Staff Directory 10645611

Jim Paulsen

Reporter | Sports
phone: 612-673-7737
Jim Paulsen has covered high school sports for two decades. He and colleague David La Vaque can be heard on the weekly podcast "Talkin' Preps."
Recent content from Jim Paulsen
Osseo’s Johnson Fallah (30) and teammates celebrated a 61-57 victory over Park Center that gave them a state berth.

Size no matter for Osseo

On paper, the Class 4A, Section 5 boys' basketball final looked like a mismatch: Top-seeded Park Center — long and athletic and talented — against…
Hopkins guard Amaya Battle made a basket over Roseville forward Jayda Johnston in the first half. Battle had 13 points.
Lakeville North played Eastvie

Hopkins crushed Roseville in Class 4A girls' basketball

The Royals beat Roseville to reach title game again.
Lakeville North’s Analiese Tschida scored on a fast break in the first half against Eastview. The Lightning used a 12-0 run early in the second half

Eastview beats Lakeville North for third time in girls' basketball

Megan Walstad scored six in a key 12-0 Eastview run.
Lakeville North’s Lauren Jensen scored a basket, sending the game against Maple Grove into overtime at Target Center.

Lakeville North edges Maple Grove in overtime in girls' basketball

This year, the call went Lakeville North's way.With three seconds left in overtime and the score tied 66-66, sophomore guard Lauren Jensen corralled a defensive…
Eastview forward Megan Walstad drives during the Lightnin’s 40-25 victory over Apple Valley in the Class 4A, Section 3 championship game.

Eastview surprised everyone but itself en route to dominant season

Eastview (29-0) is an unselfish Class 4A team with a ferocious defense
Paige Bueckers of Hopkins

Paige Bueckers, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, still has one goal in mind: winning state

As honors are heaped on sophomore Paige Bueckers of Hopkins, she remains relentless in trying to find ways to improve her game.
Hopkins forward Angelina Hammond knocked the ball from Minneapolis South's Jade Hill in the first half of the Class 4A, Section 6 final. Hopkins is th

Basketball tournaments take over high school schedule

The girls' basketball state tournament runs Wednesday through Sunday; the boys' tournament is the following week.
Hopkins guard Paige Bueckers put up a shot against Minneapolis South. She had 20 points as the Royals won easily.

Hopkins routs Minneapolis South in girls' basketball

The Royals jumped to a 15-0 lead in beating South.
Eastview senior Megan Walstad scored 10 points Wednesday night in the victory over Apple Valley.

Eastview reaches state seventh time in a row

Lightning reaches state for seventh time in a row.
Minneapolis South guard Morgan Hill.

Upsets knock out contenders for girls' basketball section finals

Saturday was a day of surprises at the highest class of girls' basketball.
Shakopee’s Alex Lloyd celebrated after defeating Anoka’s Tyler Eischens for the 152-pound title in Class 3A at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Shakopee's Alex Lloyd claims third state crown; Gable Stevens goes out in style

Some big-time final performances were on display Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.
Orono's Bobby Striggow, right, celebrated after defeating Foley's Saylor Schmit

Orono senior completes perfect run at 195

Bobby Striggow beat Saylor Schmit of Foley 9-2 in the Class 2A 195-pound championship

Bloomington Kennedy senior wrestler not ready to give up the sport he loves

Jake Leicht continues to wrestle despite a rare heart disorder.
Apple Valley’s Sebas Swiggum, top, remained in 3A championship contention after defeating Albert Lea’s Gavin Ignaszewski 7-2 in a 132-pound quarte

Apple Valley makes big splash in 3A individual wrestling

After missing the state tournament as a team for the first time since 1982, the Eagles had five wrestlers still alive after Friday's first two rounds.
Two-time runner-up Jake Svihel adds relaxation to routine

Two-time runner-up Jake Svihel adds relaxation to routine

When he's fully warmed up, Jake Svihel finds a place to sit and immerse himself in … nothing.

