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Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - November 16, 2017
Rob LaPlante

Journal-Press Sports Editor Rob LaPlante may be reached by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him


Maple Lake Volleyball caps perfect season with perfect state tournament win

Irish are repeat state champs

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

The Maple Lake Irish volleyball team already knew what the state tournament was all about.

After all, the team had been there six out of the last seven years, and only two team members had never played at Xcel Energy Center.

And competition? The Irish were seeded number one, had defeated Class 3A Hopkins and Stillwater at an early October invitational, and had won every match this year. Their season record was 33-0.

Oh, and the Irish won the state tournament last year. They last lost on Oct. 25, 2016, to DeLaSalle.

Maple Lake used that experience and skill to win the 2017 Class 2A state tournament last Saturday, Nov. 11.

The Irish beat Kenyon-Wanamingo in three straight sets in the quarter finals, Holy Angels in three straight sets in the semifinals, and North Branch three straight sets in the championship to take home that trophy for the second time.

That trophy brought their season record to 36-0 and their consecutive match wins to 44.

In the championship game, the team beat 3rd seed North Branch 25-18, 25-19, and 25-21.

Senior Lynsey Rachel had 20 kills and 11 digs to lead the team. Amber Klug had 4 kills and 7 digs. Brynn Paumen and Brielle Paumen each had 5 kills. Mollie Scheiber had 10 digs and 1 kill, and Calli Maki had 8 digs and 1 kill.

Maple Lake topped Holy Angels in the semifinals 25-15, 26-24, and 25-11.

In that game, Brynn Paumen had 11 kills and 2 digs, while Rachel had 6 kills and 12 digs. Klug had 5 kills and 10 digs. Kaleigh Beehler had 6 kills and 2 digs. Maki had 17 digs.

In the quarter final game against Kenyon-Wanamingo, the stand-outs were Rachel with 18 kills and 19 digs, and Scheiber with 8 kills and 13 digs.

The Maple Lake Irish volleyball team is Anna Becker, Kaleigh Beehler, Mackenna Brown, Kora Fuller, Katie Goetz, Alexis Jackson, Ella Kiebel, Amber Klug, Maddi Maas, Calli Maki, Brielle Paumen, Brynn Paumen, Lynsey Rachel, and Molli Scheiber.

Student managers are Abby Althoff and Alison Zander.

Marty Kiebel is the head coach, assisted by Amy Voigt, Lizz Gessell, and Monica Turner.The 2017 1A champion was Mayer Lutheran, also a state champion repeat. The 3A champion was Lakeville North.



Buffalo Dance Team prepares with new choreography

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

The Buffalo High School Dance Team has been practicing since Oct. 23 to get ready for their first competition on Nov. 20, a Mississippi 8 jazz meet in Chisago Lakes.

The competition season is coming up fast, as the fifteen girls on the team are learning the choreography and refining their techniques in the jazz dance and the kick dance divisions.

Coach Sarah Beyer returns for a second year.

"This year's change in the section," said Beyer, "puts us with a lot of really good teams with a lot of talent. But we also have talent and are putting together a good, fun show to watch."

Senior Payton Salonek said, "Yes, that change gives us a good challenge with new competitors. We will be performing in front of new teams and new audiences."

Beyer said that this year's team is younger.

"We are a newer team and a newer program, so it's good to have younger and newer faces to build up the program," said Beyer.

Jazz Dance Team has been sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League for six years and Kick Dance Team for five years. This is Buffalo's fourth year with a dance team.

Salonek was all-conference last year and said that the team is a little smaller with fifteen girls participating.

Said Salonek, "The smaller team gives us all of us the opportunity to focus on each other and improve as a group."

Participating this year are seniors Payton Salonek, Emily Skoog, and Amanda Welter; juniors Madeline Knese and Alexis Rayke; ninth graders Grace Baer, Julia Carter, Olivia Cepress, Madelyn Hackett, Jade Wilson, and Vanessa Wong; eighth grader Sonya Moorman; and seventh graders Kaylie Carik and Kallie Lindell.

For the jazz division, the team will dance to "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Lorde. The "Walking Dead" theme will be the music for the kick dance.

This year, Buffalo will be hosting the M8 kick meet on Monday, Nov. 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Buffalo High School. The team will also perform at two more M8 meets at St. Michael-Albertville and North Branch, an invitational at Waconia, the M8 finals at Monticello, and the Section 2 - 3A tournament at Chanhassen.

See page two inside for another photo and the dance team schedule.


Buffalo Girl Swimmers headed to state in individual, relay, and diving

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

On to State! The Buffalo Girls swim team is heading to the state tournament in four events, two medleys, two individuals, and diving.

