John's Journal
Remembering Doug Woog, The Nice Guy From South St. Paul 1/6/2020
When South St. Paul won its first girls hockey state championship in 2002, the celebration began immediately as the horn sounded on a 2-1 victory over White Bear Lake at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Dave Palmquist, who has coached the Packers to 14 state tournaments and six championships, will never forget one of the first people to congratulate him after state title No. 1.

It was Doug Woog.

"He was the first guy on the bench, giving me a hug," Palmquist said after a recent game at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. “I'll never forget it. It meant so much to me.”

Woog, a man whose ties to his hometown never loosened, died Dec. 14 at age 75. He was most known as the University of Minnesota men's hockey coach from 1985 to 1999 and as a TV commentator for Gophers games after that. For folks in South St. Paul and beyond, he was someone who always gave of himself whenever anyone needed him.

“He was the most genuine person,” Palmquist said. “I went up to all his family (at a recent memorial gathering) and told them that he was just the nicest human being, genuinely so kind. And so good to me. I'm very blessed to have known him.”

Woog graduated from South St. Paul High School in 1962. In later years he lived close to the school as well as the field where the Packers football team practiced.

“He had a routine where he'd come up and jog around the practice field,” said athletic director/football coach Chad Sexauer. “And every now and then he'd stop and talk to a coach or an eighth-grade kid on the team.”

That was Doug Woog. He would spend time with a coach, a youngster or anyone else. He was never shy about that.

“He was just so visible in the community,” Sexauer said.

The local hockey rink was named Wakota Arena after its opening in 1962. It was renamed Doug Woog Arena in 2016. Woog’s Packers number 7 jersey has been retired, hanging on a wall of the arena along with those of Phil Housley, Terry Abrams and Warren Miller.

“It's just very cool that they named this arena after him and it'll be forever known for Doug,” Palmquist said. “I'll never forget that day, I know it meant a lot to him.”

Tom Elliott, longtime sports reporter at the St. Cloud Times who recently became sports editor of the West Central Tribune in Willmar, wrote about Woog after his death. Tom grew up in South St. Paul when Doug was a high school guidance counselor and coach. Tom wrote…

Woog was hired to coach South St. Paul’s boys hockey team in 1977. My pal Larry Leporte and I decided we should do a big profile of the new coach in the school paper. Woog met with us and mesmerized me with his insight, knowledge and patience with what I’m sure were occasionally silly questions. He also made us laugh and put us at ease.

We wrote it up and it was published just as hockey season started. I was worried about how it would be received. My worries went away when Woog told me he liked it and that I should become a sportswriter.

I thought he was kidding.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I was sure that journalism would be my path. I’ve had a lot of mentors along the way: teachers, professors, instructors, advisors, editors and co-workers. But it was Woog who first planted the thought in my head that it was a possibility.

Thanks for that, Doug. Rest in peace.


Again, that was Doug Woog, offering advice and encouragement, often in quiet conversations with anyone of any age.

While working at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I covered Woog’s Gophers hockey teams for a few years in the 1990s. After our first meeting (for a tour of Mariucci Arena and lunch at Stub & Herb’s) he seemed like someone I had known for many years, and I knew I was in for a fun ride. And fun it was. This was before websites and blogs, and the small number of media members attending practices were allowed to sit on the team bench, observe, and chat with players and coaches … during practice.

One of my favorite Wooger memories came one summer. I was part of a Star Tribune team putting together a series of stories on the business of summer sports camps. Woog held hockey camps in Breezy Point, and I arranged to meet him one day at the Breezy Point rink.

I got there a little early, while youngsters were on the ice under the tutelage of high school coaches and college-age players. I asked someone, “Is Wooger around?” The reply: He was expected any minute.

I saw Doug as he walked through the doors of the rink. He was wearing shorts, a polo shirt and a cap. I don’t believe he was wearing golf spikes, but he had a golf glove on one hand.

“Boy, Wooger,” I said with a grin. “These camps are hard work.”

