Ringer Digest
August 2015
Official Publication of the Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers' Association
Forest Lake youth horseshoe league goes out with a bang!
by Jenna Jones

2015 youth horseshoe league participants and coaches at the final tournament.

The Minnesota Gopher State Horseshoe Pitchers Association (MGSHPA) partnered with Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau (LAYSB) to offer a Youth Horseshoes League this summer. The free league played every Tuesday night, starting in June through the end of July at the Forest Lake VFW Post 4210's Horseshoe Pits. LAYSB volunteer, Rick Wright has been the coordinator of the league since 2011. The league has grown tremendously in the past two years, having over 20 registered youth!
All skill levels are welcome in the league. On the first night, Rick and assistant coaches, April Lynch & Joe Mueller, teach new members how to throw a shoe and how to keep score. The last night of league consists of a tournament. Prizes were awarded to the winner of the tournament and overall most wins. Each player also got a medal and free backpack. Backpacks were generously donated by Verizon Wireless on Lake Street in Forest Lake. Coupons for free ice cream were donated by Culvers, McDonalds and Dairy Queen in Forest Lake.
This year, there was more than just playing. On July 14th, youth were invited to "Pitch" the Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Health. Each year the Commissioner, a huge horseshoe fan, makes a few select stops around Minnesota. This year, Forest Lake made the cut. Youth were able to meet and shake hands with the Commissioner, as well as play a friendly game. They also got a souvenir horseshoe.
On the last night of the league, the youth got to meet the Women's World Horseshoe Tournament Champion. A Forest Lake resident, Helen Hawkinson-Mike, has only played horseshoes for the past three years. Helen told the youth players that hard work can get you anywhere and that they were on the right track.
Rick has been playing horseshoes for almost 30 years. Rick encourages everyone to pick up a shoe. He says "they're never too young or too old to start!"
While the season is done for 2015, keep it in mind for 2016! The league usually starts the week after the school year ends and is open for all youth in the Forest Lake School District & Chisago County entering kindergarten through 12th grade - and it's FREE! For more information, contact Jenna Jones at Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau at 651-464-3685 or [email protected] 
Alexandria summer wrap-up
by Janet Larson

Alexandria three-court expansion with fence is near completion.

Here in Alexandria, we have finished our regular season round robin play and our league singles tournament. 

Many of our regular members are very active tournament participants and we had half of our 22 members participate in the World Tournament in Topeka. Of those 11 pitchers, four received trophies, Tim Bayerl and Gary Boots recived 1st place trophies, Jerald Hagen and Jerry Werk received 2nd place trophies. Four more placed in the money, in 4th place was Al Nicholson, 5th place Janet Larson and Phil Swenson, and in 6th place Byron Edwards. I'd say that was a pretty good showing. 

We also have 11 members signed up for the State Tournament in Genola. 

We are now finishing up the final portion of our league play, the double elimination round. We will have our end of season banquet/picnic at noon on Sunday, September 20th, at our courts in Alexandria, weather permitting.  

We are also excited that our three court expansion project is mostly done. We just need to get together this fall and put the pit materials in. Our fence has also been installed. We are now working on getting some lighting.  It is all coming together and looking pretty darn good. 
North Mankato summer league nearing completion
by Kim Briard

It's been a great summer for the North Mankato Horseshoe League. The weather has been fantastic and the mosquitos have been at a minimum!

Here are the league standings (by team name) as of August 5th:

Division 1:
1. Drummers Garden Center
2. Diamond Vogel
3. Wayne's World
4. KIA Motors
5. North Mankato Legion
6. Micro Inc.
Division 2: 
1. Hromadko Construction
2. Pub 500
3. Crossroads Bar & Grill
4. Interior Craft Flooring
5. Kato Engineering #1
6. Kato Engineering #2

There are a few teams that are close in the standings and that always makes for an exciting end to the year!

The end of the year tournament for team individuals will be held on Saturday, August 21stThe end of the year banquet will be held on Sept 21st.
MGSHPA President
Cathy Ziemann

Wow! Where has the summer gone? Here it is already mid-August and we are in the midst of State Tournament preparations!

