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Jim Paulsen

Reporter | Sports
Phone: 612-673-7737
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None
Recent content from Jim Paulsen
Minneapolis South wide receiver Kader Diop was wrapped up by Washburn wide receiver Zyaire Marshall in the first half of the Tigers’ first night hom

Minneapolis South loses, but raves about night homecoming atmosphere in remodeled stadium

Minneapolis South basks in the atmosphere of its first night homecoming game, despite lopsided loss
The South High School Gallant Tigers football team practiced on their new turf surface Wednesday evening.

Dwindling youth pipeline puts Minneapolis football on edge

With rosters thinned by a drop in programs for junior-high athletes, city coaches are often recruiting players based on perceived athleticism because they've had little exposure to fundamentals.
Farmington quarterback Alex Berreth sets to pass in a 41-14 season-opening victory over Stillwater.

Four unheralded prep football teams making noise this season

The halfway point of the regular season is a week away. Let's set the usual suspects aside and give a little love to a few metro football teams having success but lacking in fanfare.
Lakeville North High quarterback RaJa Nelson made a move to elude Rosemount’s Antonio Bugni en route to a long first half touchdown. Nelson also pas

RaJa Nelson leads Lakeville North over Rosemount

The first-year quarterback kept making big plays.
Kaden Johnson

Ego-free, ready to go: SMB's Kaden Johnson is unlikely top football recruit

Once thought to be on a path toward basketball, Kaden Johnson is now a linebacker with SMB and the most coveted football recruit in Minnesota this year.

Improvement stands out in week 2 of high school football

My colleague, David La Vaque, wrote an insightful piece last week about the improvements teams make between the first and second week of the season.…
Mounds View quarterback Cole Stenstrom scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the Mustangs ahead. He later threw a touchdown

Mounds View scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat White Bear Lake

The Mustangs rallied behind quarterback Cole Stenstrom's legs and arm to beat White Bear Lake
North Branch’s Cianna Selbitschka (11) knocked the ball over the net as Marshall’s Logan Sherman (1) and Paige Andries (6) leapt to defend in a Cl

Metro area teeming with potent prep volleyball talent

Yes, Eagan will be a force again, but the state's most popular high school sport has top stars in all corners of the Twin Cities area.
Lakeville North's RaJa Nelson was one of several top metro athletes recruited by colleges at different positions who wound up playing quarterback duri

Five observations from Week 1 of prep football

If your team has an elite athlete but no signal caller, you'll likely play him at quarterback. That's what several top metro-area football teams did this past week.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s defender Nick Marinaro (52) went for a takedown of Orono quarterback Teddy Deters while being blocked during the first half o

Benilde-St. Margaret's defeats Orono 21-7 in football opener

Two-way athlete sets physical tone in his first game action in two years
Maple Grove’s Bryce Tiber recovered a fumble by St. Michael-Albertville’s David Collins on Thursday night. The Knights also threw three intercepti

ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE 27, MAPLE GROVE 6 | Pick-six sends STMA on its way

The Knights pulled away from there in the fourth quarter.
Olivia Tjernagel served the ball during the first day of volleyball practice Monday at Mayer Lutheran High School. Photo: Jerry Holt • Jerry.holt@st

First day of Mayer Lutheran volleyball practice is 'like Christmas morning'

The Class 1A powerhouse has high standards, even curfews, but its talented players — many who play together in the offseason — wouldn't have it any other way.
Eagan leaders, from left, Charles Otu, Zach Wollack, coach Nick Johnson and Zack Merwin are bought in on turning around a program that has won only on

Vikings' presence, enthused new coach inject more buzz in win-starved Eagan football

Monday is the first day of high school football practice, and ties to the Vikings make it fresh for Eagan.
St. Paul Saints pitcher Todd Van Steensel talked to his girlfriend Natalie Misk before the start if the American Association All-Star Game.

Shoemaker draws early ovation at CHS Field as North All Stars win

Hometown fans go home happy as Saints players shine in American Association All-Star game at CHS Field in St. Paul.
St. Paul Saints pitcher Todd Van Steensel still has the ball control skills he learned playing soccer in his native Australia, before he committed to

Ex-Twins minor-leaguer brings career of quirks to All-Star Game

Taylor Swift superfan Todd Van Steensel is one of seven Saints players selected to play in the American Association All-Star Game tonight at CHS Field.
Kendall Brown practiced with his D1 Minnesota Basketball AAU team last week in Eden Prairie.

