Bison sending three to state meet

Volleyball season ends on high note

Lakers, Irish meet in section finals

Five BHS band students perform in University of St. Thomas Honor Band

BHS hosts exchange students from Germany

Journal-Press Internet Sports & School -October 30, 2014
Rob LaPlante

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

Bison sending three to state meet

X-C state bound! 

Class A, AA State Tournament

Saturday, November 1

St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Three individuals from the Buffalo cross country teams will be represented at state on Saturday, Nov. 1 at St. Olaf in Northfield.

The Bison boys’ just missed sending their entire team by two places. Buffalo finished fourth behind Chaska, Shakopee and Chanhassen, The Bison’s team score of 104 edged Delano’s fifth-place finish of 151.    Bison senior Frank Graham also edged Tiger senior Adam Armbruster by one place on the podium as Graham qualified for his third straight state appearance with a third-place time of 16:18.50. Graham’s time was 12 seconds faster than last year’s section run where he finished sixth in 16:30.3.

“Frank ran a really good, smart race,” said Bison head coach Jill Hanson. “He has been a solid number-one runner for us all season and he really shined at sections.”

While Graham was expected to finish among the section leaders, junior teammate Jacob Kluver was on the bubble as far as top runners based on season times.

Kluver responded by having his best run of the season finishing sixth place with a personal-best time of 16:24.00.

 Graham and former teammate Michael Wegter were the lone Bison state representatives in 2013. Kluver’s time of 16:24.00 was 17 seconds faster than Wegter’s eighth-place finish at sections a year ago in 16:41.5.

His finish was so impressive that even Hanson had to sit back in astonishment.

“Jake, wow!” said Hanson. “We hoped that he would qualify for state, but did not realize he had that kind of race in him.  To take sixth was amazing.”

Like Graham, Delano’s Armbruster will also be making his third consecutive trip to state. Last year’s section runner-up finished fourth overall with a time of 16:21.20. The Tigers also have two male runners advancing to state. Senior Daniel Clark just made the cutoff as the eighth-best individual time (not including runners from Chaska or Shakopee), with a 12th place time of 16:51.50.

While Graham and Kluver stood out among the boys runners, Hanson said she saw promising signs for next season with a few of her younger harriers. Eighth-grader Isaac Basten burst onto the scene this season as a first-year varsity runner and finished with a personal-best of 17:23.00.

“I sort of thought he had reached his potential at 17:30, but he beat that by seven seconds,” Hanson said. “He will be fun to watch over the next few years.”

Senior Ethan Hosey finished eight spots behind Basten for 33rd place in 17:40.70. Junior Aric Haluska rounded out the top five team finishes with a 38th place time of 17:44.10. Senior Erik Worner was 39th overall in 17:46.00 and senior Reed Morehouse was 56th in 18:06.50.

For the first time since 2012, the Bison will be sending at least one runner to state from both the boys and girls squad.    Freshman Amanda Montplaisir qualified for her first state tournament berth with an eighth-place time of 14:58.30. She is the first Bison female to qualify for state since Hayley Downing two seasons ago.

Montplaisir is the only female in the section from Wright County to qualify. The Bison finished fifth as a team with a score of 154, two places higher than last year’s finish of seventh.

“I was really proud and happy with the way both teams ran,” Hanson said. “It is exciting to get a girl back to the state meet and Amanda did a great job. She looked nervous for the first time all season but she finished strong and should be set for a great state meet.”

BCMS eight-grader Erica O’Borsky had her best time of the season finishing 19th in 15:40.60. Also scoring under 16 minutes was eighth-grader Areefa Seepersaud, who finished 28th in 15:59.50.

Hanson said the youth and the talent on the girls’ squad is something that should benefit the team for years to come.

“Erica was just hauling the last 800 meters. That girl has a lot more in her than she knows,” Hanson said. “Areefa was very aggressive out on the course and passing runners throughout the race. These girls all have a bright future.”

Section 2AA Girls 4K Meet

(Thursday, Oct. 23 at Lake Marion in Hutch, *state qualifier)

Team Scores: 1. *Marshall 61, 2. *Chaska 70, 3. Shakopee 82, 4. Waconia 150, 5. Buffalo 154, 6. Chanhassen 160, 7. New Prague 212, 8. Orono 215, 9. Mankato West 218, 10. Mankato East 230, 11. Hutchinson 280, 12. Worthington 301, 13. Delano 313, 14. Dassel-Cokato 334, 15. Mound-Westonka 382.