Many thanks to: the Morrison County Horseshoe Club, Ringers of Rice and the Santiago Horseshoe Club for all their hard work in getting the arena ready for Labor Day Weekend. Also to Bonnie Holland & Joe Mueller for getting all the entries in and schedule made.
World Tournament news:  Minnesota pitchers did awesome in Topeka! We had six Class Champions: Tim Bayerl, Gary Boots, Helen Hawkinson, Cheri Newcombe, Sara Otto and Phillip Rodenberg.  Congrats to them! We ended up having 75 Minnesotans pitching. In addition to our Class Champs, we had eight Second Place finishers, one Third Place and 18 others in the top six of their classes. Great job everyone.  

I am sure summer leagues are winding down. Good Luck to everyone with end of year league tournaments. Don't forget the upcoming fall & winter tournaments. In order to qualify for the 2016 World Tournament in Montgomery, Alabama you need 4 sanctioned events before May 1, 2016 and our upcoming fall & winter tournaments are great ways to get your events in.  

I look forward to seeing you at the State Tournament in Genola!
News from the Dan Patch Savage league
by Mike Berger

This year was a good success and we are hoping to build from our group of 14. We have great pits and are always looking for new players. We have all levels of competition and even a little dance we do when we get a double ringer.

I would like to say thanks to Mark Hillegas for tracking all our stats for the 2015 season. 

We had a great season with little to no rain outs and some great night in the lights playing horseshoes. 

Big congratulations go out to the "hookers" for winning 1st place this year (Ted on right Jim in middle and Scott on left). In 2nd place we had the "Klinkers". Shout out to (Denise, Andy, and Mark). Great job teams!

To end our season we played a doubles tournament double elimination. The winners were Ken Anderson and Ted Myren. Our group wants to keep playing so over the next few weeks we will set up different tournaments each week. Come join Monday night league 7pm in Savage if your schedule allows. New players always welcome.
Player of the Year Awards 2015
Top 25 High Points
by Tera Schusted

Sig ArmitageSW30118
Joshua OlsonNWM74
Catherine ZiemannEMW
William CreightonNEM46
Ben LaCoursiereEM3044
Bob KnudtsonEM3042
Frank JohnsonEM3039
Rick WrightEMM38
Jerald HagenWC3036
Thomas ProkopEMM33
William NelsonNE3032
Jim WoodsEMM31
Dick Hall WMM31
Mike DeMarsWM3031
Dick DvorakEMM30
Janet LarsonNWW30
Sara OttoWMW28
Tom StrandquistSWM27
Dale HustadEM3027
Mary MatukeEMW26
Cheri NewcombeEMW26
Charles RoesserWM3026
Jerry ZastrowNWM26
Brian WipperNEM25
John HustingsunlistedM25

Junior Player of the Year Awards 2015
Top 25 High Points
by Tera Schusted

Tyler Stoneunlisted913
Kendra SwensonNWB13
Devin StoneNEB12
Mariah TorgersonNEG11
Colton WilliamsNE99
Trent ThissenSWB9
Kyle HollandWMB9
Noah GabelunlistedB8
Kyler Nielsenunlisted98
Shawn BurgerSWB7
Daniel KleinSW96
Dylan Petersonunlisted96
James TiegsunlistedB6
Wren StarkSWB6
Marshal Swensonunlisted92
Carson PetersonNEB1
Michael Littellunlisted91
Harry Jr KruseNEB1
Trenton FlowersSWB1
Jameson KleinSWB1
Michael BennettunlistedB0
Brandon TumbergWMB0
Cameron GabelunlistedB0

Horseshoe pitcher Sig Armitage featured in The Land

The Land, a weekly agriculture-rural life publication printed in Mankato, Minn. recently ran a feature story on horseshoe pitcher Sig Armitage.

Click HERE to read the full story and view the images!

CORRECTIONS: Bob Knutson plays in Brooklyn Park but lives elsewhere. 86.66% reflects a game average, not a full tournament average.

(Click the link above to see all upcoming tournaments.)

Tournament Results
Click on any of the tournament names below to see how players placed. 
(Listed by date played.)

Looking for old versions of the
Ringer Digest?

Click on the links below to access versions of this year's digest.

RJ Challenge Tournament (Sept. 26) still accepting players

When: 9:00am
Where: Forest Lake VFW

Who: First 36 paid entries
Cost: $40.00 

Tournament Details:
Full handicap play. Double elimination (if you lose two games you move to the consolation bracket).
Tournament winner payouts:
1st place   -  $400
2nd place  -  $300
3rd place   -  $200
4th place   -  $150
5th place   -  $100
6th place   -  $75
Consolation winner payouts:
1st place   -  $100
2nd place   - $ 75
Make checks payable to:
Rick Wright
7235 218th St Way N
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Questions: 651-491-2404
World Tournament reflections
by Robin Constance

Click HERE for detailed World Tournament results.

