Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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The results of last week's annual Ironman competition might be a good indicator of what to expect from this year's Farmington football team. Overall, the Tigers scored their third-fastest 40-yard dash times in the last 11 years in the seven-event skills test while ranking no better than seventh in any of the weight-lifting events.
Farmington strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier had good news and bad news to report from the Tiger football team's annual season-opening Ironman competition. The bad news: The top performers didn't score as well as in years past. The good news: The scores from the bottom half of the 67 athletes who completed the seven-event skills competition were higher than ever. "I think it's pretty safe to say that this is the best performing bottom half that we have ever had. This is somewhat reflected in the narrower range and smaller deviation," Meier said.
Looking at last year's roster, other than Katie Habeck and Jordan Bridges the team was largely made up of seniors who were playing varsity for the first time. What kind of challenges did that present? When you have that many girls without experience, it takes time to get acclimated to that level of competition. Last year's group relied too heavily on those with the experience. A lot of new faces will be in the varsity lineup once again this year.
Attendance was up and play was fast at the 15th-annual Tiger Scramble golf tournament last Friday at Fountain Valley Golf Course. A total of 22 teams and 87 golfers teed up this year -- up from 13 full teams and 60 golfers at last year's tournament -- to benefit the Farmington High School girls hockey and girls lacrosse programs. Pristine weather conditions allowed all the groups to complete the 18-hole round in under four hours. For years the Tiger Scramble functioned as a fundraiser for the Tiger Fan Club that benefited all of Farmington's sports.
Last year's team qualified for true team state for the first time ever, finished second at the conference and section meets and had its best-ever finish at the state meet. What led to all that success and what has to happen for the program to continue its success? There are several things that led to last year's team success. The girls came into the season more prepared physically than they ever had before. Lots of off-season training and conditioning provided a stronger aerobic base which led to faster swims.
Farmington boys soccer coach Julian Buss is back for another season with the Tigers, and he's got an experienced team behind him. We talked with Buss last week about what to expect this season. The team upped its win total to six games last fall after winning just four games each of the previous two seasons. What kind of progress are you seeing with the overall skill level of your players? We have seen our overall wins increase over the last two years. In addition we have held our own against some very good ranked opponents.
The team went 9-5-2 in your first year of coaching, then with a pretty similar roster posted a 9-8-1 record against a tougher schedule last season. How would you compare the overall level of play of the team from your first to second year? The level of play certainly increased as the girls were competitive in every game they played. That wasn't the case the year before. However, it was the growth the girls saw from year one to year two that certainly contributed to the increased competitiveness. The girls wouldn't have been as good last season without the growing pains of the first year.
Aaron Lane has spent the last seven months honing his skills in all the disciplines required of a 19th-century soldier. But the 16-year-old son of Bob and Bobbi Lane of Farmington isn't some overly-dedicated Civil War reenactor. He's a pentathlete.
The Farmington VFW baseball team showed just how much its offense has improved during a fourth-place finish at the sub-district tournament. Farmington belted three home runs --including two grand slams -- and tallied 34 runs while splitting four games at South St. Paul. A 5-4 extra-inning loss to South St. Paul on Saturday left the team with a 14-8 record for the summer. "Our approach at the plate improved drastically over the season. By the end we were more disciplined hitters, hitting strikes and not chasing balls.
Farmington head football coach Mark Froehling was pleased with the progress his spread offense made over the course of last season. Playing the pass-friendly style for the first time in Froehling's 11th season, the traditionally run-heavy Tigers bounced back from back-to-back shutout losses in Weeks 3 and 4 by scoring 77 points over their final five games.