He laughed about getting out for the back nine. But he gave me all the time the interview required, plus a few extra minutes. He asked how my family was doing, how the job was treating me, what was new down in Iowa (he knew that was where I came from).

And he told me a story from a few days earlier at the camp. A young boy's wallet had disappeared and Woog was sure it had been stolen by another camper. As the kids gathered together in the evening, Doug made an announcement: “Someone has lost a wallet, which contains important medical information. Everybody please look around and if you happen to find the wallet, please put it in a prominent place so we can get it back to its owner.”

He knew it had been stolen, and he made up the story about medical information. Instead of coming down hard and conducting a search of the campers’ stuff, he wanted to give the offender the chance to return the wallet with no questions asked. And that’s exactly what happened.

That was Doug Woog.

--See photos from Doug Woog Arena on the MSHSL Facebook page.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Underwood's Hamann To Receive Distinguished Service to Education Award1/3/2020
Congratulations to Underwood High School principal John Hamann, a former member and chairman of the MSHSL board of directors, for his selection as the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Education Award by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals.

John has been a leader in education as a high school principal over the past 31 years and in education for the past 37 years. He was a member of the MSHSL board of directors from 2010 to 2014, serving as board president during the 2013-14 school year. During a career that has taken him from Wanamingo and Browns Valley, Minnesota, to Wyndmere, N.D., prior to his time in Underwood, John has coached wrestling, baseball, football and basketball.

The MASSP Distinguished Service to Education Award honors individuals who have committed themselves to the service of education in the state of Minnesota. The award is a very prestigious award for individuals who have made a positive impact on education across the state in a variety of leadership roles.

Hamann will be presented with the Distinguished Service of Education Award during the MASSP Winter Conference at the Minneapolis Marriott on Thursday, Jan. 30, at a noon luncheon. He will be recognized for his service to education by Executive Director Dave Adney, MASSP President Mark Mischke, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors.

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn, listen to "Preps Today with John Millea" wherever you get podcasts and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Gymnastics Rankings12/31/2019
From the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association

CLASS 1A
1 Big Lake 7A 142.950
2 Mankato West 2A 142.808
3 Melrose Area 8A 140.592
4 Worthington 3A 140.192
5 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 139.717
6 Detroit Lakes 8A 138.883
7 Perham 8A 138.513
8 Monticello 7A 138.042
9 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 136.250
10 Mankato East 2A 136.067
11 New London-Spicer 6A 134.750
12 Benson/KMS 6A 134.013
13 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 133.958
14 Chisago Lakes 7A 133.063
15 Martin County Area 3A 132.825
16 Willmar 6A 132.725
17 Winona/Cotter 1A 131.675
18 Luverne 3A 131.400
19 Austin 1A 130.708
20 Byron 1A 130.608
21 Becker 7A 130.188
22 Jackson County Central 3A 129.947
23 Redwood Valley 3A 129.700
24 Litchfield 6A 129.500
25 Red Wing 1A 129.192

CLASS 2A
1 Lakeville North 2AA 142.700
2 Bemidji 8AA 141.342
3 Brainerd 8AA 140.975
4 Sartell-St.Stephen 8AA 140.658
5 Wayzata 6AA 140.483
6 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 140.317
7 Forest Lake 7AA 139.608
8 Anoka 7AA 139.208
9 Stillwater 4AA 138.775
10 Northfield 1AA 138.675
11 Owatonna 1AA 138.483
12 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 137.650
13 Champlin Park 5AA 137.500
14 Elk River/Zimmerman 5AA 137.442
15 Edina 6AA 137.413
16 Rosemount 1AA 137.300
17 White Bear Lake Area 4AA 134.450
18 Alexandria 8AA 134.267
19 Farmington 1AA 134.100
20 Lakeville South 2AA 133.300
21 Sauk Rapids-Rice 8AA 132.867
22 Saint Michael-Albertville 5AA 132.525
23 Blaine 7AA 131.358
24 Roseville Area 4AA 131.288
25 Minnetonka 6AA 130.658
Wrestling Team Rankings12/31/2019
From The Guillotine

