Ringer Digest
Jan/Feb/Mar  2018 
A Charter of the NHPA
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
From the Editor

Notice: The old email address ( Ringerdigest@minnesotahorseshoes.com) for submitting digest material has been discontinued. 
Please submit all material to Jlabro6186@aol.com

      Over the years the number of issues and the timing of the Ringer Digest has changed. Currently we publish 6 issues annually, on a bi-monthly schedule. Beginning with this issue, we will be starting the year with a three month issue (Jan-Feb-Mar). Then we will publish bi-monthly during the more active season (Apr-May) (Jun-Jul) (Aug-Sep). The last official Digest of the year will be a three month issue (Oct-Nov-Dec). That brings it to 5 issues annually. We do plan to create a 6th issue, the Special State Tournament Edition. Everything about the State event will be in this issue, like it was in 2017.
       Another thing I wanted to share with you is the opportunity to see how the Digest is prepared, processed, and delivered. We use a very popular service called Constant Contact. If there is anyone out there who has any interest in learning more, and possibly taking a shot at being the MGSHPA Editor, give me a shout and we chat about it.  Jlabro6186@aol.com
Recognizing Our Horseshoe Veterans
        Marlys Timm  had an idea to have some fun and also honor our horseshoepitching veterans. Originally we thought we might make you guess who the veterans in the photos were, but we changed course and decided to just put the vets info along with their photo.
Please take a moment to say thank you to these fine people, and all veterans, for serving this great nation and fighting to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy!

George R. Huntington
Illinois Pitcher
US Navy 1960 -1964
3 years aboard the USS Everglades AD24 (Destroyer Tender)

Stan Barney
MN  Pitcher
Army 1963
Ft. Leonard Wood  Mo,
Ft. Knox Kentucky
Operated Armored tanks in Germany

Ron Smith
Louisiana Regional Director
Navy 1967
USS Enterprises CVAN 65, a nuclear aircraft carrier, with the seventh fleet.
Served three tours in
Vietnam .

David Borscheid
MN  Pitcher
Army  1971-72
Company C, 2nd of the 27th wolfhounds 71-72

      Casey Sluys CA
 NHPF President
US Navy 1964 - 1968
Three tours to the Caribbean on the USS Guam LPH-9

Arlen Lee 
SD   Pitcher
US Marine Corps   1985 to 1991    Kaneohe , Hawaii
First Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1stMEB)
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPAC).  

Al Blumer
MN  Pitcher
US Army   1979 - 1991
205th Infantry Brigade
Rapid Deployment Force

Blake Roberts - OH
US Air Force
Currently deployed to
Afghanistan .
First cadet World Champion.

Tom McQueen - NV
US Navy

Shawn Warnemunde
MN   Pitcher
US Army    1991-1993
Parachute Infantry Regiment-82nd Airborne 

Ron Deckard
Florida Regional Director
US Air Force  1962-1966
Personnel Specialist
Tours in Phillipines , Thailand , Hong Kong

Ray Volkers
MN Pitcher
National Guard 1960-1968
Company C 2nd Battalion
Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Leo LaBrosse
MN Pitcher and former charter secretary
US Army 1942-1945
Served in 302nd Artillery Battallion under General Patton
European theater

Jerry Hokkala
MN Pitcher
US Army  1969-1972
Rank E5
Stationed in Germany

Don Ebbinga
Korea  1953-1957

Dick LaBrosse
        MN Junior pitcher
       US Navy  1961-1966
    Stationed in Key West during Cuban missile crisis

David Haugen
MN pitcher
US Army 1971-1972
Trained combat engineer. 
3rd infantry division.
G2 intelligence,
Special  Operations  Center

Byron Edwards
MN pitcher
(Picture Unavailable)
US Army  1946-1948
Assigned to interior guard duty Los Alamos , NM
Guarding the atomic energy scientific community.
We were not needed elsewhere at that time, as the "war to end all wars" was over

Larry Strandquist
MN pitcher
US National Guard 1966

Denny Keogh
MN pitcher
US Navy 1969 -1973
CT Communications Tech
Pensacola  FL.  
Communications  School , Homestead FL., The Philippines , and Vietnam .

Ronald Heacock
MN pitcher
US Navy 1967 - 1970
RVAH11 USS KittyHawk
VA65 USS KittyHawk
both tours Vietnam
 VA65 USS Independence . Mediterranean

Mike Maguire
MN pitcher
US Marines 1963 to 1967
Vietnam Veteran
Made the rank of Captain

Erwin W. Tischer
MN HOF  promoter
US Army 1954 - 1955
PFC , US 55 412 144
Engineer Fire Fighting Company
8075th Army Unit APO 59
Fort Riley KN, Fort Chaffey AK ,
Fort Lewis WA, Pusan Korea ,
Fort Lewis WA, discharged

Horace Clayton Gage
Wisconsin pitcher
US Navy 1941- 1945
U.S.S. South Dakota 
BB57 Battleship
Awarded Bronze Star Medal

Bill Danielson
MN pitcher
US Navy 1962 - 1988

Jim Aleckson
MN pitcher
US Army 1956

Ray Pierce SR
MN pitcher
US Army 1965 - 2001
2 tours Vietnam
retired 232 yrs as 
Command Sergeant Major

Ray Pierce JR
MN pitcher
US Army National Guard 1989-2002
Sergeant 11 years
Ryan Pierce
MN pitcher
US Army 1994 - 2017
Two tours Middle East
retired 20 yrs First Sergeant
Rory (Rocky) Pierce
MN pitcher
US Army National Guard
1996 - 2002

President's Message
Rick Wright

Hey Everyone,
     I hope everyone had a great holiday season. This time of the year, the winter leagues are going strong and I hope everyone has a chance to participate in the winter tournaments that are going on. Thank you to all the tournament directors for all your hard work so we can have a chance to play during the winter months.
     I would like to remind everyone that on Saturday, March 24th, we will be having a winter summit meeting. The meeting will be held at the Forest Lake VFW at 10 am. We will meet in the morning, break for lunch and I anticipate we will be finished by 4 pm. I am looking for representation from every club. It can be the Club President, League Director, Tournament director or just a person that is your spokesman of your club. We want to share with you information that will help you start up your horseshoe season, how to share our sport with others, how to finish up your league play etc. A lot of you might have questions or be new to the position and this will be a good time to address them and help keep your club running smoothly. We will also offer help for tournament directors on who to send any league or tournament results to as well. I hope to see someone from every club make it to this very informative meeting.
See you on the courts
South VP
Robin Constance

As you are reading this, Christmas, New year`s, and the other seasonal holidays are over. Hopefully the Vikings are still in the playoffs and the Timberwolves and Wild are headed for the playoffs. As for New Year`s resolutions, I would like to participate in a couple of added tournaments, and try to convince my neighbors to give horseshoes a try. I told them about the fun we have and the variations in Ringer percentage from 5 percent to upwards of 60 percent, with most of the pitchers on  the lower end of the scale. On our Tuesday night league in Bloomington I am one of the youngest and then on Wednesday I would be one of the oldest pitchers. Vern Bolduc, an WWII veteran,  is 93 years old and still pitching and we have several more over the age of 80. Wednesdays in Bloomington and in West St Paul our percentages vary from about 1 percent to Sara Otto`s 62 percent so there is room for all in our inexpensive sport.
After the first of the year I will be contacting all the club`s in the South District to familiarize myself to the contact people for each club. If anything has changed as far as contacts please let either myself or Ann Hagman know or if you have questions about anything give me a call or send me an email. My email address is     robin.constance@landisgyr.com     and phone number is 612-327-0553. Remember, spread the news about horseshoes, enter some of the Winter tournaments, and have a safe and happy Winter season.

North VP     
Janet Larson

     What is it that keeps you pitching? Is it the competition, the friendships, the exercise, or maybe the chance to do something together as a family? It can be a very affordable sport, depending on how far you are willing to drive for tournaments. I personally am addicted for all of the above reasons. I love the fact that everyone can participate at their own level, and have a chance to be successful. I love the fact that it is a multi-generational sport. I like challenging myself to keep up to my opponents and try to keep improving on my personal bests. I enjoy familiar tournaments and pitchers, and I like trying new ones and going up against new opponents. I especially love being able to share this sport as a family. You might have your own reasons for pitching, whether you simply pitch on league or if you get more involved by pitching in tournaments as well.
      I know that it can be hard to get others interested in trying out the league experience, people are busy and they do not feel they have the time to commit to one night a week. Do not give up and do not stop sharing your love for the sport. Be passionate when you share your experiences. Find ways to introduce the sport to others that may not involve a huge commitment right away. You never know when you might connect with someone who notices your excitement and may want to get involved with horseshoes. Be a patient instructor and encourager. Keep offering opportunities for them to see you in action. Look for casual pitchers and share information with them about leagues and tournaments. Make it fun, share rides, include a potluck or a group meal with a tournament. We have been to several tournaments in Kansas that included potluck meals. It encourages stronger bonds and friendships. Take the time to get involved with a new aspect of the sport, because, like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. Now is the time to plan your events for the upcoming season, change things up a bit, try a new tournament, invite a friend or family member, or make your next tournament part of a bigger adventure.
     Word of mouth is still the best way to promote our sport, but advertising in local papers and summer rec brochures has worked for us in the past as well. Remember to stay positive and have fun, because in the end, that is our ultimate goal. A huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to put on a tournament, participate in a league or tournament, write an article for the digest, or encourage a new member. Whatever it is you do to keep our sport alive, keep up the good work. It takes many people with a variety of talents to keep everything going.
 See you on a court soon,
From the Statsman
Josh Olson

Hello Everyone
     I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! By the time you all are reading this it will be January and the new season of horseshoes will have officially begun. As most of you know the Dakota Magic Casino Tournaments have been resurrected! I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to participating in these events, I have heard many great stories from those tournaments and hope to see many of you there over the 3-day weekend!

     Now to business, I am still working on the Pitcher of the Year Point Totals, by the time you read this I "Should" have the up-to-date totals on the website.

     Tournament Directors, if you haven't responded to Jerry about the upcoming tournament Schedule for the 2018 Season please do so now! Directors please remember to send me your results from the tournaments this winter!

     REMINDER that our National Dues went up for the 2018 Season, $25/National Dues and Minnesota is still staying with the $13 for a total of $38. If you are planning on playing in Dakota Magic this winter, or any other winter tournaments in general, make sure you contact Ann Hagman for your 2018 membership card. If you visit the Charter website you can purchase your membership online!

      Since this issue is covering the months of Jan/Feb/March, I will be contacting some of you for the up and coming Team World event that will be held in May in Beloit, Wisconsin. If you would like to go to Beloit in May and participate, please let me know so I can get you on a team. It is one of the most fun horseshoe tournaments to play in, it's a 3-day tournament, Friday-Sunday, and horseshoes all day each day.

     World Tournament, don't forget to get your 4 events in for the upcoming World Tournament in Florence, South Carolina! Never to early to start looking at flights if you are flying. The tournament is also earlier than previous years, July 9th - 21st, so sign up NOW!

     I would also like to talk about Membership, I would encourage everyone to do their part and get a new member to join horseshoes this year, even if its just for league, get them sanctioned and bring them along to a tournament that you are going to, I know its hard to get some people to commit to things but it's worth a shot. Minnesota was the #1 Charter, now we are falling behind and not holding our spot on the top anymore, so let's get back up there.

That's all for now, any questions or comments please contact me!         scrunchy_8@hotmail.com
   Josh       ~STATSMAN~

News Media Jottings
By Marlys Timm

     2018, a new year of horseshoe travels, which is what my New Year's Resolution is this year. Since joining the MGSHPA 30 years ago I have pitched in many tournaments but this year I am making it a priority of entering ones that I have never pitched in before.
Now is also the time for all of us to be actively recruiting for our clubs. Maybe by waiving a new member's dues the first year is something to consider. Our club did this last year and got 15 new members so hopefully they liked it enough to return this year. Sometimes people lose interest and it just takes that little extra encouragement to keep them pitching. See you on the courts.

