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
Champlin Park’s new head coach Nick Keenan at the team’s first practice. ] GLEN STUBBE ï glen.stubbe@startribune.com Monday, August 13, 2018 Cham

New Champlin Park football coach attracts a crowd

Nick Keenan was one of the last coaches out to the practice field Monday morning. The new Champlin Park head football coach was taking care…
White Bear Lake football coach Ryan Bartlett began chemotherapy in April after a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As summer practice opens, he repor

White Bear Lake football coach has new perspective as practice begins

Barely six months ago, 34-year-old Ryan Bartlett wasn't sure he'd see the start of his seventh season as the Bears' head coach.
Minnetonka High School quarterback Aaron Syverson.

After living the dream, what do high school sports stars do for a senior year encore?

After two plays for the ages, what's next for those who helped pull them off?
Minnetonka’s Josh Luedtke

Ten shining moments, west-metro style

Ten of the most notable high school sports moments from the recently completed school year, pulled from the ever-aging brain of staff writer Jim Paulsen.
Stillwater sophomore Jonathan Koehn strutted after scoring on an error in the fourth inning Monday, giving the Ponies a 2-0 lead over Minnetonka in th

Given opportunity, ace delivers as Stillwater beats Minnetonka for Class 4A baseball title

The Ponies won it all on Drew Gilbert's three-hitter.
Maple Lake players celebrated their 8-4 victory over Duluth Marshall on Saturday at Target Field.

Early rally leads Maple Lake baseball to state title over Duluth Marshall

The Irish scored seven runs in two innings to erase a 3-1 deficit.
St. Michael-Albertville’s Luc Laylin slid safely into second base with a double as Minnetonka shortstop Jake Zaetta covered during the fifth inning.

Minnetonka, Stillwater advance to 4A baseball championship

Skippers, Ponies rally for sometimes-messy wins.
Benjamin Borrman (16) was mobbed by his Stillwater teammates after his pinch-hit single in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in the winning run a

Baseball state tournament: Class 4A quarterfinals

Ponies win their 18th straight game with a walkoff single.
Blaine pitcher Seth Miller has dominated on the mound and in the field, just like the rest of his team.

Blaine baseball zeroes in with loaded pitching staff

The Blaine pitching staff has tossed eight shutouts in a 14-game winning streak, which is why the Bengals are a confident bunch.
Chloe Fisher of Lakeville North celebrated after scoring what was to be the game-winning goal Tuesday at Minnetonka High School. Lakeville North beat

Girls lacrosse quarterfinals: Lakeville North slips by Blaine

Remarkable individual and team play combined to give the Panthers victory.
Shakopee pitcher Payton Marker

Shakopee coach Joe Fittante pitched a different way to make state softball tournament

Eschewing the softball tradition of riding one strong pitcher, the Sabers went with a three-armed, situation-based rotation.
Blake’s No. 2 singles player, Joe Mairs, said the Bears’ Class 2A boys’ tennis title was even sweeter than taking the 1A crown. “This is No. 1

Blake boys' tennis proves it's No. 1, without a doubt

After years of dominating Class 1A, Blake moved up and nabbed the 2A title
Wayzata's number two singles player Jonathan Nudler

Elusive singles point lifts Wayzata into 2A boys' tennis semifinals

Erik Williams delivered a vital point at No. 4 singles in the quarterfinals victory.
Mounds Park Academy junior Parker Law has been ranked No. 1 in Class 1A all season after two would-be competitors from Blake moved up to 2A.

Mounds Park Academy junior earns top seed in 1A tennis tournament

Parker Law has been ranked No. 1 in Class 1A all season after two would-be competitors from Blake moved up to 2A.
Metro player of the year Emily Hansen puts in the extra work to maintain her power stroke and above-.500 batting average.

Buffalo's Emily Hansen is Star Tribune Metro softball player of the year

Gifted Gophers-bound Buffalo slugger blends power, precision and persistence
St. Michael-Albertville junior Joey Bennett worked out in his school’s fitness center Wednesday. The new workout facility is a benefit to Bennett, a

Modern athletic facilities are boon for school districts, communities

No longer just places to house their school's teams, they are being seen as revenue generators, available to local youth organizations, club sports teams and just about any organization willing to pay the rental fees.
Farmington infielder Olivia Hazelbaker celebrated with Emma Frost after the Tigers beat Anoka 1-0 for the 2017 Class 4A softball title.

