, St. Francis
Jocelyn Youngdahl, Senior, OH, Hill-Murray

Class A Player of the Year – Riley Nordgaard, Canby

Class AA Player of the Year – Whitney Burmeister, Jackson County Central

Class AAA Player of the Year – Leigh Pudwill, Centennial

2011 Ms. Baden Minnesota Volleyball – Leigh Pudwill, Centennial
A Familiar Name On The Radio And Other Volleyball Tidbits11/10/2011
Gordy Kosfeld, veteran play-by-play man for KDHL radio in Faribault, has a special guest commentator for state tournament coverage of the Bethlehem Academy volleyball team: Bethany Boelter, daughter of Cardinals coach Franz Boelter.

Bethany, a 2005 Bethlehem Academy graduate who went on to play volleyball at Minnesota State Mankato, played on the Cardinals’ 2003 Class 1A state title team and proudly wears a championship ring. The ring was made by Josten’s, where she works in the finance department.

Her initial radio gig came courtesy of her father. During a Bethlehem Academy fundraiser in the spring, KDHL offered opportunities to sit in as a color commentator during various Bethlehem Academy sporting events. Franz purchased the volleyball spot and gave it to Bethany.

She sat alongside Gordy during a regular-season match and did a great job, because afterwards Gordy asked her, “Would you like to do the state tournament?”

The top-seeded Cardinals narrowly avoided an upset loss in Thursday’s quarterfinals, winning the first two games against Win-E-Mac and losing the next two before winning the fifth and deciding game.

“That was nerve-wracking,” said Bethany, who coaches the Cardinals during the club volleyball season. “I felt like a parent. My dad keeps his cool better than I do.”

--I knew the volleyball tournament was going to be barrels of fun just by the Twitter chatter on Wednesday evening. These two tweets come from a member of the MSHSL Student SID program and a guy who works on the security detail at the Xcel Energy Center…
*“I'm ready to rep the MSHSL SID program @MSHSLjohn ....waiting for the moment I get my hands on the press pass :D #state #Ada-Borup”
*“@MSHSLjohn see you at the X Thurs-Sat. I will be working the floor from 7am til everyone leaves all 3 days. Looking forward to it!”

--I’ve been working at the MSHSL for more than a year and a half. The job change is old news for me, but word doesn’t always travel fast. One of the coaches involved in the volleyball tournament saw me at the Xcel Center Friday and told me that one of my co-workers at the Minneapolis Star Tribune had told her I would be covering the event for the newspaper. A little mixup, no big deal.

--The Ada-Borup pep band was at the volleyball tourney Thursday and will be back Friday, but facing a busy day. The band will play during the pregame portion of the Cougars’ 1 p.m. state semifinal match against Bethlehem Academy, then scoot up Interstate 35 to Duluth, where the Cougars football team will play Bigfork at 5 p.m. in the Nine-Man state quarterfinals.

--Diet Coke, Part I: I was sitting at courtside looking down into my laptop during the Ada-Borup vs. Cherry match when the call went out: “Heads up!” This urgent message signifies an incoming volleyball. Before I could lift my eyes, the ball bounced off the table in front of me. It missed my opened can of Diet Coke, as well as other less important items like my camera, cell phone and computer.

--Diet Coke, Part II: This thing has been wacky for a long time, and we reached a new level Thursday at the Xcel Center. Michael Isola, a good guy from Wadena who has a great website called, came to the volleyball tourney bearing a gift for me. The photo tells the story …

--Saving The Worst For Last Dept.: Each member of the volleyball media received a paper copy of MSHSL interview guidelines for the tournament. They spell out areas where interviews can and can’t be done. In explaining how to get from the courts to the locker room area, the instructions included this: “DO NOT exit through the vomitories behind the bench area.” Yes, vomitories. Why? I have no idea.

*Schools/teams John has visited: 147
*Miles John has driven: 4,784
*Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 3 for the state volleyball tournament, 26 for the fall tournaments

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at
It’s Tournament Time … But Let’s Remember The Big Picture11/9/2011
This is a big week in high school sports, with the volleyball state tournament, football state quarterfinals and girls swimming section championships on the schedule.

During this exciting time, I wanted to share a wonderful reminder of the lessons that can be shared through school activities. Below is an email that I received from Chris Harvey, the football coach at St. Clair High School.

St. Clair is a small school near Mankato. Because of a lack of players, St. Clair did not play a varsity football schedule this season. The Cyclones instead played junior varsity games. The situation was similar at Minneapolis Roosevelt. The city school also had a shortage of experienced football players and played only junior varsity games.

