I don’t have all of the answers, and I might not have any of the answers, but I do know the safety of our children is of paramount importance and right now we should be devoting the majority of our energy figuring out how we can keep our schools safe!

How do people with three, four, five guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition get into our schools in the first place?

An open discussion with law enforcement, social workers, doctors (of all kinds), lawyers, NRA, parents, students, all advocacy groups, grandparents and any and everybody, who wants to be involved. Sit down and talk and figure out how we can ensure more safety for our students than what is being provided for them right now.

Students, teachers, school workers are dying, literally DYING. Why can’t we figure that out? Acknowledge the fact that something needs to be done, don’t just say, “NO!” Let’s start asking, what can be done? If we’re going to close the door on our students, let’s at least make sure they’re inside a safe school!

Conference champs

Congratulations to the Houston girls’ basketball team. Not only did the players win the East division of the Southeast Conference this year, they also recorded their first winning season, ever! Really? Great job, Lady ‘Canes!

I get a kick out of these sportscasters when they say that a certain team isn’t ranked, when they’re probably sitting at the number-11 through number-20 spot. Not only does the Minnesota Basketball News (MBBN) rank all classes, boys and girls, 1-20, but Minnesota-scores ranks the teams top to bottom, every section, every class.

I get the MBBN girls rankings about 9 a.m. on Wednesday from Kevin Anderson and the MBBN boys rankings from Bruce Strand about noon or so. Thanks, guys.

Ryan Weinzierl of Minnesota-scores is updating them all the time. So, depending on which list you use, you got top 20 for sure, and maybe more if you use Minnesota-scores.


Are you into the Olympics at all? I am, and just love it. Today is Thursday for me, you too, I hope, but this is the day I write, so it becomes my reference day. Last night, or yesterday, Wednesday, the USA beat Canada in women’s hockey and men’s curling. The Canadians had won the gold medal in women’s hockey for the last four Olympics and the men’s curling for the last three Olympics. Wow, congratulations to the USA. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone from either of those teams read this article and wrote me a thank you note? Fat chance this is going outside of Fillmore, Houston or Olmsted County!

If you want to talk downhill skiing, stop in and visit with “Barber Dave” (aka, Dave Dudek) in Chatfield. He’s worked some of the biggest meets out in Colorado and really knows what he’s talking about. Can you imagine going down a hill, 70 to 85 miles per hour? I don’t even like to drive my car that fast. Norway is doing a great job. Do you suppose their outstanding performance has anything to do with lutefisk?

The biathlon event reminds me of a Seneca Run I used to watch out in Sisseton, S.D., at the annual celebration at Fort Sisseton. The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The Seneca Run involved running, pistol and rifle shooting (black powder guns), throwing a knife, setting a trap and throwing a hatchet. It also involved crossing through a slough in waist-to-chest deep water. The event I used to watch started at about six o’clock in the morning. The water, I was told, was extremely cold at that time of the day. It was a great competition and those that entered looked like they really enjoyed it.

There are some other highlights, but space is limited. Some jumpers, “pipers,” cross-country, and others from the United States have really done a great job. I think we had some “firsts,” not first place, but first time, in some of the events, too.


The section wrestling is done and Zumbrota-Mazeppa repeated as the 1A team champion. The Cougars defeated Goodhue in the finals, 44-14. Z-M (24-6) also got the number-one seed for the state tournament and will face Ottertail Central (18-7) out of Section 6. Ottertail Central is a co-sponsorship from Henning, Battle Lake and Underwood. Z-M was ranked number one in the latest poll and OTC was number nine, but not seeded at the state meet.

Still at the state meet, Frazee (21-6) got the number-two seed (ranked No. 2) and will wrestle Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (26-7, not seeded, not ranked in top 12, Lean and Mean). Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville (23-1, seeded No. 3, ranked No. 5) will take on Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena (20-1, not seeded, not ranked in top 12, Lean and Mean) and Kenyon-Wanamingo (19-9, seeded No. 5, ranked No. 11) will face-off against Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (28-2, No. 4 seed, ranked No. 3).

