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MSHSL Spring Bulletin
The latest edition of the Minnesota State High School League's Bulletin magazine has arrived and is ready for your reading enjoyment.

In this issue, see our cover story highlighting the distinguished careers of a couple retiring Atheltic Directors. Also featured in this edition are the Triple "A" winners, the 2017 ExCEL Winners and our TWO National Award recipients.

We hope you enjoy the latest edition of the Bulletin.

2017-2018, 2018-2019 Section Assignments
Home Page Photo Every two years the MSHSL reclassifies teams into new competitive sections. Every school in the MSHSL reports new enrollments to the Minnesota Department of Education on October 1st. The MDE releases these enrollments in February and we take our current registrations and rank the teams by enrollment to put them into classes. Changes in enrollment, new programs, and the formation or dissolution of cooperative agreements in the last two years lead to changes in the section assignments. We try to make as few changes as possible as many teams already have 17-18 schedules in place. Links to the assignments are below.

The Process
  • Class assignments are determined by enrollment.
  • Schools with at least 50% Free and Reduced Lunch can appeal to the Athletic Director Advisory Committee to drop down 1 class in team sports
  • Schools who feel they belong in a higher class can "Opt-Up".
  • Schools within 10% of a class cut-off or who feel they have “special circumstances” can appeal to the Athletic Director Advisory Committee to drop down 1 class in team sports
  • Start with existing placements.
  • Move as few schools as possible.
  • Section placement is determined by geography. Our schools have asked us to reduce travel as much as possible.
  • Geographic Sections should not overlap (as the crow flies).
  • Sections should be numerically balanced within a class. Within 2 in AA classes, within 4 in Class A.
  • Competitive Success is NOT a factor.
  • In Activities like Skiing, Cross Country, Golf, and Track, both genders are placed in the same section (many share a coach).
  • When assignments are made, the maps of Administrative Regions are used as templates.

    There are no appeals to the placements, however there are three ways these could change:
  • A school drops an activity.
  • A school adds an activity.
  • A cooperative agreement is formed or dissolved.
    When adds and drops occur, or coops are changed, we do not rebalance, we just move the school making the change.

    Every assignment was made by one person, Chris Franson at the MSHSL. Chris is the League's IT person and used the same process for all 8000+ assignments and all 74 maps.
    Once the assignments were complete, many eyes reviewed the assignments to make sure the process was followed according to our Class Competition Policy.
    It was reviewed by the League Staff Member responsible for each activity.
    The Athletic Director Advisory Committee spent a day at the League Office reviewing every placement.
    Our Board of Directors had a meeting where they reviewed the placements and verified that the policy was followed.

    Section assignments are for the post-season only. Schools can continue to schedule regular season contests as they always have.

    Two years ago the maps were redrawn from scratch and this time we were directed to just adjust the maps to bring sections back into numerical balance. As a result, of the roughly 8000 teams in the MSHSL, less than 10% of the teams changed class or section. The next 2 year cycle is another adjustment and then 4 years from now, we'll start from scratch again.

    View Section Assignment Maps
    View Section Assignment Lists
    Watch a 2 minute video demonstrating the process
    2017-2018 School Enrollments
    Activity Classifications
    Method to Determine Classification      

  • Eagan’s McKenna Melville: Two Sports, One Hectic Schedule
    Posted by John Millea(jmillea@mshsl.org)- Updated 4/28/2017 12:17:45 PM

    If the life of an NCAA Division I athlete is hectic, Eagan junior McKenna Melville will face few surprises when she leaves high school to play volleyball at the University of Central Florida. That’s because she is a two-sport competitor who is also part of the Wildcats’ softball team, a rare combination for such a high-level athlete.

    Melville can focus solely on her No. 1 sport during the high school volleyball season in the fall. The spring, however, is a flurry of school, softball and club volleyball that means plenty of long and hectic days. A recent softball game at Shakopee provided an example.

    McKenna started the game at third base and went 1-for-2 at the plate with three runs-batted-in. In the middle of the game, however, she gathered her belongings from the bench and scurried, along with her grandfather, to his car for a drive to Northern Lights club volleyball headquarters in Burnsville.