Medalist: *Tess Misgen, Shakopee, 14:01.70

State Qualifiers: 1. Misgen, Shakopee, 14:01.70; 2. Anastasia Korzenowski, Chanhassen, 14:25.00; 4. Maria Berg, New Prague, 14:51.10; 8. Amanda Montplaisir, Buffalo, 14:58.30; 9. Grace Leslie, Orono, 14:59.60; 12. Claire Attarian, Mankato West, 15:09.30; 13. Sarah Harrison, Orono, 15:24.30; 14. Alora Rands, Waconia, 15:26.90.

Wright County Schools Team Results:

Buffalo finishes-overall: 1-8. Montplaisir 14:58.30; 2-19. Erica O’Borsky 15:40.60; 3-28. Areefa Seepersaud 15:59.50; 4-49. Meredith Reynolds 16:34.20; 5-50. Macey McClay 16:34.90; 6-54. Megan Sperr 16:38.50-ex; 7-80. Jillian Golden 17:40.30-ex.

Dassel-Cokato finishes-overall: 1-38. Allison Folven 16:19.60; 2-43. Maureen O’Brien 16:25.90; 3-72. Taylor Sangren 17:11.50; 4-90. Lela Torola 18:31.80; 5-91. Christina Busche 18:52.30; 6-92. Gabrielle Pieti 18:53.80-ex; 7-93. Mara Peterson 18:54.90-ex.

Delano finishes-overall: 1-45. Tara Cady 16:27.40; 2-59. Naomi Eskola 16:43.50; 3-64. Linsey Tolkkinen 16:54.30; 4-68. Lauren Degn 17:04.50; 5-77. Sylvia Leonard 17:26.70; 6-83. Madeline Sladek 17:44.10-ex; 7-96. Naomi Johnson 19:06.50-ex.


Section 2AA Boys 5K Meet

(Thursday, Oct. 23 at Lake Marion in Hutch, *state qualifier)

Team Scores: 1. *Chaska 63, *2. Shakopee 78, 3. Chanhassen 81, 4. Buffalo 105, 5. Delano 151, 6. Marshall 162, 7. New Prague 202, 8. Mankato West 234, 9. Mound-Westonka 265, 10. Waconia 270, 11. Orono 276, 12. Hutchinson 310, 13. Worthington 314, 14. Mankato East 330, 15. Dassel-Cokato 347.

Medalist: *Joey Duerr, Chaska, 15:58.70.

State Qualifiers: 3. Frank Graham, Buffalo, 16:18.50; 4. Adam Armbruster, Delano, 16:21.20; 6. Jacob Kluver, Buffalo, 16:24.00; 7. Tyler Kobilarcsik, Chanhassen, 16:24.90; 8. Alexander Carrabre, Waconia, 16:31.50; 9. Grant Magnuson, Chanhassen, 16:32.40; 11. Blaine Moran, Marshall, 16:40.20; 12. Daniel Clark, Delano, 16:51.50.

Wright County Schools Team Results:

Buffalo finishes-overall: 1-3. Frank Graham 16:18.50; 2-6. Jacob Kluver 16:24.00; 3-25. Isaac Basten 17:23.00; 4-33. Ethan Hosey 17:40.70; 5-38. Aric Haluska 17:44.10; 6-39. Erik Worner 17:46.00-ex; 7-56. Reed Morehouse 18:06.50-ex.

Dassel-Cokato finishes-overall: 1-53. Michael Corcoran 18:03.60; 2-68. Ean Johnson 18:30.20; 3-70. Chad Koivisto 18:34.10; 4-72. Brandon Johnson 18:37.10; 5-84. Colton Vetsch; 6-91. John Busche19:08.80-ex; 7-98. Adam Anderson 19:38.80-ex.

Delano finishes-overall: 1-4. Adam Armbruster 16:21.20; 2-12. Daniel Clark 16:51.50; 3-32. Tucker Sjomeling 17:37.40; 4-49. Matt Ditty 18:00.10; 5-54. Logan Rieder 18:03.70; 6-82. Pablo Salcines 18:52.70-ex; 7-89. Ben Rietow 19:05.00-ex.



The Annandale Cardinals will be back to defend their Class A girls’ state championship after finishing first with a team score of 36 in the Section 5A Meet on Thursday, Oct. 23 at Stones Throw Golf Club in Milaca.

