Ringer Digest
July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2021
A Charter of the NHPA
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
Charter Bulletin Board

Good Luck World Tournament Pitchers

July 19 - 31  in Winnemucca NV.

Good Luck to the following pitchers...
CA Lucas Rasmussen
CB Mackenzie Rasmussen
EA2 Brad Heth
EF2 Dale Grunzke
EF2 Philip Rodenberg
EF2 Larry Brabec
MA1 Josh Olson
MA2 Mark Smith
MB1 Joe Mueller
ME2 Dan Belden
ME2 Robin Constance
MG1 John Hustings
MG1 Ray Sr. Pierce
MG2 Jeff Lawrence
MH1 Daren Chambers
SMB Jerry LaBrosse
SMB Jerry Werk
SMC Rich Bialek
SMC Stan Bialek
SMD George Peterson
SME Randy Werk
WB Helen Hawkinson
WD Patti Oakes
WH Donata Kitchens
WI Sue Pierce
WI Joy Brabec
The Full schedule for dates and times can be found on the NHPA website, I would like to personally wish you all good luck and hope to see some hardware come back to Minnesota!!

That is all for now, See you on the Courts.



2021 MGSHPA Tournament Schedule

Note: The next Digest will be the State Tournament issue
Semi-centennial Event in Donnelly
By Jerry Werk

We are celebrating our
50th Annual Donnelly Threshing Bee Horseshoe Tournament.
We invite you to come and be a part of our celebration on August 28 and 29!

Enter by contacting Jerry Werk at 320-246-3475 or 320-288-8067 or email at werkkrew@runestone.net
Lower classes will pitch on Saturday, August 28 / Higher classes pitch on Sunday, August 29.

Our tournament is held in conjunction with an old-fashioned Threshing Bee!
Saturday events include antique tractor pull, bean bag tournament, and royalty coronation.
Sunday events include a parade, car show, and horse pull.

Added bonus in honor of our 50th Anniversary - every player who pitches in our horseshoe tournament
gets one chance to win this set of Cornhole Boards.
Bring your family and come join the fun!


From the Prez
By Rick Wright

Hey Everyone.
I hope everyone is having fun pitching and enjoying the outdoors again. I am happy to announce that the Hibbing Club is working hard on the 2021 MN State Tournament. It is time to get your State entry in to Ann as soon as possible. I hope with the loosening of the qualifications it would encourage you come and compete. If you have never played in the State in the past, this is a good time to come and experience the fun. The banquet will be held at the Elk's Lodge in downtown Hibbing on Sunday night. We have a good meal planned followed by live country music. The Hibbing Club really did a great job in 2019 so let's show our support again and have some fun up north!
See you on the courts "in Hibbing"!

Rory Pierce
North Vice President
By Rory Pierce

Hello MGSHPA your Northern Vice President here. We have been pitching for 8 weeks now and we are loving that everything is returning to somewhat of a normal again. We just recently had the first annual Toby Neuenschwander memorial open. And it was a huge success!!! We had 26 pitchers With Richard Bussey capturing Tournament Champion with a very close and exciting playoff finish. Honorable mentions are Jerry LaBrosse B class Champ, Virgil Anderson C class champ, Jon Vanryswyk D class champ. Thanks to all that took the time to come pitch with Hibbing Horseshoe club. Also quick reminder that the MGSHPA State Tournament will be in the Beautiful town of Hibbing again this year, and qualifications to enter have never been easier. All you need is an established average and your dues paid for the year and you are in. I hope everyone is finding both of your shoes around the stake and some great competition. We look forward to seeing you all in September and hopefully at some regional tournaments. Good Luck to two HHC Members that will be pitching in the World Tournament Ray and Sue Pierce. And Good Luck to all MGSHPA members traveling to the World Tournament. Drive safe and Pitch Straight!!
Sincerely Rory L. Pierce Sr.
Northern Vice-President