Senior diver Alex Zeiss, who also placed first in the section, is making her fourth appearance at the state tournament.

The state qualifiers in the relays are the medley relay team of Sydney Polzin, Brianna Shroyer, Kassy Shroyer, and Tianna Kosek, and the 200 free relay team of Kassy Shroyer, Kolby Schendel, Kaitlyn Schendel, and Tianna Kosek.

The individual qualifiers are Kassy Shroyer in the 100 fly and Tianna Kosek in the 100 free.

The alternate for the medley relay is Marna Hanson, and Elle Kaiser is the alternate for the 200 free relay. Julia Gleason is the alternate for both relay teams.

Zeiss said that the diving scores are the overall scores for 11 dives. Each of those dives must be different and can vary with assigned degrees of difficulty.

Said Zeiss, "My best dive is the twister. While not the hardest dive, I save that one for last."

Going into the finals at the Section 8AA tournament, Zeiss was holding on to second place after the preliminaries and semifinals. At the end of the finals Zeiss performed her signature dive, sending her into the first place finish and her fourth trip to state.

Tianna Kosek will be swimming in three events this year.Said Kosek, "I was at state in two events last year, so state is not so intimidating. I changed my tapering to prepare for state."

Ryan Chev eCouponsTapering is the training technique that swimmers use to prepare for major meets. The swimmers actually swim less in the weeks and days before the meet.

"That," said Kosek, "saves my muscles and helps my body recover through muscle relaxation."

Kassy Shroyer, a ninth grader, will be making her first appearance at state. She will be competing on both relay teams and will swim individually in the 100 fly.

At the section meet, Shroyer set a personal best and a school record in the 100 fly.

While this is her first competition at the state level, Shroyer said, "I know the competition will be tougher, a lot tougher, but I have a goal of setting my own record."

Shroyer added that she has competed in the University of Minnesota pool in swim club competition and that she knows what the venue is like.

The 2017 State Girlsí Swimming and Diving Meet is Nov. 16-18 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

The schedule is Thursday, Nov. 16, Class A diving preliminaries at noon, Class AA diving preliminaries at 6:00 p.m.

On Friday, Nov.17, the Class A swimming preliminaries are at noon, with the Class AA swimming preliminaries at 6:00 p.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, the Class A swimming and diving finals are at noon, and the Class AA swimming and diving finals are at 6:00 p.m.



Buffalo's 200 medley relay team placed fourth with a time of 1:50.73, five seconds behind the winner St. Michael-Albertville.

In diving, Zeiss topped Meredith Matchinsky of St. Cloud Tech with a score of 449.25 to Matchinsky's 430.45.

In the 100 fly, Kassy Shroyer took second with a time of 57.72, one second behind Emma Lezer of St. Michael-Albertville.

In the 100 free, Tianna Kosek came in second with a time of 53.03 behind Beth Kelzer of Rogers whose time was 51.69.

In the 200 free, the Buffalo team placed fourth with a time of 1:40.40, less than a second behind winner St, Michael-Albertville.

Overall, Buffalo placed fifth in the team rankings with a score of 258. St, Michael-Albertville ranked first with 357, followed by Maple Grove with 340.

See page two inside for more swim team photos.


Nine sign on Fall National College Signing Day

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

Nine Buffalo High School seniors officially committed to playing at the college level at the Fall National Signing Day on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Those seniors are Charlie Bean, swimming at the University of South Dakota; Katie Carlson, softball at Concordia College, St. Paul; Morgan DeMarais, softball at South Dakota State University; Emily Hansen, softball at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Sarah Hudson, softball at Villanova in Pennsylvania; Eathan Lasswell-Soeffker, baseball at Concordia College, St. Paul; Hanna Morin, golf at Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Alex Zeiss, diving at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Kari Zumach, volleyball at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.

Bean, DeMarais, Hansen, Hudson, Zeiss, and Zumach will be attending Division I schools. Carlson, Lasswell-Soeffker, and Morin will be attending Division II schools.

According to BHS Activities Director Tom Bauman, nine students is the highest number signing in the fall.

Said Bauman, "Across the country, less than two percent of high school athletes play at the college level. You are nine of that two percent. We here at BHS are proud of you and your accomplishments and know you will succeed in college."

Coaches of each athlete also spoke at the ceremony in the Buffalo High School gym.


BHS Trapshooting Team achieves second conference title in the year

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

The Buffalo High School Trapshooting Team (BHSTT) gunned down its second conference title in the same calendar year.

Just five months after clinching its third straight conference title competing in the spring league, Bison shooters added their second straight fall title with an overall team score of 36,215 points competing in Class A, Conference 17.

Other teams in the conference included (in order of finish with point total): Park (32,250), Bemidji (28,445), Northfield (28,240), and Eastview (25,525).

