John's Journal
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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Farewell to the Familiar, Friendly Voice of Art Tysk5/11/2010
The MSHSL, as well as almost anyone who ever attended a state tournament, lost a friend when Art Tysk passed away this week at the age of 94. Art’s familiar voice was heard shouting “Programs! Programs!” at state tournaments for many years.

Art and members of his family sold souvenir merchandise at MSHSL events for more than 30 years.

Here is his obituary, published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press …

Arthur L. Tysk
“Programs" 1915 - 2010 Age 94, of St. Paul, passed away May 7, 2010. Preceded in death by wife, Mathilda; and infant son, Arthur L. Jr. Survived by children, Mary (Robert) Sanford, Elizabeth "Betty" Onsted, Arthur H. "Butch", Vivian (Douglas) Frid; grandchildren, James, Krystin, Kevin, Amanda, Daniel, Nicholas, Laura; nieces, nephews, and many friends. Funeral service 11 AM Thursday, May 13 at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME - ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St. at County Rd B. Interment Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Visitation from 4 - 8 PM Wednesday, and 10 - 11 AM Thursday. Lifetime member of Midwest Showman's Association, and long-time vendor for the MSHSL. Memorials preferred to the Union Gospel Mission. MUELLER-BIES 651-487-2550

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Windom Names New Football Coach5/11/2010
Windom High School has announced the hiring of a new head football coach, and sports editor Joel Alvstad of the Cottonwood County Citizen in Windom files this report …

The Windom school board has approved hiring Travis Bretzman as the new head
football coach. Bretzman replaces Erin Elder, who served 10 seasons as the Eagles' head coach, leading the Eagles to a state Class AA runner-up finish in 2001 and a
state semifinal appearance in 2002. Elder resigned his coaching position to
become an assistant track and field coach at the University of Sioux Falls
next fall, specializing in throws.

Bretzman serves as a personal trainer for Prairie Rehabilitative Services in
Worthington. He also owns and operates a hog farm south of Okabena. He has
been an assistant football coach at Jackson County Central, coaching B-squad and coordinating the strength and conditioning program.

Bretzman is a Windom native who was a standout defensive player on the last
Eagle team to finish the regular season undefeated in 1989. That team was
also the last Windom team to win an outright Southwest Conference football
championship -- Windom shared the conference title in 1999.
Gratitude From The Family of Mike Gregory5/10/2010
We were all saddened when St. Cloud Apollo baseball coach Mike Gregory passed away last month after being severely injured in a fall.

Mike's family has sent an email to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support they have experienced. I received the email, and am happy to share it:

Thank You From the Family of Mike Gregory

Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support following Mike’s injury and death. The genuine expressions of caring were deeply moving. The sheer volume of cards, emails, flowers, food, gifts, and memorials overwhelmed our hearts. We came to clearly understand that Mike touched the lives of many and know that he gained as much from these experiences as he gave.

The support of the area’s high school baseball teams -- those within St. Cloud’s borders and beyond – as they expressed their grief was truly heartening. While we are pained to be without Mike, it is quite humbling to see the impact he made on the local baseball community. These young men demonstrated great poise and maturity. We are grateful that Mike made sportsmanship such a priority during his life.

Our gratitude also goes out to Dr. Scott Davis and the Intensive Care Unit nursing staff at St. Cloud Hospital. Their efforts made an extraordinarily difficult situation slightly more tolerable, and their honest yet gracious approach to the situation was helpful beyond words.

Although we wish Mike were still with us, we know that he lived a full and meaningful life, and that is the most anyone can hope for in the end.

With our deepest gratitude –
The Gregorys