Jeff Washburn
Southern Vice President
by Jeff Washburn

       Greetings to all of our fellow MGSHPA pitchers, families, and friends. We are coming into one of my favorite times of the year, SPRING. Winter is just about gone, birds are chirping, golf courses are getting close to opening, and activities surrounding our great sport of horseshoes are starting to ramp up. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge how surreal the past year has been for everyone. Who would have anticipated what the world has experienced with the pandemic, and let me offer my sincere condolences to everyone who lost a family member or friend to the virus. Hopefully in the next few months, most of this will be behind us as more and more people receive their vaccinations and we get back to doing what we were all doing before this pandemic started.Message from the South Vice President
     Hello to all fellow horseshoe pitchers. Summer is finally here and recently maybe too much with our recent wave of hot weather. Only in Minnesota can it go from 37 degrees one week to 98 degrees a week later. Our summer tournament schedule is also underway with several already having been completed. Unfortunately, the hot weather resulted in the cancelling of the afternoon shift at the Bud Nelson in Forest Lake, and the Brooklyn Park Tournament did not receive enough entries to hold the tournament. A special thanks to those that enter tournaments to help sponsor the local clubs and at the same time enjoy the excitement tournament play brings along with the camaraderie of your other fellow pitchers. For those still thinking of entering a tournament, please give it a try.
I hope all of our MSGHPA members and their families have a safe and enjoyable summer! Look for information coming soon on our State Tournament which will be held in Hibbing. Good luck to all of our Minnesota pitchers who will be competing in the World Tournament.
Here is a brief update on several of the Southern Region leagues, as provided by their league directors. Thank you to all who contribute to the ongoing work it takes to run a club league as well as club sponsored tournaments.
Dan Patch/Savage Club  - Denise Kleven
Denise Kleven has taken over for Mike Berger as league director, so a big thanks to Denise. The league did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic. Dan Patch started league play on June 7th with approximately 18 pitchers.

Greenfield Jerry - LaBrosse
  Jerry had previously posted his winter/spring tournament results in the Ringer Digest. The Greenfield winter league had to be shortened due to the Pandemic.

Kilkenny - Matt and Rebecca Melchert
I spoke with Matt who reported Kilkenny will not have a league in 2021. Matt asked to stay on the list in case something changes for next year.

Litchfield - Mark Smith
The Litchfield league is going in 2021 with about 10 pitchers, which is down from last year. Litchfield did have a league in 2020.

Montgomery - Denny Keogh
  (taking over for Dick David) Good luck Denny, and thank you to Dick for his many years of service to the Montgomery club.
The league has started with 16 full time pitchers. The Montgomery Tournament will also be held

Mankato - Brian and Linda Duenow
  (taking over for Erwin Tischer, age 88, after 40 years running the league) A big thank you to Erwin for his many years of service to the North Mankato club.
 There are currently 72 active members in the N. Mankato club. The club lost 32 members and gained 14 new ones this year. League play is on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The N. Mankato Tournament will be held on July 10th in conjunction with the parade and carnival.
Rochester - Darlene Albrecht
Rochester will have a league this year with 6 pitchers. Thank you Darlene for your help in getting the Rochester league going again.

Rockford - Debi Pool
Rockford has league nights on Tuesday and Wednesday with a total of 16 pitchers. A few more may be joining. Status of the Rockford tournament is not yet clear at this time.

West St. Paul - Chris Zweber for Wednesday league and Gordy Schmidt for Tuesday league
There are leagues going at W. St. Paul this year on Tuesday morning (about 12 pitchers) and Wednesday evening (with 20 pitchers renewing and 11 new members). In 2020, there was no league activity due to covid restrictions. Chris is the main contact for the Wednesday league, and Gordy remains as the leader of the Tuesday morning group. Thanks to Patti Oakes for directing the recently completed and well attended W. St. Paul tournament.
Clank and Thud Spring Fling recap
By Josh Olson

On a very beautiful and warm May Day (May 1st) the Clank and Thud horseshoe club hosted a Tournament and Josh Olson's was the Tournament Director. Many thanks to Russ Girtz, Brian Wipper and Jim Aleckson from the club for there support behind the scenes' and at the tournament, Brian opened the building and helped with scoring keeping duties all day. Jim not only earned the 1st Place honors from Class A but also got the foul lines all re-painted and ready to go for the event prior, many thanks to Jim and Congrats on the win Jim!