Minnesota wrestling coaches seek fewer weight classes to stem dual-meet forfeits

The number of weight classes would drop from 14 to 12 according to plan formed after a coaches survey found widespread support for the idea.
His teammates clapped after Kasson-Mantorville’s Tanner Paulson won at 132 pounds in the Class 2A team final.

Kasson-Mantorville rolls to third state team wrestling title

Kasson-Mantorville rolls to third title in a row.
St. Michael-Albertville’s Brandon Pysk grabbed the leg of Shakopee’s Ben Lunn during their 113-pound match in Class 3A. Pysk won 9-5 and so did hi

St. Michael-Albertville beats Shakopee for Class 3A title in wrestling

The Knights, co-champions in 2013, beat Shakopee for their first outright Class 3A title
Apple Valley heavyweight Gable Steveson, left, is going for a fourth state title in Class 3A. Simley’s Daniel Kerkvliet, right, will try to win a th

Simley junior Daniel Kerkvliet has inner drive to keep winning

Simley junior Daniel Kerkvliet, one of the nation's top high school juniors, is ranked No. 3 overall in the class of 2019 by
As Erich Martens assumes leadership of the Minnesota State High School League, he brings decades of experience in sports and adminstration as a teache

Q&A with new high school league boss: Club sports, eligibility and more

Erich Martens stakes over an organization still in the process of instituting a series of recommendations to improve transparency in the way it does things.
Champlin Park freshman Chaney Neu competed in the uneven parallel bars Saturday (Ellen Schmidt/Star Tribune)

Champlin Park's Neu turns heads with Class 2A all-around victory

Chaney Neu's all-around win may spark quite a run.
Peyton Jernberg of Detroit Lakes won the balance beam event in the Class 1A gymnastics individual meet Saturday at Maturi Pavilion on the University o

Chisago Lakes' Williams wins Class 1A All Around title

Aliah Williams won the all-around but didn't win an individual event.
Stillwater's Isabel Bartosh sticks her landing off the uneven parallel bars during the Class 2A Gymnastics state meet.

Stillwater drives to a gymnastics title

Ponies score season-best 150.25 to beat Lakeville North after a year of hurdles

Detroit Lakes wins fourth straight 1A gymnastics team title

Lakers repeat by a comfortable margin despite a few "goofy" moments.
Champlin Park gymnast Chaney Neu will try to successfully defend her Class 2A all-around state championship on Saturday night at the Maturi Sports Pav

For defending state champion gymnast Chaney Neu, there's more fun to be had

Champlin Park's Chaney Neu is back to defend all-around title she won as a 13-year-old.
Eden Prairie sophomore Sydney Langseth (3) pushed the puck up ice ahead of Shakopee's Dani Hennen during a Class 2A, Section 2 girls' hockey champions

Girls' hockey, gymnastics next high school sports to crown state champions

The girls are in the spotlight, with the girls' hockey state tournament set from Wednesday to Saturday at Xcel Energy Center. The gymnastics state meet will be held Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota's Maturi Sports Pavilion.
Shakopee’s Jack Casey lunged at Apple Valley’s Devin Roberts during their 182-pound bout on Friday night in Lakeville. Roberts won 6-2.

Apple Valley's 35-year wrestling state meet streak halted by Shakopee

The Sabers edged the Eagles to end a 35-year state wrestling streak.
Grand Rapids' Garrett Beckrich celebrated after finishing first in the 5k classic race Thursday in Biwabik. (Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune)

Grand Rapids skier Garrett Beckrich pulls off unexpected classic feat to win Nordic state title

Grand Rapids skier's focus on biathlon doesn't hinder him from winning Nordic title.
Hermantown’s Austin Danelski had a nearly flawless second run to win the gold medal in the Alpine skiing state meet at Giants Ridge by nearly a full

Hermantown's Danelski, Eden Prairie's Divine win Alpine titles

Austin Danelski and Becca Divine were crowned champions Wednesday in Biwabik
Brooklyn Center football players Junior Kai, left, Dayvia Gbor, center, and Charles Wylie, right were greeted by classmates Wednesday after they signe

Brooklyn Center football signings leave legacy to build on

Seven football players, the most in Brooklyn Center history, signed Wednesday.
Eden Prairie linebacker/running back Antonio Montero (1) will sign a national letter of intent with Rice on Wednesday.