Preps: State championship picture to become more clear this week

With every high school sport now in midst of determining state tournament appearances, the events of the upcoming week carry added weight.
Nathaniel Peterson of Lakeville North dominated Apple Valley on May 14.

Prep athletes of the week: Lakeville North pitcher dominates with 20-strikeout performance

Nathaniel Peterson recorded all but one out via strikeout against Apple Valley.
Saints manager George Tsamis threw batting practice as the Saints prepared for the season, the home portion of which begins Monday.

Saints manager Tsamis aims for 1,000th victory

Despite the upcoming milestone, What eats at George Tsamis is that his managerial career arc has been front-loaded with success.
Chaska’s Lincoln Johnson, the No. 1-ranked boys’ prep golfer in Minnesota, recently shot a school-record 65 at the Chaska Town Course.

Practice, patience are keys to Chaska prep golfer Lincoln Johnson' success

When Lincoln Johnson stays relaxed on the course, low scores follow.
Defending Class 1A singles champion Jack Barker talked to Blake coach Ted Warner during a recent match. The Bears also are the defending Class 1A team

Hasty spring preps season nears a conclusion

Boys' tennis kicks off section play with team competition and badminton begins its four-day state tournament this week.
Jack Barker’s arsenal includes a one-handed backhand, drop shots, volleys, top-spin lobs and slicing approaches.

Expect the unexpected from Blake tennis star Barker

Senior Jack Barker seeks to become the first singles champion in two classes.
Jake Esch, who appeared in four major league games over 2016 and ’17, was getting any offers this spring, so he contacted his hometown St. Paul Sain

Former Cretin-Derham Hall pitcher hopes to restart career with Saints

Former Star Tribune first-team member Jake Esch could be the Saints' ace.
Mounds View’s Petro Alex returned a shot against Edina in the John Rowe Invitational.

Mounds View shows its strength in boys' tennis

The Mustangs won the tough John Rowe Invite.
Heritage Christian senior Seth Halvorsen, one of the top pitchers in Minnesota’s Class of 2018, trains and warms up with weighted baseballs to incre

Weighted baseballs boost pitch speed, but also pose risk to young arms

Minnesota high school pitchers have latched onto the growing popularity of training with heavier balls to improve arm strength and add pitch velocity. Baseball and medical experts stress caution is required as well.
Heritage Christian senior Seth Halvorsen, one of the top pitchers in Minnesota’s Class of 2018, trains and warms up with weighted baseballs to incre

Weighted baseballs boost pitch speed, but raise risk of injury, too

Minnesota high school pitchers have latched onto the growing popularity of training with heavier balls to improve arm strength and add pitch velocity. Baseball and medical experts stress caution is required as well.
At Friday's Hamline Elite Meet, Edina’s Emily Kompelien was the only athlete to win two individual events, taking first place in the 800- and 1,600-

After slow start to spring season, big events highlight prep schedules

It didn't take long for teams to get up to full speed last week, and some exceptional results showed how little effect the late spring had on athletes' performances.
Minnetonka pitcher Nick Lommen followed through on the mound while throwing in a game against Champlin Park on April 25. He pitched 5⅔ innings and h

Because of all-turf field, Minnetonka got a jump on other baseball teams this spring

Minnetonka's baseball team is benefitting from playing games at its all-turf stadium.
Pole vaulter Sam Adair of White Bear Lake’s track and field team takes to the air Wednesday on the first day the team has been able to practice outs

Season's fleeting for what's left of state high school spring sports

After last weekend's storm, hundreds of games have been scrapped. One local official says it could be May before outdoor fields are ready for play.
Osseo’s Chai Yang swung through on a kill while Nick Shirley of Farmington rose for a block during an April 9 debut match at Shakopee High School.

Boys' volleyball gets a foothold among Minnesota high schools

Backed by two Minnesota volleyball stalwarts, 21 schools around the metro have formed teams to play this spring.
Guard Raena Suggs will attend the University of Nevada, where she is promised more of the academic help that has worked for her at Hopkins.

Raena Suggs' grades are on the rise, as is her enthusiasm

Raena Suggs learned what was wrong and how to beat it.
The Woodbury baseball team shoveled off its field. Like teams across the state, the Royals’ schedule has been put in disarray.

Spring high school sports on ice, weather postponing start of competition

Baseball and softball teams have yet to play a game, forcing scramble.
Gable Steveson of Apple Valley.

Gable Steveson, Star Tribune Metro Wrestler of the Year

The Apple Valley heavyweight ended his high school career with his fourth consecutive state title.
Champlin Park freshman Chaney Neu, already a two-time state champ, is trying to get used to the attention.