Regional Director
By Jerry LaBrosse

     Thank you to all the Tournament Directors who have provided us with their tournament dates and details. This is very helpful in determining your spring and summer tournament plans. And of course we have some winter tournaments planned beginning in January. Once again, it is very advisable to enter these winter tournaments early. Sometimes they fill quickly and sometimes they don't. If you really want to play, don't take the chance of missing out and just sign up early.
Remember, you need 4 sanctioned Natstats events on your record by May 15th to qualify for the World Tournament.
     You saw Rick's announcement of the spring Summit Meeting. This was done several times in years past and proved to be very fruitful. We are hoping to have representatives from every one of our clubs attend. Hopefully the directors, secretaries, and TD's can attend. We will be reviewing our procedures and policies, and listening to everyone's input. Everyone will go away from this meeting well informed and ready to go.
       2018 is the year the NHPA considers Proposed Rules Changes (PRC). All the PRC's received by the November 30th deadline are now being reviewed by the NHPA Rules/Bylaws Committee, of which I am a member. The Committee's function is to make sure the rule is sensible and viable, and worded correctly in the right format. They are then  submitted to the NHPA Council for review at their annual winter meeting. Once approved, the PRC's are then placed on the ballot for voting at the Annual Convention in Florence. Once the list of PRC's is complete, I will share them with our membership.

       Let's make 2018 a prosperous year for membership growth in MN.  Pay close attention to a new tournament on our summer list called the Minnesota Mixer (June 2nd - Forest Lake). This tournament will be designed to spark new members into joining our association. It will be a doubles format with one sanctioned member teamed with a new member. Watch for more details on this and other recruitment tools coming up. 
      There is one thing that I have seen work right in my backyard here in Rockford. Smaller towns usually have a "community calendar" listing local events for free. Contact the city and see if you can get an "Introduction to Horseshoepitching" class scheduled at your local club. Have your club people help the newcomers and show them how much fun it can be. Marlys Timm  of the Rockford Ringers Horseshoe Club has had great success using this simple method.

I want to personally wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year !

From the Nominations  Director
By Joe Mueller

     Congratulations To Al Larson for being Inducted into the Hall of Fame  in 2017. I would like to remind our members that I am accepting Nominations for The Hall of Fame (Deadline May 1st) , Junior Scholarship (Deadline June 15th) Rookie Of The Year (Deadline August 1st),  Edi Holland Sportsmanship Award (Deadline August 1st)and Achievement Awards (Deadline August 1st). There are many of pitchers that deserve these awards and we would like to recognize them at the State Banquet. If you have any questions or would like to make a nomination please contact me.

Happy New Year

Birthday Cheers - Byron "Mike" Edwards, Alexandria HC
 We would like wish a Happy 90th Birthday to Byron "Mike" Edwards.  Mike has been a member of the Alexandria Horseshoe League since 2000, but he has been pitching since he was about 8 years old.  Mike is still a very competitive pitcher, placing 1st in Class B during the league singles competition.  Then, together with his partner Chuck Betterman, they finished 2nd in the Double Elimination Portion of the League competition.  Mike is an excellent example of how this sport truly is a sport for all ages. 


Greenfield Horseshoe Club in full swing
By Jerry LaBrosse

Monday Night: 
 This group meets every Monday night through the middle of March. They throw 6 games, 40 shoes, alternate pitch handicap.

Great chemistry and lots of fun !

(L-R) Dave Borscheid, Tom Strandquist, Ron Fadden, James Gasper, Dwayne Robeck,Lowell Johnson, Bill Marquette

Thursday Night:
The Thursday Night Straightaway League features 3 pitchers well into the 60 +%  bracket, and many "wallhangers" of 80% games are posted. They have perfected the art of striving for excellence while having a barrel of fun doing it. Several State Championship Class pitchers abound, including current MN State Champion Mark Smith.