Minnesota prep football players set to commit on version two of signing day

Eden Prairie running back/linebacker Antonio Montero will sign with Rice.
Emily Shilson and other wrestlers on Centennial's team greeted young athletes

Minnesota's best girls' wrestler just wants to be a wrestler

For now, Centennial wrestler Emily Shilson is driving toward becoming the first girl to win a match at the state meet. But she has much bigger dreams than that.

Beginning a diet of state high school tournaments

Starting with skiing, it's a crowded six-week stretch.
Apple Valley’s Gable Steveson, right, was awarded two points in a takedown of Simley’s Daniel Kerkvliet, the decisive move in Steveson’s 3-2 dec

Respect between world champion prep wrestlers obvious to standing-room only crowd

Apple Valley senior heavyweight Gable Steveson outlasted Simley junior Daniel Kerkvliet 3-2 on Friday. Both won world championships last summer.
Minneapolis North star guard Khalid El-Amin in 1997.

McHale, Whalen, El-Amin among first in state basketball HOF class

Fourteen inductees -- including a team, a dynasty and individual players and coaches -- were named to the first class of the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame, a project seven years in the making by a group of state basketball supporters.
When unified PE class begins at Wayzata High School, general education and special education students pair off for exercises and friendships are forme

Unique phys ed class at Wayzata High School breaks down barriers

It's called unified physical education, and it pairs students with special needs with those of the general population. By all accounts, it's been wildly successful.

Defending girls' hockey champs to clash this week

Blake plays host to Edina in a battle of defending state champions Saturday at 4 p.m.
Junior point guard Mimi Schrader is one of the leaders on No. 2-ranked Wayzata, which has won its first 16 games.

Junior-led Wayzata surprisingly 16-0 in girls' basketball

Juniors Mimi Schrader and Kallie Theisen are veterans Trojans rely on.
Hopkins’ Paige Bueckers drove to the basket against Wayzata’s Jasmine Smiley in the first half.

Wayzata edges Hopkins in matchup of Class 4A powers in girls' basketball

Mimi Schrader led the Trojans with 20 points.
More than 1,000 cross-country skiers congregated at Giants Ridge Ski Area (shown is the Nordic skiing state meet at Giants Ridge in 2017) and braved t

Skiing, swimming, gymnastics ruled Saturday prep schedule

Saturday was a day of striding, splashing and soaring, with some of the biggest meets of season taking place in Nordic ski racing, boys' swimming and gymnastics.
Drake Dobbs kept the ball in play against Trej Holloman (21) and Eli Campbell of Minneapolis North during Eden Prairie’s 69-57 victory Wednesday.

Sophomore-led Eden Prairie boys' basketball having big-time success

Eagles are off to an 8-1 start, with several big wins already.
Drake Dobbs of Eden Prairie makes a diving pass as Trej Holloman (21) and Eli Campbell (2) of Minneapolis North defend.

Eden Prairie boys' basketball passes another test, this time at Minneapolis North

The balanced Eagles pulled away from Minneapolis North at the end.
Elk River lineman Ronnie Audette received a flurry of late interest from Division 1 schools and has decided to reopen his recruiting process.

Late surge of interest causes Elk River lineman Ronald Audette to rethink commitment

Ronald Audette was set to sign with North Dakota State but now he will wait until Feb. 7.
Woodbury senior David Alston signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play football at Nebraska.

Woodbury's David Alston, Nebraska a perfect fit despite coaching change

The Royals' 6-5, 225-pound linebacker had 13½ sacks the past two seasons.
Apple Valley senior Gable Steveson still can remember his last loss in high school — as an eighth-grader — and it drives him: “I don’t ever wa

Gable Stevenson amazes even his wrestling coach with his skills

Apple Valley's Gable Stevenson could excel in any sport, but chose to dominate wrestling.
Paige Bueckers has helped bring talent-laden Hopkins to the top of the rankings. But the sting of losing two state title games in a row has become a k

Sophomore guard Paige Bueckers drives high expectations for Hopkins

Hopkins sophomore Paige Bueckers is drawing accolades and attention, but is driven to win a title
Sophomore guard Jalen Suggs (1) leads a talented Minnehaha Academy team with Class 2A title aspirations.

