Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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Youth sports is one of the most hot-button topics in athletics today. There is the debate between multi-sport athletes and specialization, appropriate competitiveness at younger levels, the rise of club sports/AAU, parent-coach dynamics and the shortage of officials. Behind all this is the common refrain that kids these days are lazy, inactive and need constant guidance, all brought on by the rise of technology.
Twenty area athletes committed and signed to continue their careers at the collegiate level last week on the spring national signing day. Eighteen Farmington athletes across 11 different teams took part in the festivities on Wednesday morning, April 11, while a pair of Irish tracksters will also compete at the next level. Farmington
A new sport is in town and the excitement around it is palpable. Farmington High School is fielding a boy’s volleyball program for the first time this spring, and last night they hosted the school’s first-ever boys’ volleyball matches. The Tigers varsity and junior varsity squads, under the leadership of A.J. Dubek and Ann Wilcek, welcomed Eastview and Henry Sibley last night at FHS for a triangular.
The Farmington track and field team hosted the Farmington Boys Invite last Thursday, April 12, the first outdoor meet of the season for both Tigers' teams as well as the Rosemount Irish boys' team. Seven boys teams (as well as three girls' teams including the Tigers) made the trip to Farmington for the meet in the windy and overcast weather that still felt warm with its 50 degree temperature. The snow was melting and runners in the outer lanes needed water skis at times, but everyone was happy to finally be outside competing.
The same story plays out nearly every year, yet it never ceases to cause chaos and consternation. Winter sports end, the weather starts to turn for the better just in time for spring sports, but it is only a tease by Mother Nature. She responds with mounds of snow, dropping temperatures and swirling winds to thwart athletes, coaches and fans all over Minnesota and the Midwest in general.
The Farmington softball team could not have had a better season last year. Literally. The Tigers went 17-3 in the regular season and 4-0 in section playoffs on their way to a berth in the state tournament. They then went 3-0 in the state tournament, including two close games against Anoka and Chanhassen, to become the class AAAA state champion. Now-senior Emma Frost was the hero in the championship game when she hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Several months have passed since I have had the room and time to check in on Rosemount and Farmington athletes competing beyond high school. Below are Irish and Tiger athletes who have just started their collegiate athletic journeys, are finding great success and are even playing professional ball:
The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' track and field teams started their competition season on March 24 when they competed in the All-America Invite. The invite was held on the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus at the Knowles Fieldhouse, playing host to 12 teams for both the boys and girls. Overall, the girls' team took ninth with 29 points while the boys finished 10th with 41 points.
Despite having played his last basketball game in a Farmington Tigers uniform, there is still plenty of competitive basketball left in senior Caden Freetly's future. The Tigers' six-foot-four forward committed early in December to attending and playing basketball at Division III St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn., next year.