East Ridge basketball star Brown leaving for Kansas prep school

Kendall Brown led East Ridge in scoring last season with 17.6 points per game and is the No. 2-ranked recruit in Minnesota in the Class of 2021 according to Minnesota Prep Hoops
East Ridge pitcher Ryan Thelen threw a six-hitter to beat New Prague 7-2 at Target Field. He struck out five and walked one.

East Ridge wins Class 4A baseball title

After being held hitless for 4⅓ innings, the Raptors got five runs in the fifth.
Maddux Baggs, left, Peter Hansen and Ben Pedersen celebrated Duluth Marshall’s 4-2 win over Minnehaha Academy in the Class 2A title game at Target F

Duluth Marshall rallies to win Class 2A baseball title

A two-run deficit? No problem. Duluth Marshall had trailed by at least that many in each of its first two state tournament games and came…
New Prague players celebrated in front of their fans at CHS Field last Friday after defeating Blaine in the Class 4A semifinals. Photo: NICOLE NERI �

Father knows best and the whole town of New Prague is cheering

Self-described "small-town boys'' from New Prague, playing in the program's first state tournament in 39 years, are one victory from the Class 4A championship.
Payton Bloedow, right, is one of Prior Lake’s scoring threats.

Girls' lacrosse championship preview: Prior Lake matches up well with experienced Eden Prairie

The top two seeds meet for the championship Saturday in Chanhassen.
Prior Lake High School’s Josie Kropp, right, took a shot as Breck’s Alex Kozikowski defended. Kropp scored six times.

Prior Lake to meet Eden Prairie for girls' lacrosse state title

Her Lakers will play Eden Prairie for the state title.
Blaine senior Jack Haring is the ace the Bengals' pitching staff, which has shut out seven opponents and given up just four runs since a May 13 defeat

Baseball state tournament begins Thursday, ends next Thursday

The baseball state tournament begins Thursday with quarterfinals in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A at different sites. The semifinals in those classes, as well as…
Olivia Mattis of Lakeville North celebrated her second-half goal Tuesday. She had five total.

Lakeville North edges Stillwater in rematch in girls' lacrosse quarterfinals

When Lakeville North coach Laura Childs saw that the Panthers had drawn Stillwater as its quarterfinal opponent, she smiled. Stillwater had come out on top…
Anika Guggisberg scored Northfield’s fourth run in the first inning. Mankato West catcher Bri Stoltzman tried to make the tag.

Northfield takes 7-0 lead en route to win over Mankato West for state title

The Raiders took a 7-0 lead in the second inning against the top seed.
Her Maple Grove teammates cheered for pitcher Ava Dueck (26) as she neared home plate after hitting a home run against Stillwater in the first inning.

Maple Grove edges Stillwater for Class 4A softball title

Crimson pitcher Ava Dueck got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.
Cloquet’s Kiana Bender was safe under the tag of Mankato West’s Kenzie Grunst on Thursday.

A better state experience for Northfield pitcher

Brynn Hostettler recorded two 14-strikeout games.
Dorothy Dueck of Maple Grove scored an insurance run in the sixth inning against East Ridge on Thursday in the Class 4A semifinal game.

Maple Grove and Stillwater advance to Class 4A softball final

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. – According to Maple Grove softball coach Jim Koltes, what the Crimson did Thursday — defeat Edina 2-0 in the quarterfinals…
Mounds View senior Petro Alex hoisted the championship trophy for the second time in his prep career — the Mustangs also won in 2015 when he was an

Mounds View wins second boys' tennis team title in five years

Wednesday's victory was secured in a matter-of-fact manner, missing that surge of emotion that often accompanies a championship.
Concordia Academy’s Taylor Brunn, batting at practice Monday afternoon, set a state career record for hits this season. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff

Talented Concordia Academy softball enjoying special season to the end

An unusual wealth of skilled athletes propelled the Beacons to a 21-4 record and a Class 2A berth in the state tournament that starts Thursday.
Mounds View’s Petro Alex beat Lakeville South’s Adam Harvey 6-2, 6-3 in the Class 2A team quarterfinals Tuesday.