    McKenna’s club team was practicing for a weekend tournament that could vault them to a national tournament this summer. The workouts were mandatory so she knew she would have to leave the softball game early.

    Before the season Melville met with first-year Eagan softball coach Christian Duncan, who was willing to let her miss time due to her volleyball responsibilities. Classmate and softball teammate Taylor Anderson, who will play hockey at Minnesota Duluth, has similar commitments with that sport.

    For McKenna, getting from the softball game to volleyball practice wasn’t as logistically simple as it may sound. Her dad, Corey Melville, was out of town, her twin brother Michael was running in a track meet and their mom, Eagan volleyball coach Kathy Gillen Melville, was at the track meet to cheer for Michael. Grandpa and grandma came to the rescue.

    “I called Grandpa and he drove me,” McKenna said. “Grandma made me dinner, I ate it in the car, changed in the car and got there with five minutes to spare.”

    Such is life for Melville, whose Eagan volleyball team has won the last two Class 3A state championships.

    “I’ve missed some practice time and there are games when I’m the first person in line to shake hands and then I sprint to the car,” she said. “It helps to have my parents pack food for me. And I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it without people driving me around.”

    One day this week was fairly typical for McKenna: Her alarm went off at 6 a.m. and she was at school by 6:55 for some help with history homework before school started at 7:25. Her class schedule -- including Honors Chemistry, Advanced Placement Language, Honors Pre-Calculus, History and Spanish – filled the day until the last bell at 2:15. She went home and took a nap before softball practice. She left a few minutes before practice ended, made it home for a quick dinner and had volleyball practice from 6 until 8 p.m. Bedtime was around 10 p.m.

    “I wanted to play softball but it was the whole juggling two-sports thing that was throwing me for a loop,” she said. “Our new coach seemed like a really nice guy and he said, ‘Let’s try it, why not?’ ”

    Through the first eight games of the season, McKenna is hitting .333 with seven runs-batted-in, three doubles, three walks and no strikeouts.

    “We knew going in there would be conflicts, but usually there’s not,” Duncan said. “It’s been a good mix. A couple times she’s had to leave practice early, but she’s certainly not the only player with things like that. We have kids who are doing things to prepare for the next step in life.”

    McKenna is an energetic force on the volleyball court, and she plays a similar role on the softball field.

    “She’s got a rocket arm, I’m sure from serving all those years,” Duncan said. “At Shakopee we were down 8-1 (before winning 13-8) and she was in the huddle saying, ‘We’ve got this, we’re fine, let’s go.’ She’s special, mentally and physically.

    “She’s smiling and having fun but when she’s batting her eyes are as big as quarters. She’s locked in and ready to do it for the team.”

    Kathy Gillen Melville, who was inducted into the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, said she has had a few volleyball players who participated in other sports, usually track athletes who were long, high or triple jumpers. That allowed them to compete in the early portion of track meets before leaving for club volleyball.

    “The time commitment is big,” mom/coach said of McKenna’s two-sport lifestyle. “There are some days, when she drives to softball practice and then to volleyball practice, I’ll put something in the car for her to eat.”

    McKenna grew up playing both sports and plays club softball in the summer. She didn’t play high school softball last season because of volleyball recruiting trips. This spring, having a hectic schedule is part of life.

    “It’s another ball in the air, for sure,” she said. “It definitely takes away from my social time a little bit, but half the fun of softball is the girls on the team. They are so funny and they’re so great to be around.”

    *Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 614
    *Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 10,159
    *Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

    More of John's Journal

    The True Purpose of Sports

    Sports are a valued part of our culture. We value sports because we believe the students who are involved acquire something through their participation. But have we ever looked closely at how they benefit? What do the students who participate in our programs actually get and what is the purpose of education-based sports.

    In a recent message to his school community, Charlie Campbell, the Athletic Administrator at Brainerd High School stated,

    "The high school sports experience is squeezed between two models that challenge school communities on the purpose of education-based programs. It's easy to be confused. On one end of the continuum, the media, through their constant focus on professional and 'big-time' collegiate sports, continually tells us that sports, and the athletes that participate in them have value if they win and only if they win. The end of each season brings about the firing and hiring of coaches, and players are traded, demoted, or drafted in hopes of winning more games. And, of course, in this entertainment-based system of sport there is one primary objective and that is to make money. On the other end of the continuum, well-intentioned youth, traveling and club programs are creating teams for 8, 9, and 10-year old children and trying to 'win' myriad weekend tournaments, creating all-star teams, vying for national championships and generally reinforcing the notion that if you're good (at age 8, 9, or 10) you have value.