CLASS 3A
1 Shakopee (2)
2 Stillwater Area (4)
3 St. Michael-Albertville (5)
4 Forest Lake (7)
5 New Prague (2)
6 Northfield (1)
7 Owatonna (1)
8 Wayzata (5)
9 Coon Rapids (7)
10 Woodbury (3)
11 Hastings (3)
12 Anoka (7)
Lean and Mean
Prior Lake (2), Farmington (1), Apple Valley (2), Bemidji (8), Blaine (7), Park (3), Waconia (6), Mounds View (4)

CLASS 2A
1 Simley (1)
2 Kasson-Mantorville (1)
3 Fairmont/Martin County West (3)
4 Marshall (3)
5 Perham (8)
6 Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield (6)
7 Foley (7)
8 Detroit Lakes (8)
9 Scott West (2)
10 Becker (6)
11 Thief River Falls (8)
12 Princeton (7)
Lean and Mean
Hutchinson (2), Totino-Grace (5), Tri-City United (2), Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus (8), Delano (2), Mora (7), South St. Paul (4)

CLASS 1A
1 LPGE-Browerville (5)
2 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (4)
3 Minnewaska Area (5)
4 Blue Earth Area (2)
5 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
6 Frazee (8)
7 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8)
8 Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (6)
9 Canby (3)
10 Minneota (3)
11 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3)
12 Dover-Eyota (1)
Lean and Mean
Chatfield (1), Maple River (2), West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6), Ottertail Central (6), Caledonia/Houston (1), Jackson County Central (3), Kimball Area (4), United North Central (8)
Girls Basketball Rankings12/31/2019
From Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins (6) 8-0
2. Wayzata (6) 7-0
3. Farmington (1) 7-1
4. Park Center (5) 8-0
5. Centennial (5) 6-1
6. St. Michael-Albertville (8) 5-3
7. Maple Grove (8) 6-2
8. Rosemount (3) 7-1
9. Chaska (2) 5-2
10. Elk River (8) 5-3
11. Stillwater (4) 6-3
12. Shakopee (2) 5-2
13. Eden Prairie (2) 3-3
14. Minnetonka (2) 4-2
15. Lakeville North (3) 3-4
16. Roseville Area (5) 6-3
17. Burnsville (3) 5-2
18. Minneapolis South (6) 5-0
19. East Ridge (4) 6-2
20. Eastview (3) 3-4

CLASS 3A
1. Becker (5) 3-1
2. DeLaSalle (4) 2-3
3. Holy Angels (6) 4-3
4. Red Wing (1) 8-0
5. Austin (1) 8-1
6. Simley (3) 3-1
7. St. Paul Como Park (3) 4-2
8. Marshall (2) 6-0
9. Waconia (2) 3-3
10. Alexandria (8) 6-2
11. Hill-Murray (4) 4-4
12. Mahtomedi (4) 7-0
13. Mankato West (2) 4-2
14. St. Croix Lutheran (3) 5-1
15. Hermantown (7) 6-0
16. St. Peter (2) 6-1
17. North Branch (7) 6-0
18. Monticello (5) 3-1
19. Hutchinson (2) 4-1
20. Bemidji (8) 5-1

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre (6) 6-1
2. Rochester Lourdes (1) 6-1
3. Duluth Marshall (7) 5-0
4. New London-Spicer (3) 6-0
5. Fergus Falls (8) 6-1
6. Minnehaha Academy (4) 7-2
7. Waseca (2) 5-1
8. Winona Cotter (1) 9-0
9. Proctor (7) 6-1
10. Pine City (6) 6-0
11. Lake City (1) 7-2
12. Medford (2) 7-0
13. Mesabi East (7) 6-0
14. Roseau (8) 6-0
15. Albany (6) 4-1
16. Eden Valley-Watkins (3) 4-2
17. Crookston (8) 7-0
18. Rockford (5) 6-1
19. Goodhue (1) 7-1
20. Annandale (5) 5-0