The Cardinals returned four of their five runners that won state in 2013, including all-state finishers Elizabeth Schlafke, senior, who took this year’s medalist honors at the section meet with a time of 15:15.10. Freshmen Jessica Sheer and Emily Kasper were also all-state finishers a year ago. Sheer finished sections third overall in 15:24.20 and Kasper was sixth overall in 15:37.00. Also scoring for Annandale was junior Hannah Groth and freshman Madilyn Marohn.

Also advancing to state from Section 5A was Maple Lake junior Sommer Carlson, who finished fourth overall in 15:29.50. Irish sophomore Halle Geyen also advanced with a 10th place time of 16:08.90. Maple Lake finished the meet in seventh place with a team score of 182. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted was 11th overall with 301 points.

The Annandale boys’ team just missed the top two cutoffs as the Cardinals score of 121 landed them third in the section. Annandale juniors Jamie Kasper and Zackary Boos both qualified for state with top-eight times not on state qualifying teams.

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted junior Connor Schank took home medalist honors with a top time of 16:16.40. Schank’s team finished 11th overall with a score of 263. Finishing one spot behind Annandale in fourth place with 126 points was Maple Lake. The Irish qualified senior Andrew Schonnesen for the state meet with a 15th place time of 17:25.50.


In Class AA, the Mississippi 8 conference champion St. Michael Albertville Knights took home both top finishes in girls and boys races. STMA girls’ advanced to state with a top score of 56 in Section 5AA.

Senior Rachel King was medalist in a time of 14:13.20. Sophomore teammate Lizzy Heil was runner-up with a time of 14:50.10. Also scoring were eighth-graders Annalise Davis and Mia Salas, and sophomore Katilyn Zachman.

The boys’ top five scorers each landed in the top 18 finishes, led by senior Chase Cayo’s medalist time of 15:45.40. Senior Christian Eiynck was 13th overall in 16:44.80 and junior Jackson Connelly was 14th in 16:54.10. Also scoring was junior Lucas Layton 17th overall in 17:00.50 and senior Jake Monseth 18th overall in 17:01.40.

In Section 8AA, the Monticello girls’ finished fourth overall with 145 points. Magic senior Patty Bray and junior Anna Fasen both qualified for state individually. Bray finished the 4K race 15th overall in 15:18.20 and Fasen was 17th in 15:23.40.

The Magic boys’ finished 10th in the section meet with 215 points. Monticello junior Andrew Mergen finished 11th overall and qualified for state with a time of 17:03.80.



Volleyball season ends on high note

Buffalo defeats Hutch; Gives Prior Lake scare

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Ending a team's season in their own gym is not an easy accomplishment. But the Buffalo girls' volleyball team did just that with a 3-0 Section 2-3A road playoff victory on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Hutchinson.

The No. 9 seed Bison played a near perfect match to advance to the quarterfinal round thanks to a 27-25, 25-17, 25-21 minor upset of the No. 8 seed Tigers, a team they previously defeated 3-2 in the second match of the year for Buffalo on Aug. 28 at Hutch, and a team they have defeated in the opening round two of the past three years. Despite recent success against the Tigers, Hutch came into the playoffs a slight favorite with a 16-12 overall record.

"That was a big thing, because we were the lower seed and we weren't expected to win," said Bison senior setter Sammy Johnson. "We beat them in three and played really well. So that was good."

Johnson added to her legacy as the greatest volleyball setter in Bison school history with 28 in the win. Twenty-four of those went to senior Hannah Daniel, who finished with a team-high 13 kills, and freshman Kari Zumach, who has blossomed late in the season finishing with 11.

Despite a losing record, Buffalo's section playoff win marked the fifth consecutive year they advanced past the first round dating back to a 3-0 first-round exit to Waconia on Oct. 28, 2009.

None of the current Bison volleyball players were on that team, and this year's six seniors, particularly Johnson, Daniel, Bailey Brownlee and Tori Weber, leave behind a legacy of three conference championships and three 20-win seasons under their belts.

Although this year's Bison team failed to reach 20 wins, win a conference title, and finish with an above .500 record, head coach Lauri Zumach said she couldn't have asked for a better senior class.

"These are young women with a great work ethic and good moral standards, which is not easy to do when you're in high school," Zumach said. "For a coach of a daughter that plays the sport, I wouldn't want her to play under anybody else as far as senior leaders. They are all just great role models."

The leadership was noticeable in Buffalo's quarterfinal matchup Friday, Oct. 24 at Prior Lake. While the Hutch match was a minor upset, a Bison road victory against the No. 1 seeded and No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A Prior Lake (25-2) would be a colossal upset.

