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MSHSL, Smitty announce partnership on officials' apparel
Home Page Photo The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and Smitty Officials Apparel, LLC, on Thursday, July 19, announced an exclusive partnership providing Minnesota high school sports officials access to state-of-the-art, dye-sublimated official’s uniforms.

Made in the USA, these uniforms will be accented with the MSHSL logo. Basketball, wrestling, adapted floor hockey, and swimming & diving uniforms will be available soon, with additional sports to be released in the coming months.

The partnership began last march March during the Wrestling and Basketball State Tournaments, with all the tournament officials wearing the new Smitty Officials Apparel MSHSL-branded shirts.

“Our MSHSL officials are excited to move to the new Smitty officials uniforms and Smitty has demonstrated a great willingness to meet our needs and the needs of our officials and programs,” said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be the proud supplier of MSHSL official’s apparel,” said Joe DeRosa, president and chief executive officer of Smitty Official’s Apparel. “Our goal is to support MSHSL officiating programs and provide quality products at affordable prices to MSHSL sports officials throughout the entire state. We look forward to our long-term partnership.”

The Minnesota State High School League is a voluntary, non-profit association of public and private schools with an office located in Brooklyn Center, MN. The MSHSL has been provided educational leadership opportunities for students through interscholastic and fine arts programs, and leadership and support to member schools, since 1916. Nearly 620 schools make up the membership of the MSHSL. Of those, nearly 440 are high schools, and the others are either special schools or home schools. The schools provide opportunities for more than 225,000 students to participate in athletic and fine arts competitions statewide. The MSHSL also oversees training and development for nearly 6,300 contest officials.

From a company that has grown from two products (Smitty and Noose Lanyards) to a national manufacturing leader of sports officials’ apparel with almost 2,000 products in various styles and sizes, Smitty’s focus is to provide quality products and services at an affordable price for dealers and sports officials. Its recent addition of dye-sublimated shirts with more than 60 styles – all manufactured in the United States – for various sports associations confirms its commitment to meeting the needs of officials.

Officials will receive direct communication regarding ordering and availability of shirts in the coming months.

Transfer Eligibility Review
General Information for Students and Parents

The MSHSL understands that varsity eligibility is important to you. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding transfer eligibility. The information contained herein is not a bylaw or policy and is intended only to provide an overview of the transfer eligibility process. For the most current version of Bylaw 111 and MSHSL policies, please visit www.mshsl.org. Before transferring schools, please review the following so that you will understand the transfer’s impact on your varsity eligibility.

1.What is a transfer?

A transfer student is a student who discontinues enrollment and attendance in any high school, public or non-public, and enrolls in any other high school in Minnesota, or outside of Minnesota. Essentially, a transfer occurs anytime a student’s school of record changes. A transfer is considered complete when the student attends class or participates with an athletic program at the new school. This includes home schools, charter schools, and online schools.
2.If I transfer to a new high school, will I be eligible for varsity competition?

If you transfer to a new high school, you will be eligible for varsity athletic competition if:
1.You are enrolling in 9th grade for the first time;
2.Your entire family moves to a new residence in a different attendance area;
3.Your residence is changed pursuant to a court order;
4.Your parents are divorced and you move from one parent to another.
(This option may be used just one time after you enroll in 9th grade); or
5.You and your family have moved to Minnesota from another state or country.
If none of the above apply, you will be ineligible (for one calendar year from the date of the transfer) from participating in interscholastic varsity athletic competition. You will, however, be eligible to participate in varsity tryouts, practices, scrimmages, jamborees, etc., and non-varsity (JV, B-squad, etc.) competitions. You will not be eligible for varsity competition.
3.What happens if none of the five provisions above apply and I am determined ineligible?

If none of the five provisions set forth above apply and you are determined ineligible, you can request that the MSHSL review the determination of ineligibility. There are seven circumstances with which you can request a review:
1.You are transferred to a new high school within the same school district;
2.A change in family circumstances such as adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent.
3.A substantial negative change in your family’s economic status. For example, if one or both parent(s) loses their job or other means of income.
4.School student Bullying or Harassment as identified in Minnesota State Statutes 121A.03 and 121A.031.
5.Administrative error. For example, the receiving school misapplied MSHSL bylaws or policies.
6.You have completed a licensed program for chemical dependency or mental illness (provided all other eligibility rules are followed) and the receiving school will better serve the student’s needs.
The principals and activities directors from both the sending and receiving school agree that varsity competition eligibility should be considered.
4.How do I request a Transfer Eligibility Review?

