Ringer Digest
2018 Special State Tournament Issue
A Charter of the NHPA
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
THE 2019 AND 2020 MGSHPA State SinglesTournament will be held in Hibbing ,MN.
Congratulations and thank you to the Hibbing Horseshoe Club for hosting these events 

  Men's Champion
 Mark Smith

  Women's Champion
        Janet Larson

     Elder's Champion
Jim Aleckson

    Cadet Champion
   Marshall Swenson

    Junior Champion
        Kyle Holland

The coveted traveling trophy
Small club with young pitchers win BIG award!
By Janet Larson
This Alexandria Horseshoe Club is only two years old. It has seven members. The oldest pitcher is 12 years old, yes that is correct, and the youngest pitcher is nine. This is not the Alexandria Horseshoe Club that many of you have heard of. This is the Alexandria JUNIOR Horseshoe Club and they earned a BIG award.
Jackson Fiala is eleven. He just started pitching this year with a pair of horseshoes he got from his great-grandfather. Ryan Boyer is nine and started pitching last year with a pair of horseshoes he got from Tim Bayerl. Marshal Swenson is the pro of this threesome; he is eleven but rather small in stature. He has been pitching for a number of years, but it took him awhile to get strong enough to throw from 20 feet. Marshal is quite excited that he is now better than his dad, Bruce.
Ryan finished 3rd in Cadet B, this year, his second appearance at MN State. Jackson claimed 1st in Cadet B, while Marshal is this year's Cadet Class A Champion, earning that title in a tight playoff game with Tyler Condon, where both boys pitched 34%. Tyler is from Spring Park and a member of the Rockford Club.
The efforts of these boys at MN State and the competition they shared with their club members this summer, earned them the title of MN State Horseshoe League Champions and they are now in possession of the traveling trophy that goes with this honor. Their name now joins the other Alexandria League on the trophy, which won it back in 2014.

Back row, left to right, Brayden Fiala, Austen Hegg, Abbey Hegg, Jackson Fiala, Ryan Boyer. 
 Kneeling in front:  Marshal Swenson, and Kyle Tvrdik. 
                                    2018 MGSHPA Awards

                      Mark Smith 
    Inducted into the MGSHPA
                  Hall of Fame

   Josh Olson
President's  Award

              Ben LaCoursiere
 Tournament Attendance Award

                Kevin Hagman
             Rookie of the Year

                   Edi Holland
         Sportsmanship Award
                     Joe Mueller

Junior Pitcher Of the Year
Tyler Condon

    Pitcher of the Year Winners
           Patti Oakes, Marlys Timm, Brian Wipper, 
1st place winner Bob Knudtson,
 Brad Heth, and Dick Dvorak

        Appreciation Award
      Pine City Horseshoe Club
Andy Olson, Trevor Teich, Eric Dehkes, Jennifer O'Neil, Terry Clementson, Alvin Barclay

Men's State Championship Recap          By Josh Olson

Another one for the history Books Folks. The 2018 State Championship has come and gone. This year the lowest average in the Men's Championship Class was 37.5%. We had some new blood in there which is always great, we Had a First time State tournament participant, he even won his class the Saturday before, Andy Olson, Tracy Seppelt and Brian Wipper also were among the new blood for the Championship group, congrats to those guys along with Jerry Werk and Shawn Warnemunde for making the Championship class as well. Eric Dehkes, Josh Olson and Mark Smith would round out the rest of the eight competitors for the Championship group, Mark and Eric started the Contest out red hot, Mark had a 66% and Eric had a 70%, they were setting the tone that was for sure, and they both didn't let up that was for sure. Josh Olson had a slow start but came back game #2 with a nice 75%, 21 ringers of out 28 shoes, that was the High Game of the Championship Group and for the Day as well. Mark and Eric both had a couple 70% games, Mark Smith came home with the Patch and Crown once again this year making that 2 years in a row, but let me tell you, HE earned it, he battled back through some games in the middle of the day and did what he had to do against the top competitors in his group. Eric sure had a great day of pitching as well, pitching over 7% over his entry average and only losing one game to Mark Smith. Eric took home runner up, and Josh Olson was the 3rd place finisher losing to both Eric and Mark. Some other highlights from the Men's group, Shawn Warnemunde had a great day of competition, throwing over 8% over his entry average. It is always great to pitch against the top Men in the State every year, and these Guys sure did prove that they deserved to be there on Monday! I look forward to doing it all over again up in Hibbing for the next two years, we will get to play in a World Tournament Atmosphere which will bring out the best in all of us! Until next Year, congrats again to Mark Smith on the Championship Victory, and on your rightful spot into the MGSHPA Hall of Fame! See you all on the court next year!!


