30 August 2010

Girls Soccer: Tigers earn split in Prior Lake tourney

The Tigers finished up a three games-in-three days run with a split of contests at a four-team tournament played last weekend, Aug. 27-28, in Prior Lake.

Coach Rob Carpentier's squad dropped a 2-0 verdict to the host Lakers Friday night before coming back on Saturday for a 3-0 win over Waconia in the third place game. The split leaves the Tigers with an early 2-1 season record.

Farmington appeared to get the better of the play against Prior Lake in a scoreless first half but couldn't finish off several good scoring opportunities. The second half was a different story.
"They came out very physically and took us right out of the game," Carpentier said.

Waconia provided another physical challenge on Saturday but this time the Tigers were up to the test.

Devyn Alberts scored twice and Shelby Calhoun added another goal as the winners forged a 1-0 halftime lead and then played their own physical brand of soccer after intermission.

"It was finally the team I've been looking for since June of last year," Carpentier said. "We came out hard, slide tackling and shoulder blocking. Hopefully we can continue that kind of play."

Alberts had an assist to go with her fourth and fifth goals of the season; Tia Jacoby and Laine Trowbridge also posted assists for the Tigers.

Volleyball: Tigers sweep Hastings in opener

Despite a starting lineup that featured just two players with previous varsity experience, the FHS volleyball team opened its 2010 season with a 3-0 shutout road victory Friday, Aug. 27, in Hastings. Farmington downed the Raiders 25-17, 26-24 and 25-27.

All-Missota Conference middle hitter Katie Habeck led the way for the winners, finishing with 17 kills, 15 digs, three blocks and a service ace.

"Everything went pretty well for a first match," coach Mike Woody said. "I was surprised to win in three games. I was very pleased to see the girls come back in game two. I didn't think I would see this group do that so early."

The Tigers dominated the first game, came back from a five-point deficit in the second and then won a nail-biter in the third.

Three newcomers stood out in their varsity debuts. Setter Haylee Lundquist finished with 17 assists while hitter Renee MacLean came up with 15 digs. Hitter Laura Steege had a good night at the net with 10 kills.

"We were still inconsistent in a lot of areas," Woody said, "but we learned a lot from the first match."

29 August 2010

Boys Soccer: Tigers beat JM 4-1 for second straight

Justen Thelen and Cole Landwehr each scored a pair of goals and first-year goalkeeper Chris Stivers turned in another strong performance as the Tigers downed Rochester John Marshall 4-1, Saturday afternoon, Aug. 28, in Rochester.

The win was the second straight for Farmington who blanked Faribault 6-0, another Section 1AA rival, in Thursday' season opener.

"It was a hot day in Rochester," Tiger coach Julian Buss said, "and playing at noon made it difficult. But I thought our boys did a good job of being prepared for the 're-match' with JM."

John Marshall beat the Tigers 2-1 in the opening round of the Section 1AA tournament last fall.

Thelen notched his second and third goals of the season and Landwehr tallied his second of the year for a 3-0 Farmington first half lead. John Marshall scored its only goal with just 18 seconds to play before intermission. Landwehr's unassisted score with 18:37 to play closed out the scoring.

"We did a good job of staying aggressive and creating scoring opportunities," Buss said. "Sam Leske had another solid game at sweeper and Christian Thao and the other midfielders did a good job of getting our forwards the ball in good position."

Girls Tennis: Cannon Falls dominates Tiger Invite

Farmington concluded a busy first week of regular season play by finishing third in its three-team invitational tournament Friday, Aug. 27, at the Robert Boeckman Middle School courts.

Cannon Falls dominated play, garnering 16 points. Belle Plaine tallied 7 and Farmington 1.

The Tiger point came at second singles where Meghan Lindstrom went 1-1, defeating her opponent from Belle Plaine and losing to her counterpart from Cannon Falls.

"We had plenty of chances to get into the win column today," coach Jack Olwell said, "but they got away. I thought we competed well but didn't close the deal when we had the opportunity."

The Tigers will try to post their first dual meet win of the season Wednesday, Sept. 1 when they travel to Burnsville for a non-conference contest. Thursday they open Missota Conference play with a home match against Red Wing.

Tiger Scoreboard August 29, 2010

Girls Soccer
Prior Lake Tournament
Farmington 3 Waconia 0

Boys Soccer
Farmington 4 Rochester John Marshall 1

28 August 2010

Tiger Scoreboard Aug. 28, 2010

Farmington defeated Hastings 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 27-25)

Girls Soccer
Prior Lake Tournament
Prior Lake 2 Farmington 0

Girls Tennis
Farmington Triangular
Cannon Falls 16 Belle Plaine 7 Farmington 1

27 August 2010

Girls Soccer: Tigers throttle Faribault in season opener

Devyn Alberts scored three goals and added an assist, and Laine Trowbridge had two goals and two assists as the Tigers rolled to an 8-0 non-conference road victory Aug. 26 over Faribault.

Farmington started slowly, something coach Rob Carpentier attributed to playing the first game of the season.

"The girls were pretty amped up and nervous by game time," he said. "But Devyn took over the game after the first 15 minutes and dominated until she came out just before the end of the half."

Kelli Harstad notched the first Farmington goal of the 2010 season and then Alberts found the net twice before intermission to send her team to the break with a 3-0 lead. Trowbridge led a second half assault on the Faribault goal that also saw Nadia Lorencz, Taylor Meyer and Alberts find the back of the net.

For the game, the Tigers outshot the Falcons by a whopping 29-1 margin. Meyer recorded the only Farmington save of the night.

Harstad finished with three points on a goal and two assists and Ashley Kimmel chimed in with a pair of assists. Elena Koch also had an assist for the winners.

"We dominated play and passed the ball well," Carpentier said. "It was satisfying to see the girls open that way but they still see a lot of room for improvement, especially in their speed of play."

Boys Soccer: Tigers fly by Falcons

Captains Justen Thelen (No. 9) and and Christian Thao (7) paced the Tigers to a lopsided 6-0 non-conference win over Section 1AA rival Faribault Thursday, Aug. 26, at Tiger Stadium.

Thao's first of two goals at 18:32 of the opening half broke up a scoreless game and opened the offensive floodgates for the winners. Cole Landwehr and Thelen scored goals just 41 seconds apart and Thao added his second two minutes later to give the home team a 4-0 lead at intermission.

Blake Smith and Sam Leske added second half insurance goals for the winners.

"It took awhile to score that elusive first goal," Tiger coach Julian Buss said, "but once Christian punched it in, the rest seemed a little easier. I think all of the time the boys spent working during the off-season has paid off. They are ready."

Thao finished with two goals and Thelen added a goal and a pair of assists in the win over the Falcons, a team ranked ahead of Farmington in the 2009 section seedings.

Landwher added an assist to go with his first half goal; Jeffery Hanson also recorded an assist for the winners.

Goalkeeper Chad Stivers earned a shutout in his varsity debut as every available Tiger player saw action in both halves.

Buss found time to give credit to Tiger Stadium's synthetic turf for his team's impressive first outing.

"It's been such an advantage to utilize the playing field every day over the past few weeks," he said. "How many teams actually get to practice on the field they play on?"

Girls Swimming: Depth gives Tigers big win over Apple Valley

Tiger girls' swim coach Jen Marshall summed up Thursday's 95-88 season-opening win over Apple Valley at Dodge Middle School in a word.

"Unbelievable" she said. "Many of the girls are already swimming times faster than last year's end of the season times."

Ironically, the Eagles won nine of the meet's 12 events but the Tigers' depth led to multiple second, third and fourth place finishes and the dual meet win.

Cora Ruzicka (100 butterfly), Kirsten Kracke (500 freestyle) and Kendall Novak (one-meter dive) provided the Farmington first-place finishes.

Five Tiger individuals posted runner-up finishes: Kaitlyn O'Reilly in the 100 and 200 freestyle; Elizabeth Wolfe in the 100 breaststroke; Delaney Wright in the 200 individual medley; and Robin Ellis in the 100 backstroke.

Farmington's depth really showed in third place finishes (9) where it racked up 27 points, more than a quarter of its team total.

Tiger Scoreboard Aug. 27, 2010

Girls soccer: Farmington 8 Faribault 0

Boys soccer: Farmington 5 Faribault 0

Girls swimming: Farmignton 95 Apple Valley 88

25 August 2010

Tennis girls struggle on the road

The road proved unkind to the Tiger girls tennis team in the opening week of the 2010
schedule. Farmington finished third in the three-team Mound Doubles Invitational Monday, Aug. 23 at Mound and a day later dropped a 7-0 dual meet decision at South St. Paul.

Host Mound won the doubles tourney with 10 points, followed by Bloomington Kennedy with seven and Farmington 1. The tournament was played in nine brackets with only the first six counting in the team standings.