Chaney Neu, Star Tribune Metro Gymnast of the Year

Reticence turns to repeat for the young champion from Champlin Park.
Guard Calvin Wishart led Delano to the Class 3A state title in boys’ basketball. He averaged nearly 35 points in postseason games.

Who rose to the top of high school teams, athletes in Twin Cities' west metro area?

A St. Michael-Albertville wrestler and a Hopkins girls' basketball player stood out the most in staff writer Jim Paulsen's west metro slice of the recently completed prep seasons.
Randy Breuer (44) helped lead Lake City to Class 1A titles in 1978 and ’79. The 7-3 center's 113 points in 1979 stand as a tournament record.

Breuer, other Minnesota prep hoops legends, inducted into inaugural Hall

Others selected included Minneapolis North guard Khalid El-Amin, New York Mills standout Janet Karvonen-Montgomery and legendary Chisholm coach Bob McDonald.
Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff watched the final minute of his team’s loss to Eastview in the Class 4A final.

Finals losses don't dishearten Hopkins girls' basketball coach Brian Cosgriff

Longtime Royals coach is as determined as ever.
Caledonia guard Owen King made a three-pointer in the second half against Brooklyn Center. He had 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists Friday in

Caledonia beats Brooklyn Center in Class 2A boys' basketball semifinals

Owen King is accustomed to leading Caledonia to state football championships. Now he's got the Warriors within one victory of a basketball state title.King, a…
Minnehaha Academy guard Jalen Suggs found an open lane to the basket. Suggs scored 25 points in his team’s victory.

Minnehaha Academy routs St. Cloud Cathedral in Class 2A boys' basketball semifinals

Minnehaha Academy made nine three-pointers.
Cretin-Derham Hall forward Daniel Oturu reacted to Thursday’s 60-56 victory over Eden Prairie.

Class 4A championship preview: Cretin-Derham Hall vs. Apple Valley

Two talented teams will tussle. Apple Valley will go for its fourth championship since 2013, but it must overcome the size of the top-seeded Raiders.
Apple Valley’s Josh Arnold drove downcourt against Tommy Jensen of Lakeville North.

Apple Valley shuts down Lakeville North in second half, advances to title game

It’s become Apple Valley’s M.O. over the past half-dozen years, three of which have ended in state championships. Have a superstar as a foundation. Play…
Cretin-Derham Hall forward Daniel Oturu elevated for two points in the second half against Eden Prairie. He scored 24 points.

Daniel Oturu scores 19 points in second half to help Cretin-Derham Hall turn back Eden Prairie

Star center, stymied in the first half, lifts Raiders past Eden Prairie in semifinals.
Apple Valley’s Tre Jones went up for two above Forest Lake’s Hunter Damon during the first half Wednesday in their Class 4A quarterfinal. Jones sc

Apple Valley falters, recovers to rally past Forest Lake

Rangers take lead into second half before rally.
Point guard Ryan Larson makes the “Showtime Raiders” go. His modus operandi: “Keep everyone happy and get them the best shots possible. Cretin-D

Cretin-Derham Hall embraces 'showtime' basketball

Top seed Cretin-Derham Hall coming into Class 4A tourney with flamboyance
Tre Jones passed up the prep school route and instead chose to stay with his friends at Apple Valley to chase another 4A state title.

Apple Valley's Tre Jones is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year

Bigger stardom can wait for 'normal kid' Tre Jones of Apple Valley.
Guard Emma Carpenter, her Eastview teammates and the Class 4A championship trophy made their way to the Lightning’s student section after taking dow

Eastview wins the biggest prize, tops Hopkins for Class 4A girls' basketball title

Eastview withstands burst by Hopkins' Bueckers to capture Class 4A championship
Roseau’s Katie Borowicz shot as Sauk Centre’s Michaela Dammann (55) and Kenzie Schmiesing defended her.

Sauk Centre beats Roseau for first Class 2A girls' basketball title

That final step was a doozy, but Sauk Centre finally climbed it, holding off a late charge by Roseau to defeat the Rams 63-52 in…
Armstrong basketball coach Greg Miller “gave it every ounce of energy, of creativity, of enthusiasm I had” in 33 years of coaching.

Armstrong boys' basketball coach retires with few regrets

Greg Miller coached basketball for 33 years, piling up many memories.
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 Flowrestling.com.
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.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com 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 StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune