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Jim Paulsen

Reporter | Sports
Phone: 612-673-7737
Recent content from Jim Paulsen
Drew Berkland made eight three-pointers on 12 attempts over Wayzata’s victories in the Class 4A semifinals and final at Target Center.

Prep athletes of the week: Do-it-all Wayzata guard really did it all in final two games of championship season

Drew Berkland, a future Gophers baseball player and a state champion football player, got hot from long range in adding a basketball championship to his résumé.
Gentry Academy’s Cara Sajevic carried the puck into the South St. Paul zone in the third period of the Class 1A, Section 4 final last week.

Prep athletes of the week: Cara Sajevic at sharp-shooting best for tourney-bound Gentry Academy

The sophomore had a hat trick in both the section semifinals and the section final.
Cian Buehler of Ottertail Central strained to hear the cheers from the crowd during last year’s state wrestling meet, which was held at Xcel Energy

The week in preps: Spotlight on wrestling, gymnastics, girls' hockey

Boys' hockey section finals are also slated for this week, while the boys' and girls' basketball section playoffs hit the throttle.
Matchups for the modified state wrestling tournament will be set this week. The coaches of the qualifiers in each bracket will vote on seeding, which

12 teams in each class to be seeded for wrestling state tournament

State wrestling matchups will be set this week. The coaches of the qualifiers in each bracket will vote on seeding, which is expected to be finalized Tuesday.
Offensive lineman Tony Nelson of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton is hoping to win a spot on the Gophers offensive line.

U lands lineman from southwest Minnesota, second top recruit in three weeks

Offensive lineman Tony Nelson, a three-star recruit from Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, has verbally committed to play for the Gophers.
Minneapolis Washburn’s Luke Conway raced in the 2020 Alpine skiing state meet. This year’s meet begins Wednesday and kicks off the winter tourname

Prep state tournament season, long awaited and uncertain, is here

The winter state tournament season, which seemed so far away, and highly unlikely, six months ago, kicks off this week.
Hopkins and Becker will meet Saturday in a battle of Class 4A and 3A powers. Shown here are Liv McGill (left) and Megan Gamble.

109 games without a loss: A streak will end when Hopkins, Becker battle

Hopkins' winning streak is now at 73, five short of the state record of 78, set by Fosston from December 1999 to March 2002. Becker has won 36 straight.
Breck goalie Sarah Peterson protected the post in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Blake. Peterson made 40 saves.

Prep athletes of the week: Breck goalie Sarah Peterson digs in after an early blip

The sophomore stood tall with 40 saves in a one-goal victory over Blake.
Minnehaha Academy forward Chet Holmgren last season.

Holmgren's choice, undefeated teams and more prep stories for March

Chief among the questions to be answered are 7-foot Chet Holmgren's college decision and whether a couple of metro-area teams are really that good.
Podcast: Too early to talk about state hockey tournament matchups? Nah.

Podcast: Too early to talk about state hockey tournament matchups? Nah.

David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen offer up the best boys' and girls' teams in the hunt and discuss a surprise player from the nationally televised boys' basketball game between Minnehaha Academy and Stewartville.
Crew Chief Lamarr Sullivan went over the plan for officiating a game between Anoka and Osseo with his colleagues Denny Misener, left, and Kevin Markli

No showers, no secrets: Safety concerns ripple through ranks of state basketball officials

Dozens have stopped working. But for others the squeak of basketball shoes and lure of the whistle were too hard to resist. And some officials have even found things to like about working under pandemic rules.
Andover’s Gabby Krause, left, celebrated the Huskies’ first goal in a 5-3 victory over Edina in last year’s Class 2A girls’ hockey title game.

Andover vs. Edina girls' hockey rematch will have to wait until state

The top two teams in Class 2A sport 9-0 records, are deep in talented skaters, play shutdown defense and have top-notch goaltending.
Simley coach Will Short watched his wrestlers compete in a match in 2017.

Wrestling coaches pleased with tricky-to-plan state tournament concept

Where it will be held is still unknown, but the March 25-27 event will crown team and individual champions, something that had been much in doubt two months ago.
Chet Holmgren, the nation’s top basketball recruit,  dunked during a drill at a recent Minnehaha Academy practice.

Florida's IMG squad hands Minnehaha Academy first loss

The Redhawks might be the state's best team, but they're still a step below the top prep teams in the country.
A commemorative patch honoring the late Jimmy Robinson is being pursued to recognition his contributions as a pioneering Black official in Minnesota b

Commemorative patch honors Minnesota pioneering Black official Jimmy Robinson

A $10,000 fundraising effort has been started to get patches distributed to all 2,000 game officials in the state.
Minnetonka guard Desiree Ware is one of the players who makes the Skippers go.

Minnetonka's near-upset of Hopkins girls turns heads

The addition of junior Kiani Lockett (pictured is Lockett's teammate, guard Desiree Ware), a junior transfer from DeLaSalle, has been a big reason for the Skippers' successful start
Talking Preps podcast: In a pandemic, 'it's not just about the wins and losses'

Talking Preps podcast: In a pandemic, 'it's not just about the wins and losses'

As Minnesota high school winter sports return there is an important new meaning being brought to the court, rink and mats that doesn't show up in the box scores.
Jacob Ziebarth, Cambridge-Isanti hockey, sr., 2021

Prep athletes of the week: Senior rink rat helps Cambridge-Isanti reclaim 'Rusty Skates' trophy

Jason Ziebarth's third-period goal lifted the Bluejackets over Princeton 2-1, ensuring the traveling trophy between the two programs was coming back after spending the five previous seasons in Princeton.
Hopkins forward Maya Nnaji (34) battled for a rebound against Wayzata forward Jenna Johnson (22) and guard Mara Braun (10) in a game Jan. 19 at Wayzat

Uneven mask-wearing in high school games draws call for full compliance

Game officials have adopted a three-step process for addressing improperly worn masks, preferring to be instructive rather than punitive.

Podcast: Hopkins girls' basketball looks even better than last year, if that's possible

The Star Tribune's Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque wondering if the Royals, with a 64-game winning streak, will lose a game this year.
Richfield’s Jaden Wollmuth said he won’t take the privilege of going to the gym and playing ball lightly.

Basketball court — his getaway place — open again for Richfield star

An injury and a pandemic curtailed Jaden Wollmuth's AAU basketball season. Then a declaration by Gov. Tim Walz put the winter high school sports season on hold, stretching his inactive period for more than a month. The pause was finally lifted Monday.
New Hopkins girls' basketball coach: "I just want to get into the gym.''

New Hopkins girls' basketball coach: "I just want to get into the gym.''

Highly successful AAU coach Tara Starks, taking over a talented team with a 62-game winning streak, has only been able to virtually coach her players.
The Minneapolis high school hockey team practiced lin January. Teams will be able to resume practice on Jan. 4, but no date has been set for a return

High school, youth teams can practice Jan. 4, no date set for games

Winter sports for high school and youth teams can hold practice on Jan. 4 with the hope, but no assurance yet, of playing games again by the middle of January.
Jordan Titus, left, and Savion Robinson stood for a portrait on Dec. 12 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium on the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

Making history lures first group of Division I recruits to St. Thomas

Youth football foes Jordan Titus and Savion Robinson are coming back to St. Paul, among at least 11 Minnesota high school stars who are part of the new St. Thomas recruiting class.
Dave Stearns, longtime Minnetonka tennis coach

Minnetonka girls' tennis coach Stearns dies at 72

He led Skippers' teams for 33 years, including the last 27 as the girls' team coach.
Eastview junior Karin Young (submitted photo)

Eastview's Karin Young earns Star Tribune Metro Tennis Player of the Year honors

The junior, who won the Class 2A singles title as a sophomore, was undefeated in her matches at No. 1 singles in the shortened 2020 season.
The sideline benches were sanitized between soccer games played at East Ridge High School on Aug. 27, the first day for games when fall high school sp

Let Them Play MN sues Walz seeking to end youth sports pause

The group has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Gov. Tim Walz's order of a four-week pause "unfairly singles out young people for harm" by shutting down youth sports.
Jake Ratzlaff of Rosemount, shown in an Oct. 30 game against Champlin Park, has announced his verbal commitment to play football at Wisconsin. He had

Rosemount two-sport star Ratzlaff says he'll play football at Wisconsin

A talented hockey player who played with the U.S. U-18 national team, Jake Ratzlaff had given a verbal commitment to Minnesota after his freshman year.
Reid Patterson (10) and Lakeville South were ranked No. 1 all season. Should they stay there?

OK, we'll pick a champion: With no Prep Bowl, Star Tribune writers name a mythical Class 6A football winner

Before playoffs, a mythical prep titlist was named. We're reviving that tradition.
Emma Wasiloski, 13, an eighth grader at North Heights Christian Academy who plays for Concordia Academy’s C volleyball team and elite club volleybal

Tears, frustration, resignation as prep sports takes another shutdown

Gov. Tim Walz's shutdown of youth and high school sports until mid-December delays the start of winter sports as part of new restrictions to curb rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases.
The Edina girls' cross-country team won the large-school division of the TC Running Company Showcase on Friday at Island Pine Golf Course in Atwater,

Amid conflicts, push builds to rethink Minnesota's prep state tournaments

While the director of the MSHSL is urging long-term vision for the return of state tournaments, one board member said some people see opportunities for athletes elsewhere that Minnesota has rejected.
Two top-10 teams, St. Michael-Albertville (in blue, shown against Wayzata on Oct. 13) and Champlin Park, went from having their regularly scheduled co

Virus leaves prep football teams, schedules in disarray

Teams, including some of the best in the Twin Cities, continue scrambling for games as players and coaches watch schedules fall apart and come back together.

East Ridge, Woodbury impress in Week 2

Before we get to the Metro Top 10, what can we take out of Week 2?Class 6A: What kind of team is Lakeville North? After…
Senior Sonia Baig, who has helped Blake win the past five Class 1A state titles, led the Bears to a season-ending 4-3 win over Breck in the Section 4

As girls' tennis exits the Minnesota fall sports stage, winning it all is missing

Tennis season finishes early in 2020 with section finals.
Eagan setter Kennedi Orr (2) and middle hitter Kendal Kemp (16) are returning players on another strong Wildcats team this season.

Without fans at matches, volleyball teams will have to create own excitement

Teams will have to generate their own energy without fans
The crowd sat in the stands for the East Ridge vs. Mounds View boys’ soccer game on Aug. 27. Groups were distanced from each other, with some wearin

Lawsuit claims fan limits for prep sporting events set illegally

The suit contends the Minnesota State High School League is failing to follow recent Minnesota Department of Health guidelines with rules it recently adopted because of the pandemic.
The boys’ hockey game between Hill-Murray and Eden Prairie on March 7 was the last state championship game played before the COVID-19 pandemic shut

Winter prep sports approved with later starts, shorter seasons

Hockey, basketball and most other Minnesota high school winter sports will start from one to five weeks later than usual in an effort to minimize overlap with fall seasons.
Hopkins guard Sunaja Agara (24) was defended on a fast break by Stillwater guard Alex Pratt (0) during the Class 4A state tournament semifinals on Mar

Longer seasons, fewer games? Task force plans for Minnesota winter prep sports

Planning for the likelihood of virus outbreaks that result in postponed games has a Minnesota State High School League task force talking of shifting from plans in place for fall sports.
Coach Stephanie Blanda, left, encouraged McKenzie Khang to stay low in a squat for a passing drill during the first day of girls’ volleyball tryouts

Expectations vary for Polars' volleyball, football teams, excitement does not

On the first official day of practice -- pushed into late September by coronavirus concerns that temporarily postponed fall seasons into the spring -- the volleyball and football teams at North St. Paul were all about energy and optimism in their returns to the court and field.
Wayzata football coach Lambert Brown gathered his players at the end of an optional practice Monday evening. “Now we have something to play for,”

'Did you see that?' Prep athletes excited to get fall season back

The decision to resume football and volleyball this fall, albeit with shortened seasons and most likely without state tournaments, generated plenty of excitement across Minnesota.
Yah Naing Oo of St. Paul Humboldt in action in a game against rival St. Paul Central

Prep athletes of the week: St. Paul Humboldt soccer gets winning lift from new-look force

Yah Naing Oo's physical presence and skills take a major step up.
Minneapolis Southwest player Nick Flaskamp ran the ball during a seven-on-seven game against Champlin Park on Sept. 12 at the Life Time Sport Winter P

Minnesota prep football, volleyball leagues rush in to fill metro area void

Passing leagues normally held during the summer have sprouted up along with club volleyball leagues in the absence of traditional high school seasons.
Duluth Denfeld coach Erik Lofald talked to his team on Aug. 4 after the Minnesota State High School League voted to delay football until spring.

Restarting Minnesota prep football, volleyball seasons full of challenges

The Minnesota State High School League called a special meeting for Monday that could reverse its decision six weeks ago to postpone both sports until March.
Football and volleyball players at Duluth Denfeld and around Minnesota currently won't play their seasons until March, but a lawsuit has been filed ag

Court filing: MSHSL violated bylaws in delaying football, volleyball

A motion, filed on behalf of three prep athletes, seeks to undo actions taken by the Minnesota State High School League to postpone football and volleyball until March.
In a sign of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on high school sports, the sideline benches at East Ridge High School were sanitized during a boys’ so

High school league shocks member schools by raising fees up to 300%

With the pandemic curbing major gatherings for sports, the league has no plans for traditional state tournaments, instead planning on smaller, still-to-be-­determined "culminating events."

Metro area's fall prep athletes to watch have less time to show what they've got

School just started this first week for many, but fall sports athletes are on a fast and strange track to the shortest season in memory.…
Darren Selberg stood and applauded after the Minneapolis Washburn girls’ soccer team finished its game Thursday at Eden Prairie. His daughter, Lilli

High school sports fan policies leave some on the outside looking in

Some metro-area schools and conferences are telling fans to stay away, even from outdoor venues such as stadiums.
The East Ridge boys' soccer team stood for the national anthem while distanced 6 feet apart before a game against Mounds View on Thursday.

The prep life, 2020 style: Those who can play, do

Small and strange in some ways, but as competitive as ever in others: Welcome to the beginning of the fall high school sports season.
Edina tennis players Anna Martinez, left, and Lizzie Van Ert tapped racquets in lieu of a high five or fist bump during practice Monday morning.

Racquet taps and no handshakes: New Edina girls' tennis coach is ready for not normal

Former Hornet Jaime Gaard Chapman has handle on safety, an eye toward excellence.
Jordan Mitchell jumped up for a spike during Denfeld High School volleyball practice on Tuesday.

High school football, volleyball move to new spring season

The Minnesota State High School League also cleared soccer and individual-based sports — cross country, girls' tennis and girls' swimming — to start as scheduled Aug 17 with limitations.
Prior Lake football players took the field before a game last fall against Wayzata.

High school league meets today, considering 'fourth season' for prep sports

On the eve of arguably one of the most anticipated recommendations in its 105-year history, the Minnesota State High School League discussed two scenarios Monday for fall sports.
Anoka’s Tyler Eischens had a 21-9 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament last spring as a redshirt freshman at Stanford.

Former Anoka wrestler Eischens: 'Disbelief, shock' at Stanford dropping program

Coming off a 21-9 record and an NCAA tournament qualification last season, upcoming redshirt sophomore Tyler Eischens must eventually decide if he'll remain at Stanford after wrestling is eliminated.
Charles Adams III is not only a football coach, but he is also a police officer. He reached out to his players amid all the chaos after the May 25 kil

Football coach determined to keep driving change at Minneapolis North

Charles Adams III, a Northsider since birth and a Minneapolis police officer, will do anything to serve a community he loves.
Members of the Minneapolis North High School football team worked out on Monday, the first available day of summer workouts with coaches, in the schoo

Diminished prep fall sports offerings likely if Minnesota schools reopen

The head of the Minnesota State High School League said a "differentiated approach'' would allow low-risk sports to have competitions but higher-risk ones might only practice or train.
Edina head coach Steve Paulsen fist-bumped first singles player Nicole Copeland after Edina won the Class AA title last fall.

23 state titles later, Steve Paulsen leaves no doubt about Edina girls' tennis dynasty

The Star Tribune Girls' Team Coach of the Year led the Hornets to 23 state titles before retiring.
The fate of the Polars’ head coach also weighed on Minneapolis North starting quarterback Zach Yeager on Monday.

Amid bigger concerns, Minneapolis North football rediscovers 'whole new level of excitment'

Weight room fits bill for a team eager to bond again.
Elk River quarterback Beau Ruby completed the only pass he threw all game, connecting with teammate Carter Otto for a game-winning 57-yard touchdown i

With one second left, Elk River says yes to 'Michigan' for improbable football state tournament victory

Elk River hadn't thrown the entire game ... until the final play produced a 57-yard TD.
Bryce Paul, Concordia Academy, dribble the ball upcourt during the 2020 basketball season.AMSA Courage in Competition winner, 2020

Three sports, two comebacks from injured knees, one thankful Concordia Academy senior

Bryce Paul endured torn ACLs in back-to-back academic years.
T.K. Marshall, a recently graduated senior and a star on Minneapolis Southwest's football team last fall, carried a sign in a recent protest in Minnea

'I'm 16 and I'm scared.' City athletes, coaches gather to talk about race

Mistrust of law enforcement was a thread that carried throughout the meeting. "It's not fair how we should go out every day and be scared of police officers," Washburn's Jamar Nelson said.
Hastings’ Todd Field is empty now. As for this fall, if the Raiders play, it’s uncertain how those game nights will look: Will there be any fans?

High school league sets summer plans despite hazy fall outlook

The Minnesota State High School League will allow coaches to start working with athletes on June 15, the first concrete step toward possibly resuming competition later this year.
C.J. Brown plays basketball and football at Minneapolis North High School. “Social distancing has been challenging for a lot of athletes,” Brown s

It's no fun and no play, a 'devastating' turn for many teens in the city

Schools, parks and clubs are havens for many young people in the Twin Cities. For much of the past two months, they have been shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
North High School football and basketball player C.J. Brown.

High-need help: Boys and Girls Clubs at a glance

The need for connection remains strong.
Lakeville North senior Jenna Beckstrom couldn’t help but put on her team jersey as she practiced fielding and batting with her father, Jeff, last We

Memories wash away tears for championship-minded Lakeville North softball

Shared memories buoyed the Panthers after their softball season was lost.
Hopkins star Kerwin Walton (right) dribbled against Minnehaha Academy's Jalen Suggs this season. Walton is going to North Carolina; Suggs to Gonzaga.

N. Carolina-bound Walton didn't feel buzz about delayed college choice

Over the weekend, Kerwin Walton's name was popping up all over social media as he was trying to decide where to play college basketball. "I wasn't paying too much attention," he said with a chuckle.
The Jordan baseball park, also known as the “Mini Met,” has been a frequent host of state tournament baseball games.

Everyone loses as high school spring sports are called off

The Minnesota State High School League made the announcement shortly after Gov. Tim Walz said that Minnesota schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
Gloves sat in the grass during a May 4, 2019 practice for the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field.

New plan would invite St. Paul Saints to join MLB's minor league system

The Saints are one of two independent baseball teams that would be invited to join the ranks of minor league franchises in a reorganization plan that would eliminate dozens of other teams.
The Jordan Baseball Park, also known as the "Mini Met," sits empty, just as ball fields do around the country.

Spring sports shutdown hits preps budgets with pluses and minuses

With schools shut down and sports on hold, expenses are down in athletics departments; but coaches are getting paid. "Regardless of winning or losing, they still have value," one AD said of coaches.
Farmington’s Zac Janz, a junior running back, had all his spring travel plans nixed by the pandemic.

No-look recruiting: Canceled football camps leave prep prospects no place to go

Spring is prime time for high school football players to get noticed by college recruiters. But the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping athletes from showing off their skills and coaches from making the personal contact that can lead to scholarships.
Saints manager George Tsamis celebrated an American Association title last September with infielder Chesny Young.

St. Paul Saints 'sitting tight' while pushing toward May 19 opening day

With the official start of the season still more than a month away, the 2019 American Association champions are moving forward with just a few changes to their typical preseason regimen.
The Blake girls’ lacrosse team played Minnehaha Academy in a game at Blake’s south campus in Hopkins on April 18, 2019.

Blake School extends sports shutdown to May 1; spring coaches hope, wait

The private school, one of the metro area's prominent athletic powers, is believed to be the first in the state to extend its sports program cancellations through April.
Minnehaha Academy’s Jalen Suggs dunked against the defense of Willie Wilson of Minneapolis North in a game on Feb. 27 at Minnehaha Academy. Photo: L

Mr. Football winner Jalen Suggs named Minnesota Mr. Basketball, too

The Minnehaha Academy star, who will play basketball at Gonzaga, became the first prep athlete to win the award as the state's top senior in football and basketball.
This spring’s virus scare poses Benilde-St. Margaret’s girls’ lacrosse coach Ana Bowlsby difficulties for team bonding.

Minnesota spring sports teams cling to hope despite forced spring break

The COVID-19 restrictions challenge prep teams to train in creative ways but the spring sports seasons have not been called off outright.
Hopkins guard Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers adds Miss Minnesota Basketball to senior season honors

The UConn-bound Hopkins star was named Minnesota's top high school girls' basketball senior.
Coach Liz Carpentier had hoped the Tigers could showcase their talents.

First time at state for injury-tested Farmington ends without getting a final shot

DeLaSalle girls' and boys' basketball teams also saw their seasons end abruptly.
Becker’s bench celebrated a three-point shot against Waconia during their match up in the Class 3A girls' basketball semifinals

When the going gets sad, Becker's bonded Bulldogs go bowling

After the state tournament was abruptly called off Friday, Becker's girls' basketball players credited coach Dan Baird for helping them focus on the good - like a team bowling outing.