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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A focus on defense helped the Farmington girls basketball team meet most of its lofty goals during the 2010-11 season. The Tigers held their opponents to an average of 40.2 points per game, the lowest of any of the Class 3A and 4A teams in Minnesota. They started the season with a school-record 11-game winning streak and went on to win a share of the program's first Missota Conference title by posting an 11-3 record in league play. A 22-3 regular season record earned the Tigers their first No.
Farmington took some lumps during its first season of varsity lacrosse last spring. The Tigers lost all 12 of their games and allowed 136 goals while scoring just 41. But head coach Paul Sorensen believes that first season served as a learning experience that will help his team be more competitive this season. "We learned to better rely on each other. I keep telling them it's not how you win that defines you, but how you respond to the losses and what we can do collectively to respond to that," Sorensen said. "This year you are already seeing some of that.
A focus on defense helped the Farmington girls basketball team meet most of its lofty goals during the 2010-11 season. The Tigers held their opponents to an average of 40.2 points per game, the lowest of any of the Class 3A and 4A teams in Minnesota. They started the season with a school-record 11-game winning streak and went on to win a share of the program's first-ever Missota Conference title by posting an 11-3 record in league play. A 22-3 regular season record earned the Tigers their first-ever No.
No team in the Missota Conference made bigger strides from last season to this season than the Farmington boys hockey team. After finishing 2-12 in the league in 2009-10, the Tigers went 7-7 to tie with Red Wing for third place in the conference.
After five years Jason Berg has stepped down from his position as head coach of the Farmington girls basketball team. Berg has coached the team to a 76-50 record and two appearances in the section finals since taking over in 2006. He coached the boys basketball team from 1994-98 before serving as an assistant men's basketball coach at Luther College for eight years. Berg cited the amount of time and energy required as two of his reasons for stepping down as head girls coach. "I have been thinking about this for a while.
Fourteen letter-winners are back from last year's boys track team, but it's the other 67 athletes that have head coach Brian Helmstetter intrigued. They comprise the largest-ever turnout for the track team at Farmington and Helmestetter is eager to see what they are capable of. "As a team it is a rebuilding year, but I am excited to see how these young guys will fit in the team picture. We have huge numbers in the ninth and tenth grade classes. It will be fun to watch them mature," Helmstetter said.
Most of the spots on the field are up for grabs, but the biggest question mark is in the center of diamond for the Farmington baseball team. The Tigers lost nine seniors from last year's team that finished 9-14 overall and 5-9 in the Missota Conference. Those seniors combined to pitch 140 2/3 of the team's 144 innings. "We're looking at everybody to pitch," head coach Mike Winters said. Winters began surveying his mound options Monday as 54 players reported to the high school for the first practice of the season.
Otto Pfefferle's alley-oop slam dunk on the first trip down the floor set the tone for Northfield's 57-52 win over Farmington in opening round of the Section 1AAAA Tournament last Wednesday night at Tiger Gym. Pfefferle finished with a game-high 24 points, 12 of which came during an opening run that saw the fifth-seeded Raiders charge to a 19-4 advantage. The 6-foot-8 senior was tough for the undersized Tigers to stop this season as he scored a season-high 28 points in Northfield's 63-59 overtime win Feb. 18 in Northfield and 21 points in the Raiders' 50-49 overtime loss Jan.
The graduation losses of four all-conference seniors has left second-year head coach Rob Laden with plenty of spots to fill in his varsity lineup this season. The Tigers return just one of their four infielders from last year's team that finished 13-10 overall and placed third behind Prior Lake and Shakopee in the Missota Conference.
All season long Farmington took advantage of its size and athleticism to produce high-percentage inside shots and dominate on the offensive glass. The Tigers used that formula to pile up a school-record 23 wins against three losses, win a share of the program's first-ever Missota Conference championship and advance as the No. 1 seed all the way to the Section 1AAAA championship. But with a trip to the Class 4A State Tournament on the line Friday night, it was Rochester Mayo that owned the paint.