Buffalo competed each Monday from the weeks of Sept. 24 to Oct. 22 at Buffalo Gun Club.

This was the third year the Bison have competed during the fall season. Unlike the spring, fall doesn't hold a state tournament.

Buffalo had 71 shooters participate, down just a bit from the 77 that participated last year. With no state tournament like the spring season, team success is measured within the conference and individually.

Head coach Sally Stevens says the fall creates opportunities the spring season doesn't.

"The fall season is a chance for eighth graders to participate in BHSTT, and for coaches to start training new and up-and-coming team members," Stevens said. "What's great is when our seniors and experienced shooters really rise to the occasion and show how hard work, extra practice and dedication to improving make all the difference."

Stevens continued, "I love the combination of new, young athletes and our senior, experienced athletes all working together towards the common goal – team success through team support."

Wyatt Bomstad had plenty of fall success, tying for 11th among 2,930 total shooters in the state and third among males in the conference with an average of 24/25 targets. Bomstad finished 33rd out of 100 state qualifiers last June with a 94/100 performance.

Also finishing among the top-100 this fall was Hunter Smith, who tied for 39th in the state and fifth among top-25 males in the conference at 23.5/25.

Buffalo finished with eight of the top-25 males, and four of the top-25 females in a conference of 353 total shooters.

Nicole Gentry was the conference's top-female shooter at 22.1/25 and Mary Oehlke was third 21.8/25. Bomstad, Gentry and Oehlke each were awarded individual trophies for finishing top-3 for their gender.

Also finishing among the conference's top-25 male shooters included: Trevor Schmidt (T15, 22.5/25), Riley Goeb (T15, 22.5/25), Josh Kath (T21, 22.2/25), Ryan Thornton (T25, 22.1/25), Zach Wotrang (T25, 22.1/25), and Kyle Shibonski (T25, 22.1/25).

Mackenzie Dircks (T13, 19.4/25) and Amber Gannon (23, 16.3/25) finished among Conference 17's top-25 female shooters.

A number of BHSTT shooters earned a spot on the 25-straight club, each receiving a commemorative patch. Two shooters, Bomstad and Kath, each achieved the 50-straight club.

BHSTT had 13 coaches, with Mark and Sally Stevens again working as co-head coaches. Team managers were Dan and Kath Rodelius. Team captains were Kyle Shibonski and Hunter Smith.

Shooters interested in joining BHSST for the 2018 spring season must register in mid-February.


St. Michael-Albertville, the defending state champion of last spring's fall league, finished first among six teams in Class A, Conference 10 with 7,259 points.

STMA placed five shooters among the state's top-100 shooters including: Garrett Mourning (23.7/25), Kyle Dupont (23.5/25), William Rahne (23/25), Jordan Barthel (22.9/25), and Lane Berning (22.8/25). Cailey Isaacson was the conference's top-female shooter (21.9/25). Kasey Jorgenson was third among females (20/25).

Dassel-Cokato was third among seven schools in Class A, Conference 12 with 8,943.5 points. Austin was champion at 10,578.5.

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted finished sixth among eight teams in Class A, Conference 8 with 3,977 points. Alden-Conger was champion at 7,234.


FFA participates in fall Career Development Events

Above are the Buffalo FFA members who competed last month in the fall Career Development Events at the University of Minnesota in the dairy, livestock, horse, and soils contests.  Placing 2nd in the region and qualifying for state in the horse judging contest are Jacob Christenson, Hannah Park, Lucy Johnson, Spencer Sansevere, and Piper Hopkins. The horse judging team is coached by Lloyd Christensen.  Placing 7th  in the region and qualifying for state in the dairy cattle evaluation  contest are Sam Gutknecht, Kathryn Miller, Emily Hansen, Kalli Illies, and Breanna Freund.  The dairy cattle evaluation team is coached by Charles and Andrew Krause. Group names were not available. (Submitted photo)


Fun for the whole family, 'James and the Giant Peach' now on stage at BHS

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

"James and the Giant Peach," a family-friendly musical, is coming to the Performing Arts Center stage at Buffalo High School this weekend Nov. 16 - 19.

Performances will be this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

"James and the Giant Peach" is a delightful musical fantasy version of Roald Dahl's children's book by the same name.When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

James suddenly finds himself in the center of the gigantic peach, among human-sized insects with equally oversized personalities, but after it falls from the tree and rolls into the ocean, the group faces hunger, sharks, and plenty of disagreements.

Thanks to James' quick wit and creative thinking, the residents learn to live and work together as a family. The dangerous voyage is a success, but the adventure takes a whole new twist once they land on the Empire State Building.