The lone Tiger point came from the No. 1 duo of Danielle Froehling and Katie Burgess who beat Kennedy and lost to Mound in the round-robin format.

"I was disappointed we didn't take advantage of chances in some of our closer matches, but I was pleased with our effort and adaptability," coach Jack Olwell said. "Several of our teams employed more effective strategies as the match wore on. I'm looking forward to seeing our improvement."

The wins didn't count in the team rankings, but the Tigers did score first place finishes in the Nos. 7 and 9 brackets. The seventh tandem of Jenny Ouyang and Melissa Cecchettinni and the pairing of Ally Midboe and Callie Olmscheid at number nine each finished 2-0.

At South St. Paul's Roosevelt Courts on Aug. 24, the Tigers kept most matches close but couldn't bring home a point.

Meghan Lindstrom played especially well at second singles, losing 4-6, 4-6. The third doubles team of Jessica Autey and Rachel Molitor also lost a close one, 6-7(6) and 4-6.

"Both of those matches were fun to watch," Olwell said. "We got broken in the final set in both of them."

Tough schedule faces talented girls soccer team

Rob Carpentier assumed the helm of the Tiger girls' soccer ship last fall and quickly produced the best results in the program's history. The Tigers went 9-5-2 overall and set numerous individual and team records.

Sixteen letterwinners return this season, but Carpentier said that doesn't necessarily mean the win-loss numbers will automatically get better in 2010.

"Our schedule is much more daunting this year," he said. "We will be playing at least five teams that were ranked last year and six who were part of the old Lake Conference.

"We are focusing on former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden's well-known pyramid of success. Wooden never talked to his players about winning and losing but instead tried to instill the fundamentals of the pyramid. If we do that, the winning and losing part will take care of itself."

Heading the list of returnees are six seniors: midfielders Devyn Alberts, Laine Trowbridge, Shelby Calhoun and Janine Miller, and defenders Amber Johnson and Elena Koch.

Other returning letterwinners include juniors Ashley Kimmel, Kelli Harstad. Taylor Meyer, Tia Jacoby, Natalee Chromy, Gabby White and Alyssa Parco and sophomores Nadia Lorencz, Leah Zak and Alex Frost.

Alberts scored 20 goals last fall and will be counted on heavily again at the offensive end. Midfielder Kimmel and goalkeeper Meyer each earned all-conference honorable mention last season.

Carpentier said his team's depth and speed should be definite assets.

"Every girl could potentially be a starter," he said. "There's very little drop-ff from our first line to our second. We have three of the fastest girls in the conference and section and overall, we should have the experience to know how to be successful."

As far as concerns, staying healthy is paramount. Three players, including senior captain Liz Gallus, have already suffered major knee injuries.

Carpentier added that he has also instituted a new formation and players may take some time to adjust to it.

"We'll also have to compensate for the loss of Katrina Waltz (23 goals last season)," he said. "So far, I would say that as a team they have shown they can more than make up for it."

The Tiger coach said he doesn't like handicapping conference and section races but offered that Shakopee, Northfield and his team should all be in the mix in the Missota Conference chase.

"I'd like to think that our schedule will have us ready to compete with anyone by October," he said.

Tracie Randall will coach the Tiger junior varsity with Linda Crawford working with the B-squad. Eric Shelton will serve as varsity assistant and also handle the ninth grade coaching chores.

24 August 2010

23 August 2010

Numbers, expectations up in boys soccer

Julian Buss took over the Tiger boys' soccer program last fall and he didn't need to be a mathematics major to figure out his team numbers were a problem. The small turnout coupled with an overall lack of experience produced a 4-10 record and just one win in the Missota Conference.

In year two, Buss and his staff are looking at bigger numbers and higher expectations.

"This is a team I feel can compete from day one," Buss said. "I believe this team has the potential to finish in the top three in the conference and the section. There will be some close games and tough play ahead but we have what we need to win."

One of the reasons for the optimism is the return of 11 letterwinners, including the top two goal scorers, senior tri-captains Justin Thelen and Christian Thao.

Other returning varsity players include seniors Eliah Kierski and Aaron Dahl, junior tri-captain Sam Leske and classmates Brandon Scott, Tyler Van, Cole Landwehr and Michael Ricker, and sophomores Wolf Reid and Tyler Petter-McCauley.

Buss sees experience and passion for the game as his team's strengths. Most of the returnees are year-round soccer players and according to their coach, they "live and breathe the game."

