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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Big plays on special teams, a smothering run defense and a steady, balanced offense made for a promising start to the season for the Farmington football team Friday night. Kicker Reid Taubenheim drilled a school-record four field goals, including a record-long boot of 48 yards, Athen Ashton returned a kick for a touchdown and the defense shut out Rochester Mayo over the final 34-plus minutes in a 19-7 triumph over the Spartans under the lights at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers won their opener for the first time since 2009 and avenged a 35-28 heartbreaker against Mayo in Week 1 of last season. "
Longtime Farmington girls tennis coach Jack Olwell thought before last week it had been at least 10 years since his team had won the Mound Doubles Tournament. After another successful week, Olwell is pushing the comparisons back even further.
A couple of shutout losses to start the season haven't dampened Farmington boys soccer coach Julian Buss's spirits or lowered his expectations for his team this season. The Tigers started the fall season with a pair of 2-0 losses to South Suburban Conference opponents Rosemount and Lakeville North last week, but Buss liked the level of play they displayed and is confident his team will turn things around as the season progresses. "I like our game and our chances this year. Yes, we wound up losing our first two, but Rosemount and Lakeville North were worthy opponents," he said.
Lopsided wins over Faribault and Byron didn't prepare the Farmington girls soccer team for a Prior Lake squad coach Rob Carpentier considered the best his team may face all season. After opening the season with a 5-2 win over Faribault last Thursday, the Tigers improved to 2-0 with a 5-1 victory over Byron Friday in the first round of the four-team Katie Drentlaw Invitational in Prior Lake. The decision advanced the Tigers to the championship game where they were dealt a 5-0 shutout by the host Lakers. "On Saturday we took a huge step up in competition," Carpentier said.
The Farmington football team experienced varying degrees of success at Saturday's three-team scrimmage at Lakeville North. More specifically, the Tigers experienced quite a bit of success when matched up against Armstrong, a team that went 3-6 in the Northwest Suburban Conference last fall, and not as much when paired up with the host Panthers, who were 10-0 before falling in the Class 5A state semifinals. "Against Armstrong we moved the ball well, scored several touchdowns on the 40-yard field and were able to move the ball passing and running.
Before the season started, Farmington swimming and diving coach Jen Marshall pegged Chanhassen and Northfield as the favorites in the conference, with her Tigers leading the rest of the pack in third. After one meet, her evaluation looks right on the money.
Just about every Farmington player that made the long bus ride down to Austin got a chance to see the court in the Tigers' season-opening sweep of the Packers last Thursday. Sixteen players cracked the box score as the young Tigers rolled to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-20 victory. Austin led just twice in the three-game match, first at 3-2 in Game 1 and then at 6-5 in Game 3. Eleven players recorded kills for the Tigers, led by Summer Skokan, who slammed down six in 11 attacks.
The Farmington boys and girls cross country teams competed Friday morning for the first time this fall, running a two-mile time trial at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. Coming in first place by nearly a minute on the flat course was Justin Hyytinen in a time of 10 minutes, 41 seconds.
The Farmington girls tennis team started the fall season in fine fashion Monday night, winning its opener at the Mound Doubles Invitational for the first time in over a decade. "There were some stirring come-from-behind wins," Farmington coach Jack Olwell said. "It was very rewarding and there was some high level of play from a lot of our newcomers." The Tigers edged host Mound-Westonka 9-8 as their doubles teams swept the top three spots. Freshmen Claire Padrnos and Lindsey Fairchild went 2-0 at No. 1 singles, freshman Beth Fairchild and eighth-grader Ryan Jara were 2-0 at No.
Expectations are the highest they've been in the last four years for the Farmington football team. The Tigers' run of dominance in the Missota Conference came to an end in the fall of 2008 when they went undefeated at 8-0 in the league.