With book by Timothy Allen McDonald and music by the team of Pasek and Paul, audiences, young and old alike, will truly enjoy "James and the Giant Peach."

Leading the cast of 31 is Emilee Feldman as storyteller Ladahlord, and Owen Klaphake as James.

Madelyn Backes is Spiker, Amanda Krinke is Sponge, Sam Twardy is Spider, Logan Klohs is Green Grasshopper, Eric Braun is Centipede, Abby Vogler is Ladybug, and Ian Pappenfus is Earthworm.

The singing and acting ensemble includes Perrin Thompson, Patrick Stoncephier, Rachel Haas, Mitchell Rabehl, Tara Gravelle, Nathan Beal, Victoria Herda, Brandon Otten, Jillian Elton, Aidan Whittaker, Sophia Collova, Jack Lanners, Lauren Cepress, Ethan Nylin, Sydney Mischke, Noah Schottler, Sarah Burke, Seamus Filkins, Lindsey Tazelaar, Charles Elo, and Kora Dalchow.

The orchestra for the musical is Archie Brallier and Allison Hargreaves, violin; Declan Thompson, cello; Mr. F. Michael Miller, bass; Gabrielle Hernandez, flute;  Naomi Curven, Nick Immel, and Meaghyn Kramer, woodwinds; Peter Deneen, baritone and soprano sax; Thomas Bazan and Mr. Brad Loecks, trumpet; Tucker MacCallum and Adam Steinbach, trombone; Joshua Sperr and Dr, Jolyn Halvorson, horn; Luke McGorry, percussion; Grayson Wubben, drum set; Ms. Joy Swearingen, keyboard; and Ms. Dawn Agre, piano.

Mason Schmidt is the student director. Perrin Thompson is the student choreographer. Harrison Bjorback is the student tech director, and Ciarra Fagerlie and Grace Happe are the stage managers.

"James and the Giant Peach" is directed by Tracy Hagstrom Durant, and the music director is Michael Walsh. Choreography is by Debb Bestland. The technical director is Bekah Herdklotz, and Greg Bestland is the lighting designer. Nick Lostetter is the assistant director.

Tickets for "James and the Giant Peach" are $5 for adults and $3 for children and will be available at the door.

Join the cast, crew, and orchestra of this delightful musical "James and the Giant Peach."


Keller Williams contributes to Backpack Buddies, helping wRight Choice and District 877 families

By Doug Voerding

Staff Writer

Last spring, the staff at the Buffalo office of Keller Williams Realty Integrity Northwest formed a partnership with Backpack Buddies, helping to stock shelves and to pack and deliver backpacks of food. The work of the employees of Keller Williams was part of the Keller Williams Red Day, a day for volunteer community service.

In July, Backpack Buddies also had a successful food donation booth at the Keller Williams Party in the Park.

Now, this month, Keller Williams has donated $391.39 to Backpack Buddies and an equal amount to the Buffalo Food Shelf.

"We are so pleased with the help the Keller Williams people have given us," said Joy Turner, an administrator of the program.

"Community partnerships and donations are so important to the success of the Backpack Buddies,"

Backpack Buddies provides families in District 877 schools with a back pack full of food on Thursdays or Fridays to help families with nutrition needs over the weekend. Between 200 and 300 children a week are served.

This year, backpacks are available by request to those families that qualified for free school lunches. Backpacks are available at all nine District 877 schools.

Backpack Buddies is organized and administered by wRight Choice lead teacher Joy Turner and educational support Brittany Doboszenski.

Since 2011, Backpack Buddies has been the community service component of wRight Choice, the District 877 program that brings students who have been suspended from school to the Wright County Courthouse.

The program serves two purposes. It gives students a chance to understand the importance of community service and helps families in the community.

Backpack Buddies strives to ensure every child in Buffalo and the surrounding areas receives the supplemental food items they and their families need each weekend.

These students receive breakfast and lunch at school during the weekdays, but often become anxious as the weekend approaches because they are unsure if they will have healthy meals over the weekend.

Adding to the work of Keller Williams, people can donate food by bringing it to the Wright County Courthouse in Buffalo or to Buffalo High School. Cub Foods has a donation box near the checkout lanes for Backpack Buddies.

Backpack Buddies also accepts money donations. Checks of any size should be made out to "Backpack Buddies" and can be sent to District 877 Business Office, c/o Joy Turner, 214 1st Ave. NE, Buffalo, MN 55313. The money is used to purchase needed food to fill the backpacks.

Backpack Buddies costs an estimated $15,000 per year and is funded totally by contributions of both money and food. While Backpack Buddies receives major support from Wright County Area United Way, the donations of the many local organizations, like Keller Williams, continue to help the children throughout District 877.


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