If there is a reason for concern, it might be the relative youth of this fall's squad. But not even that inexperience diminishes the positive outlook of the head coach.

"Although youth can be a disadvantage, all of our younger players have speed, explosiveness and quickness," Buss said. "Our large number of veterans will help the young players make a smooth transition to the varsity level."

Buss will also have more of a feeder system this season as the Tigers will field varsity, junior varsity and B-squad teams. Last season there were just two Farmington squads.

"I'm hoping to get to four levels and add a ninth grade team over the next few years," Buss said.
Robb Virgin will handle the junior varsity team with Joe Moser working with the B-squad. Todd Karich and Brian Oswall will share the middle school coaching duties.

22 August 2010

AD Summer holds leadership seminar for student athletes

FHS Athletics Director Jon Summer firmly believes the development of leadership skills is one of the most important outcomes of a student's educational experience.

To that end, Summer provided a two-day seminar last week to more than 20 captains and other leaders from Farmington's nine fall sports teams.

The six-hour forum covered four primary topics: 1) What is leadership?; 2) What does it mean to be a leader?; 3) What type of personalities are needed to be an effective leader?; and 4) What is the team life cycle and what skills are necessary in moving through its stages?

"I have wanted to develop some type of leadership training for our student athletes," Summer said, "and this was a pilot for achieving that goal.

"I think peer leadership can be a very difficult task and nothing is more unfair than holding someone accountable for something they're unprepared for. It is my hope the training provided some awareness of what leadership is and motivated the participants to practice and work hard at developing the essential skills of an effective leader."

Summer added he would like to make the training mandatory for anyone interesting in serving as a Tiger team captain and eventually make it available to all student athletes. He also hopes to add members of the coaching staff and other professionals as presenters.

From a brief survey of the participants in the pilot training, it seems to have been well-received. Jordan Bridges of the girls' volleyball team appreciated all of the subjects covered but was especially pleased to learn more about the leader-follower relationship.

"I think that was the most important thing for me in my role as a team leader," she said.

Girls soccer player Shelby Calhoun said she liked the discussion concerning having the courage to go and talk to teammates when things weren't going so well, while diver Terra Klima said just being able to listen to the thoughts and ideas of others about leadership was valuable.

"The thing I learned that was most important was to never think you are going to look stupid when you come out and say something," football captain Tyler Grubb said. "As a leader you can't be afraid of things like that."

"The most important part for me was just learning my role as a leader and how a leader serves as a role model for other team members," boys soccer player Justin Thelen said.

Cheerleader Julie Tang focused on the subject of communication and offered some suggestions for future training.

"I think it was very beneficial but I would like to see it spread over more days or even be a zero hour class required for captains," she said.

21 August 2010

"Veteran" girls cross country team still young; first meet is Sept. 3

The 2010 edition of Tiger girls cross country is a bit of a contradiction on its own. On the one hand, it returns six of its top seven runners from the team that finished ninth among 14 teams at last October's Section 1 Championships. On the other, the roster includes just one senior. Call it a young, veteran team.

"We didn't have any seniors last year," second year coach Heidi Revels said, "and I am really excited about our returning runners. I expect the four oldest runners to continue to be strong leaders and the two younger ones to continue to improve."

The six returning veterans include senior Nicole Clifton; juniors Bailey Opsal and Marissa Stewart; sophomore Maria Kiminski; freshman Maricia Pacheco and eighth-grader Sofia Chadwick.

Opsal and Clifton were the top two Farmington runners at both the conference and section meets in 2009.

Other runners to watch include eighth grader Tori Jacoby and seventh grader Maricella Pacheco.

"Tori ran at both the varsity and junior varsity levels last year," Revels said. "and Maricella placed at several middle school races as a sixth grader. I'm expecting her to be quite an asset for us this season."

Revels said she has two goals for the upcoming season: 1) to move up from last year's sixth place finish in the Missota Conference and 2) to get more runners out for the team.

"With all of the fall sports it's been tough to keep our numbers up," she said, "but I am already aware of a few younger girls who will be joining us this fall. I believe it's possible for us to move up in the conference because of all of the experience our younger girls gained last year. We have a lot of talent and I think we will start to see the hard work pay off as the season gets going."

Connie Berg returns as assistant girls coach this fall.

The Tigers get their first chance to test their mettle Friday, Sept. 3, when they travel to Eagan for the Dakota County Championships.

Football Scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 28

The Tiger football team will host its annual pre-season football scrimmage this Saturday, Aug. 28, at 9 a.m. at the high school.