When you enrolled at your new school [receiving school] and indicated an interest in participating in athletics, the school compiled information and submitted a student transfer report to the MSHSL. The transfer report contains general information on your previous school(s) and the reason for your transfer. Based on this information, the receiving school makes aninitial eligibility determination. That determination is sent to the MSHSL for review to ensure compliance with MSHSL bylaws and policies.

If you are determined ineligible, you can request further review by the MSHSL. Visit with the athletic director at the Receiving School and request a Transfer Eligibility Review. The athletic director will submit the request and supporting documentation to the League for review.

All denied Transfer Eligibility Review requests for varsity competition eligibility will be reviewed by the MSHSL Board of Directors Eligibility Committee for further review or referral to an Independent Reviewer. Ultimately, the final decisions on eligibility will be made by the MSHSL Board of Directors.
5.What types of information and documentation should I provide in support of my request for a Transfer Eligibility Review?

You should provide a written explanation and documentation supporting your request for review. This is your opportunity to support your request for eligibility so please submit whatever relevant documentation/information you have. Below are common types of documentation the MSHSL looks for under each of the seven review options:
1. Internal district policies (for transfers in districts with multiple high schools)
  • The district policy or policies that precipitated the transfer
  • Correspondence from the school district describing the circumstances of the transfer
    2. Adoption, abandonment, or death of a parent
  • Adoption Decree, death certifi cate, CHIPS order
    3. Substantial negative change in the economic status
  • The MSHSL typically considers three years of tax returns showing a negative change in the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • You are encouraged to submit any other documentation showing a negative change in economic status. For example, employer notification indicating the recent loss of income or loss of employment, disability determinations from a medical professional or government agency that indicate a reduction in the ability to be employed.
  • NOTE: Discretionary spending decisions will generally not be considered to be a negative change in economic status.
    4. School Bullying/Harassment
  • Documentation that a complaint was made under the district policy prior to the transfer
  • A report from the sending school that it has investigated and determined a case of bullying or harassment pursuant to Minnesota Statute 121A.03 and 121A.031.
  • Any other documentation of bullying or harassment at the sending school
    5. Administrative Error
  • Documentation from a school administrator explaining the error or errors made in the initial eligibility determination.
    6. Completion of a licensed program for treatment of alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance provided all other eligibility rules are followed.
  • Documentation from the director of the treatment facility/provider showing completion of a licensed program by the student
  • Documentation to show the receiving school provides specific aftercare for the student.
    7. School Administrators request for review
  • The administrators from both schools agree varsity competition eligibility should be considered for the student. This Transfer Eligibility Review provision is applicable only for students who transfer from one MSHSL member school to another MSHSL member school.
  • The written request from the administrators at both the receiving school and sending school should include all documents they believe support eligibility.
  • This provision requires certifi cation from both schools confirming no recruitment or inappropriate contact has occured.
    Read More

    One Coach, Two Teams: Turk Takes Over In Eagan
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 8/13/2018 8:10:12 PM

    It started almost as a joke, a sort of throwaway “what if” scenario. What if Bulut “Turk” Ozturk, who has coached the Eagan High School girls soccer team to three big-school state championships in the last four years, also was head coach of the Wildcats boys team?

    “Last year we talked about it during the season with Turk and we kind of laughed about it, saying no way would any coach ever do that,” said senior girls team captain Brooke Peplinksi after the first practice of the season ended Monday. Once the girls finished their workout the boys team took the field, but the head coach remained the same.

    Yes, Ozturk is taking on duties that are extremely rare in soccer … coaching both varsity teams. Coaches in sports such as cross-country and track and field frequently coach girls and boys teams at the same time, but soccer is more akin to basketball, with one coach directing two teams simultaneously nearly unheard of.

    “I am not aware of any high school coach doing this,” Ozturk said. “Parents, coaches, other people have come up to me and said, ‘Are you crazy?’ ”

    Ozturk is at the forefront of a new wave of coaches. Rather than working as a teacher or other type of school employee, he is a full-time, year-round soccer coach who holds a degree in psychology and master’s degrees in sports management and sports coaching. His non-school coaching jobs include the Minnesota Thunder Academy in the Elite Club National League and the Minnesota TwinStars semipro team, a club of college-age players in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

    “This is my life, soccer 24-7,” Ozturk said. “I coach full time. I’m always working with two, three or four teams at a time. It’s not anything new for me.”