(L-R Front)   Lori York, Sara Otto
 (L-R Back)   Jerry Hokkala, Joe Mueller, Ray Volkers, Tom Prokop, Mark Smith
Congratulations to former GHC member Pat Backhaus who finally received his new heart on October 18th, and all is going great !! He's got a new lease on life thanks to all of your prayers and support. Pat, we wish you the best in your ongoing recovery and look forward to seeing you back in the pits !

Please keep Pat in your prayers
 The Ringers of Rice 2017 Season Summary
    By Lu Cave President
     The Ringers of Rice Horseshoe club began their regular pitching on May 15th and concluded on August 14th. This year 26 pitchers took part in two shifts each Monday evening at the club courts located at O'Briens Pub in Rice, Minnesota.  The second shift got rained out once, otherwise we made it through the whole season.
     First shift teams included Auto Body 2000, Melbanc Cabinets, Morningstar Grooming and Howies St Stephen. Second shift teams included Stoltman Insurance, DMZ Trucking, K/S Construction and Nathes Insurance. Melbanc Cabinets had the most wins for the first shift. Members of their team were Mel Larsen, Tom Lashinski and Kathy Welle. Stoltman Insurance came out on top for the second shift. Their team members were Brian Wipper, Ben Grebinoski and Annette Grebinoski. The two teams played off for the overall league champions on August 21st and Stoltman Insurance earned the traveling trophy.
     Ringers of Rice pitchers and their spouses gathered on August 21st and enjoyed pizza provide by the club and were presented with awards. Stoltman Insurance was awarded the League Championship Trophy. Bonnie Poplinski earned the High Ringer award with a 72% game as well as High Season Average with 55.65% for the first shift. High Game Over Average went to Jim Volkers with a game 28.4% over his average. Bev Grose had the Most Improved Average for both shifts with 6.14% over her average. For the second shift Brian Wipper and Kathy Stueve tied for High Game with a 55%. Brian Wipper had the High Season Average with a 40.38% High Game Over Average went to Kathy Stueve with 20.19% over her average. The Sportsmanship Award went to Tom Lashinski.
     Myron Vanderweyst organized an in-league tournament that was held on August 28th with eight members participating in two classes. The class winners were Ginger O'Brien and Mike Holtz. Ginger won the playoff between her and Mike to give her the championship.
     Thanks go to all the team sponsors for their support this year. Special thanks to Keith O'Brien and his staff at O'Briens Pub.

2017 Jack Frost Tournament 
By Janet Larson
     The tournament was held on 11/18, a cool but sunny day. The frost seemed to be on everyone's horseshoes, or maybe it was a little late fall rustiness. Leslie Marquardt, in Class B, was the only pitcher of the day who apparently shined up his shoes and was ready to play. He gave a perfect performance with 7 wins, 0 losses and a whopping 5.27% over his average, the only pitcher to finish on the plus side of his average. Leslie also had the high ringer % game in Class B at 37.5%, 15.27% above his average. Mike Littell, started out with a loss to Leslie, but then went on to win the next four and finished with one more win to take second place. Steve Berning finished 3rd. He had a bit of a slow start, but found the stake in games 4, 5 and 6, pitching a 35% game in 5 which was 12.2% over his average.
     In Class A Russ Girtz had a good day, losing only one game by a mere 4 points, and finishing just 1.29% below his average to take 1st place. Jim Aleckson was back to being a tough opponent, winning 5 games and having the high game in Class A at 67.5%. One of his losses was to Russ by just one point. Marlys Timm came in 3rd. You may wonder why Janet Larson photo-bombed the winners photo. She and Marlys originally thought they had tied with 4 wins and 3 losses, with the tie breaker being their head to head game. Later they realized that Gerald Hagen had also finished 4/3 and they had each beaten each other in one game. So the tie breaker then went to over/under average which was Marlys at 0.22% below her average which was the best anyone did in Class A.
     Congrats to all the winners and thanks to Wayne Peterson and his crew for hosting this tournament. Wayne served up some good barbeques for us too. If you get a chance check out the Becker tournaments, they do a good job with their events.