(L-R) Josh Olson, Jerry Werk, Andy Olson, Eric Dyhkes, Mark Smith,
 Shawn Warnemunde, Tracy Seppelt, and Brian Wipper
2018 Elder's Championship                by Janet Larson
     Fifty Eight Years
With the absence of, Defending Champion, Sig Armitage in the Elder's division a new Champion was inevitable, but who would rise to the top. I know from my own personal experience that the four seeded Elders, Jim Aleckson, Ray Volkers, Bill Danielson, and Henry Greenwaldt, are all very hard to top on the courts. Three pitchers from Elders B and one from Elders C would move up to take on the challenge or simply enjoy the experience. Dick Dvorak finished second in Elders B, with 52.86% ringers taking the #5 spot. Getting the win in Elders B while pitching 51.07%, gave Bob Knudtson the #6 spot. Gene Eitreim had a tough time getting the wins on Sunday, but did pitch 51.79%, so he moved into the 7th spot. Outdoing the rest of Elders B, Toby Neuenschwander averaged 50.71% on Friday evening in Elders C to win that class and earn the privilege to pitch with the best.
For Toby and Dick, this would be their first time pitching in the Elder's Championship. While Gene has only been pitching horseshoes for 7 years, this year marked his 5th appearance in this class. He came close to winning it last year but had to settle for 2nd. It would also be Bill and Ray's 5th time here, Bill won in 2015, and Ray finished in 2nd place in 2016. For Henry this was his eighth consecutive year, with 2nd place back in 2014 being his best finish. Bob also recorded his eighth appearance but he has been absent the last 3 years. He held the Championship title back in 2008, 2009 and 2010, prior to Sig's arrival in Elders. There is a lot of experience in this group, but no one came into this tournament with more experience then Jim Aleckson! Jim has been pitching for 58 years. In 1993 Jim was inducted into the MN Hall of Fame as a pitcher. This year marked Jim's ninth time in the Elders Championship. He missed last year due to health reasons, but luckily is fully recovered and once again has the spring back in his step.
If you had the opportunity to watch Jim out on the courts you may have thought you were watching the Cadet class. When Jim is pitching well and especially if the game is close, he dances around on the court like a young buck, but he is quick to inform you that he is now eighty years young. It is so much fun to watch him pitch with that much energy and enthusiasm.
All of these men pitched very well. In the end, the difference in the top four pitcher's ringer percents was just 3.17%. All eight pitchers had at least one game over 60%. Ray had two games over 70%. Ray would record the best average, but unfortunately was the recipient of Bob's best game and later lost two very close games to Bill and Jim. The wheels fell off for Jim in the 4th game causing him to lose to Dick. Bill lost his 6th game to Jim, leaving them each with one loss and forcing a playoff game. The playoff game would be very close the whole way, causing much excitement and dancing on Jim's part. In the end Jim would finally be victorious, claiming his well-deserved spot on the podium, his first State Championship title. Congratulations Jim!
Submitted by Janet Larson

(L-R)   Dick Dvorak, Henry Greenwaldt, Gene Eitreim, Ray Volkers, Jim Aleckson,
 Toby Neuenschwander, Bill Danielson, Bob Knudtson

  2018  Women's Championships                       by Marlys Timm

Defending Women's Class A champion, Janet Larson, captured her 5thconsecutive state championship making it her 7th overall, overtaking Edi Holland who had six titles and  moved Janet into the third winningest woman following sisters Phyllis Negaard who has won 14 state titles and Bev Nathe who won 12 titles.
Monday's opening game featured two second year Class A pitchers Jennifer O'Neil and Minnie Fischer. Minnie who has played 31 years in a local bar league was recruited by Queen Sylvia B. to pitch in their sanctioned league last year. In 2017 as well as this year, Minnie was seeded into the Women Class A Championship round. Minnie jumped off to a good lead, Jennifer started hitting but ended up just short losing to Minnie 41-39.
The second round found Lori York on fire throwing a 60% game against a tough Helen Hawkinson for the win.  The third game also went long, 60 shoes, with Janet Larson pulling out the 44-38 win over 1988 MGSHPA State Girls Champion Christy Cave Schilling who has pitched with the best in the Tri-County League with the likes of sisters Bev and Phyllis as well as her Mom Lu Cave and Rosie Leyk all top notch world pitchers in their day.  This experience may have played a role in her 40-30 win hitting 24 ringers out of 48 over Minnie Fischer in the fourth game. 
The fifth game went the longest with 68 shoes and was one of the best matches of the day with Helen hitting 34 ringers however Minnie rose to the occasion nailing 40 of 68 to win 40-28.  Another great match that round found 4th year Championship class pitcher Cheri Newcombe having her best game hitting 18 ringers out of 38 against Lori York  who fell short in the 42-23 loss.
The sixth game was a great game to watch as Janet and Minnie went head to head, Janet was on her game and Minnie was always looking at two around the stake which cost several of her shoes to back off the stake just short of a ringer and Janet took it 40-33 pitching 60% while Minnie hit 56%, and with this win over Minnie, Janet had a lock on first place as it put her up by two games going into her last game against Helen Hawkinson. Janet was pitching well and was up 30-16 after 30 shoes when Helen upped her game and came back for a 41-39 win over Janet.  Minnie summed up the day well "There's no slacking in Class A, you need to be on your game."

