John's Journal
State Cross-Country Rankings9/21/2010
Boys Class 2A

Teams:
1. Wayzata
2. Edina
3. Eden Prairie
4. Stillwater
5. Rosemount
6. White Bear Lake
7. Burnsville
8. Owatonna
9. Moorhead
10. Minnetonka
11. Red Wing
12 Maple Grove

Individuals:
1. Aaron Bartnik, Eden Prairie
2. Mohamed Mohamed, Eden Prairie
3. Bryant Blahnik, Red Wing
4. Adam Zutz, St. Francis
5. Lukas Gemar, Moorhead
6. Josh Thorson, Wayzata
7. Steven Dado, Totino Grace
8. Cole O'Brien, Burnsville
9. Trent Lusignan, Shakopee
10. Shane McCallum, Rosemount
11. Riley Macon, Rochester Mayo
12. Tom Linner, Stillwater

Girls Class 2A

Teams:
1. Eden Prairie
2. Monticello
3. Roseville
4. Lakeville South
5. Chanhassen
6. Hopkins
7. Wayzata
8. Prior Lake
9. Andover
10. Elk River
11. Eagan
12. Minnetonka

Individuals:

1. Maria Hauger, 10, Shakopee
2. Jamie Piepenburg, 11, Alexandria
3. Kayla Urick, 12, Chaska
4. Erica Seidenkranz, 11, Monticello
5. Becca Dyson, 12, Roseville
6. Abbi Aspengren, 12, Elk River
7. Kaelyn Williams, 11, Cooper
8. Taylor Perkins, 10, Lakeville North
9. Meghan Bailey, 12, Minnetonka
10. Amber Seidenkranz, 9, Monticello
11. Katie Moran, 12, Visitation
12. Cassidy Soli, 10, Champlin Park

Boys Class 1A

Teams:
1. Perham
2. St. Cloud Cathedral
3. Glencoe-Silver Lake
4. Plainview-Elgin-Millville
5. Holy Family Catholic
6. Esko
7. Mora
8. Minnehaha Academy
9. LaCrescent
11. Fairmont
12. Waseca

Individuals

1. Mubarik Musa, Worthington
2. Mason Ferlic, Mounds Park Academy
3. Grant Wintheiser, St. Cloud Cathedral
4. Matt Jergensen, Caledonia
5. Grant Timm, Plainview-E-M
6. Aaron Haley, Plainview-E-M
7. Brandon Clark, Blake
8. Troy Koivisto, Dassel-Cokato
9. Oj Ojulla, Worthington
10. Jensen Orlow, Holy Family Catholic
11. Shane Streich, Waseca
12. Brendan Skime, Thief River Falls

Girls Class 1A

Teams:
1. Adrian
2. St. Cloud Cathedral
3. Holy Family Catholic
4. LaCrescent
5. Blake
6. Waseca
7. Perham
8. Albany
9. Esko
10. Park Rapids Area
11. Fairmont
12. Dover-Eyota/St. Charles

Individuals:
1. Jordin Kopplow, Adrian
2. Lauren Friese, Fairmont
3. Gabi Swoboda, Redwood Falls Area
4. Clare Flanagan, Blake
5. Elena Danielson, St. Cloud Catholic
6. Victoria Alexander, Lake of the Woods
7. Cheyanne Bowers, St.James
8. Molly Eastman, Holy Family Catholic
9. Jordan Chancellor, Blake
10. Emi Tros,t Cannon Falls
11. Maren Greenwaldt, Sauk Centre
12. Madi Sachs, Albany
Student SID Program 9/21/2010
Good morning from Mankato. I'm here for today's fall area meeting, enjoying the company of 60 administrators from this area of the state.

Among the agenda items is our new Student Sports Information Directors program. The program provides opportunities for students to become reporters for their schools, allowing them to learn about the reporting, writing and editing process and giving them insight into the career of a working journalist. Students involved in the program will use MSHSL-issued media credentials (pictured here).

