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 most prominent feature of the Farmington girls hockey team during its recent run of success was its high-scoring offense. The Tigers consistently led the Missota Conference in goals scored during their stretch of 20-win seasons, Missota Conference titles and state tournament appearances from 2005 to 2011. The team scored a record 184 goals in the 2005-06 season and averaged 123 goals per season through last year. The graduation losses of some key offensive players left this year's team with some question marks, and the Tigers were never quite able to find an answer.
The Farmington wrestling team made one final tune-up for Saturday's Section 1AAA team championships by rolling past St. Agnes 57-18 in a non-conference dual last Thursday in St. Paul. The Tigers picked up 36 points courtesy of six pins. Matt Rustad recorded the first at 120 pounds and Chris McCue (145), Ridge Raddatz (152), Joe Hoeve (160), Trevor Breezley (170) and Tyler Engel (182) put the dual away with five straight falls. Taylor Venz, Jacob Gabbard and Brian Ceravantes each won via forfeit and John Walz added a decision at 138 pounds.
With injuries still taking their toll on the Farmington line-up, it was up to freshman Zach Speikers to take over in the second half of Friday's Missota Conference game against Shakopee. Speikers exploded for a career-high 15 points, all in the second half, as the Tigers overcame a four-point halftime deficit and avenged a 22-point loss earlier this season with a 48-45 victory over the Sabers at Tiger Gym. Speikers seized his opportunity to shine with teammates Nick Varner and Darren Beenken playing at less than full strength, and Mackinley Bassett, Austin Bassett and Jack Hanson all watchin
A short bench made it tough for the Farmington girls basketball team to run with Chanhassen and Shakopee last week. Abby Gallus battled the flu, Desi Loftus was on the bench with a broken finger and Gabby White went down with a dislocated elbow, leaving the Tigers with seven varsity regulars in their rotation during a 65-49 loss at Chanhassen Monday and a 53-38 loss at Shakopee Friday. The Sabers, who held Farmington to a season-low 30 points on Jan. 13, completed the season sweep by holding the Tigers to 12 field goals. Senior Taylor Meyer led the way with 15 points.
Farmington crowned two conference champions in three events and garnered 27 top-10 finishes while finishing second as a team at Saturday's Missota Conference Championships in Northfield. The Tigers finished with 441 points, 28 off the pace of league champion Chaska-Chanhassen's 469. Red Wing (407), Northfield (302) and Shakopee (239) rounded out the field. "We had some phenomenal swims and our depth was what kept us so close to first," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
The 3-2 losses are getting a little hard to stomach for the Farmington boys hockey team. The Tigers suffered their third straight setback by that score against New Prague Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The team's fourth straight one-goal loss, their eighth overall this season, was made even more frustrating by the fact Farmington blew a 2-0 lead, and outshot the Trojans 4-2 to start the overtime period before surrendering a short-handed goal. "With all the narrow defeats we're having trouble playing with confidence late in games.
The Farmington girls hockey team bowed out of the Section 1AA tournament after a 3-0 loss at fourth-seeded Dodge County Wednesday night. The Tigers finished with a record of 9-17.
Injuries to four starters -- Darren Beenken, Nick Varner, Austin Bassett and Mac Bassett -- left the Farmington boys basketball team short on experience during its two Missota Conference games last week. Beenken and Mac Bassett missed last Tuesday's home game against Chanhassen and Varner and Austin Bassett were out of the lineup Friday at Red Wing as the Tigers saw their losing streak stretch to four games with matching 77-55 losses. "We are really struggling right now. It has really been a struggle plugging guys into new roles and really testing them," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said.
The Farmington gymnastics team is peaking at just the right time. With the Missota Conference championships coming up tomorrow night and the Section 3AA meet slated for next week, the Tigers ran out a healthy lineup last Friday and established a new season-high team score in a 141.625-135.675 league victory over Chaska-Chanhassen at the Instructional Services Center. "These girls are really looking good," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said. "We have been working very hard in the gym and it's starting to show. I am so excited for the girls.
The Farmington girls basketball team went 2-5 in its first trip through the Missota Conference. The second run through the schedule began Friday night and gave the Tigers reason to think they will have more success this time around. Four players scored in double figures as the Tigers avenged a two-point loss to Red Wing with a 66-58 victory at Tiger Gym. "This was a great team effort. We played tough team defense, rebounded well and maintained our composure when the game was on the line," said coach Sondra Chadwick, whose team is 4-2 since starting the season 1-12.