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 Tigers' season may be over, but Farmington football fans can still see one more game on the Tiger Stadium turf this year. Fifth-ranked Caledonia (10-1) will take on Maple Lake (7-4) Friday night at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the Class 2A State Tournament at Tiger Stadium. The winner will advance to a date with the winner of Paynesville Area-Warroad next Saturday at the Metrodome. The other four teams alive in Class 2A are Pierz, Moose Lake/Willow River, Watertown-Elysian-Morristown and Blue Earth Area.
St. Olaf College freshman Carl Elmer, an all-state wrestler for Farmington High School last year, placed fourth at 149 pounds in his first collegiate tournament Saturday in Rochester. Elmer went 2-2 with a pair of wins over opponents from Rochester Community Technical College at the Yellow Jacket Open. He lost a 7-6 decision to champion Thomas Allen in the semifinals.
Looking at only the team standings, a casual observer would see the Farmington boys cross country team slipped from eighth at last year's section meet to ninth at last Wednesday's Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. But the team results don't tell the full story of just how much the program has improved in head coach Lisa Lippold's first season. In placing eighth last fall, the Tigers were carried by a seventh-place finish from senior standout Elliot Fenske.
The Farmington volleyball team had its 7-20 season come to an end with a 3-0 loss to Red Wing in the opening round of the Section 1AAA tournament last Wednesday in Red Wing. The Tigers overcame an early deficit in the opening game to get back within a point late, but Red Wing held on for a 25-23 victory. The Wingers carried that momentum over into the next two games as they pulled away, 25-17 and 25-9. "After losing Game 1, I think the way to sum up the rest of the match was to say we were trying too hard," Farmington coach Mike Woody said.
The two teams that beat Farmington during the Missota Conference dual season -- Northfield and Chanhassen -- once again came out in front of the Tigers at Saturday's Missota Conference Championships at Dodge Middle School. Northfield won the meet with 433 1/2 points, 27 1/2 more than runner-up Chanhassen. The Tigers scored more points than they did last year's meet, but fell from second to third with 354 1/2 points.
Farmington managed just 71 total yards against a suffocating Owatonna defense last Tuesday night as the top-seeded Huskies advanced to the second round of the Section 1AAAAA tournament with a 21-0 shutout in Owatonna. "They had a tough defense. They had a good defensive front four that put a lot of pressure on Darren (Beenken)," coach Mark Froehling said. "It was difficult to both run and pass and their defensive backs were tough, as well. They had some good, athletic kids that could run well with our wide receivers and made made it difficult for us to get open.
Slow starts in all three games left Farmington on the short end of its regular season finale against New Prague last Tuesday at Tiger Gym. The Trojans took advantage of their early leads and scored a 25-19, 25-19, 28-18 sweep to secure their 10th win of the season. The Tigers, meanwhile, fell to 7-19 overall and 1-6 in the Missota Conference, earning them the No. 10 seed in the Section 1AAA tournament and a first-round road trip to No. 7 Red Wing Wednesday night. Results can be found online at www.farmingtonindependent.com .
A personal foul on the opening kickoff and an interception on the first play from scrimmage foreshadowed a less-than-festive Senior Night for Farmington Wednesday night. The Tigers allowed 22 points in the first quarter as they capped off a 3-5 regular season with a 30-17 home loss to 1-6 New Prague at a chilly Tiger Stadium. The Trojans used a series of big plays to set up their three early touchdowns. Three plays after the opening interception, fullback Nathon Preston broke two tackles in the backfield on a 3rd and 4 play and rumbled 20 yards for a touchdown.
A sixth-place finish in the team standings wasn't quite what Farmington head coach Heidi Revels was hoping for at last Tuesday's Missota Conference Championships in New Prague. Revels was very excited, however, about her three runners who earned all-conference honors with top-20 finishes. Freshman Sofia Chadwick led the way with an 11th-place time of 15:41 on the 4,000-meter course to earn a spot on the first team. Junior Maria Kiminski and sophomore Maricia Pacheco each earned honorable mention status. Kiminski placed 18th in 15:55 and Pacheco was right behind, taking 19th in 15:56.
Farmington's football season came to an end with a 21-0 loss to ninth-ranked (Class 5A) Owatonna in the opening round of the Section 1AAAAA playoffs Tuesday night in Owatonna. The Tigers finished with a record of 3-6. A full story on Tuesday's game will appear in next week's print edition of the Independent.