 (L-R)  Tina Bussey, Christy Schilling, Minnie Fischer, Janet Larson,
Helen Hawkinson, Cheri Newcombe, and Jennifer O'Neil
                                 2018 Juniors/Cadet Recap
 by April Lynch: Junior Director
2018 continues to show how important young people are not only to the NHPA, but specifically to the MGSHPA.  As for the tournament itself, we had 2 Cadet classes with 7 Cadets, and 2 junior classes with 6 juniors. After a great play-off game between Kyle Holland and Tyler Stone, Kyle Holland won the Junior state title with a 4 & 1 record pitching 28.32%.  The Cadet state champion this year is Marshal Swenson with a record of 4 &1 pitching 34%. There was another exciting playoff game in the Cadet A this year with Tyler Condon and Marshal Swenson that was unbelievable to watch.  Both boys gave it their all and the concentration was top notch with both these boys. The game was a nail biter with both boys being tied 16 to 16 at 28 shoes.   Marshall won the game with his last 2 shoes after scoring 6 points making his score 22 and Tyler 16. Wow, what a game with both boys showing exemplary sportsmanship!!!
 This year's junior party was filled with the kids enjoying all the pizza they could eat with a beverage included.  Afterwards, some kids displayed some pretty cool dance moves while others had some fun showing off their pull up abilities. Micah and I posted some of these awesome videos of the kids in action to the Just 4 Juniors Facebook Page, check it out and sign up to become a member. For the grand finale at the party, all the kids got a chance to do a cool project with their horseshoes called "Hydro Paint Dipping" using spray paint.  This was an activity enjoyed by all and the shoes turned out so unique with many different colors.  A huge thank you goes out to my longtime friend Janet Lundquist for this awesome idea!
I really enjoyed hanging out with these kids and getting to know them again this year. These kids are the future of this sport and we are all so grateful for the support you offer them. Cheering them on, score keeping for them, or just being there to watch. I remember very clearly as a junior pitcher all the adults around this sport that were always right there cheering me on!  It's not an activity that is at the top of most kids' list in the summer, but if we continue to put time and effort into their experience when they come to any of our tournaments, it will help them build friendships like we all have that will keep them coming back for years to come! 



                                                   Junior A
                             Tyler Stone, Kyle Holland, Colton Williams

                                                     Cadet A
                      Tyler Condon, Marshall Swenson, Justice Martin

                                                        Junior B
                           Devin Stone, Trenton Thissen, Brenna Hagman

                                                    Cadet B
             Tyler Condon, Linnea Lynch, Jackson Fiala, Justice Martin
                                         Kevin Hagman, Ryan Boyer


  Congratulations to all Class Winners  

                          Women's A
   Minnie Fischer, Janet Larson, Christy Schilling

                           Women's B
  Lori York, Christy Schilling, Annette Grebinoski

                          Women's C
 Patti Oakes, Anna Pierce, Colleen Szabo

                            Women's D
  Sue Pierce, Carolyn Brigner, Mary Denzin

                               Elder's A
Bill Danielson, Jim Aleckson, Ray Volkers

                           Elder's B
   Brad Heth, Bob Knudtson, Dick Dvorak

                             Elder's C
        Jerry Larson, Toby Neuenschwander

                       Elder's D
       Al Woida, John Pierce, Clem Gilbertson

                            Elder's E
 Gary Kirckof, Richard Hunstad, Charles Betterman

                           Elder's F
             Erwin Tischer, Marvin Timm, Richard David

                           Men's A
      Eric Dehkes, Mark Smith, Josh Olson

                            Men's B
            Jerry Werk, Tom Prokop, Brian Wipper

                                 Men's C
         Steve Miller, Andy Olson, Ron Monson

                             Men's D
                 Randy Werk, Tim Bayerl, Rick Wright

                          Men's E
          Al Blumer, Larry Brabec, Trevor Teich

                              Men's F
            Art Longen, Terry Clementson, Glenn Skeie

                             Men's G
     Bruce Swenson, Stan Bialek, Rory Pierce

                       Men's H
       Tom Thissen, Ron Ruch, Tim Schmalz


Caption Contest !!!
Send in your best captions. Winning captions will be posted  in the October Digest. 
Send to Jlabro6186@aol.com   Subject: Captions

MGSHPA Executive Board                      MGSHPA Directors

Rick Wright
50586 Shorewood Circle
Rush City ,Mn 55069

PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

North Vice President
Eric Dehkes
18923 North Lake Ln
Pine City, MN  55063
(320) 420-4821
South Vice President
Jerry LaBrosse
8170 Fern Lane
Greenfield, MN 55357

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

Josh Olson
PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

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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