Here are some of my observations and thoughts of the recent World Tournament held in Topeka Kansas.

I have decided that wherever in the World the Tournament is held, about 40% of the same people plan a week or more of their Summer vacation at the event. These people, including myself, renew their yearly aquaintences, share stories some more truthful than others and just enjoy the atmosphere  
by watching friends or relatives in the competitions. Another 30% attend the world tournament if it is within 500-600 miles of where they live and, they too, usually spend several days renewing friendships and relating stories or other life events. The final 30% attend the Tournament if it is regionally held, meaning within a 5-6 hour drive from their homes. It is always good to meet new friends and share a few laughs or stories with them.

Minnesota was well represented in Topeka as we took home 15 trophys, including 6 first place trophys many of these being their first class win at the BIG event. Special mention should go to Sara Otto and Janet Larsen for qualifying for the Women`s Open Championship final. Other first time winners in their first world event included Cheri Newcombe from Moundsview and Helen Hawkinson from Forest Lake.

Sara Otto also told me an interesting fact about her pitching in her 15 class games of 40 shoes each and then another 15 games to forty points in the Championship final. She said that after throwing that many shoes in one week she was unable to access her iPhone with her thumb print because it was too worn down to activate the phone, so she had to physically type in her code to use her phone.

As this season winds down I hope it was and is a fun and successful year for all of you. Good luck to all in the State tournament to be held in Genola and I hope everyone pitches many ringers or at least makes some new friends.
 TOURNAMENT Results from 

Click HERE access results and rankings from past World Tournaments.

Click HERE, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Download File" to download a history of pitchers which lists the number of WT they've played in and their total Class Wins. (Must have Microsoft Excel or Numbers to access this list.)

Spring membership meeting minuets

The 2015 MGSHPA Spring Membership Meeting was held Saturday June 13, 2015 between shifts at the Jim Holland Memorial Open at the Fridley Horseshoe Courts. 

At 1:20 pm, President Cathy Ziemann welcomed approximately 25 members.  
A motion was made by Robin Constance, seconded by Jerry Werk to accept the 2014 MGSHPA Fall meeting minutes as published in the
2014 October-November edition of the Ringer Digest. The motion carried.

Financial Report
Bonnie Holland prepared a report that was available to all present. Current balance is $8114.99. Current membership is 555 Adults, 48 juniors and 3 Lifetime Members. A motion was made by Ann Hagman, seconded by Rob Hagman to accept report, the motion carried.  

For all league secretaries: please submit membership information and dues to Bonnie in a timely manner.
Officer Reports - 
Regional Vice-Presidents reported on successful starts to the 2015 season for clubs around the state.  The new courts in Alexandria turned out good and they had a successful May tournament. Santiago is beginning their 26th year and held a successful spring tournament. In Genola, the news is that the showers will be re-installed and ready for the State singles tournament held over Labor Day weekend.    

Regional Director Dustin Dahl sent out an e-mail reminder to have Leagues get their courts sanctioned.

Jerry LaBrosse gave an update on the 2015 World Tournament. There  are 1,404 entries, which will be the largest World Tournament since 1989.  We have 77 Minnesota pitchers participating.  There will be a number of rule changes discussed at the delegate meeting, including lowering the elders' age to 65 (half of the membership present was in favor of this) and lowering the Junior Cadets to age 10 or younger. Two cities are bidding on the 2017 World Tournament, St. George, Utah and Monroe, La.  Those in attendance preferred St. George, Utah. The 2016 World Tournament will be held in Montgomery, Alabama.   Jerry has World Raffle tickets available.
In other news, Jerry LaBrosse reported that the Primm Valley Project presented 8 electronic scoring stations to the MGSHPA.  
E-Digest (Ringer Digest) Kayla Yaeger is exploring options to change our state website to a format run through WIX. Look for more information in the near future.   

