John's Journal
Homecoming Week In Houston: “Canes Against Cancer”10/11/2017
HOUSTON – Homecoming is always a special week, with events taking place that involve school spirit and community pride. In this small southeast Minnesota town, Homecoming 2017 took on a special significance when students decided to make it about more than the usual topics.

When members of the Houston High School student council began thinking about Homecoming this year, they settled on two themes: Cancer and colors. With each type of cancer, specific colors are used in awareness and fundraising. Thus, the Houston Hurricanes – from seventh through 12th grade – spent last week raising money and having fun.

“It’s amazing. They’re owning it,” said activities director Lisa Myran-Schutte.

Each class was assigned a color that represents a certain type of cancer:

12th Grade: Pink – Breast Cancer
11th Grade: Grey - Brain Cancer
10th Grade: Orange - Kidney Cancer
9th Grade: Blue – Colon Cancer
8th Grade: Lime Green – Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
7th Grade: Gold– Childhood Cancer

Throughout the week, each class competed to earn points in events like dress-up days and class games. Students also earned points by decorating storefront windows in downtown Houston, by creating class posters and class floats for the Homecoming parade, and collecting Coins for Cancer.

There was a “Block Out Cancer” volleyball night and “Tackle Cancer” for the football game.

A pepfest was held for elementary students, with Homecoming royalty, volleyball and football players and the pep band on hand. “It was loud and exciting,” Myran-Schutte said.

The week ended with the Homecoming dance on Saturday, and students who brought food-shelf items were eligible for prizes.

For a high school with 104 students, this was a special effort involving every little kid, families and the community as a whole. The efforts went beyond winning on the athletic field and were geared toward helping others.

“They just really owned it,” said Myran-Schutte. “My sense from them is that they saw the bigger picture.”

The only downside to Homecoming week was the weather for Friday night’s football game against Spring Grove. The Lions came in as the top-ranked team in Nine-Man football and the Hurricanes were No. 3. The game was played in heavy rain and was interrupted for 90 minutes when lightning moved across the area. Spring Grove came away with a 26-6 victory.

But more important things took place all week. The efforts raised nearly $2,000.

“The most impressive thing to me as the athletic director is the kids took something for themselves and made it about others," Myran-Schutte said. "Homecoming week can be a lot of work for the adults in the school, but I have never looked forward to it as much as I did this year. Every meeting the student council had just warmed my heart.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Class 1A Girls Tennis Rankings10/9/2017
Final girls tennis rankings from the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association

CLASS 1A
TEAMS
1 Blake
2 Rochester Lourdes
3 Litchfield
4 Breck
5 Virginia
6 Osakis
7 Blue Earth Area
8 St. Peter
9 Jordan
10 Roseau

INDIVIDUALS
1 Lainey Axell (12) Blake
2 Arlina Shen (10) Blake
3 Katie Mulvey (11) Trinity at River Ridge
4 Clare Palen (10) Rochester Lourdes
5 Cindy Li (12) Winona Cotter
6 Shanna Kinny (11) Litchfield
7 Sophie Lynch (12) Holy Catholic Family
8 Natalie Allison (11) Rochester Lourdes
9 Rachel Lindrud (12) Mounds Park Academy
10 Renata Hernandez (11) St. James
Class 2A Girls Tennis Rankings10/9/2017
Final girls tennis rankings from the Minnesota Tennis Coaches Association

CLASS 2A
TEAMS
1 Edina
2 Mahtomedi
3 Hopkins
4 Rochester Mayo
5 Prior Lake
6 St. Cloud Tech
7 Wayzata
8 Minnetonka
9 Duluth East
tie 10 Roseville
tie 10 Elk River

INDIVIDUALS
1 Sophie Reddy (12) Edina
2 Nicole Copeland (10) Edina
3 Meagan Brown (12) Elk River
4 Maddie Suk (11) Hopkins
5 Aili Hietala (9) Duluth East
6 Samantha Nichols (12) Eagan
7 Abbie Kelm (12) Bemidji
8 Ellen Puzak (11) Minneapolis Southwest
9 Grace Riermann (12) Mahtomedi
10 Vunnisa Vu (7) Roseville
Class 3A Volleyball Rankings10/9/2017
CLASS 3A
1. Eagan (9) - 135
2. Lakeville North - 126
3. Lakeville South - 114
4. Stillwater - 108
5. Hopkins - 92
6. Champlin Park - 88
7. Prior Lake - 74
8. Shakopee - 60
9. East Ridge - 49
10. Moorhead - 48
Others Receiving Votes: Minnetonka - 15, Northfield - 12
Teams Only Appearing On One Ballot - Eden Prairie, STMA, Maple Grove
Class 2A Volleyball Rankings10/9/2017
CLASS 2A
1. Maple Lake (16) - 240
2. Marshall - 219
3. Stewartville - 199
4. North Branch - 188
5. Rocori - 144
6. St. Cloud Cathedral - 131
7. SW Christian - 125
8. Hill-Murray - 112
9. Norwood-Young America - 69
10. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 68
Others Receiving Votes: Kasson-Mantorville - 49, Holy Angels - 41, Concordia Academy - 33, Kenyon-Wanamingo - 22
Teams Only Appearing On One Ballot - Jackson County Central, Pipestone, Luverne, Annandale