The state volleyball tournament is done, so the only fall event left is the state football playoffs. Don’t think I can do it any better than Tim Leighton, media coordinator for the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), so I’ll just cut and paste the games for the past weekend, and the results from last weekend.

Just a couple notes for those that are interested — the games, both the semi-finals and the finals are streamed live by GrandStadium at You can also follow the results on the League’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @MSHSL and @MSHSLJohn. The same is going to be true for the Prep Bowl, which will be played the weekend following Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 and 25.

Last year, Craig Manahan, Chatfield CCTV, did some games for Prep 45, but I haven’t heard if he has any games this year or not. He’s probably more interested in finding someone to replace him on CCTV, as he is retiring on the first of the year, 2018. Anyone interested? Contact Mr. Manahan through the Chatfield city office.

Here were the match-ups for this past weekend’s semi-final games.

Class Nine-Man: Thursday, Nov. 16: Spring Grove (12-0) vs. Stephen-Argyle Central (11-1). Spring Grove won that game, 27-7. Friday, Nov. 17; Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (10-2) vs. Nevis (10-1).

Class A: Saturday, Nov. 18: Wabasso (12-0) vs. Ada-Borup/Norman County West (12-0) and Mayer Lutheran (11-1) vs. Minneota (12-0).

Class AA: Thursday, Nov. 16: Caledonia (11-0) vs. Paynesville Area (9-2). Friday, Nov. 17; Pipestone Area (11-1) vs. Moose Lake/Willow River (7-5).

Class AAA: Saturday, Nov. 18: Jordan (9-3) vs. Pierz (11-0), and St. Croix Lutheran (11-0) vs. Pequot Lakes (9-2).

Class AAAA: Thursday, Nov. 16: Winona (11-0) vs. Academy of Holy Angels (10-1). Friday, Nov. 17: South St. Paul (9-2) vs. Cloquet (11-0).

Class AAAAA: Friday, Nov. 17: Elk River (10-1) vs. Apple Valley (10-1). Saturday, Nov. 18; Owatonna (10-1) vs. Brainerd (9-2).

Special notes for the Owatonna and Brainerd game. My granddaughter, Jada, dances for the Brainerd Kicksters and they performed at halftime of the game at the US Bank Stadium. Son Jim is a teacher/coach at Pillager. This one’s for you, Joe!

Also, Zach Mensink, nephew of Fillmore Central head coach Chris Mensink, and son of 1990 Preston-Fountain grad Cory Mensink, is a starter for the Owatonna Huskies. I haven’t seen him play, but everyone I talk to says he’s the real deal. He’s a senior, stands 6-feet tall, plays fullback and linebacker, and weighs in at 225 lbs.

Class AAAAAA: Thursday, Nov. 16: Maple Grove (8-3) vs. Eden Prairie (11-0). Friday, Nov. 17: Minnetonka (10-1) vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (9-2).

Here’s a brief description of the quarterfinal games played last weekend. Thanks again, Tim! I’ve inserted a few notes along the way too.

Nine man: Spring Grove advanced to the semifinals with a 34-6 victory over Verndale in the quarterfinals at Buffalo High School. Alex Folz scored three touchdowns for the Lions. Spring Grove is making its third state tournament appearance and first since 2011. In the other upper bracket quarterfinal, Stephen-Argyle Central recorded a 39-22 victory over Cromwell-Wright at Bemidji State. Stephen-Argyle Central has won seven Nine-Man state titles. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton advanced by edging Mountain Lake 8-6 at New Ulm High School. Nevis completed the semifinal pairings with a 42-14 victory over North Woods at Bemidji State.

Class A: Mayer Lutheran advanced to the semifinals with a 31-21 victory over Goodhue in the quarterfinals at Shakopee West Junior High. Goodhue had six turnovers in the game, including four in the first half. It was not the Goodhue team that Fillmore Central saw in the section semi-finals!

Special note…the football facility at West Jr. High in Shakopee is just beautiful and it has a 10-lane track around the football field. Minneota used a 34-22 victory over Mahnomen at Alexandria High School to earn the semifinal berth opposite Mayer Lutheran. Isaac Hennen led the way for Minneota with four touchdowns. Wabasso is in the semifinals for the second consecutive season following a 53-14 victory over Bethlehem Academy at New Ulm High School. Wabasso raced to a 53-0 lead behind two touchdowns each from Colton Taylor and Cooper Taylor. Ada-Borup/Norman County West recorded a 29-20 victory over Braham at Brainerd High School. Ada-Borup scored 22 unanswered points in the second half for the victory.

Class AA: Caledonia, the two-time defending Class AA champion, looked sharp in a 38-0 victory over Minneapolis North Community in the quarterfinals at Burnsville High School. Minneapolis North won the Class A crown in 2016. Owen King accounted for four touchdowns for Caledonia, three through the air and another rushing. It was REALLY cold at the Caledonia game. Paynesville Area recorded a 58-33 victory over Barnesville Area at Alexandria Area High School. The Bulldogs scored 38 points in the middle two quarters in building a 52-20 lead. In the lower bracket, Pipestone Area used a 19-12 victory over Blue Earth Area at New Ulm High School to earn a spot in the semifinals. Pipestone Area scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally, one each from Jordan Baatz and Garrett Ploeger. Moose Lake/Willow River completed the semifinals with a 41-14 victory over West Central Area at Brainerd High School. Colton Little had four touchdowns for the Rebels.

