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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Two area players had a big impact on Saturday's Division II national championship football game in Florence, Ala. Rosemount graduate Chase Vogler was an offensive hero at quarterback and Farmington alum Cody Eich made the defensive play of the game as the University of Minnesota-Duluth rallied to complete an undefeated 15-0 season with a 20-17 victory over Delta State. With the score tied at 17-17 in the final minute, Eich intercepted a Delta State pass at the 30-yard line and returned it to midfield.
The young season has already been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Farmington boys basketball team. Despite a roster short on varsity experience, the Tigers came out of the gates with a 31-point win over Rochester John Marshall in their season opener two weeks ago. The team's weaknesses were exposed a bit in an 80-55 loss last Tuesday at Owatonna, but the Tigers showed some resilience and bounced back with a 70-48 win over another section opponent, Hastings, Thursday night at Tiger Gym. "I thought that was a pretty good game.
Injury and illnesses couldn't keep the Farmington gymnastics team from winning its second consecutive meet Thursday night at Red Wing. With Erin Hickey suffering from a sprained finger and Kathryn Beckett and Nadia Lorencz each under the weather, the Tigers still scored 136.675 points in a 12-point victory over the Wingers. "The girls really were supportive for each other due to last minute roster changes," coach Lynn Bauman said. "The girls really pulled through as a team. I am very proud of them." Kiana Lord led the way by winning the all-around for the second straight meet.
After scoring 13 goals in a span of seven periods, the Farmington boys hockey team was blanked by section rival Owatonna over the final 34 minutes of Thursday night's contest at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The scoring lull lasted just long enough for the Huskies to overcome a 1-0 deficit and end the Tigers' two-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory. The Tigers struggled throughout a first period in which they were outshot, 11-6. Still, they held on to a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Quinn Eden on a pass from Quinn Malcolm just 62 seconds in.
A couple of solid Missota Conference home wins last week gave the Farmington girls hockey team the early lead in its quest for a second straight league title. The Tigers bounced back from a Saturday loss to Lakeville North with a 6-4 win over 13th-ranked (Class 1A) Red Wing last Tuesday, then returned to Schmitz-Maki Arena Thursday for a 2-0 shutout over a New Prague team that entered sporting a record of 5-1.
Farmington gymnastics coach Lynn Baumann was impressed by her team's first performance of the season Saturday, and so were some of the other coaches at the Winter Warm-Up Meet in Austin. "We had an Amazing meet," Bauman said. "I had many compliments from other coaches saying our team was really fun to watch, and they were right." The Tigers won two of the meet's four events, as well as the all-around, as they topped the seven-team field with a score of 135.8. Austin was second with a 131.15, followed by Rochester John Marshall in third at 129.15.
A hot start was enough to overcome a sluggish finish and net the Farmington boys hockey team its first win of the 2010-11 campaign Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Tigers, coming off lopsided losses to Hastings and Rochester John Marshall, hung five goals on Cedarburg (Wis.) in the first 23-plus minutes before having to hang on for a 6-4 victory. "Saw some nice things from us early and some old problems returned late," coach Keith Revels said. "We stopped moving our feet and we were turning cirles away from loose pucks.
Senior Carl Elmer began his senior season in fine fashion at Saturday's season-opening Lakeville North Invitational. Elmer, coming off a 30-5 junior year where he qualified for the state meet, pinned all three of his opponents to place first at 145 pounds. His effort helped the Tigers place 10th out of 14 teams, one place better than a year ago. Eighth-grader Brayden Chapman was the team's next best finisher, placing third at 119 pounds. He opened the meet with a 9-8 win over Lakeville North's No. 2-seeded wrestler, then pinned the No. 4 seed in his weight class in the third-place match.
Head coach Shane Wyandt wasn't kidding when he said before the season he planned to play upwards of 12 players in his varsity rotation. Wyandt cleared his bench in the second half of Friday's season opener at Tiger Gym and 17 Tigers got in the game. Thirteen scored points in a 74-43 rout of section rival Rochester John Marshall. "It was interesting. I had no idea what to expect going in," said Wyandt, who had just four players with significant varsity experience at his disposal going in. "John Marshall is kind of a team in transition too, so I thought they were a good team to start with.
The Section 1AAAA Tournament doesn't begin for nearly three months, but the Farmington girls basketball team is already building its case to be named a top seed. The Tigers opened the 2010-11 season with road victories over teams they faced in last year's section tournament, and just might run into again this post-season.