Trio of Alex brothers leads Mounds View into boys' tennis semifinals

For the past five years, it's been impossible to talk Mounds View tennis without talking about the Alex boys, five brothers who have made an indelible mark on the Mustangs.
Eastview’s Gavin Young has a strong tennis pedigree. His dad is the University of Minnesota coach and his mom played for the Gophers.

Eastview tennis star Gavin Young stays team-minded as he manages high expectations

Eastview star Gavin Young embracing role of a leader.
Ava Dueck, in the circle and at the plate, has helped lead Maple Grove to its fourth state tournament appearance in six seasons and eighth overall.

2019 player of the year Ava Dueck, Maple GroveLove at first contact

One 'pathetic' hit after so many early failures helped ignite passion for game of softball
Sophie Culhane of Maple Grove tried to get her teammates fired up after hitting a double in the fourth inning on Thursday against Champlin Park. ] CAR

Maple Grove softball advances to Class 4A state tournament

Jade Tomashek's two clutch hits send Crimson to state tournament.
A boys’ basketball state tournament game between Hopkins and Shakopee on March 13, 2014, went to four overtimes, sparking calls for a shot clock. Mu

Minnesota basketball coaches ready to seed 4A tournaments, add shot clocks

Proposals are for shot clock, Class 4A section seedings.
The coaches associations in cross-country, soccer, tennis, volleyball and track and field want to add classes for Minnesota State High School League s

More classes for state tournaments? Coaches want them in five sports

The state high school league's board of directors is scheduled to vote on a batch of proposals as its meeting on Monday, adding a third or fourth class to five sports.
Minneapolis Edison tennis player Logan Couillard returned a shot while he played in a match against Minneapolis South on May 6 in Minneapolis. Photo:

Minneapolis Edison tennis star's forehand, confidence rooted in having fun

Urban tennis ace Logan Couillard is winning despite questioning his best shot
Andover’s Derek Owens blocked St. Paul Harding’s Newjai Chang during the boys’ volleyball state tournament championship.

Boys' volleyball crowns a first state champion — Andover

The first state tournament of its kind took place Saturday and Sunday at Shakopee High School, a natural progression of a sport that began just two years ago but already has 50 teams and more than 800 athletes competing.
Rosemount's Lauren Peterson, far right, led the pack of runners early on her way to winning the girls' 3200-meter run with a time of 10 minutes, 54.82

Hopkins boys, Rosemount girls win True Team track and field state titles

Versatile Joe Fahnbulleh led the Royals boys.
Saints second baseman Josh Allen took batting practice Monday. The team’s season opener is Thursday.

After taste of majors, Saints' alligator hunter wouldn't think of quitting

When the Mets released him, the infielder could have gone home to Florida and his unique hobby. But quitting wasn't an options, and he wanted to return to the Saints.
Saints ushers Tom Mattson left, and John Wenzel looked over an interactive display at the the City of Baseball Museum at CHS Field

St. Paul Saints add free baseball museum to their lineup

The museum, featuring displays, artifacts, memorabilia and an interactive "tech table," is housed in a 2,000-square-foot addition on the main concourse down the left field line at CHS Field.
Josh Allen took batting practice during Saturday's St. Paul Saints workout at CHS Field.

'It's about winning': Saints seek elusive American Association title

The Saints have made the American Association playoffs in three of the past four seasons but have not won a league title since 2004, when they were part of the old Northern League.
Rosemount's Max Otterdahl set a meet record in the discuss throw with a distance of 181 feet, 2 inches.

Prep athletes of the week: Rosemount thrower sets sights on brothers' records

Big throws run in Max Otterdahl's family.
Stillwater senior Will Frisch pitched on Friday.

In the shank of the spring prep sports season, much is not settled

Essentials to know about what's going on so far.
Hopkins sprinter Joe Fahnbulleh is one of the top athletes expected to compete in Friday's 14th annual Hamline Elite Meet.

Hamline Elite Meet early measuring stick for best in prep track

Friday is the 14th annual Hamline Elite Meet, a track and field extravaganza that is second only to the MSHSL state meet in terms of the quality of athletes who will display their talents at Hamline University's Klas Field.
Minnehaha Academy's Chet Holmgren (34) slam dunked the ball above Minneapolis North Darius Hanson (44).in the Class 2A title game.