New Business -
Offices due for election in 2015: Secretary - currently held by Bonnie Holland
West Metro Vice President - currently held by Robin Constance

A motion was made by Cliff Pressler and seconded by Dale Hustad to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 1:40 pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted - Cathy Ziemann & Bonnie Holland
Holland Classic tourney makes local paper
The Crow River News turned up to cover tournament play of the Holland Classic (held Aug. 8th), article below written by Dave Pederson

The tournament also appeared as a popular hang-out for women named Marlys, with Marlys Nelson, Marlys Timm and Marlys Hustad all in attendance

Glen Berglund (left) from the Rockford Horseshoe Club goes against Duane Robeck of St. Michael at the 15th annual tournament Saturday. (Photo by Marlys Timm)

Class winners were crowned at the 15th annual Rockford Ringers Horseshoe Club tournament Saturday at Riverside Park. The tournament is now called the Holland Classic in memory of Les and Edi Holland of Dayton who always pitched in this tournament and family members are club members. 

Winning Class A was Bill Danielson of Paynesville with a ringer percentage of 60.40%. Henry Greenwaldt of Bertha was second and Dale Hustad of Roseville took third. 

Joe Mueller of Ham Lake won Class B at 41.60%. Cathy Ziemann of Roseville was the Class C winner, shooting 37.20%.

The Class D champ was Charlie Roeser of Vadnais Heights at 33.60%. Rockford Ringer member Glen Berglund of Buffalo won Class E at 29.20%.

Claiming Class F crown was Kyle Holland of Dayton at 20.80%. He is the grandson of Edi and Les Holland. 

For more information about the club call league director Marlys Timm at 763-479-2951 or check the web site at

Class winners, pictured left (1st place) to right (3rd place)
Photos by Donna Lohse

Class A Winners
Bill Danielson, Hank Greenwaldt
Dale Hustad
Class B Winners
Joe Mueller, April Lynch,
Ben LaCoursiere
Class C Winners
Cathy Ziemann, Aaron Mead,
Rick Wright

Class D Winners
Charlie Roeser, Dick Hall,
Jan Rudd
Class E Winners
Glen Berglund, Duane Robeck,
Ernie Anderson
Class F Winners
Kyle Holland, Lor Dobbelaire, 
Jackie Johnson

Kolacky Days Tournament recap
by Denny Keogh, Southeast VP

Montgomery Horseshoe Club held its annual Kolacky Days Tournament on July 25th, 2015. There were three shifts of 16 players per shift and five pitchers who requested to play had to be turned away.
The weather was hot and humid, typical for late July. We had two 50/50 drawings of $116.00 and $82.00 with half of each going to the club.
Dick David, our league director recovering from a successful eye surgery, missed his first Kolacky Days tournament since it started in the early 80's.
Tournament results can be seen by clicking HERE.

Left Photo: Wade Young, editor of the Montgomery Messenger Newspaper, stopped by and snapped a photo of Hall of Fame promotor Erwin Tischer of the North Mankato Horseshoe League. Erwin was tossing a shoe with his opponent, John Hustings, Mahtomedi, standing in the background. 

Photo submitted by Wade Young, Montgomery Messenger.

64th Annual Northwest Tournament recap
by Dick Dvorak

The 64th Annual Northwest Tournament was played under warm and sunny skies with morning entries ranging from 40% to 3%. 

Many last minute schedule changes seemed to be the order of the morning with a number of  pitchers finding themselves unable to attend. However, thanks to the flexibility of Joe Mueller in preparing the round robin cards, all there were able to get under way on time. As class play ended and all had opportunity to get some much-needed refreshments, awards were promptly distributed.

The 1 PM shift saw much more sun and much warmer temperatures. Class A pitchers averaged about 261 shoes, Class B pitchers averaged about 312 shoes and Class C pitchers averaged about 322 shoes.

A special  "Thank You" to all those who helped by keeping score, working in concessions, (which were super) and to Joe Mueller for his expertise, plus all those who helped with getting things put away at the end of the day.
We hope that next year's event will be even larger. We wish to thank all pitchers that entered this tournament and welcome everyone back next year.
7th Annual Isanti Open recap
by Shawn Warnemunde

Sig Armitage (left) finished 1st, Bob Knudtson (right) finished 2nd and Janet Larson (center) finished 3rd.

Sunshine and warm temperatures greeted pitchers at the 7th annual Isanti Open tournament making for some great pitching. 

In class A, Sig Armitage became the latest Isanti tournament champion by posting a 4-1 record and pitching 64.8%. He also had the tournament high game of 78%. Bob Knudtson went on to finish 2nd and Janet Larson finished 3rd.

