It’s not really difficult to realize that we live in Minnesota, the land of snow, wind, slippery roads and closed schools. All I have to do is look out my office window and I can see the snow, the wind blowing and the cars slipping on the road. I can also hear the school closings taking over the radio waves.  

There goes the wrestling meet for tonight. Chatfield was scheduled to wrestle Plainview-Elgin-Millville tonight (Thursday Jan. 11), a match that could determine the conference championship, according to Chatfield Coach Travis Bartels.

But if you’re just a casual wrestling fan, interested in the standings, but not one who grunts and groans with every move on the mat, how do you know who’s winning?

You can go to The Guillotine and get the state rankings, but no records, for teams or individuals. The Rochester Post Bulletin has their Area Honor Roll, with individual records, but nothing for team records. I know, you might think, the Minnesota State High School League website. Fat chance of that. I looked at the 10 schools in the Three Rivers Conference that have wrestling, and three teams, Chatfield, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro/Mabel-Canton and Wabasha-Kellogg look like they are up-to-date with their scores. So, unless you’re keeping track of the results that are put in the paper, you’re probably not even going to have a record of who won or lost.

Over the past few years I’ve talked with wrestling coaches and they’re not even sure who’s in the different divisions and whether cross-over matches count in the standings or not. I think most of the teams all wrestle each other, so why isn’t it like volleyball, and all of them count for the standings? I’m sure all of this is in the Three Rivers Conference handbook, but I don’t have access to that either.   

I do know that Chatfield is 4-0 against Three Rivers Conference opponents, whether they all count, I don’t know. Chatfield has wins over GM/L-O/S (2-1), L-A/R-P (2-1), W-K (1-3) and D-E (0-1). And have to wrestle P-E-M (0-0) Caledonia/Houston (1-0), St. Charles (0-0), La Crescent (1-1) and FC/L/M-C (0-4) yet. I put the conference records of the schools in parenthesis, again, not knowing which count or not.

The Three Rivers Conference was well represented in last week’s wrestling honor roll in the Post Bulletin. If my counting is correct, PEM leads the way with 10 wrestlers on the honor roll (above .500 record, nine matches). Here are the other TRC schools and their number of wrestlers named on the honor roll: Caledonia/Houston (6), FCLMC (3), LARP (7), La Crescent (5), Chatfield (6), DE (9) and PEM (10).

Ben Pherson, who does the compiling, reported that three Westfield, W-K, St. Charles, PI and GMLOS did not participate last week. The honor roll comes out on Thursdays in the Post Bulletin.

Girls’ basketball

Lyle/Pacelli (No. 1, 12-1), Goodhue (No. 2, 11-2) and Hayfield (No. 5, 11-2) are still in the top 10 for the Class A girls. Grand Meadow (10-3) is still at number 15. I’m not surprised that Lyle/Pacelli beat Grand Meadow, but a little surprised at the score, 50-25. I’m also not surprised that Hayfield beat Goodhue, 51-45, but a little surprised they did it without one of their star starters, Maggie Streightiff.  

Goodhue, Hayfield, Lyle/Pacelli are first, third and fourth, respectively, in the QRF rankings (Minnesota Scores). I’m not surprised they’re all in the top five, but I am a little surprised that Goodhue is number one. I’m still not totally sold on the QRF rankings. In case you couldn’t tell, this was my “surprised/not surprised” segment. Lyle/Pacelli has some heighth in Kristi Fett that is really tough to coach against.

If you are a girls’ basketball junkie you were probably over in Hayfield this past weekend. Saturday, they had some pretty good match-ups for the Hayfield Showcase. Byron (No. 16, AA, 7-5) versus St. Peter (No. 20, AA, 8-6); Norwood-Young America (No. 8, AA, 11-2) versus Kasson-Mantorville (AAA, 5-10); Lyle/Pacelli (No. 1, A, 12-1) versus Mayer Lutheran (No. 14, A, 7-4), Sleepy Eye (No. 17, A, 10-3) versus NRHEG (AA, 8-4); Goodhue (No. 2, A, 11-2) versus Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (No. 12, AA, 11-1), Waseca (No. 8, AAA, 13-1) versus Hutchinson (No. 14, AAA, 9-5); and the night-cap, Mt. Iron-Buhl (No. 3, A, 13-1) versus Hayfield (No. 5, A, 11-2). Seven of the eight games have top-20 teams involved in the contest. The “kickoff” game is no slouch either, Pine Island (AA, 7-6) versus Martin County West (9-2, AA).

Stewartville (No. 9, 12-2) has moved into the top 10 in Class AA. Rochester Lourdes is at number 11 (10-5) and Byron (No. 16, 7-5) is back in the top 20. Byron also has a little heighth (Ayoka Lee) too, and they are definitely going to be in the hunt come section time. She’s headed to Kansas State on a basketball scholarship. Byron beat Hutchinson in the Rotary Tournament. Sauk Centre (11-0) is still the top team in the AA class.

Northfield (No. 3, 11-2) and Red Wing (No. 4, 10-1) are going to be battling for the Section 1AAA crown in a month or so. Northfield won the first meeting between the two teams and will play again in Northfield on Jan. 18.

Lakeville North (10-3, No. 4) is the team to beat in Class AAAA for Section 1. Farmington (9-3, No. 14) seems to be the only contender to North. None of the Rochester schools have a winning record and don’t seem to be a threat to win the section. But you do have to play the games, so anything can happen.

Boys basketball           

I think Rushford-Peterson has moved back into the top spot in Section 1A, especially with the recent win over Spring Grove. I think right now those two go 1-2. Kingsland and Schaeffer Academy are my “sleepers,” LeRoy-Ostrander is posting a pretty good record, but needs to pick up some quality wins before I consider them a contender. I think Kingsland has the personnel to make a serious run come tournament time.

I drove over to Rushford last Monday for the game between R-P and Spring Grove. It was a fun game to watch. Alex Folz impressed me with his free-throw shooting. I’ve always said the hardest free throw to make is the third one on a “three-shot foul” (fouled when you shoot a three-pointer). He not only made the third shot, he did it twice! Wow! If my stats are right, he went 7/7 in the game at the free throw line. Nice shooting, Alex!

I think our AA Section is the toughest in the state this year. I think there are six or seven teams, or more, that have a legitimate shot at winning the Section. Eleven (11) of the teams are .500 or better; St. Charles (11-0), Caledonia (9-1), Zumbrota-Mazeppa (11-2), Plainview-Elgin-Millville (9-2), Lake City (9-3), Byron (7-3), LaCrescent (7-4), Stewartville (6-4), Lourdes (7-5), Dover-Eyota (6-6) and Lewiston-Altura (6-6).

You like “loaded” nachos? Try a loaded Section 1AA.  St. Charles jumped from number 13 to number three with its win over Caledonia. Byron moved from number 20 to number ten with its win over Lake City. Hang on to your hats because we’re going for a ride come the end of February and into March.

Austin is number two in AAA. Mankato East moved up a couple spots to number five. John Marshall only moved down one spot to number ten with its loss to East. Lakeville North is the top contender yet in Section 1AAA.

That’s it for me. Enjoy the weather. Drive safely. Have a good week, one day at a time. Happy birthday to my daughter, Jacquie, and my grandson, Payton. Hey to the Great 8 and my wife, Carol, you are the greatest.

Hasta luego everybody. WEB. syiags