John's Journal
Remembering Moorhead’s Phil Seljevold1/27/2011
Phil Seljevold, a 1945 Moorhead High graduate, passed away on Janury 8. In 1958, Seljevold began working as the elementary physical education supervisor for Moorhead Area Public Schools. In 1968, he began a 21-year career as the athletic director for the school district. Seljevold was inducted into the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor in 2008. Here is his Hall of Fame biography …

Phil Seljevold graduated from Moorhead High School in 1945. While at Moorhead High, Seljevold participated in band, orchestra, choir, basketball, football and track and was a class officer one year. He was co-captain of the basketball team in 1945.

Seljevold graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, in 1950 with a double major in physics and health and physical education. He earned a master’s degree in education from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

His employment history includes working at Industrial Loan, Sears, Bob Fritz Sporting Goods and Borders Insurance. Seljevold also taught for part of a year in Dilworth, Minn. In 1958, Seljevold began working as the elementary physical education supervisor for the Moorhead Area Public Schools. He served in that position for 10 years. In 1968, he began a 21-year career as the athletic director for the school district.

As athletic director, Seljevold was a part of the 1970s move to include girls in athletic programs. He was named Region 8AA Athletic Director of the Year four times. During his years as athletic director, Seljevold served as president of the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, was chair of the Region 8AA Committee, and chair of the District 23 Committee. In 1996, Seljevold was inducted into the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame for his contributions to Minnesota high school athletics.

Seljevold has served as a chairman of the Moorhead Athletic Association, was president of the Vikingland Kiwanis Club of Moorhead in 1992, and was council chair of Good Shepherd Church in 1992. In 1995 Seljevold was chairman of the all-school reunion. He was chairman of the Moorhead High School Stadium Committee, which raised funds to build Jim Gotta Stadium in 2000. Seljevold also was active in the creation of the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor. As a member of the Hall of Honor committee, Seljevold served as chair of the selection committee for several years.

Phil and Adeline Seljevold are the parents of four children and eleven grandchildren.
No. 1 Meets No. 1, And The Game Lives Up To Expectations1/27/2011
When the latest boys’ hockey rankings were released by Let’s Play Hockey on Wednesday, all eyes turned to Thursday night’s game at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.

That’s because it suddenly became a match between two top-ranked teams. St. Thomas Academy already held the top spot in the Class 1A rankings, and Hill-Murray moved from No. 4 to No. 1 this week in Class 2A.

The game was worthy of the hype, too. Hill-Murray led 3-1 after two periods (with Bob Bruski scoring twice), the Cadet tied it 3-3 with two-third period goals by A.J. Reid, and Hill-Murray finally sealed the victory when sophomore Jake Guentzel scored with 1 minute, 13 seconds left in regulation.

Hill-Murray improved to 11-4 overall and 7-0 in the Classic Suburban Conference. St. Thomas Academy is 10-5 overall and 5-1 in the Classic Suburban.

The decision certainly secured the Pioneers’ position atop the 2A rankings and the loss probably won’t knock St. Thomas Academy off the No. 1 spot in 1A. The Cadets appear to have the more challenging remaining schedule, with four of 10 games against ranked opponents.

Hill-Murray has upcoming games against two ranked foes: #6-1A South St. Paul on Feb. 10 and a rematch with St. Thomas Academy on Feb. 19.

*Schools/teams John has visited: 327
*Miles John has driven: 6,893

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at
The Return of Tyus Jones ... And The Turnaround1/25/2011
Tyus Jones was a little down after Tuesday night’s basketball game, but the Apple Valley freshman was also happy to be playing again. He suffered a lacerated kidney in the Eagles’ first game of the season and missed the next 13 games.

But Jones – the highest-profile young basketball player in Minnesota -- received medical clearance on Monday and played a team-high 32 minutes, 2 seconds in Apple Valley’s 83-70 loss to Lakeville North on Tuesday. The 6-foot-1 point guard scored 10 points, all in the first half.

There was a certain amount of anticipation in Jones’ return. Gophers coach Tubby Smith was in the crowd, for example. Before tipoff someone said to me, “So you came for The Return, huh?” And that indeed was the theme in the first half, with Apple Valley leading 42-32 at intermission. (In the photo, Jones is defending against North's Al Erickson.)

But the theme changed to “The Turnaround” in the second half, with Lakeville North opening the half with a 17-0 run and taking a 10-point lead seven minutes into the half. Lakeville North was led by Adam Petterson with 24 points and Tyler Flack with 21. It’s no coincidence that both of them stand 6-foot-6; they were big in the comeback, with Flack getting 15 points in the second half and Petterson 14.

Flack led the highlight reel with two alley-oop dunks, one on a pass from Al Erickson and the other with an assist by Devin Shockley. While North’s big guys were attacking, Apple Valley was dealing with foul trouble. Tom Schalk (25 points), the Eagles’ 6-7 center who has signed with William & Mary, fouled out with 4:24 to play, and that put Apple Valley in a big hole. It didn’t help that guard Dustin Fronk also fouled out.

North shot 42 percent in the first half and 60 percent in the second, outscoring Apple Valley 51-28 in the final 18 minutes.

--See a postgame video interview with Tyus Jones, plus a photo gallery, on the MSHSL Facebook page.

*Schools/teams John has visited: 325
*Miles John has driven: 6,835

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of John Millea is on Twitter at

Fund Set Up For Perham's Zach Gabbard1/24/2011
A fund has been set up at United Community Bank in honor of Perham High School basketball player Zach Gabbard.

Zach is a 17-year-old junior on the Yellowjacket boys' basketball team who collapsed during a varsity game on Jan. 20. After receiving emergency medical procedures, he was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where open heart surgery was performed. Once stable, Zach was moved to the University of Minnesota on Sunday for more specialized care.

A fund has been set up at United Community Bank in Perham to help his family defray medical costs. Friends can also visit his CaringBridge site to offer thoughts and prayers for his family. Donations can be made at any UCB location (Perham, Frazee, Dean’s Country Foods in Perham) in the name of the Zach Gabbard Fund. They can also be sent to United Community Bank at 155 Second Street SW, Perham MN 56573.

For more information, call United Community Bank at 218-346-5700, or go to their website,
Live Updates from Board of Directors Meeting ... 1/23/2011
The meeting has come to an end. There's been some good discussion about today's board meeting on the MSHSL Facebook page. Take a look.

12:20 update ...

Here’s the headline from today’s meeting: No changes in football.

The board had a lengthy discussion about the possibilities of going to section football scheduling and changing the structure of football classes, including a Class 6A for the biggest 5A teams.

But in the end, board members wanted to have more information before making any decisions. There was a feeling that adjusting classes and section scheduling are two distinct issues.

Board member Mike Rusinko said, “In consideration of section football, what would be the recommended model from the football coaches and the staff? You’ve got kind of a chicken-or-egg thing here.”

Board secretary John Schumacher said one question he has been asked makes sense: “How can we mandate section scheduling when we don’t even know which format (number of classes, number of schools in each class) will be used?”

Board member Ray Kirch said, “I would be uncomfortable voting for section football today. We don’t know what it would look like. There’s no skin on it. … Bring back to our April meeting something we could vote on.”

The board approved a motion to gather more information, as well as more specifics, and return to the issue at its April meeting.

11:35 update ...

The board has ...

--Approved a new format for the state wrestling tournament, effective with this year’s tournament in March. The tournament was changed from four days to three days, with team competition on the first day and individual competition on the second and third days. This year’s tourney will be held March 3-5 at Xcel EnergyCenter. Changes such as these are being done with two objectives in mind: a reduction in missed class time and lower expenses for schools.

--The board heard a presentation about the FIRST Robotics program. The MSHSL is considering adding robotics to its programs.

--The board approved the use of pull carts by golfers.

--The board approved the use of electronic play clocks in football facilities that are equipped with them. Otherwise, officials will continue keeping the play clock.

Today's meeting is underway. I'll post updates as the meeting progresses.

Eden Prairie junior swimmer Rachel Bootsma, who set a national high school record in the 100-yard backstroke at the state meet in November, was recognized at today's board meeting (see photo). Carol Bomben, a member of the Eden Prairie school board as well as the MSHSL board, presented Rachel with a commemorative copy of the MSHSL Bulletin, with Rachel on the cover.

The MSHSL Board of Directors will meet Monday morning, with the gavel falling at 9:30 a.m.

The agenda includes several items of interest, including possible changes to the format for football and the format for the upcoming state wrestling tournament. The board also will hear recommendations from several activity advisory committees, in addition to other agenda items.

Discussion items include adding an extra week for football practice, and the board will hear a presentation about robotics.

I'll post immediate short updates on Twitter (@MSHSLJohn), with further postings on the MSHSL Facebook page and of course right here on John's Journal.