    For Athletics to be education-based, whereby we are developing better people and not just better athletes, we must be intentional—we must be awake and understand the purpose. Purpose must resonate with us in our human condition. If you Google 'purpose' the first hit (after the definitions) is Rick Warren's best-selling book, The Purpose Drive Life. Wikipedia says that as of 2007, over 30 million copies have been sold and that Purpose Driven Life is the 2nd most translated book after The Bible. It seems purpose is something we are all searching for. Webster would say Purpose is, 'The reason for which something is done, or for which something exists.' To put it more simply, it is the WHY."

    The great call of a coach is to be awake—mindful of what students in our programs are really getting. Our main role as a coach in education-based athletics is the human development of every student on our team. Winning is the by-product of something bigger, an awareness in us that transforms a game of throwing a ball through a hoop into an opportunity to create caring, empathetic, responsible members of society. When coaches are awake, they take the student's learning of physical skills and Xs and Os to the next level. They concurrently teach them the WHYs, the lasting values acquired through the learning of those same physical skills. For this to happen, coaches must understand their purpose and WHY they coach. Campbell states,

    "Though most coaches are fiercely competitive, and they work tirelessly to help young athletes win and find success, when you ask them about their purpose, you will hear them talk about instilling discipline, developing mental and physical toughness, teaching students to dream big, demanding accountability, creating a positive family culture where every student belongs, cooperation, passion, the necessity of intense preparation, sportsmanship and perseverance. And so this is our platform in education-based athletics; to teach core values and qualities that transcend the outcome on the scoreboard and contribute to the well-being and human growth and development of the student-athletes we serve."

    Consciously creating a game plan is necessary to transform a student's experience from only Xs and Os to value-filled WHYs. Asking the right questions, creating awareness, and providing experiences with greater depth are key to lasting success. When this happens, success will no longer be measured only by the outcome on the scoreboard or the acquisition of a new physical skill. Instead, the true measurement of success will be seen in the students who learn the valuable life lessons participation in education-based athletics provides.

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    MSHSL 1h ago
    Eagan's McKenna Melville: Two Sports, One Hectic Schedule. Check out John's Journal. John's Journal

    John Millea
    1h ago
    Eagan’s McKenna Melville: Two Sports, One Hectic Schedule. Check out John's Journal.
    @Eagan_Athletics mshsl.org/mshsl/johnsjou

    John Millea
    2h ago
    LeBron James sends a message to the Minneapolis North boys basketball team.

    John Millea
    3h ago
    After 39 years, Rick Uttech retires as girls basketball coach at Granada-Huntley-EC/TML Story by @CRSorrells

    MSHSL 3h ago
    After 39 seasons of diagramming offensive plays and defensive alignments on his clipboard, Rick Uttech -- a legendary mentor with an effervescent smile -- has announced his retirement as the girls basketball coach at Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther.

    John Millea
    19h ago
    Final score in girls lacrosse: Chanhassen 6, Bloomington Kennedy 5.

    John Millea
    19h ago
    Current conditions in Bloomington, Minnesota/ Degrees: 32. Wind chill: 22. Long underwear: affirmative.

    John Millea
    19h ago
    Halftime in girls lacrosse: Chanhassen leads Bloomington Kennedy 4-2.

    John Millea
    20h ago
    Chanhassen at Bloomington Kennedy in girls lacrosse.

    John Millea
    20h ago
    Chanhassen, Bloomington Kennedy captains and officials (one in SHORT PANTS) are ready for Arctic lacrosse.

    John Millea
    20h ago
    It's 35 degrees above zero with a few flakes in the air in Bloomington, Minnesota. Perfect conditions for lacrosse.

    John Millea
    22h ago
    Googles "Sideline Bonfire" ...