    He coached the Lakeville North girls soccer team to three consecutive state tournament appearances before moving to Eagan in 2014. His previous coaching jobs included college stints as an assistant at Hamline University and Concordia University in St. Paul.

    When the Eagan boys coaching job opened after last season’s 9-8 finish, the “what if” question started becoming real. Ozturk applied for the job.

    “I know this is something I was interested in even a while back,” he said. “Talking to the boys and past player who have graduated, and hearing from some of the girls players, they thought it would be a unique opportunity. I know the boys are wanting to work hard and wanting to achieve some of the goals the girls have been able to achieve.”

    Hunter Goff, a senior captain on the boys team, said when the news came out that Ozturk would coach the boys, there was some confusion at first.

    “I was like, ‘Wow, does that mean he’s going to stop coaching the girls? There’s no way he’s going to be done coaching the girls.’ Then we found out he was going to be coaching both programs, and it was like wow. It’s going to be a totally different environment this year.

    “There’s a lot more pressure, I think. When you see three state titles in four years for the girls and the boys last went to state four years ago, there’s a lot of pressure on us to show up and work hard every day. We’re practicing longer, harder, there’s more fitness, it’s more serious this year and we have to show up to every game.”

    The Wildcats girls team has routinely held two-hour-plus practices under Ozturk, while the boys’ past workouts have been more in the 90-minute timeframe. The two-sport head coach will have lots of long days such as Monday, when the girls practiced from noon to 2 p.m. and the boys from 2 until 4 p.m.

    Ozturk is relying heavily on his assistant coaches. His brother, Umut, is involved with both teams but mainly assigned to the girls, John Obarski is an assistant with the girls and David Juarez is working with the boys. Student managers also play a major role in keeping things organized and running smoothly. That was apparent Monday near the end of the girls’ practice, as managers holding clipboards assigned practice jerseys to the boys, tracking the numbers on paper.

    “The student managers play a very important role,” Ozturk said. “They help me with spreadsheets, they make sure all the coaches have their clipboards and everything is running smoothly. I delegate a lot. It takes a village to have a successful program. It doesn’t just come from me; once these players and parents feel a part of it, they’ll do anything to help. I can’t ever take all the credit for what goes on. It’s a family environment.”

    Megan Plaschko, goalkeeper and senior girls captain, said, “There’s a lot of order and responsibility. I think the boys captains will quickly learn that us three (with fellow captains Peplinski and Abigail McKenzie) do so much behind the scenes, and our parents. I think that’s the biggest transition for them; they aren’t used to having so many rules, so many responsibilities and all this stuff that comes with making it work.”

    An early issue with game schedules has been ironed out; when Ozturk took the job there were three dates when the girls and boys teams had games scheduled against teams from different schools, but rescheduling eliminated that problem. The focus now is on preparing for the 16-game regular season and, hopefully, deep postseason runs. The Wildcats girls won Class 2A state titles in 2014, 2016 and last year, and the boys hope to have similar success.

    “You have to have strong leadership from the kids,” Ozturk said. “They have to have that ownership and accountability. That’s where we really create our championship culture and our winning mentality, it comes from those leaders, those captains. Once we train them in and have that established, it makes life a lot easier.”

    The girls captains realized Ozturk was seriously considering taking on the dual role when he asked them how they felt about it during the offseason. Peplinski chuckled as she talked about last season’s “what if” chatter.

    “We said, ‘no way would any coach ever do that,’ ” Peplinski said “But when he told us he was actually considering it, at first I was nervous. He kept talking to us about it, and before he even decided to coach the guys he talked to us about the practice times, how it would work. The fact that he was so organized and knew exactly how it would work made us more confident.”

    Jake Kolehmainen, another senior captain on the boys side, said, “At first I was kind of surprised, I didn’t know how he was going to do it, kind of like everyone else. How was this going to work, two practices in one day? It didn’t make a lot of sense. Then he showed us everything, the practice plan, and I was really excited for the season.”

    Senior captain Ryan Erickson added, “He’s showed us the way he’s going to do it and I know it’s going to be a whole different environment. I know it’s going to be way more hard work but I think it’s going to pay off in the long run.”

    That is the ultimate goal: Hard work, dedication, learning and, hopefully, on-field success.

    “After we won state last year two guys on the team texted me and said, ‘We want Turk,’ ” McKenzie said. “They’re all really excited.”

    Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

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