Class AAA: St. Croix Lutheran raced to a 61-29 victory over Rochester Lourdes at Prior Lake High School in a rematch of the 2016 Class AAA championship game that Rochester Lourdes won. Pequot Lakes cruised to a 34-0 victory over Mora at Alexandria Area High School. In the lower bracket quarterfinals, Jordan advanced with a 20-13 victory over Fairmont at Prior Lake High School. In the final quarterfinal in this enrollment class, Pierz zipped to a 42-13 victory over Proctor at Brainerd High School.

Class AAAA: Winona’s hopes for a return trip to the Class AAAA championship game remained alive following a 17-14 victory over Fridley at Farmington High School. Winona was the Class AAAA runner-up last year to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Academy of Holy Angels advanced with a 20-8 victory over Rocori at St. Cloud State University. South St. Paul, which lost to Winona in the 2016 quarterfinals, advanced to the semifinals with a 42-14 victory over Marshall at Shakopee West Junior High. Cloquet completed the semifinal pairings with a 36-21 victory over Becker at St. Cloud State University.

Class AAAAA: Defending Class AAAAA champion Elk River outlasted Andover for a 66-60 victory at Mounds View High School. The teams combined for 90 points in the first half. Apple Valley, which lost in the 2016 quarterfinals, advanced with a 41-28 victory over Mankato West at Shakopee West Junior High. In the other semifinal, Owatonna faces Brainerd in a rematch of the 2013 Class AAAAA championship that Owatonna won. The Huskies advanced with a 59-34 victory over Mahtomedi at Lakeville North High School. Brainerd used a 24-7 victory over St. Louis Park at St. Cloud State University to complete the semifinal pairings.

Class AAAAAA: I’m sure everyone heard about this one…Maple Grove had the most dramatic quarterfinal victory of any enrollment class when it recorded a 29-27 victory over St. Michael-Albertville at Park Center High School. Maple Grove, trailing 27-10 with a minute remaining in regulation, rallied in furious fashion with 19 points. Evan Hull completed the stunning comeback on a 2-yard run with four seconds remaining in regulation. Next up for Maple Grove is Eden Prairie, which defeated the Crimson, 28-7, in Week 5. Eden Prairie, top-ranked and favored to win its 11th big-school championship, defeated Lakeville North 35-0 in another quarterfinal. In the other bracket, Minnetonka advanced with a 10-6 victory over Prior Lake at Osseo. Cretin-Derham Hall completed the Class AAAAAA semifinal pairings with a 28-14 victory over Edina at White Bear Lake High School.

State volleyball

Thanks to Ellen Rajkowski. No sense in just settling for football. Might as well “copy and paste” the volleyball too.

 Mayer Lutheran (Class A) and Maple Lake (Class AA) both defended their titles at the 2017 State Volleyball Tournament. In Class AAA, the Lakeville North Panthers returned to the championship podium after a four-year absence to win their third championship.

 Class A: The top-seeded Crusaders of Mayer Lutheran (32-2) won their second consecutive championship after defeating Minneota 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-13). This was the second consecutive appearance for the Crusaders and their 13th overall. They won one additional title in 1982.

The Minneota Vikings (29-6), who were the number-two seed this year, were making their 11thappearance, but first since 2013.

Bethlehem Academy of Faribault claimed third-place honors after defeating Wadena-Deer Creek 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-14). New Life Academy of Woodbury went home with the consolation hardware. The Eagles beat Cook County of Grand Marais 3-0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-22). I got to do the BA match on Owatonna radio last Saturday. Thanks, Roy, for the opportunity.

 Class AA: The top-seeded Maple Lake Irish (36-0) earned their second consecutive championship after posting a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-21) victory over number-three-seeded North Branch. This was the second consecutive appearance for Maple Lake and its sixth overall.

The North Branch Vikings (29-4) were making their fourth appearance, returning to the tournament after a one-year absence.

Academy of Holy Angels of Richfield settled for third place after defeating Marshall 3-0 (25-15, 26-24, 25-16). The Stars fell in the consolation semifinals last year. Kasson-Mantorville rebounded to take consolation honors. The KoMets, who placed fourth in 2016, defeated the Rams of Roseau 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-17).

 Class AAA: In Class AAA, Lakeville North (32-2) dismissed the two-time defending champions from Eagan. The Panthers, who were the number-two seed, defeated the top-seeded Wildcats 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23). In addition to this year, the Panthers also won in 2010 and 2012. Eagan (30-2) was making its fifth consecutive and 14th overall appearance.

Prior Lake improved on last year’s fifth-place showing by claiming third-place honors this year. The Lakers defeated Moorhead 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21). The Champlin Park Rebels won this year’s consolation title after defeating Hopkins 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-21). The Rebels earned runner-up honors in 2016.

That is going to wrap it up for me. A great big thanks to Tim and Ellen from the MSHSL. I couldn’t have done it better myself. Hey to the Great 8 and my wife, Carol, you ARE the greatest. Keep up the good work, Melissa. Hasta luego everyone, have a great week, one day at a time. I’ve got to talk to the Gomez’ and get some more espanol (Spanish). WEB