Class B was taken by club cadet pitcher Colton Williams. Colton finished with a 4-1 record and pitched a cool 40%. Frank Johnson had a 68% game but came up just short. He also had the high average in the group finishing at 44.8%. Al Zimmerman took 3rd.  

In class C club pitcher Ole Hanson went a perfect 5-0 and pitched eight points over average to secure 1st place.  Tom Prokop was 2nd but had the high average of 34.4% while Mariah Torgerson took 3rd. Ole also had the golden horseshoe as he won the 50/50 pot! 

Class D saw up and coming junior Devin Stone and Art Longen tie for first place with 4-2 records. However, after tie breakers were factored in, it was Devin capturing 1st place. Both pitchers pitched well with Devin finishing at 25% and Art finishing at 20%. Great job to all four pitchers in the class as they pitched at least two points over their starting averages. 

The Isanti Horseshoe Club would like to say Thanks to all that came out and supported the tournament. It was greatly appreciated. We would also like to invite everyone out to next year's tournament.
Ringers of Rice host Leprechaun Tournament
by Kathy Stueve

The Ringers of Rice held their 2015 Leprechaun Tournament on August 8th and 9th. The annual event took place at the club's home courts located at O'Brien's Pub in Rice. Saturday's classes enjoyed beautiful pitching weather.  The Sunday morning classes had some drizzle and light rain to contend with. It looked like heavier rain was on its way for the afternoon but the skies cleared up and after a short delay, the regular schedule continued.

Thirty-six pitchers were entered in the six classes. There were twenty cities and two states represented this year. Classes A and F were handicapped. All classes pitched fifty shoes. Cash prizes of $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $30 for third place were awarded. All other pitchers in each class received a consolation prize.

Grilled burgers, sweet treats, and refreshments were available each day for the pitchers and spectators. Raffle tickets could be purchased or won playing Bag Toss and the Red, White, and Blue Ringer Game. The raffle drawings were held on Sunday afternoon. Kristi O'Brien won the deluxe horseshoe box and a knife set. Phil Swenson was the winner of a hickory horseshoe hook. Keith O'Brien took home the horseshoe set. The Patriot Auto Care car detailing certificate went to Gwen Mehrwerth.

Tournament director, Ginger O'Brien, and members of the Ringers of Rice Horseshoe Club, thank all who participated in the Leprechaun Tournament. Special thanks to O'Brien's Pub and the local businesses that donated prizes.  We look forward to seeing you next August!

Class A Winners
Class B Winners
Class C Winners

Class D Winners
Class E Winners
Class F Winners

Class breakdowns brought out better than entry averages

The Class A champion was Janet Larson, wining all five games with a final ringer percent of 70% (over 11% more than her entry average). Her high game was 74% with a point total of 288. Al Larson, Ray Volkers, and Sig Armitage all had three wins and two losses. Al claimed second place with a final average of 56.8% and 244 points. Ray was awarded third place ending with a 60% average and 209 points.

Both Josh Olson and Phil Swenson won four games in Class B. Josh was the champion with a final average of 55.2%  (pitching 70% his last game). Phil was the second place finisher pitching almost 6% over his entry average.  Third place was won by LeRoy Henkemeyer who also pitched over entry average ending with a thirty ringer game.

Class C was won by Mel Larson. He was undefeated with a 42% average. Gary Boots took second place with only one loss, pitching almost 7% over entry. Third place went to Jerry Werk who had three wins and two losses. He, too, pitched over his average.

Kevin Stein was the top pitcher in Class D. He won all five games and ended with an average of 43%. Both Colton Williams and Joe Martin had three wins but Colton's final ringer percent of 41% earned him second place. Both Colton and Joe had high games of 54%. 

Three pitchers in Class E had three wins and two losses. Sherm Anderson averaged 28.8% earning first. Bob Brenny started with a 40% game and finished second under Sherm in final ringer percent. Al Blumer took third.

The top three pitchers in Class F tied in wins and losses. Each won four games and lost only one but Devin Stone claimed first with a final average of 30%. Second place went to Kelsi Gerwing who ended with 25.6% (well above her entry of 11.84%). Garry Loidolt was third finishing behind Kelsi by less than 1%.
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 partieis. Changes of email address can be sent directly to [email protected].

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