John's Journal
A Celebration of Hennepin County’s Youth Sports Program Capital Grant5/16/2010
St. Anthony-New Brighton School District invites community members to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Central Park on Monday, May 17, at 6 p.m. Food and refreshments will be provided.

This event celebrates the completion of field improvements at Central Park, which resulted from a $345,000 Hennepin County youth sports program capital grant. St. Anthony’s capital project included the installation of lighting on fields three and four and improved spectator seating on the varsity baseball and softball fields.

Central Park is a recreational area shared jointly by the City of St. Anthony and St. Anthony-New Brighton School District. Funding for the grants comes from the Twins ballpark sales tax. This revenue provides capital grants for youth and amateur sports facilities and expands library hours in Hennepin County.

Interesting Topics: Baseball Pitch Counts and Girls' Flag Football5/15/2010
The New York Times published two interesting stories this week about high school sports. One deals with the number of pitches being thrown by high school baseball pitchers and how to determine what is best for the athletes. Here’s an excerpt …

“Whether the number of pitches that a teenage boy is allowed to throw should be left to trust or should be a matter of rule has become the subject of intense debate in New York City’s Public Schools Athletic League. Two city councilmen have pressured P.S.A.L. officials into monitoring pitchers this season with the expectation that more defined policies will be established next year.

“Under legislative threat, the P.S.A.L. agreed to have coaches keep track of pitch counts, submit them with game results and post them on the league’s Web site.”

The other story deals with girls’ flag football, which is a varsity sport in Florida and Alaska. The Times reports that some women’s sports advocates call it a dead-end activity since flag football is played only at the club and intramural level in colleges.

“No one is saying flag football isn’t a great sport to play,” said Neena Chaudhry, the senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, which has brought several cases against high schools alleging violations of Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equity in education. “But I do think it’s relevant to ask questions about whether girls are getting the same kind of educational opportunities as boys.”

We’ve started discussion sections about both of these stories on the MSHSL Facebook page. Take a look and add your own thoughts.

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Channel 45 to Televise Baseball Title Games5/13/2010
Here’s a quick, exciting note about the state baseball tournament: Channel 45, the official home of televised MSHSL championship events, will televise all three state championship baseball games, live from Target Field on Saturday, June 19. The telecast will be produced by students and broadcast on the internet at 45.GrandStadium.TV, as well. In fact, the feed that Channel 45 will be airing will be the 45.GrandStadium.TV feed.

The Class 1A, 2A and 3A title games are scheduled to begin at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. State quarterfinal and semifinal games will be played in Jordan and Chaska for 1A, St. Cloud for 2A and Midway Stadium in St. Paul and Siebert Field in Minneapolis for 3A. Those games are scheduled for June 17.

Championship Saturday will be an excellent opportunity for baseball fans to watch three title games at brand-new Target Field.

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Johnson Named Region 1A Executive Secretary5/12/2010
The Region 1A Committee has announced the appointment of Brad Johnson as the Region 1A executive secretary, beginning Aug. 1. Johnson is succeeding Chuck Skarie, who is be retiring from the position. He served Region 1A as the executive secretary for 18 years.

Johnson is a Rushford resident who has a long history in Region 1 and is currently serving as the Sub-Section 1 Coordinator. He is a past member of the Region Committee, where he served two years as chairman. He also spent four years on the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors. Johnson worked in the Spring Valley School District as a teacher, coach and activities director, and most recently for the Rushford-Peterson School District as a principal, and activities director.

Rushford-Peterson is now in the process of replacing Johnson. He will resign from his duties at R-P effective July 1 after 20 years with the district.

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A Photo Tour of MACCRAY High School5/12/2010
A few photos from MACCRAY High School have been posted on the MSHSL Facebook page. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook, click on the Facebook tab on this very page.

I ventured to MACCRAY this week for a special story about an extraordinary athlete. The final result may be a few days away, but it will be worth the wait.

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