Working under the mentorship of English/journalism teachers, students will plan and produce stories about their school’s activities. These can involve sports as well as non-sports activities. Stories can include preseason previews, game stories, feature stories about coaches or students-athletes, stories about schools concerts, plays or anything else that takes place in the school community. Photography is also included as part of the program. Each school in Minnesota has its own page on the MSHSL site and the student-produced stories will appear on their school’s page.

More information about the program will be coming soon.
An Evening Of Volleyball ... And A Thud On The Highway9/21/2010
I’m sorry. I’m really sorry for what took place Tuesday night on a dark Highway 19 between Ivanhoe and Marshall. I ran over two animals with my car. They were either small pigs or large raccoons, and I’m not sure that both of them bought the farm as they tried to cross the highway, but there was definitely a thud under my vehicle.

I was on Highway 19 after watching a volleyball match at Lincoln HI in Ivanhoe. The Rebels (the HI stands for Hendricks and Ivanhoe) played host to Minneota, which is the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A. The outcome was no surprise, with Minneota winning 3-0. (See a photo gallery from the match on the MSHSL Facebook page.)

“The bottom line is we’re happy to get serves over and play our game,” said Lincoln HI coach Jenni Wright. “They are a very strong program and we need to put up something. They had us for lunch tonight, but I’d rather play good competition all the time. We respect their program.”

Minneota moved to 12-2, with losses to the No. 1 team in Class 3A (Lakeville North) and the No. 1 team in 2A (Jackson County Central). One of the Vikings’ victories came against Hutchinson when the Tigers were No. 1 in 2A. Minneota faced Lakeville North and Hutchinson during last weekend’s Southwest Minnesota Challenge in Marshall.

“We had a great weekend at the Marshall tournament. That was a lot of fun for us,” Minneota coach Stephanie Hennen said. “We love to go there. It’s 12 miles from home for us and it’s a great tournament. We were able to play against a lot of big teams and tough teams, and it was a great experience for our kids.”

My drive from Ivanhoe to Marshall – site of an MSHSL area meeting Wednesday morning – was going wonderfully. As I spun the radio dial, I checked the Twins score and then found two radio stations broadcasting high school volleyball play-by-play: Wheaton-Herman-Norcross vs. Hancock and Renville County West vs. Dawson-Boyd. A very pleasant evening was well under way.

And then, all of a sudden, my headlights caught the shapes of two critters ambling across the road. Thud. Sorrow. Regret.

I hate when that happens.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 44
*Miles John has driven: 2,213

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn
3A Volleyball Rankings Hold Firm, Shuffles in 2A & 1A9/20/2010
Very little changed in this week’s Class 3A state volleyball rankings, with Lakeville North continuing its season-long hold on the top spot and the top eight teams unchanged. Eden Prairie moved down one spot to No. 10 and Blaine jumped into the No.9 spot.

In 2A, Jackson County Central stays No. 1, and Wadena-Deer Creek moves to No. 2, swapping positions with Hutchinson. Marshall, which shared third with W-DC last week, fell to No. 6.

The top three teams in 1A (Minneota, Bethlehem Academy, Wabasha-Kellog) held firm. No. 4 Martin County West and No. 5 Mayer Lutheran each rose one spot and Canby moved from fourth to ninth.

CLASS 3A
1. Lakeville North (10) 150
2. Wayzata 140
3. Bloomingon Jefferson 130
4. Apple Valley 106
5. Shakopee 94
6. Waconia 89
Lakeville South 89
8. Eastview 54
9. Blaine 52
10. Eden Prairie 47
Others: Centennial (43), Stillwater (19), Hopkins (10), Bloomington Kennedy (7), Chaska (6), Owatonna (6), Hill-Murray (6)


CLASS 2A
1. Jackson County Central (7) 119
2. Wadena-Deer Creek (1) 107
3. Hutchinson 106
4. Jordan 93
5. Lesuer-Henderson 91
6. Marshall 76
7. Stewartville 68
8. Delano 57
9. Hibbing 42
10. Belle Plaine 38
Others: Byron (17), Rocori (12), Visitation (7), Caledonia (7), Kasson-Mantorville (6)

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota (10) 206
2. Bethlehem Academy (3) 196
3. Wabasha-Kellogg 175
4. Martin County West 144
5. Mayer Lutheran (1) 136
Nevis 136
7. Windom 106
BBE 106
9. Canby 94
10. Win-E-Mac 91
Others: Mabel-Canton (62), Northern Freeze (17), Heritage Christian (8), GFW (6), Deer River (6), Sebeka (4), MACCRAY (2),
'It’s Not Good For Kids, It’s Really Not What High School Sports Is About'9/17/2010
Nobody involved with football at Wayzata High School is asking for sympathy. A little bit of understanding would be nice, however.