We had 20 pitchers throughout the day, the morning shift started with Class C and they had a competitive group of 8 pitchers, we had a good Junior division presence which is always good to see. Marshall Swenson, Thomas Kremer and Justice Martin all pitched against each other. Marshall ended up with 3rd Place, Robin Constance took 2nd and Thomas won 1st place with a 6-1 record!

Class A and B both had 6 person classes, Class B had some out-of-state competition that came to play, James Wicklander and his stepson Jedidiah came to play, they made the trip from Wisconsin Rapids, which was about 4 hours away. James ended up finishing 1st place, Gary Kirkof 3rd place, and Justice Martin who pitched in Class C and B took 2nd Place.

Class A played 40 point or 50 shoe games which ever came first. It was a tight race from the beginning, after game 2, everyone was 1-1, by the end of the tournament we had 3 still standing at 3-2, Joe Mueller, Jim Aleckson and Josh Olson. So, we of course played it off in A Class. Jim and Joe started it off, Jim prevailed and then Jim would go on to face Josh Olson, Jim started off hot and continued to steamroll to victory. Jim finished 1st, Josh took 2nd and Joe finished 3rd. 

Josh Olson, Jim Aleckson, Joe Mueller

Justice Martin,  James Wicklander (WI), Gary Kircof 

, Robin Constance, Thomas Kramer, Marshal Swenson 

Thank you again for Becker for opening the faculties and to the Legion club as well in Becker, it was fun to host a Tournament in Becker, it was one of the easiest tournaments I have ran, was nice to show up and have almost everything ready to go and then start pitching! Congrats again to the winners and thank you to everyone who came out. We will see you at the next Tournament!

From the Editor
Jerry LaBrosse

   I want to wish everyone traveling to the world tournament a safe trip and success in the tournament.

I would also like to encourage you all to enter the State Tournament in Hibbing on Labor Day weekend. Two years ago Hibbing put on a smashing event. The conditions were perfect and the action was fantastic ! We had a great time then and we will again this coming Labor Day. You only need a natstat average to qualify. Attending State is also a great way to make new friends and re-connect with old ones. It also supports our State Association. 
Look for an E-Blast in a few weeks concerning State Tournament info.
Hope you all have a healthy, fun, and prosperous summer

      Bertha Open Tournament recap!

By Josh Olson

     Well it was not the turnout we had originally hoped for, totally understandable with graduations still going on, Father's Day weekend and everything opening back up which is a long time coming. We did have 24 pitchers participate in a beautiful day of pitching.
     I would like to first thank my mom, dad, (Sharyl and Paul) and brother (Cody) for all there help and support for running the tournament, without their help the tournament does not run as smoothly as it did, so THANK YOU again.

      The morning shift ran so well that we got done around 1145 which brought us a little downtime between shifts which was nice for everyone that was there, gave everyone a chance to sit, talk and just catchup with old friends that we might not have seen in a few months.
Class D and C played at
9am, we had some very good throwing going on in the morning shift, the C Class was very competitive from top to bottom. A Frequent flyer to the Bertha Open and many other Minnesota tournaments, Paul Anderson from Fargo, ND made the trip and did not leave empty handed, he went 5-0 and pitched very well for the day. Lance Van Whye from Park Rapids, also a new member to the Bertha Horseshoe Club pitched very well for the day going 4-1, his only loss was to Paul, and Brian Wipper came in 3rd Place with a 3-2 record (I will let you figure out who he might have lost to ��).
Class D had some very good pitching as well, Tina Matter from the Alexandria area pitched over her average and also went 5-0 for the day, Tim and Carolyn Brigner who run the Morrison Co Horseshoe league also made the trip and tied for 2nd with Tim taking the tie breaker from there matchup against each other and he also pitched 20% over his entry average for the day with Carolyn pitching just a little under her average taking 3rd place.

