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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Both Brian Helmstetter and Tom Hart came away pleased with their teams' first performances of the season at last Friday's indoor track scrimmage at St. Olaf College in Northfield. No official scores or times were kept, but the coaches still got a chance to see both their veteran and returning runners go up against competition from other area schools. "I love this meet because you get a chance to introduce track to all of your new faces," Helmstetter said. "We had a number of first timers perform quite well and were excited/nervous to get the first meet out of the way.
It will take contributions from some first-time varsity performers if the Farmington baseball team is going to put together its first winning season since 2006. The Tigers went 17-6 that season and won the Missota Conference title. Since then they have had three straight losing seasons, going 7-17 and 7-15 before improving to 8-14 last spring.
Farmington's first new sanctioned sport in nine years will make its debut next Thursday afternoon when the girls lacrosse team hosts Shakopee for a scrimmage at Tiger Stadium. The boys team will play its first game the next day against Apple Valley. Lacrosse has been played by some Farmington students as a club sport for the last several years.
Class of 2006 Alex Carlson (Ohio State University hockey) After playing two season with the North Iowa Outlaws, Carlson got into 13 games in his freshman season for the 15-18-6 Buckeyes. He scored one goal and had one assist while taking 11 shots on goal. Kallie Flor (Qunnnipiac University hockey) Flor, Farmington's all-time leading point scorer, helped lead the Bobcats to their most successful season in program history.
Jon Holmes is beginning his first year as head boys golf coach. He also coached the Farmington girls hockey team to another successful season this winter. How long have you played golf? What is your background in the sport? Have you ever had a hole-in-one? I grew up playing at Fountain Valley. I started golfing about the time I could start walking. I played with my dad and older brother almost daily in the summers. When Harvey Pennick released his memoirs in 1991-92 when I was 12 I read the book that night. I also scored a job at Fountain Valley around age 11 washing carts.
Rob Carpentier is beginning his first year as head girls golf coach. He also coached the Farmington girls soccer team to a winning record last fall. How long have you played golf? What is your background in the sport?
Farmington girls track and field coach Tom Hart is looking for 22 returning varsity letter-winners to keep his program going in a positive direction after a 2009 season where the Tigers finished fourth at both the conference and section meets and qualified a record four events for the state meet. "We return a very strong nucleus of experienced athletes in both the track and field events. We are looking forward to the daily competition in practice," Hart said. "My goal, as always, is to improve upon the previous season's finishes.
Rob Laden has some talent to work with and some holes to fill in his first season as a high school softball coach. Laden, who has spent the last 12 years coaching club, youth and traveling softball in Lakeville, ran his first practice Monday afternoon with a varsity squad that was missing five starters from last year's team that Heather Ballstadt guided to a 14-10 record. "As a new coach I don't know a lot about the players yet. I am excited to start practice and get to know the players and see what we have," Laden said.
Rochester Mayo's Sam Calcagno almost single-handedly knocked Farmington out of the Section 1AAAA basketball tournament last Wednesday night. Calcagno, who entered averaging 10 points per game for the 10-14 Spartans, drilled four three-pointers and rang up a career-high 37 points in an 84-76 victory over the fifth-seeded Tigers in Rochester. "We really struggled defending him," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "He made the difference both off his penetration and shooting." Calcagno helped the Spartans overcome an early deficit and take a 37-33 lead into the break.
Owatonna's packed-in zone defense dared Farmington to make some perimeter jump shots during last Saturday's Section 1AAAA semifinals. The Tigers couldn't do it. Coach Jason Berg's team shot just 28 percent from the field -- including a 1-for-14 showing from beyond the three-point arc -- in a 50-31 season-ending loss to the second-seeded Huskies. "We just did not make any perimeter jump shots. (Taylor ) Meyer hit one three and we hit only two other jump shots," Berg said.