Writer cries foul over all-tournament team pick

(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the director of the Minnesota State High School League, and to the Star News for publication.)
Thank you for being the director of the Minnesota State High School League, and thank you for taking the time to read my email. I would like to know the criteria that is used for selecting the All-Tournament Teams at the state high school tournaments. Last night I watched the Elk River/ Hopkins girls championship game and enjoyed every minute of it with the exception of two situations.

The first situation was when a Hopkins player intentionally grabbed the hair of an Elk River player and pulled her down. The referee called just an intentional foul. Of all the high school, college, and pro sports I have watched over the years, the action of this Hopkin’s player ranks right up there when it comes to unsportsmanlike play. This player should have been removed from the game by the referees, or by her coach, or if I would have been her parent I would have been on the court and removed her myself.

The second situation that really upsets me is that the Minnesota State High School League turns around at the end of the game and rewards this player by selecting her to the All-Tournament Team. Please explain that to me. There were other girls in the tournament that deserved to be selected for this honor. Girls that played very well, helping their team with points, rebounds, assists, playing defense, proudly representing their school and the State High School League, while at the same time showing outstanding sportsmanship and respect for the game.

In my opinion the Minnesota High School League made a big mistake by selecting a player for her points and rebounds while ignoring her lack of sportsmanship and respect for the game and her opponents. As a former baseball player and coach I totally understand wanting your players to compete at the highest level with the prize of winning a championship. But, this player was out of bounds with her actions, and the Minnesota State High School League committed the biggest foul by awarding this girl with a trophy.

Congrats to the Elk River girls for being a class act and winning the championship. I am proud to be an Elk.

Thank you Mr Stead for once again taking the time to read my email. I look forward to your response. — Sonny Hilyar, Osseo