John's Journal
Class 3A Wrestling Rankings1/14/2019
From The Guillotine.

1. Shakopee (2)
2. Owatonna (1)
3. Apple Valley (2)
4. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
5. Willmar (8)
6. New Prague (2)
7. Anoka (7)
8. Stillwater Area (4)
9. Mounds View (4)
10. Forest Lake (7)
11. Northfield (1)
12. East Ridge (3)
Lean and Mean
Bemidji (8), Blaine (7), Coon Rapids (7), Hastings (3), Albert Lea Area (1), Cambridge-Isanti (7), Brainerd/Pillager (8), St. Francis (7)
Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings1/14/2019
From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.425
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 144.892
3 Mahtomedi 4A 144.358
4 Willmar 6A 143.783
5 Big Lake 7A 143.300
6 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 143.008
7 Worthington 3A 142.942
8 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 142.650
9 Perham 8A 142.183
10 Monticello 7A 140.758
11 Melrose Area 6A 139.450
12 Waconia 2A 138.675
13 Mankato West 2A 138.150
14 New London-Spicer 6A 136.033
15 Chisago Lakes 7A 134.567
16 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 134.483
17 Becker 7A 133.875
18 North Branch 7A 133.117
19 Jackson County Central 3A 133.067
20 Austin 1A 132.942
21 Litchfield 6A 132.758
22 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 132.083
23 Winona/Cotter 1A 131.675
24 Martin County Area 3A 131.608
25 Red Wing 1A 131.492
Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings1/14/2019
From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Stillwater 4AA 146.958
2 Owatonna 1AA 146.167
3 Maple Grove 5AA 145.267
4 East Ridge 3AA 143.733
5 Champlin Park 5AA 143.058
6 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 142.700
7 Lakeville North 2AA 142.050
8 Bemidji 8AA 141.558
9 Wayzata 5AA 141.183
10 Anoka 7AA 141.075
11 Eden Prairie 6AA 140.683
12 Eagan 3AA 140.283
13 Brainerd 8AA 140.192
14 Lakeville South 2AA 140.125
15 New Prague 2AA 138.558
16 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 138.450
17 Rosemount 1AA 138.000
18 Northfield 1AA 137.983
19 Farmington 1AA 137.733
20 Edina 6AA 137.475
21 Saint Francis 7AA 137.342
22 Rogers 5AA 137.325
23 Elk River/Zimmerman 8AA 137.158
24 Hopkins 6AA 136.983
25 Roseville Area 4AA 136.658

Sack Hunger: A Night Of Celebration In Spring Grove 1/14/2019
SPRING GROVE – The school colors at Spring Grove High School are red and black, and the Lions girls basketball players wore their colors with pride during Friday night’s Southeast Conference game against Lanesboro. The visiting Burros’ colors are orange and black.

And yet, an intriguing shade of light blue was seen everywhere inside the gym. Both teams wore light-blue t-shirts during warmups. The Spring Grove pep band wore the same shirts. Little kids, moms and dads; it seemed like there must have been a hundred of those same light-blue t-shirts in the gym.

That’s because there were 100 shirts in the gym. Along with the basketball game – and the familiar tradition of a community gathering for a ballgame – the evening was designated as a celebration of Spring Grove’s community commitment to serving others. And it was my great pleasure to bring those 100 t-shirts to town as part of the celebration. The shirts carried the logo of a collaboration between the MSHSL and Second Harvest Heartland, which provides millions of meals every year in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

I was honored to use the @MSHSLjohn Twitter account to help publicize what we called the #mshslSackHunger campaign during the football playoffs in November. All 28 schools that had teams play in the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium were invited to collect food donations and feed the hungry. Spring Grove did a phenomenal job, collecting more than three and a half tons of food to help their neighbors in Houston County.

During a pregame ceremony, Spring Grove Student Council president Rhiannon Skauge told the crowd, “Students, staff and the community have donated cash and food items. Together we are feeding people and changing lives. Let’s give ourselves a big round of applause for coming together as a community to support this cause.”

The numbers are remarkable. For a community of 1,330 people and a K-12 school of 350 students to gather so much food – plus thousands of dollars in cash donations to purchase more food – is a real testament to the people who inhabit a southeast Minnesota community known as the first Norwegian settlement in the state.

Traveling with me to Spring Grove was Marcus Schmit, the director of advocacy at Second Harvest Heartland. Marcus was a fine athlete at Red Wing High School not too many years ago, and he and I loved spending a few hours with the great folks in Spring Grove.

During the pregame ceremony, Marcus presented a framed certificate of recognition from Second Harvest Heartland to Spring Grove High School. It read: “In recognition of their heroic dedication to hunger relief and achievement as the 2018 Sack Hunger champion, on behalf of Second Harvest Heartland and those we serve, thank you for your support and commitment in providing 11,466 meals for the one in 11 neighbors facing hunger.”

This was a true community effort. Rhiannon (pictured) mentioned many of the leading contributors during her remarks.

“We have a lot of community support during the food drive,” she said. “Bekah Leafblad and the Trinity Youth worked with student council to canvas the town collecting canned goods and cash. Teresa Fegyak and Merchants Bank hosted a two-day bake sale with student council members and bank employees donating baked goods for the sale. Patrick and Red Longmire from Red’s IGA (grocery store) are huge supporters of the school and community. They had a turkey takeout dinner with proceeds going toward the food shelf and also provided a spot in the store for us to have a bake sale. Ellingson Elevator weighs all the food items before they are taken over to the food shelf. Renee Eiken, past student council advisor, has laid the groundwork for the success of this standing tradition.”

If you click on a website called you’ll see a wonderful slogan: “Pretty. Neat. Small town.”

Indeed. Congratulations to everyone in Spring Grove.

--See a photo gallery on the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, download “Preps Today with John Millea” on your favorite podcast app and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings1/9/2019
From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Detroit Lakes 8A 148.292
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 144.892
3 Mahtomedi 4A 143.475
4 Willmar 6A 143.458
5 Big Lake 7A 143.225
6 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 142.808
7 Perham 8A 142.183
8 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 142.150
9 Worthington 3A 141.050
10 Melrose Area 6A 139.450
11 Monticello 7A 139.133
12 Mankato West 2A 138.150
13 Waconia 2A 138.142
14 New London-Spicer 6A 135.792
15 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 134.042
16 Becker 7A 133.875
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 133.017
18 Delano 5A 132.425
19 Winona/Cotter 1A 131.675
20 Litchfield 6A 131.475
21 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 131.367
22 Alexandria 8A 131.217
23 Martin County Area 3A 131.133
24 Austin 1A 130.933
25 North Branch 7A 130.700