As often the case when a team that is heavily favored, a slow start can often creep up on them. Prior Lake was victim of that as Buffalo snuck out to an early 6-2 lead in the opening set. It was at that moment that the Lakers regrouped to take a 12-11 lead, but Johnson said the Bison's fast start gave them early confidence that they could compete with one of the top teams in the state.

"When we got up 6-2, I think all of us were actually thinking, wow, we can actually do this," Johnson said. "That just gave us confidence for the rest of the game."



Lakers, Irish meet in section finals

STMA faces Elks in Section 6-5A title game; Becker ends Delano’s year 40-7

By Rob LaPlante

Sports Editor

Two Wright County schools from the Central Minnesota Conference advanced to the Section 4AA championship game this Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at St. John's University in Collegeville.

No. 1 seed Maple Lake (9-1 overall) will face No. 2 seed Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (7-3) for the right to advance to the 2014 state tournament. This is the sixth straight year that Maple Lake and head coach Tim Knudsen have played in the section final game. The No. 6 rated Irish advanced to the Prep Bowl in 2013, but lost 50-24 in the semifinal round to Minneota at the Metrodome.

Unlike a year ago when the Irish limped into section play losing four of their final five regular-season games, this year's squad has strung together eight straight wins, including a 51-6 blowout victory over HLWW on Sept. 12, 2014. Knudsen said the rematch with their conference and section rival Lakers should be a much different test than the one they faced last month.

"We're expecting a much different game," Knudsen said. "The first game we played them, they put the ball on the ground a lot and that turned the game. They are a much different team since week two of the season, but so are we. It should be a great game."

HLWW got to the section finals thanks to a 55-30 quarterfinal victory on Tuesday, Oct. 21 over Spectrum and a 28-12 semifinal win Saturday, Oct. 25 over St. Agnes. Maple Lake knocked off St. Paul Humboldt 41-0 in the quarterfinal game and Brooklyn Center 68-14 in the semifinal game.

The Irish are led by the two-headed monster rushing attack from seniors Dusty Strub and Cal Redemske. The two combined for six touchdowns, as the Irish ran for 475 yards as a team in their win over Brooklyn Center. Strub and Redemske each have rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season.

"We are good up front and we have a stud running back in Strub," Knudsen said. "The kids are excited to possibly be two wins away from playing at TCF Bank Stadium, but right now we're concentrating on the Lakers and truly taking it one game at a time."


The St. Michael-Albertville Knights advanced to their third straight section final game thanks to a 27-7 victory over cross-town rival Monticello in the Section 6-5A semifinal game on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Albertville.

Senior quarterback Jackson Greenwaldt led the way for the No. 1 seed Knights scoring three rushing touchdowns and passing for another. Greenwaldt opened the scoring in the first quarter on a nine-yard run. The No. 4 seed Magic tied the game 7-7 thanks to a 25-yard pass connection from senior Andre Cole to senior Matt Grathwohl.

Greenwaldt took the game scoring his second rushing touchdown prior to the half on a 30-yard score. The Knights' 14-7 halftime lead proved to be enough, but for good measure, Greenwaldt hit senior Landon Bridell for a three-yard passing score and rushed for a late four-yard score to round out the scoring.

 STMA head coach Jared Essler said one of the keys to the win was field position.

“We were able to work on a short field most the game, and Monticello was on a long field,” he said.

 The Magic (6-4 overall) finished as Mississippi 8 Red Division champions in 2014, and knocked off Buffalo 30-7 on Tuesday, Oct. 21 in the Section 6-5A quarterfinal game.

STMA will host Elk River (7-2 overall) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31 in a Halloween Night championship match at STMA Middle School West Field.

This is a rematch of the 2012 section championship game when Elk River defeated the Knights 24-10.

“Elk River has a good physical offensive line and their running backs run hard,” Essler said. “There scheme is challenging, but our defense has been great all year for us.”

The Knights, the defending section champs, are looking to make the state tournament a second year in a row. Last year's season came to an end 27-7 in the Class 5A state semifinal game to the defending state champion Owatonna Huskies. Essler said the guys are hoping to make it two straight years to state.

“Our guys have really big goals and have worked hard for them,” he said.



The third Wright County school to reach state in 2013 was the Delano Tigers. Plans for a second trip in as many years to state were quickly silenced when No. 1 seed Becker knocked off No. 5 seed Delano 40-7 in the Section 5-4A semifinal game on Saturday, Oct. 25 in Becker.

Becker enjoyed a 40-0 lead before a late fourth-quarter score by Delano senior halfback Joe Emmer ended the Bulldogs' shutout bid.