Varsity and B-squad teams from Richfield, Park Center and Minneapolis Southwest will be on hand with each school facing off against the other three in a controlled scrimmage.

Varsity teams will scrimmage in Tiger Stadium while the B-squads will square off on the practice fields east of the high school.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Volleyball has tough act to follow

Last fall, Farmington won its first Section 1 volleyball title and went on to finish sixth at the Class AAA state tournament.

Now the big question for coach Mike Woody and his 2010 squad is a tough one. What can you do for an encore?

Woody isn't predicting any section repeat or the program's first Missota Conference championship but he feels that by the time tournament time rolls around, the Tigers will be up to the challenge.

"The keys for us are to be patient, get better every day and make it tough at the net," he said.
"In my opinion we are starting the best combination of middle hitters in the state in Katie Habeck and Jordan Bridges, but we are going to have to endure some growing pains early as the rest of the group improves and catches up with the speed of the game at the varsity level."

Habeck, who landed a spot on the all-state tournament team after leading the state in blocks during the regular season, and Bridges both stand 6-2 and should create nightmares for the opposition at the net. But the only other returnees with varsity level experience are senior hitters Amanda Mohr and Ashley Vannoy.

While Woody is optimistic about his team's play in the middle, he is more than a little concerned about how he will replicate the passing skills of last year's senior class.

"It's hard to replace players like Danielle Dombeck, Alexia Rains, Rachel Sand and Liz Pappenfus," he said.

Woody hopes to crack the upper division of the tough Missota Conference again where defending state champion Shakopee and league newcomer Chaska figure to lead the pack. As for the section race, the Tiger coach ranked Northfield, Owatonna, Rochester Mayo and "..hopefully, Farmington" as the top four candidates for a trip to the state tourney.

Kelli Arne will handle the junior varsity coaching duties this fall with Jon Ostgaard returning as B-squad coach. Troy Hedke and Kirsten Zeise will share the ninth grade coaching chores.
The Tigers open the 2010 campaign, Friday, August 27, with a road contest at Hastings.

CC boys looking to rebound; first meet is Sept. 3

After wining it first-ever Missota Conference crown in 2007 and finishing second in 2008, the Tiger boys cross country team slipped to fifth in last year's standings. Led by returning state meet qualifier Elliot Fenske, this year's team is looking to move back near the front of the pack.

Coach Keith Revels, in his fourth season at the helm of the Tiger running program, said last year's slide had a lot to do with ill-timed illness and injuries, two things he hopes to avoid in 2010.

"Timing is everything when you get to conference and section meets," he said. "You really need to be healthy, especially if you don't have a lot of depth."

Revels should have a little depth with five of his top seven varsity runners returning, although the presence of graduates Nick Arenberg and Levi Freetly will be sorely missed.

In addition to senior Fenske who ranked fifth in both the conference and section meets last fall, seniors Carl Elmer and Matt Thomas, juniors Lincoln Kirchoff and Chad Retterath, and sophomore Alec Wilson bring some varsity experience to the lineup.

"Carl is an extremely hard worker and both he and Chad had very good track seasons last spring," Revels said. "Lincoln and Matt both have the ability to be a top five runner for us and Alec has another year under his belt."

Justin Rees, Brandon Strohfus and Josh Ruthenbeck head a long list of 50 runners from last year's junior varsity squad. Underclassmen Trevor Breezley, Andy Morris, Brandon Heller and Adam Wallenta have also shown promise in early practice sessions.

Revels picked defending champion Red Wing as the team to beat in the race for Missota honors with Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Owatonna the pre-season favorites for Section 1AA honors.

"Losing two of our top five scorers from last year team means that some guys have to step up and drop time," Revels said. "With only six returning lettermen back, help from the junior varsity or newcomers is a must."

Shawn Anderson and Jon Holmes return as varsity assistant coaches for the 2010 season.
The Tigers will get a look at how they stack up against some of the best teams in the metropolitan area when they open their season, Friday, Sept. 3, at the Dakota County Championships in Eagan.

Depth, leadership buoy girls swim hopes

FHS girls swimming and diving coach Jen Marshall sees two good reasons why her 2010 squad will improve on its fifth place finish in last fall's Missota Conference race: depth and leadership.

"Our depth will really surprise people," she said, "and it may prove the difference in the conference meet.

"Our senior leadership will facilitate camaraderie which will lead to success in and out of the pool. From looking at our early practices we as coaches are cautiously optimistic about having a very successful season."