Seven-foot Minnehaha sophomore Holmgren has breakout tourney

Chet Holmgren, one of the Star Tribune's prep athletes of the week, said part of his motivation is proving doubters wrong. "I love the criticism, love the hate," he said. "It pushes me."
Hopkins forward Zeke Nnaji (22) held a central position as he and teammates savored a 55-40 victory over Lakeville North and a Class 4A title. Nnaji h

Hopkins tops Lakeville North for Class 4A title

Victory over Lakeville North secures Hopkins' 10th state championship
Minnehaha Academy’s Jalen Suggs passed to a teammate because he was double-teamed.

Minnehaha Academy wins third Class 2A title in a row

Two younger teammates helped Jalen Suggs carry the Redhawks.
Minnehaha guard Jalen Suggs (1) reacted after blocking a Lake City shot in the first half.

Minneapolis North defeats Perham in Class 2A semifinals

Title game-bound Polars run off 18 points after falling behind 2-0.
Minnehaha Academy guard Jalen Suggs showed satisfaction with a blocked shot in the first half against Lake City.

Minnehaha Academy tops Lake City in Class 2A semifinals

The Redhawks will play in their third consecutive final.

Hopkins' Nnaji shines in win over East Ridge

For all of the coaches' analysis and postgame thoughts on why Hopkins was able to defeat East Ridge 71-45 in the Class 4A semifinals, one…
Park Center’s Detavius Frierson (23) consoled teammate Emmanuel Tamba (20) after the Pirates’ two-point loss.

Lakeville North to play for 4A title

John Oxton mouthed the words almost silently rather than say them out loud, but that made them all the more meaningful."Yeah, big relief."Oxton was thinking…
East Ridge coach Bryce Tesdahl in the Raptors Section 4, 4A championship game victory over Cretin-Derham Hall. March 14, 2019. Photo by Jeff Lawler, S

East Ridge talent, Tesdahl take first tournament trip with winning mindset

The Raptors, seeded third in Class 4A, open against Eastview on Wednesday.
Hopkins senior Zeke Nnaji concentrated on working on his skills in the offseason and it paid off as he averaged 24.1 points and 9.4 rebounds a game.

Hopkins' Zeke Nnaji is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year

Royals big man got serious about sharpening his skill set.
Hopkins celebrated its 74-45 victory over Stillwater in the 4A championship game, the Royals' seventh state title since 2004 and first undefeated seas

Hopkins wins Class 4A title over Stillwater

Hopkins beats Stillwater for 4A title after finishing second three years in a row
Minnehaha Academy’s Taytum Rhoades collided with Caledonia guard Katie Tornstrom as she drove to the basket. Rhoades scored 16 of her 29 points in t

Minnehaha Academy rallies to beat Caledonia

The Redhawks rallied after their top scorer fouled out.
Eden Prarie’s Ariel Bland went up for a shot against Prior Lake.

Drake Dobbs leads Eden Prairie to section title in boys' basketball

Guard Drake Dobbs led Eden Prairie to a victory.
Amaya Battle (5) of Hopkins was fouled by Sarah Lavell of Centennial in the first half.

Hopkins routs Centennial to return to title game for fifth straight year

Centennial had heard about it, saw it on tape, prepared for it in practice. But actually experiencing Hopkins' pressure defense was something the Cougars simply…
Eastview’s Cassidy Carson was defended by the Scalia sisters of Stillwater, Amber, on the right, and Sara, as Ponies coach Willie Taylor watched.

Stillwater rallied to beat defending champion Eastview

The Gophers recruit scored 20 second-half points vs. defending champ
Sophomore Frankie Vascellaro is averaging 19.7 points in a breakout season for Holy Angels.

Vascellaro-led Holy Angels overcomes losses, injuries with run-and-fun

Despite four key player losses, Stars are back in state tournament.
Minneapolis Edison basketball coach Ahmil Jihad led his team to a 15-10 season — its first winning record in decades.

Minneapolis Edison basketball team has reason for hope, pride

New coach, blended team are transforming program.
Hopkins’ Paige Bueckers has a high profile with recruiters but no state championships — a void the junior guard hopes to fill next weekend.