The JV teams from the two schools scheduled a game against each other at Roosevelt; the kids from a small town in rural Minnesota coming to Minneapolis to play kids from the city.

How did it go? I’ll let Chris Harvey’s email tell the story (Mr. Frost is Roosevelt athletic director Al Frost) …

I would again like to express the gratitude of the St. Clair Cyclone football program for the hospitality shown to us by the staff, coaches and especially players of Minneapolis Roosevelt. I have been coaching for various programs since 1990 and have been to dozens of different schools. By far, Minneapolis Roosevelt showed more hospitality than I have ever experienced from a host team…a genuine first-class organization.

Mr. Frost did an outstanding job of getting students together, to get them out of their shells and provide them the opportunity to meet someone new. By inviting us to break bread with you, we were able to meet many great young men…young men whom we may never have met without this opportunity. There was a different atmosphere on the bus ride home. The conversations were a little louder. But, I didn't hear a word about the game. What I heard was a bunch of young men talking about the “cool” guys that they had just met.

The experience was the epitome of what athletics should be…two teams battling hard on the field, with respect and class, then sharing a wonderful meal afterward...with respect and class!

Thank you again for inviting us into your home. I hope we have the opportunity to return the favor someday!

Chris Harvey
Head Football Coach
St. Clair High School

State Football Tournament: Facts About The Quarterfinals11/8/2011
Forty-eight teams are still playing high school football in Minnesota, with eight teams in each of six classes taking the field for state quarterfinal games Thursday through Saturday.

There is one game Thursday: Rocori vs. Rogers in a 7 p.m. Class 4A contest at St. Cloud State University. Sixteen quarterfinals will be played Friday and the round will be completed with seven games on Saturday.

Twenty-two of the 24 quarterfinal games will be played outdoors, with two taking place inside the Metrodome on Friday. Those games are both in 5A, between Lakeville North and Cretin-Derham Hall at 5 p.m. and Totino-Grace and Prior Lake at 8 p.m. After witnessing 17 outdoor football games this season, I’ll be at that indoor doubleheader on Friday.

This weekend’s winners will gather at the Metrodome for the state semifinals Nov. 18-19, and the Prep Bowl games will be held Nov. 25-26.

Here are some facts, figures and tidbits to prepare us for this weekend’s games…

Unbeaten matchups:
--Cretin-Derham Hall (10-0) vs. Lakeville North (10-0) in 5A
--Plainview-Elgin-Millville (11-0) vs. St. Croix Lutheran (11-0) in 3A

Other Unbeaten Teams:
--Wayzata (10-0) in 5A
--Bemidji (10-0) and Mankato West (10-0) in 4A
--Moose Lake/Willow River (11-0) and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (10-0) in 2A
--Mahnomen (11-0) and Dawson-Boyd (11-0) in 1A
--Edgerton-Ellsworth (11-0) and Spring Grove (11-0) in Nine-Man

No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchups:
--No. 1 St. Croix Lutheran vs. No. 2 Plainview-Elgin-Millville in 3A

Other matchups of Top 5 teams:
--No. 2 Cretin-Derham Hall vs. No. 3 Lakeville North in 5A
--No. 2 Mahnomen vs. No. 5 Braham in 1A

Matchups of unranked teams:
--Annandale vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin in 3A
--Providence Academy vs. Perham in 3A
--Paynesville vs. Warroad in 2A

Notes from individual teams (information supplied by the schools)…

Ada-Borup (Nine-Man)
This is the Cougars’ fourth Section 6 championship in a row. The seniors have gone 40-7 in four years of varsity football. Lance Ruebke has nearly 1,500 all-purpose yards as a sophomore, Ian Halle has 18 touchdowns and Jace Hennen has thrown for 1,173 yards and 15 TDs in nine games. The team GPA is 3.2.

Annandale (3A)
After an 0-4 start the Cardinals have won six of their last seven games. They played five 4A schools. Joe Allison is the grandson of former Twins player Bob Allison.

Anoka (5A)
Strong offensive line play has allowed four runners to amass more than 3,500 yards rushing. Josh Werness has over 1,300 yards, Ryan Rand has 1,200 rushing/receiving yards, DJay Johnson has over 1,000 rushing and return yards.