    John Millea
    22h ago
    Top-ranked softball teams
    1A/ Edgerton/SWC
    2A/ Maple Lake
    3A/ Mankato West
    4A/ ChanhassenPolls on Facebookfacebook.com/mshsl.org/

    MSHSL 22h ago
    This week's softball rankings, provided by the coaches association.CLASS 1A
    Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
    1.(1) Edgerton/SWC (S3)-(73)
    2.(8) Randolph (S1)-(59)
    3.(3) Sleepy Eye St. Mary's (S2)-(58)
    4.(4) New Ulm Cathedral (S2)-(57)
    5.(2) New York Mills (S6)-(54)
    6.(7) Maranatha Christian Academy (S4)-(50)
    7.(5) Sebeka (S5)-(38)
    8.(6) Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (S3)-(31)
    9.(14) Badger/GB-MR* (S8)-(23)
    10.(23) Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (S3)-(19)
    Others receiving votes: Sacred Heart* (S8)-(17), Brandon-Evansville (S6)-(11),Blooming Prairie (S1)-(11), Bethlehem Academy (S1)-(9), Cherry (S7)-(9), PACT Charter (S4)-(9), Carlton (S7)-(8), Red Lake Falls (S8)-(7), Mankato Loyola (S2)-(2), Kimball Area (S4)-(1)CLASS 2A
    Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
    1.(3) Maple Lake (S5)-(65)
    2.(1) Pipestone Area (S3)-(61)
    3.(2) Albany (S6)-(54)
    4.(4) Cotter (S1)-(47)
    5.(5) Chatfield (S1)-(43)
    6.(7) Fairmont (S2)-(41)
    7.(6) Zumbrota-Mazeppa (S1)-(35)
    8.(8) Pine Island (S1)-(30)
    9.(9) Park Rapids Area (S8)-(29)
    10.(12) Annandale (S5)-(19)
    Others receiving votes: Rochester Lourdes (S1)-(18), Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (S8)-(8),Rockford (S5)-(6), Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta* (S3)-(4), Minnehaha Academy (S4)-(4), GMLOK Bulldogs* (S1)-(4)CLASS 3A
    Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
    1.(1) Mankato West (S2)-(71)
    2.(2) Hermantown (S7)-(60)
    3.(15) Chisago Lakes (S7)-(42)
    4.(3) Visitation (S3)-(34)
    4.(4) Becker (S5)-(34)
    6.(5) Stewartville (S1)-(31)
    6.(23) Faribault (S2)-(31)
    8.(10) Detroit Lakes (S8)-(29)
    9.(11) Academy of Holy Angels (S3)-(25)
    10.(6) St. Anthony Village (S4)-(16)
    10.(11) Rocori (S5)-(16)
    Others receiving votes: , Totino-Grace (S4)-(15),Benilde-St. Margaret's (S6)-(14), Winona (S1)-(10), Mankato East (S2)-(10), Hutchinson (S2)-(9), St. Paul Como Park (S4)-(9), Delano (S6)-(5), New Ulm (S2)-(4), Alexandria Area (S8)-(3)CLASS 4A
    Rank.(prev) School (Section) -(Points)
    1.(1) Chanhassen (S2)-(67)
    2.(2) Forest Lake (S7)-(59)
    3.(3) Anoka (S7)-(58)
    4.(3) Park (S3)-(52)
    5.(3) Farmington (S1)-(41)
    5.(9) Blaine (S7)-(41)
    7.(16) Prior Lake (S2)-(34)
    8.(8) Woodbury (S4)-(30)
    9.(7) Stillwater Area (S4)-(28)
    10.(10) Bloomington Jefferson (S2)-(16)
    Others receiving votes: Buffalo (S8)-(14), New Prague (S1)-(11),Rosemount (S3)-(6), Hopkins (S6)-(6), Maple Grove (S5)-(3), Eagan (S3)-(2)

    John Millea
    23h ago
    I'll be all bundled up to watch girls lacrosse tonight: Chanhassen at Bloomington Kennedy.

    John Millea
    1d ago
    Former St. Olaf College coach Sean Goldsworthy named boys hockey coach at Minnetonka HS. He's a 1990 graduate of Minnetonka.

    John Millea
    1d ago

    John Millea
    2d ago
    LeBron James sends a note of congratulations to DeLaSalle boys basketball team.


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