     The Afternoon shift had perfect weather for inside the
BerthaLionsBuilding, wasn't to hot which made for a comfortable afternoon of pitching. Both the A and B class played 40-point games which was fun, not everyday you get to play point games in the B class. Pat Stumpf (Multiple State champion) moved back into Minnesota after living in South Dakota for a few years and made her presence known to the Women's division I think, she pitched a solid 47%, which was about 12% over her average, Al Woida another Bertha horseshoe club member took 2nd followed by Patti Oakes taking 3rd place. Class A from the opening announcements made it clear that they wanted to have a play off if needed to determine the winner which did not happen this year, Jerry Hokkala took home the Tournament Championship honors this year after suffering only 1 loss today from another Fargo, ND native, Jerald Hagen, Jerald is another longtime Minnesota pitcher and frequently tournament goer. The rest of the Class A winners, Joe Mueller 3rd Place and Josh Olson (that is me) rounded out 2nd place after a tie for second, I edged Joe on the tie breaker which was ringer% for the day.

Thank you again for everyone that came up to the Bertha Open, I hope to see you all and many more for next years tournament!

Class A
Josh Olson 2nd, Jerry Hokkala 1st, Joe Mueller 3rd

Class B
Patti Oakes 3rd, Pat Stumpf 1st, Al Woida 2nd

Class C
Brian Wipper 3rd, Paul Anderson (ND) 1st, Lance Van Whye 2nd

Class D
Carolyn Brigner 3rd, Tina Matter 1st, Tim Brigner 2nd


Helen's Corner
by Helen Hawkinson

Summertime Fun for our MN. Juniors & Cadets

Happy Summer! Just an update on a few of our awesome Juniors/Cadets on the courts this summer. The Bud Nelson Open took place on June 5th, and it sure was a hot & steamy one! Classes C & D barely finished their games as A & B had to cancel due to the heat. Junior pitcher Justice Martin 13 years old competed in class C finishing in third place with an overall record of 4 wins & 3 losses. Way to go Justice! Cadet Dominik Littell 7 years old competed in class D and finished in 5th place with an overall record of 3 wins & 4 losses. Nice pitching Dominik! These two boys are cousins and are so much fun to watch! I hope you get a chance to catch a game of theirs this summer or in the future. They plan to travel with their grandpa Mike Littell to compete in 2 more tournaments coming up in Mankato and Montgomery. Justice and Dominik will both also be competing at state in Hibbing this year!

I wish everyone lots of ringers this summer and of course lots of fun with your horseshoe family!

Junior Promotion
by April Lynch

Big & Little Community Education Update

The "Big and Little Horseshoe Community Education Class" is taking place in Forest Lake at the sanctioned courts at the VFW.  This first ever community education class consists of 9 youth and 9 adults including siblings, parents AND grandparents.  April Lynch, Helen Hawkinson-Mike and Michelle Foard are teaching this 6 week class and everyone is having a blast -- while learning how to pitch horseshoes in a class type format.  We plan to end the session with a rootbeer float night and backpack giveaway.  We are hopeful that this class will generate interest for both youth and adults to join the NHPA.  Perhaps other Clubs can contact their community education coordinators and get a similar class started. 
                                                     A photo of our class is below.