West metro boys' basketball: Holes to fill, scads of talent

A look at teams and players in the west metro, which also includes most of Minneapolis.
Owatonna’s Abe Havelka, who finished 11-for-15 for 138 yards, wound up to pass with Elk River’s Collin Nelson providing pressure. The Elks beat Ow

Owatonna's ground game runs wild, helping Huskies avenge 2016 loss to Elk River

Its ground game provided all the offense it needed, getting Elk River back for 2016
Minneota’s Isaac Hennen reached the end zone after a 23-yard scamper during the first half. Hennen rushed 34 times for 291 yards and three touchdown

Minneota's ground game leads it past Wabasso 28-13 for Class 1A football crown

Led by Isaac Hennen, the ground game dominated.
Eden Prairie defensive back Grant Harstad (26) tried to stop Minnetonka’s Jack Beil as he tried to break a tackle in the first half.

Eden Prairie wins 6A title at Prep Bowl, 38-17 over Minnetonka

Eden Prairie recaptures momentum after halftime and cruises to 6A championship
Caledonia QB Owen King scrambled away from Pipestone’s Tyl Woelber in the first half. King finished his high school career with a 41-0 record.

Class 2A: Caledonia QB Owen King's six TDs lead rout of Pipestone

Caledonia's leader ties record with six TDs.
Elk River running back Sherrod Kpahn

Who's got the ball? Elk River's deceptive offense provides challenge

Confusion reigns when Elk River is on offense, even if you've seen it before
Minneota running back Isaac Hennen ran for a first down against Mayer Lutheran in a Class 1A state semifinal. He is the Vikings’ leading rusher and

Two families deeply tied to Minneota's football success

There are three Hennens and two Buysses on Minneota's current Prep Bowl team.
The Hopkins girls’ basketball team returns plenty of talent and experience, including guard Raena Suggs

(No) surprise: Hopkins leads west-metro girls' basketball

Royals have reached the past two Class 4A title games, compiling a 60-4 mark.
Minnetonka players, including cornerback Raheem Brown (25), celebrated after defeating Cretin-Derham Hall. The Skippers led 17-0 after three quarters

Class 6A semifinal: Minnetonka jumps to lead, fights off late charge by Cretin-Derham Hall

Cretin-Derham Hall was left to second-guess after falling short.
Elk River’s Adam Nelson ran for his third touchdown Friday against Apple Valley. He rushed for 302 yards on 18 carries.

Class 5A semifinal: Old-school game plan suits Elk River to a T in win over Apple Valley

Apple Valley unleashed its offense but couldn't keep up.
Erich Martens, recommended candidate to become executive director of the Minnesota State High School League.

MSHSL committee recommends new executive director; some concerned about process

Erich Martens, a high school principal in central Minnesota, is expected to replace Dave Stead as the organization's executive director.
Defensive end Alex Gillard (28) and wide receiver Andrew Rukavina (14) jumped high to celebrate Holy Angels’ 26-22 comeback victory over previously

Holy Angels rallies to edge previously unbeaten Winona

They took a few shots, that was expected. But Holy Angels delivered a few of its own and, in the end, the Stars stood firm…

Minnesota prep football replay review gets first reversal

The Minnesota State High School League approved use of instant replay for semifinal and Prep Bowl games at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Lakeville North players celebrated after defeating Eagan 3-1 in the Class 3A championship match. They had lost to the Wildcats twice during the regula

Lakeville North defeats Eagan for Class 3A volleyball title

Clicking Lakeville North beats the two-time defending champions in a four-set match
Mya Chmielewski, right, celebrated with Olivia Tjernagel (8) after the Crusaders won.

