John's Journal
WEATHER ALERT: Two Saturday Football Games Postponed11/13/2010
Today's snow has forced some changes to the Saturday schedule of football playoff games.

Here's the update ...

--Today's Class 2A game at Lakeville North between Maple Lake and Triton will be played Monday at a site and time to be determined.

--Same plan for today's 3A game at Farmington between DeLaSalle and LeSueur-Henderson. It has been postponed until Monday, with the site and time to be determined.

All other football games today will be played as currently scheduled.

And the state volleyball tournament is safe and warm inside the Xcel Energy Center.

Updates to come ...
A Snowy, Slippery Day For Volleyball And (Some) Football11/13/2010
Saturday. Big day. Snowy day. Slushy day. Both-hands-on-the-wheel kind of day.

Once me and my snowblower had completed the season opener, I drove to the Xcel Energy Center for volleyball’s Championship Saturday. Didn’t see one snowplow en route, but saw cars in the ditch and cars fishtailing as they hit slick sports. What fun.

Help me out here: On Tuesday it was me and my lawnmower working in the yard. And Saturday was snowblower time? I just do not understand.

Speaking of the weather, if you peeked at the Journal earlier today you saw the news that two football state quarterfinals were postponed today due to the snow/ice/slush. The Class 2A game between Maple Lake and Triton at Lakeville North and the 3A game between DeLaSalle and LeSueur-Henderson at Farmington will be played Monday, sites and times to be determined.

The best places for immediate information on such things as postponed games and playoff results are the MSHSL Facebook page (now proud home of more than 1,500 Friends!) and @MSHSLjohn on Twitter. The news flows fast and furious in those two spots.

Here at Volleyball Central, we are working our way through fifth-, third- and first-place matches.

Today's results at this point …

--In Class 1A, Wabasha-Kellogg leads Martin County West two games to none in the title match, Minneota beat Mayer Lutheran 3-2 for third place and Win-E-Mac beat Belgrade 3-1 to finish fifth.

--In 2A, Visitation beat Marshall 3-1 to finish fifth and Stewartville beat Sauk Centre 3-0 to finish third. The upcoming title game is between Wadena-Deer Creek and Hutchinson.

--In 3A, East Ridge beat Andover 3-1 to place fifth and Centennial will meet Waconia in the upcoming fifth-place game. In the finals, it will be Lakeville North vs. Wayzata.

--Diet Coke count: one for the day, 10 for the tournament.

More to come…
Football Update: Two Games At The Metrodome On Monday11/13/2010
Bulletin ...

The football playoff games postponed because of Saturday's weather will be played Monday at the Metrodome.

Triton vs. Maple Lake in Class 2A will meet at 4 p.m. and LeSueur-Henderson vs. DeLaSalle in Class 3A will play at 7 p.m.
Wadena-Deer Creek Volleyball: An Unforgettable Story11/13/2010
After the volleyball team from Wadena-Deer Creek finished a dream season that helped its town recover from a nightmare event, I talked with senior Courtney Volkmann in a quiet corridor outside the Wolverines’ locker room at Xcel Energy Center.

A tornado that knocks down your family’s home and farm, your high school and plenty of other structures is one thing. Volleyball is an athletic activity and I won’t try to tell anyone that playing volleyball can heal a community. But after spending some time in Wadena earlier in the week, and then watching the Wolverines and their families and fans at the tournament in St. Paul, you will never convince me that school activities don’t mean something. Especially after what Wadena has been through.

The Volkmanns – Courtney is the daughter of coach Sue Volkmann – lost almost everything in last summer’s tornado. And when I asked Courtney what this all means to her … the tornado, the recovery, the volleyball season, the state championship … she hesitated for a few seconds.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Courtney (that's her with the big smile in the above photo) she finally said. “After the tornado our priorities came first and volleyball was pushed aside. But then we came out to play the game we love.”

There it is. Playing the games we love means something. It’s not only the winning or losing, the practices and the bus trips, the tears and the cheers. It’s being together, sharing the experience, making memories and pulling everyone else along for the ride.

That’s why folks at Wadena-Deer Creek packed the elementary school gym where the Wolverines played their home volleyball matches. It’s community. And the Wolverines epitomized that during a 2010 season which they finished as Class 2A state champs and the only undefeated team in Minnesota.

“It’s amazing,” said another senior, Kelsi Crawford. “We’ve been a team the entire year and we stayed a team through it all.”

It’s truly an amazing, unforgettable story.

THE OTHER WINNERS Saturday at Xcel Energy Center were Wabasha-Kellogg in Class 1A and Lakeville North in 3A. For all three teams, it was the first state volleyball title in school history.

Lakeville North’s celebration centered around head coach Milan Mader (left), who had taken 14 previous teams to state but had never won a championship, finishing second five times. Mader is in his 35th season as a head and he ranks behind only Hibbing’s Gail Nucech in career victories.

AND THIS STORY was told to me …

During the Saturday morning consolation matches, a few of the Minnesota Wild players came to the area for treatment, etc. Some high school volleyball players saw some of the professional hockey players outside the Wild locker room. One of the girls asked one of the hockey players if she could have his autograph, and the Wild player replied by saying, “You’re playing in the state tournament. I should ask you for your autograph.” Classy.

REPEATING THE EARLIER bulletin from today ...

The football playoff games postponed because of Saturday's weather will be played Monday at the Metrodome.

Triton vs. Maple Lake in Class 2A will meet at 4 p.m. and LeSueur-Henderson vs. DeLaSalle in Class 3A will play at 7 p.m.

It’s a darn safe bet that I’ll be there for Monday’s games, with immediate updates on Facebook and Twitter.

--To see a full array of photos from Saturday’s volleyball action, including championship team photos and the Wells Fargo all-tournament teams, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Diet Coke count: two for the day, 11 for the tournament.

Let’s all take a day off.
Buckle Up For A Full Day Of Volleyball And Football11/12/2010
Good morning once again from courtside at Xcel Energy Center. This is the center of the Minnesota volleyball universe this weekend, but we will be a two-sport center of the universe today and Saturday. That’s because the state football playoffs kick into high gear with 17 games today and six more on Saturday.

The state football quarterfinals opened on Thursday night with one game; Rosemount defeated Lakeville South 24-14 in Class 5A. The Irish now advance to the Metrodome next week, where they will face the winner of tonight’s game between Brainerd and Eden Prairie.

The Journal will be heavy on volleyball most of today, but here’s the lineup of football games this weekend … and we’ll be posting score updates on volleyball as well as football all day on the MSHSL Facebook page and @MSHSLjohn on Twitter.

Class 5A
Rosemount 24, Lakeville South 14

Goodridge-Grygla (11-0) vs. Ada-Borup (9-1), Fargodome, 2 p.m.
Edgerton/Ellsworth (11-0) vs. Lanesboro (9-2), Southwest State, 6 p.m.

Class 1A
Mahnomen (11-0) vs. Barnesville (11-0), Fargodome, 5 p.m.
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (6-4) vs. New Ulm Cathedral (10-1), Chaska, 7 p.m.
Adrian (9-2) vs. Goodhue (8-3), Southwest State, 8 p.m.

Class 2A
Moose Lake/Willow River (11-0) vs. Eden Valley-Watkins (11-0), St. Cloud State, 5 p.m.
Luverne (9-2) vs. Caledonia (11-0), Rochester Community College, 7 p.m.
Pelican Rapids (7-4) vs. Ottertail Central (11-0), Fargodome, 8 p.m.

Class 3A
Glencoe-Silver Lake (9-2) vs. Rochester Lourdes (11-1), Burnsville, 7 p.m.
Milaca (9-2) vs. Holy Family (11-0), Chisago Lakes, 7 p.m.

Class 4A
St. Thomas Academy (10-0) vs. Northfield (8-2), Lakeville North, 7 p.m.
Mahtomedi (9-2) vs. Mankato West (10-0), Chanhassen, 7 p.m.
Bemidji (8-1) vs. Rogers (10-0), Duluth Public School Stadium, 7 p.m.
Sauk Rapids-Rice (7-4) vs. Totino-Grace (9-1), St. Cloud State, 8 p.m.

Class 5A
Brainerd (10-0) vs. Eden Prairie (9-1), Maple Grove, 7 p.m.
Cretin-Derham Hall (10-1) vs. Mounds View (10-1), Griffin Stadium, St. Paul, 7 p.m.
Blaine (10-0) vs. Wayzata (8-0), Osseo, 7 p.m.

Underwood (9-2) vs. Nicollet (10-0), St. Cloud State, noon
Mountain Iron-Buhl (10-1) vs. Cromwell (6-4), Duluth Public School Stadium, noon

Class 1A
Barnum (9-1) vs. Minneota (10-1), St. Cloud State, 3 p.m.

Class 2A
Maple Lake (9-2) vs. Triton (11-0), Lakeville North, 6 p.m.

Class 3A
East Grand Forks (8-3) vs. Albany (11-0), St. Cloud State, 6 p.m.
DeLaSalle (10-1) vs. LeSueur-Henderson (7-4), Farmington, 6 p.m.