Another reason for Marshall's optimism is only three members from last year's squad graduated last spring. That leaves 19 letterwinners around whom the team can build in 2010.

Leading the list of returnees are senior Elizabeth Wolfe and ninth grader Kaitlyn O'Reilly, who were both named to the all-conference team last fall. Two more returning veterans, senior Caitlin Kracke and junior Abby Haugen, earned all-conference honorable mention in 2009.

Marshall said she expects her team to be especially strong in the freestyle and backstroke events, with the relay teams providing the biggest challenge in the early going.

Marshall tabbed Northfield as the team providing the biggest obstacle to a first-ever Farmington conference championship. Defending champion Rochester John Marshall appears to be the team to beat in Section 1AA.

Joe Velaski, a member of the FHS class of 2004, joins Marshall as varsity assistant coach. John Tegg will work with the divers, and Tiger boys coach Ryan Hamen will handle the middle school team.

The Tigers open their 2010 season with a dual meet with Apple Vally, Thursday, Aug. 26, at Dodge Middle School.

18 August 2010

Grubb, Record and Baer tops in Iron Man competition

Farmington High School seniors Tyler Grubb (pictured), C.J. Record and Sebren Baer led a field of 80 Tiger football players in the 10th annual Iron Man competition held Monday afternoon, Aug. 16.

The seven-event competition tests speed (40-yard dash), jumping ability (vertical jump), agility (L-drill), and strength (clean, squat, bench press and tire flip).

Grubb finished atop the final standings with a point total of 4,535. Record came in second at 4,362 and Baer finished third with 4,339.

John Schimmel(4,125), Tommy Korbein(4,001), Jake Schaeppi(3,949), Alex Chadwick (3,709),
Darren Beenken(3,680), Elliott Carroll(3,617) and Drew Hegseth (3,607) rounded out the top ten.

Jordan Hauschild, a 2008 FHS graduate, holds the all-time Iron Man record, amassing 5329 points as a junior in the 2006 competition.

This year's event winners included Grubb in the 40-yard dash(4.6) and tire flip(33); Schimmel in clean (272 lbs) and bench press(276 lbs); Korbein in squat(476 lbs); Chadwick in vertical jump(32.5 ") and Dayne Eich in L-drill(7.42 seconds).

FHS strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier said this year's Iron Man produced mixed results.

"Overall, the results show that we don't have the number of horses we have had other years," he said. Team averages were down in almost everything.

"The top performances in each event were competitive (with other years), but the number of athletes in the top tier of scores was lower."

On the positive side, Meier noted that the vertical jump results, the event with the highest correlation to athletic success were high as were those of the tire flip, an event added to the mix just last year.

"The difference between top and bottom in pretty much everything was much smaller than in the past," he said, "and that's a good sign. Based on how training went this summer, I think this team will find out it is actually 'football' stronger than what the scores reflect. We'll find out soon."

The Tigers hold their annual scrimmage Saturday, August 28 and kick off their 2010 season with a home game with Hudson, Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 3.

17 August 2010

Fall sports season off and running

Monday, Aug. 16, marked the official opening of the 2010 fall sports season at Farmington High School with nine varsity sports - cheerleading, boys' cross country, girls' cross country, football, girls swimming, girls' tennis, boys soccer, girls' soccer and volleyball--beginning pre-season practices.

Teams don't have much time to prepare for their respective competitive seasons with five teams opening interscholastic play the week of Aug. 23-27.

Girls' tennis kicks off the fall season with a trip to the annual Mounds Doubles Invitational on Monday, Aug. 23.

Thursday, Aug. 26, three more Tiger teams open play. Girls' swimming entertains Apple Valley in a dual meet at Dodge Middle School and boys and girls' soccer travel to Faribault.

The volleyball girls open defense of their Section 1AAA championship Friday night, Aug. 27 at Hastings.

The boys and girls cross country teams begin their season Friday, Sept. 3, with an appearance at the Dakota County Championships in Eagan. That night the Tiger football team and cheerleaders swing into action in a non-conference contest against Hudson, Wisconsin at Tiger Stadium.
Complete schedules for all Tiger teams are available on this web page.

16 August 2010

Missota makeover for 2010-2011

Last year rumors of conference realignment were like January snowflakes in Minnesota. They were everywhere.

At various times, Farmington was heading to a new Dakota County Conference, joining the prestigious but crowded Lake Conference or joining the Suburban East Conference.