Mayer Lutheran cruises to second Class 1A volleyball title in a row

There were times this season the Mayer Lutheran players couldn't keep from looking ahead.Senior-heavy and already boasting one state title, the Crusaders sometimes found themselves…
Teammates celebrated with Minnetonka wide receiver Jackson Owens (83) after he scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Minnetonka rallies past Prior Lake 10-6 in 6A football playpoffs

Minnetonka, bottled up all game, marches 90 yards for the winning touchdown
Tori Thompson of Lakeville North went for a hit while Moorhead players tried to defend Friday in their Class 3A semifinal match at Xcel Energy Center

Lakeville North, Eagan take charge in semifinals, will meet for 3A volleyball crown

Panthers use defense to stop Moorhead; Eagan returns to title match.
Eden Prairie’s Solo Falaniko powered his way to 212 rushing yards on 25 carries Thursday night.

Eden Prairie capitalizes on miscues vs. Lakeville North

Blunders put Lakeville North in an early hole.
Mayer Lutheran players celebrated after scoring a point against Cook County. The defending Class 1A state champion Crusaders won 3-0 to improve to 30-

Mayer Lutheran, Minneota, Bethlehem Academy and Wadena-Deer Creek win in Class 1A state quarterfinals

Minneota, Bethlehem Academy and Wadena-Deer Creek also win.
Eagan’s Anne Wong spiked the ball as Forest Lake’s Clara Olson, foreground, and Lindsey Johnson jumped to defend.

Prior Lake, Moorhead, Lakeville North and Eagan win in state quarterfinals

Moorhead, Lakeville North and Eagan also advanced.
Amber Klug of Maple Lake has more than 800 career kills and 1,300 set assists.

Maple Lake volleyball met all challenges to stay unbeaten

The Class 2A-favorite Irish are 33-0 and beat four Class 3A teams in one tournament.
Eagan’s McKenna Melville, who blocked a shot in a match last month, was chosen the 2017 Star Tribune Player of the Year.

McKenna Melville, Eagan volleyball, Star TribuneMetro Player of the Year

Eagan's star outside hitter has a keen knack for anticipation.
Eagan goalkeeper Megan Plaschko dove to make a save on a shot that sailed wide of the net in the first half. Her Wildcats won 2-1.

Eagan, Maple Grove win to advance to Class 2A girls' soccer title match

The Wildcats upset the top seed; the Crimson won its match in a shootout.
St. Cloud Tech players celebrated during the first quarter after a sack of Rogers’ Graham Nistler resulted in a fumble that they recovered for a tou

St. Cloud Tech runs wild with new formation in 40-14 win over Rogers

The Tigers were waiting for right time to unveil it.
Centennial quarterback Ryan Koob ran into the end zone for a first-quarter TD vs. Stillwater.

Centennial keeps Stillwater on the run in 30-12 football victory

Cougars' efficient ground game chewed up Ponies to earn a shot at Edina.
Edina's Nicole Copeland won the Class 2A singles championship Friday at Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota. Photo: RENEE JONES SCHN

Edina's Copeland, after shunning tennis singles, is 2A champ

Sophomore Nicole Copeland, who preferred doubles tennis just two years ago, defeated Meagan Brown of Elk River.
Edina offensive lineman Quinn Carroll (75) is easy to spot on a football field. At 6-6, 290, he towers over his teammates and most opponents. He’s a

The Lineman Life: Edina's Quinn Carroll

Edina OT Quinn Carroll, the state's top D-I prospect, says he relishes making big blocks
Edina’s Sophia Reddy hit a ball in her No. 1 singles match against Katelyn Tarrolly of St. Cloud Tech at the Baseline Tennis Center. Reddy won 6-0,

Edina wins tennis title, year after its 19-year winning streak was broken

The Hornets were the best team in Class 2A all year, and they were hungry in a way they hadn't been in past years.

Blake wins third Class 1A girls tennis title in a row

The Bears went wire-to-wire as the No. 1-ranked team in 1A. Their two losses were to Class 2A powers Edina and Wayzata.
Read our comment standards welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune