Here are the first Minnesota volleyball preseason rankings of the year:
Class AAA Rankings
1. Eagan (8)
2. Prior Lake
3. Lakeville North
5. Champlin Park
7. East Ridge
Class AA Rankings
1. Maple Lake (8)
4. Southwest Christian
6. North Branch
7. Sauk Centre
Class A Rankings
1. Mayer Lutheran (8)
4. Bethlehem Academy
6. Rush City
8. Wadena-Deer Creek
The first Minnesota volleyball rankings are out. Lots of good volleyball teams make their home in southeast Minnesota and we’ll have coverage on our website at bluffcountrynews.com. Spread the word for family and friends that live out of town.
Southeast Minnesota has several good teams in the Class A and Class AA rankings. The first official day of practice is August 14. Fall sports is basically upon us. Can’t wait to get going on the seasons again.
The Rochester John Marshall boy’s basketball team is off to a 2-0 start to the young season as they get set to head to Albert Lea on Friday night.
Rockets head coach Kirk Thompson is pleased with the unbeaten start to the season, but said they played much better basketball in the second game against Mankato East.
Offensive execution was much better in the second game.
“We were definitely getting better looks in the second game,” Thompson said, “especially wide open 3’s. It’s early in the season, but we need to knock those down.”
The team is missing a few veteran players from last season’s conference championship team.
“There were a couple football injuries that knocked kids out for the season,” Thompson said. “We also had one kid that played quite a bit but chose not to go out for the team this year.”
He said the roster features a good mix of experience and some talented young players too.
Thompson said there’s good talent in the underclassmen ranks too.
“Of course, we have 6’ 8” Matthew Hurt on the roster too,” Thompson said. “As an eighth grader, he was an all-conference player, and now he’s one of the best ninth graders in the country. Even as a freshman this year, it’s not like this is a new experience for him.”
Here’s the Rochester John Marshall boy’s basketball team for 2015-2016. (Photo from johnmarshallrockets.org)
He said the Rockets have pretty good size and we’re fairly athletic. Defense will be a big key to success this season.
“Once they learn to buy into the defensive system and realize that could win a lot of games for us,” Thompson said, “I think that will really help us as the season goes on.”
The Big 9 Conference will be a tough race again this year.
“There’s a number of good teams,” Thompson said. “We were fortunate enough to win it last year, and we hope to be in the mix again. There are 3 conference teams ranked in Class AAA, including Northfield, Red Wing, and Mankato East.”
Here’s a quick highlight from last year’s JM win over Winona, courtesy of WKBT-TV.