But when the dust finally settled the Tigers found themselves in the Missota Conference where they resided from 1960-1983 and have been since their return to the league in 1998.

“There was a lot of talk about other possibilities,” Farmington athletic director Jon Summer said, “but nothing ever came to a vote or formal invitation to go anywhere else.

“We are very happy to stay in the Missota. It’s a good conference and a good competitive environment for our programs.”

Although the Tigers, now the only remaining charter member of the original Missota, stayed put, two other conference members moved on.

Fellow charter member Prior Lake joined ranks with nine former Lake Conference schools to establish the new South Suburban Conference and Hutchinson got its long standing wish by gaining acceptance to the geographically friendly Wright County Conference.

Two former Lake Conference schools, Chaska and Chanhassen, move to the Missota for the 2010-2011 school year and according to Summer should help keep the league one of the most competitive in Minnesota.

“Chanhassen has only been in existence a year but both schools had some success in the Lake,” he said. “They are both pretty good sized and should fit nicely with the other six schools.

“One of the biggest advantages of their coming in is that they offer not only most of the same sports we do but also the various levels of competition. Having them also helps us for scheduling purposes, especially in football. It was important to keep us at eight teams.”

The Tiger girls swimming team gets the first opportunity to compete against one of the new league members, traveling to Chanhassen, Tuesday, Sept, 9, for a dual meet with the Storm.
Farmington and Chaska don’t meet until Sept. 28 when the Tigers entertain the Hawks at the Boeckman Middle School courts.

09 August 2010

Fenske ranked in pre-season cross country poll

Tiger senior Elliot Fenske ranked among the top 20 Class AA cross-country runners in Minnesota in the 2010 pre-season individual poll announced this week.

Fenske turned in a stellar junior season, finishing fifth at both the Missota Conference Championships and the Section 1AA meet. At the 2010 state Class AA finals at St. Olaf College in Northfield he finished 28th in a talented field of 160 runners.

Missota Conference rivals Bryant Blahnik of Red Wing and Trent Lusignan of Shakopee also received mention in the pre-season poll.

Fenske and his teammates begin practice Monday, Aug. 16, and kick off their competitive season with an appearance at the Dakota County Classic on Friday, Sept. 3, at Eagan High School.

07 August 2010

Olson looks forward to FHS homecoming

Little did 1995 FHS male Athlete of the Year Chad Olson realize that one day he would be back at his high school alma mater, this time on the other end of the coaching whistle.

But that's exactly what happened earlier this summer when he accepted a position as physical education teacher and head wrestling and ninth grade football coach at FHS.

Olson, who wrestled and played football at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, is no stranger to high school coaching. He served as a varsity assistant in several sports at Monticello before logging a a 10-year teaching and coaching stint at Richfield where he served as head mat coach for seven seasons. He also coached wrestling a season at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount before becoming a Tiger assistant last winter.

"I don't think there is any more pressure on me because I went to school here," Olson said. "I think there is more excitement because I know how great it used to be and I feel everything is in place to get back there."

Though the first official practice session won't be until November, Olson has already conducted a dozen summer workouts to introduce skills that he hopes will become his program's signature.

The former three-sport standout at FHS said his short term goals include increasing the numbers of athletes out for the sport, making his wrestlers understand the "whys" of their sport, not just the "hows", further expanding a K-12 program, increasing academic performance of his athletes, and promoting good citizenship.

"In the long term, we want to make this program competitive with the best in the state," he said. "We also want to graduate young men who understand how to be good people and good citizens."

Olson and his wife Rachel, a physical education teacher at Riverview Elementary and assistant softball coach at Lakeville North, live in Castle Rock Township with son Dylan, 6, and twins Myles and Zachary, 4.

"When I graduated, I never saw myself returning to Farmington," Olson said. "But now that I have three kids of my own, I realize what a great place this is to live and raise a family. I'm really excited to be back and wear the orange and black."

Golf benefit for Kyle Malin set for Sept. 18

Friends and family of 2002 Farmington High School graduate Kyle Malin have announced a benefit golf tournament to be held Saturday, Sept. 18, at Heritage Links Golf Course in Lakeville.

Malin, a standout Tiger athlete and son of FHS teacher and coach Jon Malin, was critically wounded July 14 by an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol with the United States Army in Afghanistan. Malin lost both legs in the explosion and has subsequently undergone several surgeries at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

The golf fundraiser is intended to assist Kyle, his wife Alicia and their two pre-school aged sons as they negotiate the road to recovery.

The format for the benefit fundraiser will be a four-person scramble with an 11:30 a.m. shotgun start at Heritage Links. The $75 per person entry fee includes 18 holes of golf with cart, range balls, skins game, prize raffles, silent auction, a post-tournament dinner and entertainment.

Non-golfers wishing to participate may register for a post-tournament package that includes dinner and entertainment by the Bohemian Duo. Tickets may be purchased through Sept. 14 at the Farmington High School Athletic Office and Miller Hartwig Insurance in Farmington and Lakeville.

Entry forms for the tournament are available at the Farmington High School Athletics Office or by sending an e-mail to kylemalingolfbenefit@gmail.com. For more information, contact Byron Olson at (763) 300-5825 or (952) 469-3075.

02 August 2010

Holmes practices what he preaches

When 1999 Farmington High School Athlete of the Year Jon Holmes took the reins of the boys golf program at his alma mater last spring, he made it clear to his players that future success would be directly proportional to the time spent playing over the summer months.

"We need to get more players out on the course during the off-season," he said, "Hopefully they will find the time to not only put in more rounds but also start entering competitive tournaments."

This summer Holmes led by example, finishing in a second-place tie at the Minnesota State Amateur qualifying tournament held at Bellwood Oaks Golf Club in Hastings and making the 156-player field for the state amateur played at Dakotah Ridge Golf Club in Morton July 19-21.

Holmes, who played just one year of varsity golf in high school because he was also the No. 1 singles player on the Tiger tennis team, is virtually a scratch golfer (0.5 handicap) and has played in a variety of amateur competitions in Minnesota and Wisconsin since his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

"I don't play as much as I used to," Holmes said, "but I have found that playing in tournaments is where you really learn about your golf game. The competition is usually tougher and you have to learn to play the game intelligently.

"I'm happy to say that several of our players have been getting in a lot of play this summer. I was especially encouraged to see [FHS junior] Tommy May playing in the state amateur qualifying tournament at Bellwood. That was a great experience for him."

Holmes shot rounds of 80 and 81 at Dakotah Ridge and failed to make the cut for the final two rounds of the state amateur but said the experience was a positive one nonetheless.

"You have to remember that the best 156 amateur gofers in the state were in the tournament," he said. "I played the course the Sunday before and finished at even par but in the tournament the putting wasn't there. That's usually the best part of my game and when that isn't going, it gets tough to score."

Holmes wasn't the only Farmington connection to the 2010 Minnesota State Amateur. Sammy Schmitz, another 1999 FHS graduate and later a NCAA Division III All-American at St. John's University, fired opening rounds of 75 and 76 to qualify for the final two days of play before withdrawing because of a work commitment.

"Sammy and I live within about a mile of each other so we keep each other going," Holmes said. "Like I tell my players, tournament golf is fun and a great way to improve your game."

Tiger football goes to summer school

Although official practices don't begin until August 16, one Farmington High School team got a head start on the 2010 season with a trip to the University of South Dakota football camp held July 15-18 in Vermillion, S.D.

Forty-eight Tiger hopefuls and a full coaching staff took the long bus ride westward for the three-day event. Each player paid an individual fee for the instruction with transportation funded by the team's annual Gold Card sales drive.

"We had seven practices here before making the trip," coach Mark Froehling said. "We had to be ready because we had a scrimmage the first night."

Froehling has taken his teams to the South Dakota camp for the past 10 summers and feels it provides several advantages to both players and coaches as they count down the days to the start of the new season.

The veteran Tiger coach said the camp experience provides three invaluable opportunities: giving the players a chance to get to know each other better before the season begins; experimenting with new offensive and defensive strategies; and evaluating the skills and abilities of individual players.

"Each year a new team is developed," Froehling said. "The players need to get to know one another, care for one another and respect one another in order to develop the concept of TEAM...I would say that we learned some positive things in all three areas this year."

At the camp Tiger players received instruction from University of South Dakota coaches and players, scrimmaged other teams. and took part in a variety of individual and team competitions.

"I thought we demonstrated positive improvement throughout the camp," Froehling said. "We are a better team now than we were going in. I thought we began to develop a good, competitive demeanor.

"I would consider us a young team that still has a lot to learn but one that made big strides at the camp. It was an important step in our growth process as a team."

The Football Tigers open their 2010 season Friday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. with a non-conference game against Hudson, Wis. at Tiger Stadium.