                            Dominik Littell                                                         Justice Martin
Michelle Foard
Promotions/News Media
By Michelle Foard
     Summer is in full swing with lots of tournaments going on. I have made it out to a few tournaments to do pictures and videos as well as posting results. For those who run tournaments and I am not there, it would be great if you can take pictures of the winners from each class and email me the results.
Also I would like all the clubs to email me group photos. I know some clubs have multiple groups. I would like to take all the photos and create a video. Plus share all the clubs on social media as well.
     On July 10th is the Non Sanctioned Hinkley tournament. The flyer info is attached. Also in September Ham Lake Lanes will have their Stanley Cup tournament. The date is to be determined. Saturday will be singles and Sunday high/low partners. You will given a partner based on percentage. This is a Non Sanctioned as well. If you are interested you can contact me and I will let you know what the dates are.
     If you have any pictures you would like to share on social media from any tournaments or leagues please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to share your photos.
     I hope everyone has a great summer. I am excited to go to State and hope many of you make it as well.
Take care,



NHPA Regional Director's report
  By Josh Olson

On the Court with Josh

As I am writing this the Spring and Summer tournaments have been in full swing and the weather has been crazy to say the least with all the warm days almost feels like August but its just about July. Crazy to think that the summer is just about half over already and I feel like it just started. We are just getting through the June Tournaments and moving right along into July and August already on the schedule. Do not forget to sign up for the up coming tournaments that are happening around the state, I have noticed that our Tournament attendance across the board has been low, I hope to see that change with COVID restrictions starting to clear up and making it more normal to get out and do things again. Part of that comes without saying that Graduation parties, Weddings, Family gathers are happening and just makes it hard to go to everything especially with the year we had last year, and horseshoe just takes a backseat and that is ok. I hope we can get a GREAT turnout to the State Tournament up in Hibbing this year over Labor Day weekend. The qualifying requirements are very simple, you just need to have an established average on eSHOE "formally known as NATSTATS" and a current 2021 membership on file and then you can pay/sign up to pitch in the State Tournament, sounds simple to me! The Deadline will be sometime in August as it usually is, so I hope to see you all there!

Tournament Info


Santiago Open
Santiago, MN
17299 20th St. SE 
Santiago, MN 55377
Tournament Date: 7/10/21
Deadline: 6/30/21
Tournament Director: Brian Wipper
9184 37th St SE
St. Cloud, MN 56304
Entry Fee: $30
Other Info:
 Mixed Classes Handicapped Classes if 10% or greater from top to bottom of Classes Limited to First 32 PAID
Kolacky Day's
Memorial Park, Montgomery, MN
Tournament Date: 7/24/21
Tournament Director: Denny Keogh
203 Fischer St. NW
Montgomery, MN 56069
Entry Fee: $30
Other Info:
Mixed Classes Handicapped Classes if 10% or greater from top to bottom of Classes Limited to First 32 PAID, Cash prizes, concessions. More info please contact T.D

Leprechaun Open
O'Brien's Pub, Rice, MN
Tournament Date: 8/14 and 8/15/21
Tournament Director: Ginger O'Brien
39768 Co. Road 1
Rice, MN 55367
Entry Fee: $30
Other info:
Mixed 6 Person classes, High Cash payouts, Class A will play on Sunday 8/15

50th Annual Donnelly Threshing Bee
Donnelly Threshing Bee Courts, Donnelly, MN
Tournament Date: 8/28 and 8/29/21
Deadline: 08/21/21
Tournament Director: Jerry Werk
22662 120th Street
Herman, MN 56248

Publishing Schedule for the MGSHPA Ringer Digest
State Tournament Issue

Send all digest materials to the Jerry LaBrosse  Jlabro6186@aol.com

Use these simple sign up forms to receive the Ringer Digest and  NHPA Newsline publications:
MGSHPA Executive Board                      MGSHPA Directors

Rick Wright
50586 Shorewood Circle
Rush City ,Mn 55069

PO Box 353
Bertha, MN 56437

North Vice President
Rory Pierce
10415 Hwy 37
Hibbing, MN  55746

South Vice President
Jeff Washburn
3479   Vivian Ave
Shoreview, MN  55126
(651) 724-7899

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
Jeff Washburn
3479   Vivian Ave
Shoreview, MN  55126
(651) 724-7899

Promotion/News Media Director
Michelle Foard
5228 Pierce St NE
Fridley, MN  55421

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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