Delano advanced to the semifinal game with Becker thanks to a 21-15 road victory on Tuesday, Oct. 21 over Big Lake. The Tigers got rushing scores from junior Harrison Bolzer, senior Nate Meyers and junior Joel Koenecke in the win.

In a year where Delano was coming off a 10-2 season, and had to replace all-conference players Toby Hanson at quarterback, and both Adam Kraft and Jack Nelson at running back, the Tigers finished 2014 with a 3-7 overall record.


Five BHS band students perform in University of St. Thomas Honor Band

Five students from the BHS band were selected on Monday, Oct. 20 to be in the University of St. Thomas Honor Band.  The band rehearsed for the day with students from throughout the state and performed a concert at the University with internationally acclaimed Chinese conductor, Joseph Cheung. Pictured are BHS students (left-right): Mike Miller, Samantha Beckman, conductor Joseph Cheung, Drew Borgerding, Paige Kulzer and Andrew Braun. (Submitted photo)


BHS hosts exchange students from Germany

By Rob LaPlante

School News Editor

Eighteen students from Buffalo High School and 18 students from the school Altkoenigschule in Kronberg, Germany took turns saying hallo, German for hello, and auf wiedersehen, German for goodbye.

From the days of Wednesday, Oct. 8 until Saturday, Oct.25, it was the American students' turn to say hello, as 18 German students recently completed a two-week stay in America, living with 18 BHS students as their host families. The students will swap positions in mid June of 2015, when the same host students will stay in Germany for two weeks.

This is the seventh time BHS has participated in the German exchange program.

Like all of her current classmates, BHS junior Maddie Duerr has never been to Germany before. She said the trip in June is something she is really looking forward to.

"I'm really excited," Duerr said. "It's been a lot of fun having them here, and I think it will be a lot of fun going there and seeing how they live. They say it's really different. So I'd like to see the differences myself."

Duerr and her family hosted 14-year old German student Johanna Moeller. The Moeller family will return the favor when they American students come in June.

"She speaks English really well," said Duerr, on her host family member. "Sad to say, but its way better than my German is. Every once in a while she gets stumbled up on a couple words, but they start learning English in second grade, so it's really cool to see how well they speak it."

BHS German teacher Michele Strassburg will be making her third trip to Germany in the summer. She said the students that she currently teaches have been learning to speak German since fifth grade.

"They have a pretty good basis for their language," Strassburg said. "They actually go to school until the end of July in Kronberg, which is our partner school, so we will be able to visit their school as well as the elementary school. Visiting their schools is just an awesome experience." 

Thabo Matthies is an 11th grader in Germany (10th grade in America) and just recently turned 16 while in the United States. He stayed with BHS senior Wesley Sanderson and his family and later in June the two students will swap host families. Matthies said his first trip to the U.S.A. has been an eye opener.

"It's a completely new experience for me, but I like it very much," Matthies said. "It's nothing specific that I really like, just being with the group and the other exchange students is neat. We did go on a hunting trip and visited the Mall of America. I love to eat with them. I don't have a favorite restaurant, but I do like a good juicy American burger."

Matthies and his fellow exchange students had the luxury of spending two weeks in a rare warm October in Minnesota. Although he's never endured a Minnesota winter, he said the weather in Germany is similar, but summers are hotter and winter is a tad bit warmer.

"Sometimes in the winter in Germany it's cold, but it's not cold like it is here in Minnesota," Matthies said. "It's a lot warmer back home."

While the students take turns staying with their designated host families in each country, Strassburg and her fellow German exchange teachers, Stefan Zuern and Regina Lueneberg, each stay with separate host families.

"I stay with a different lady who is a chemistry teacher over there," Strassburg said. "It's a trip of a lifetime for my students, who most of them have never been to a foreign country. That's what's cool, is I'm usually their one source of German and now they suddenly have this whole group of people they learn from."

Strassburg said the BHS exchange program plans this trip every other year the past seven years. The money for the trip is all self-funded, and the fact they work independently helps on costs.

"We save a huge amount of money because we don't run through an organization," Strassburg said. "Being we stay with families, we save on hotel and food costs. While we're there, we use public transportation, which is also very European."

"There are just way too many things I want to see in two weeks time," Duerr said. "I'd like to see Berlin, but I don't know if we're going to. Anything over there will be fun."

BHS students who would like to be part of the foreign exchange program in future years will need to take German at BHS and fulfill an application process, as well as have the parents' approval to host a family.