Do you believe that at one time all five of the schools for TMB/WWG were separate and now, combined, they are a 1A team? Of all of the towns listed in the consolidations, or co-sponsorships, I think Bena is the only one that never had its own school, and I could be wrong with that one.

Kasson-Mantorville (22-0) got the number-one seed for the AA state meet. They will go up against Totino-Grace (20-4). K-M beat the number-two-ranked team in the state, Simley, in the 1AA championship. Simley probably could beat any one of the other seven teams in the AA field. Seeded at the state, number-two Scott West (14-2), number-three Fairmont/Martin County West (25-0), number-four Perham (27-1) and number-five Foley (28-3). Grand Rapids (25-6) drew Scott West and South St. Paul (22-2) will go up against Fairmont/MCW.

Believe it or not, Apple Valley is not in the team competition for Class AAA. Shakopee is number one, Anoka is number two and St. Michael-Albertville is at number three. Albert Lea (No. 5) beat out Owatonna is our Section 1AAA tournament and Willmar is at number four.

Section individuals wrestled this past weekend. All the brackets are available on Trackwrestling. We’ve got some area wrestlers that will be going to the state meet next weekend.

Girls basketball

We had some “pigtail” games this past Wednesday, after they were postponed from Tuesday. Lanesboro (No. 16) snuck by Bethlehem Academy (No. 17), 34-32. Fillmore Central (No. 13) overwhelmed LeRoy-Ostrander (No. 20), 98-23. Rushford-Peterson (No. 15) knocked off Hope Lutheran (No. 18), 51-30, and Mabel-Canton (No. 14) beat Glenville-Emmons (No. 19), 56-16. All of the winners had to play right away on Thursday again. The complete brackets are available on the High School League website.

Lyle/Pacelli got the number-one seed, Hayfield was number two, Goodhue got number three, Grand Meadow is fourth and Houston is number five.

Five of the sections in the state didn’t have their brackets posted. How in the world am I going to keep my notebook up-to-date?

Four of our teams in Section 1A are ranked in the top 10, MBBN. I like Lyle/Pacelli, but watch out for Hayfield. They didn’t get the job done in volleyball, can they “rebound” for a win in basketball? They have great balance and OK bench strength.

One play-in game for 1AA girls, Triton ended La Crescent’s season, 54-53. Stewartville got the number-one seed, Rochester Lourdes got the number-two spot, Byron is at number three, Caledonia is number four, Zumbrota-Mazeppa is fifth, Cotter is number six and Plainview-Elgin-Millville has the number-seven seed. Twelve of the 17 teams in 1AA had double-digit wins this past season. I’m going with number-three Byron.

Class AAA and AAAA are finishing up their regular seasons this week.

Boys basketball

The boys are finishing up their regular seasons this week. Seedings for A and AA will be done on Saturday and Sunday, I believe. Play-in games for the boys are on Tuesday, Feb. 27, with the round of 16 games on Thursday, March 1. Notice I’m referring to a round of 16 series, and not sub-sections, because we don’t have sub-sections anymore. I sure wish they’d go back to the old sub-sections and just flip-flop the final four.

The Southeast Conference, in Class A, gets to know the western teams better, because they play more of them during the regular season.

Congratulations to Noah Carlson of Houston and Abby Orvis of Stewartville. They are the Section 1A Triple A Award winners and will represent us at the state level. Good luck, Noah and Abby. I love this award.

My plans for the weekend include state girls’ hockey, state gymnastics, section wrestling, boys basketball and some rest.

Have a great week, one day at a time. Hey to the Great 8 and my wife, Carol, you are the greatest. Thanks, Melissa, you’re great too. Hasta luego.

Thanks to all the sponsors and all the supporters of high school sports…you’re kinda great too.

Syiags, WEB