(L_R) Jim Aleckson, Russ Girtz,
 Janet Larson, Marlys Timm

(L-R) Steve Berning, Leslie Marquardt, Mike Littell

   Upcoming Events

                Arctic Open                      
Sanction #  23-18-001
Date: 1/20/2018
Location: Isanti Indoor
Entry Fee: $25,juniors $5
Dead Line:  1/10/2018
Director : Shawn Warnemunde
               414 11th Ave NW
               Isanti, MN 55040
Additional Information
Limited to first PAID 16 players.
40 shoe games, handicap if needed

NHPF Benefit
Sanction # 23-18-002
Date: 2/3/18
Location: Upsala
Entry Fee: $30
Dead Line: 01/24/18
Director: Jerry LaBrosse
              8170 Fern Ln
              Greenfield, MN 55357
Additional Information
Eight-person classes; 40-shoe games; may be handicapped; $5 of every entry will be donated to the NHPF in the name of the MGSHPA; 50-50 drawings and door prizes

Ice Hole Open
Sanction #  23-18-003
Date:  2/17/18
Location Isanti Indoor
Entry Fee: $25 Juniors $5
Dead Line 2/7/18
Director :  Shawn Warnemunde
                414 11th Ave NW
                Isanti, MN 55040
Additional Information
Limited to first PAID 16 players. 40 shoe games, handicap if needed

March Madness
Sanction #  23-18-004
Date: 03/03/18
Location Upsala
Entry Fee:  $30
Dead Line 2/21/18
Director: Joe Mueller
          2057  152nd Ln NE
          Ham Lake, MN 55304

Additional Information

St Patty's Tournament
Sanction # 23-18-006
Date: 3/17/18
Location Isanti Indoor
Entry Fee: $25 Juniors $5
Dead Line 03/07/18
Director: Shawn Warnemunde
              414 11th Ave NW
              Isanti, MN 55040
Additional Information
Limited to first PAID 16 players. 40 shoe games, handicap if needed

Isanti Spring Fling
Sanction # 23-18-007
Location Isanti Indoor
Entry Fee: $25 Juniors $5
Dead Line :03/07/18
Director:  Shawn Warnemunde
               414 11th Ave NW
               Isanti, MN 55040
Additional Information
Limited to first PAID 16 players. 40 shoe games, handicap if needed

Upsala Spring
                                                    Sanction # 23-18-00
                                                        Date: 4-21-18
Entry Fee: $30
Location Upsala
Dead Line: 4-11-18
Director: Josh Olson
               PO Box 353
                        Bertha, MN 56437
Additional Information 

MGSHPA Executive Board       MGSHPA Directors

Rick Wright
50586 Shorewood Circle
Rush City ,Mn 55069

North Vice President
Janet Larson
22651Co Rd 82 NW.
Evansville,MN 56326

South Vice President
Robin Constance
18273 Emerald Trail
Farmington, MN 55024


Ringer Digest Editor
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield,MN 55357

Josh Olson
PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

Rob Hagman
652 Cross St.
Anoka,MN 55303

Nominations Director 
Joe Mueller
2057 152nd Lane
Ham Lake, MN 55304

Constitution and Bylaws
Gordy Schmidt
5631 187th St. W
Farmington, MN 55024

Promotion/News Media Director
Marlys Timm
4210 Woodhill Drive
Loretto ,MN 55357

Junior Promotions Director
April Lynch
25679 Friesland Ct
Wyoming, MN 55902

Communications Director
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield, MN 55357

About Us
MGSHPA's Ringer Digest is the official newsletter of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association. It is free to members of the MGSHPA and other interested parties. Changes of email address can be sent directly to the editor     Jlabro6186@aol.com

All submissions to the Ringer Digest Editor is subject to editing, available space, and must be received by the 10th of the month preceding the date of issue.
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