Hopkins, DeLaSalle, Roseau and Minneota are top seeds for girls' basketball state tourney

Hopkins, DeLaSalle, Roseau and Minneota grabbed the top seeds in their respective classes forthe girls' basketball state tournament that runs Wednesday through next Saturday.The pairings…
Shakopee senior guard Jaley Coplin made a layup for two points early in the first half. She also hit a big three-pointer with 2:11 left to play.

Shakopee edged Eden Prairie in girls' basketball

The Sabers knocked off section's top seed in final.
Hopkins’ Dlayla Chakolis drove past Wayzata’s Jenna Johnson for two of her 26 points, helping the Royals to the Class 4A, Section 6 title.

Class 4A, Section 6 girls' basketball final: Hopkins puts pressure on Wayzata

The Royals' swarming defense leads to a fifth consecutive trip to the state tourney.
Eastview guard Emma Carpenter put up a shot against Rosemount in the Class 4A, Section 3 final. Later, she made the winning layup as the Lightning won

Defending Class 4A state champion Eastview edges Rosemount in girls' basketball

Eastview edged Rosemount on a layup with 25.6 seconds left.
Sebas Swiggum of Apple Valley (left)

Opportunity seized as Apple Valley's Sebas Swiggum claims 138-pound wrestling crown

Sebas Swiggum saw an opening and used it to claim a crown.
An emotional Jake Svihel celebrated his first individual state title after finishing as the runner-up three times.

Totino-Grace wrestler Jake Svihel finally wins state title as a senior

Jake Svihel, a 126-pound Totino-Grace senior, was a three-time state runner up before Saturday afternoon.
Reid Ballantyne, of Stillwater, wrestled Apple Valley's Martin Stewart in a Class 3A quarterfinal match Friday.

For a few seconds, pain takes a back seat for Stillwater's Reid Ballantyne

Injured Stillwater star will neither sit out nor settle.
Reid Ballantyne of Stillwater, right, stayed in the running for a repeat at 126 pounds with a victory over Apple Valley’s Martin Stewart in a Class

Hastings wrestler Wilson satisfied despite short run at state

Lynden Wilson was as pleased as possible after his first-round loss to Shakopee's Tyler Jones at 126 pounds in Class 3A. That's because Wilson spent the three previous seasons battling various stages of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Totino-Grace senior Jake Svihel defeated Brandt Bombard of North Branch in a quarterfinal as he pursues his first state title.

Totino-Grace senior Svihel aims for one position higher at wrestling state tournament

Jake Svihel moved up to 126 pounds this year, and so did the wrestler who defeated him last season, Byron's Mitchel Petersen.
Shakopee’s wrestling team celebrated after defeating Stillwater 35-22 to win the State Class 3A team wrestling championship on Thursday night at Xce

Redemption: Shakopee defeats Stillwater to win Class 3A wrestling title

The Sabers overcame high expectations and bad memories to stop Stillwater, and claim the Class 3A team crown
The stage was set Thursday for the team competition at Xcel Energy Center. LPGE-Grey Eagle won in Class 1A.

Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville wins Class 1A wrestling title

LPGE/Browerville won the first boys' team championship in school history, defeating Kenyon-Wanamingo 35-27 on Thursday.
Shakopee’s Ben Lunn wrestled against St. Michael Albertville’s Brandon Psyk in the Class 3A individual quarterfinals in 2018. Both are competing f

Close-but-not-quite Shakopee looks ready to win it all in Class 3A wrestling

After two years of shortcomings, Shakopee poised to win state title.
Perham’s Daniel Kerkvliet is Class 2A’s defending heavyweight champion and he boasts a perfect 17-0 record this season.

Will top seed Perham change the guard atop 2A wrestling?

No. 1-seeded Yellowjackets have already beaten top foe Simley.

Class 1A wrestling: Co-op programs dominate top seeds

Low turnout at smaller schools has forced more teams to join forces.
Apple Valley wrestler Sebas Swiggum maintains a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of Minnesota after high school.

Apple Valley's Sebas Swiggum unbreakable off the mat, too

Adopted from an orphanage, he's worked to overcome a learning disability to achieve a 4.0 GPA. After pursuing a state title this week, he's headed to Minnesota to wrestle and pursue a career as a surgeon.
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