Blue Earth (2A)
The Buccaneers average 291 rushing yards a game and their opponents average 77 rushing yards. Jacob Olson is a 1,226-yard rusher, Carter Hanson has run for 835 yards, Brady Anderson has passed for 1,105 yards. Lineman Jonah Pirsig has made a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota

Cretin-Derham Hall (5A)
The Raiders lost 16 starters from the 2010 team. This year’s team held its opponents to 80 total points in 10 games.

Dawson-Boyd (1A)
This is the first Dawson-Boyd team to make the state football tournament. Nathaniel Huot and Evan Robertson combine for 13 interceptions and Justin Lee and Brandon Schmitt combine for 14 sacks.

Edgerton/Ellsworth (Nine-Man)
Four rushers have gone over 500 yards. The seniors have a career record of 39-5. Johnny Menning has set a single-season sack record with 21. The team has a record of 78-13 since 2004.

Fairmont (3A)
The Cardinals went undefeated in the conference for the fourth straight year; they have won 20 straight conference games. Senior QB Ben Kain is completing 60.8 percent of his passes and has 22 touchdowns. Junior running back Brandon Martin has 19 touchdowns. The offensive line has given up only six sacks in 11 games. Coach Mat Mahoney was a junior quarterback at Fairmont the last time the Cardinals went to state (1997).

Holy Family Catholic (3A)
The Fire is making its third trip to state in five years.

Kittson County Central (Nine-Man)
This is the first time in the coop's existence (since 2007) that the team has won the conference and the section title in the same season. Zach Rynning has broken the school record for passing yards and TD passes in a single season. Derek Coffied has broken the school record for receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs in a single season.

Lakeville North (5A)
The Panthers have given up only three points in the third quarter and have outscored their opponents 91-3 in that quarter. The 10-0 start is the best in the history of Lakeville North. Trey Heid is the QB, kicker and punter. Charlie Hayes and Joel Oxton have 95 catches combined. Karl Finkel leads the Panthers with 11 sacks, Mitch Johnson has nine sacks. Heid has rushed and passed for 2,424 total yards.

Mankato West (4A)
The Scarlets are 44-3 over the last four seasons. QB Philip Nelson has committed to the University of Minnesota.

Moose Lake/Willow River (2A)
Opponents have 28 turnovers to MLWR's four this season. They have a 46-game regular-season winning streak and this is the sixth consecutive trip to the state tournament.

Nicollet (Nine-Man)
The seniors have a career record of 33-11 and they have played in four section title games. The Raiders have a turnover ratio of plus-12. WR Jamie Fischer owns almost all school receiving records. QB Sean Murphy owns the school career TD pass record with 58 and career record for being involved in 89 TDs. Team GPA is 3.40 and all juniors and seniors are three-sport athletes.

The starting defense has only allowed 44 points. The team turnover ratio is plus-28. Three individual rushers have career totals of more than 1,500 yards: Garret Wolf, Aaron Grobe and Jack Ihrke. QB Brady Rahman has thrown 18 TDs with only 2 INTs. The team consists mainly of two- and three-sport athletes, including several who have state tournament experience in wrestling, basketball and track and field

Prior Lake (5A)
This is the Lakers’ first appearance in the state football tournament. Jack Kaiser has rushed for 1,127 yards and Jack Johnson has rushed for 762 yards.

Rocori (4A)
The Spartans have a plus-16 turnover margin. Christian Pedroza has tied the school record twice this year by kicking two 47-yard field goals. Alex Tray and Cory Asfeld are battling to set the school record for tackles for loss; Alex has 20, Cory has 18. Pedroza has kicked 20 touchbacks on kickoffs this season. The team has an overall GPA of 3.14. This is the fifth time the Rocori football team has been a state entrant in football.

Warren-Alvarado-Olso (1A)
WAO's defense has five shutouts. There are only four seniors on this year's roster of 44. Zach Riopelle (a North Dakota State football commit) is the school’s all-time leading rusher with over 4,000 yards. Andrew Lansing was part of the Thief River Falls state tournament hockey team that took third place in the 2011 Class A state tournament. WAO has played in the Section 8A championship game five of the last six years. This is WAO's first state football appearance since 2000, when the Ponies took second place. WAO has averaged at least seven wins over the past four seasons.

Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (2A)
The team’s four-year record is 43-3. Jeff Amundson leads the state during his career in tackles for loss (63) and Grant Pope is in the top five with 44.5. Two freshmen play a significant amount of time: Ben Boran (LB and kicker) and Nick Amundson (OT).