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota (3) 6-0
2. Cromwell-Wright (7) 6-1
3. Mountain Iron-Buhl (7) 3-1
4. Henning (6) 7-0
5. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (5) 5-1
6. Blooming Prairie (1) 4-0
7. Cherry (7) 6-0
8. Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (2) 7-1
9. Mayer Lutheran (4) 8-1
10. Hills-Beaver Creek (3) 6-0
11. Southwest MN Christian (3) 5-1
12. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (2) 6-0
13. Central MN Christian (2) 5-1
14. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (8) 7-0
15. Hancock (6) 7-0
16. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (8) 4-0
17. Parkers Prairie (6) 5-2
18. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (2) 5-1
19. Park Christian (6) 6-1
20. Heritage Christian (4) 4-3from Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins (6) 8-0
2. Wayzata (6) 7-0
3. Farmington (1) 7-1
4. Park Center (5) 8-0
5. Centennial (5) 6-1
6. St. Michael-Albertville (8) 5-3
7. Maple Grove (8) 6-2
8. Rosemount (3) 7-1
9. Chaska (2) 5-2
10. Elk River (8) 5-3
11. Stillwater (4) 6-3
12. Shakopee (2) 5-2
13. Eden Prairie (2) 3-3
14. Minnetonka (2) 4-2
15. Lakeville North (3) 3-4
16. Roseville Area (5) 6-3
17. Burnsville (3) 5-2
18. Minneapolis South (6) 5-0
19. East Ridge (4) 6-2
20. Eastview (3) 3-4

CLASS 3A
1. Becker (5) 3-1
2. DeLaSalle (4) 2-3
3. Holy Angels (6) 4-3
4. Red Wing (1) 8-0
5. Austin (1) 8-1
6. Simley (3) 3-1
7. St. Paul Como Park (3) 4-2
8. Marshall (2) 6-0
9. Waconia (2) 3-3
10. Alexandria (8) 6-2
11. Hill-Murray (4) 4-4
12. Mahtomedi (4) 7-0
13. Mankato West (2) 4-2
14. St. Croix Lutheran (3) 5-1
15. Hermantown (7) 6-0
16. St. Peter (2) 6-1
17. North Branch (7) 6-0
18. Monticello (5) 3-1
19. Hutchinson (2) 4-1
20. Bemidji (8) 5-1

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre (6) 6-1
2. Rochester Lourdes (1) 6-1
3. Duluth Marshall (7) 5-0
4. New London-Spicer (3) 6-0
5. Fergus Falls (8) 6-1
6. Minnehaha Academy (4) 7-2
7. Waseca (2) 5-1
8. Winona Cotter (1) 9-0
9. Proctor (7) 6-1
10. Pine City (6) 6-0
11. Lake City (1) 7-2
12. Medford (2) 7-0
13. Mesabi East (7) 6-0
14. Roseau (8) 6-0
15. Albany (6) 4-1
16. Eden Valley-Watkins (3) 4-2
17. Crookston (8) 7-0
18. Rockford (5) 6-1
19. Goodhue (1) 7-1
20. Annandale (5) 5-0

CLASS 1A
1. Minneota (3) 6-0
2. Cromwell-Wright (7) 6-1
3. Mountain Iron-Buhl (7) 3-1
4. Henning (6) 7-0
5. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (5) 5-1
6. Blooming Prairie (1) 4-0
7. Cherry (7) 6-0
8. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s (2) 7-1
9. Mayer Lutheran (4) 8-1
10. Hills-Beaver Creek (3) 6-0
11. Southwest MN Christian (3) 5-1
12. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (2) 6-0
13. Central MN Christian (2) 5-1
14. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (8) 7-0
15. Hancock (6) 7-0
16. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (8) 4-0
17. Parkers Prairie (6) 5-2
18. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (2) 5-1
19. Park Christian (6) 6-1
20. Heritage Christian (4) 4-3