The Trojans are 3-0 this season after Thursday night’s 23-7 victory over Edina. The oddity of that 3-0 record is that Wayzata has reached the halfway point in the regular season. Yes, instead of the usual eight games, the Trojans are playing only six this fall.

They belong to the Lake Conference (the former Classic Lake), which consists of only five teams. That means each team has four conference games and must find four non-conference opponents. Wayzata opened the season with non-conference games against Owatonna and Lakeville South. A scheduled Oct. 1 home game against Bradenton (Fla.) Prep Academy is now off the books because the Florida school has disbanded its football team.

This isn’t just a problem for the schools in the Lake Conference. Schools of all sizes, from all around Minnesota, face scheduling issues every year (in sports other than football, too) and the problem is not going away.

Discussions are underway about the possibility of revamping the football format in Minnesota. At the Fall Area Meetings -- which began last week in St. Cloud and will continue through early October in Mankato, Marshall, Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls, Chisholm, Rochester and Brooklyn Park – football scheduling issues are part of the agenda.

One possible change is adding a “zero week” to the season, allowing schools to play their first game one week earlier than usual and take a week off (without practicing) later in the season. Also under discussion is the possibility of adopting football schedules partially based on section alignment, with all teams advancing to the postseason or the top four teams in each section advancing.

Any such advancements would be welcome at Wayzata.

“It causes dilemmas because as we’re looking to fill the schedule, we literally start thinking, ‘How far can we get on a bus and drive?’ ” Trojans coach Brad Anderson said after Thursday’s game. “We were willing to drive all the way to Fort Wayne, Indiana, play a game, get right back on the bus and come home.

“It’s not good for kids, it’s really not what high school sports is about. I’m disappointed in the fact that it’s come to this point, and people don’t see it as a problem for all high schools. I think they’re looking at it like, ‘Oh, that’s Eden Prairie’s or Wayzata’s problem,’ but I would say this is a blemish on all high school sports right now and it’s something that has to be solved by everyone. We can’t solve the problem by ourselves. People who are higher up have to make the decision that this is not good for kids and make a change.”

The six-game schedule means Wayzata will essentially have two bye weeks in the final month of the regular season. After playing Hopkins on Sept. 24, they will have two weeks of practice before meeting Minnetonka on Oct. 8. Then comes another nearly two weeks off before facing Eden Prairie on Oct. 20 in the final regular-season game.

“We kind of started talking about that and we really didn’t want to get too focused on that,” Wayzata senior tailback Aaron Roth said. “Initially it was like, ‘This is the end of the world’ and ‘What are we going to do now?’ It wasn’t really panic mode, but we were all a little nervous. Now that we’ve got some games under our belt, we’re just going to take it step by step."

Roth was limited to six games last year because he suffered an injury that prematurely ended his season. This time around, it’s tougher to take.

“It’s frustrating because last year I broke my ankle and that was hard enough,” he said. “It’s tough because I come back for my senior year and we only had seven games to start with, so that’s kind of a bummer.”

Anderson said he has stressed to his players that they can’t worry about things that are out of their control.

“What I told our players is that we can only play the games that are on our schedule. Don’t worry about what we don’t have control over,” he said. “We’re going to play every game as hard as we can. The week in between, we’ll figure out how to turn it into a positive.

“Our players just want to play, but the bottom line is we don’t have games those weeks. It does us no good to complain about it, and all we can do is try and figure out how we can make our team better during that week.”

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 40
*Miles John has driven: 1,956

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn