30 November 2010

Girls Hockey: Tigers stay unbeaten in Missota

Jessica Erchul (No. 29) 24 saves
Grace Gavin (No. 5) 2 goals, 1 assist

Farmington scored twice in the first 5:16 of the game and looked to be on the way to an easy win over Red Wing Tuesday night, November 30, at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
But the scrappy Wingers never gave up and the game wasn't decided until Krystal Baumann's empty-netter in the final minute sealed a 6-4 Missota Conference victory.
"I thought we played pretty well," coach Jon Holmes said, "even though the puck wasn't bouncing our way. We kept coming at them even though we weren't having much luck shooting the puck."
Grace Gavin notched the first goal of the season just 2:22 after the opening
face-off and Chloe Batta added another score three minutes later to get the home team off to a flying start.
But two Red Wing power play goals in the span of 21 seconds later in the period evened the score at 2-2.
The Tigers did everything but put the puck in the net in the scoreless second period, hammering 21 shots at Winger goalie Lisa Nibbe.
"We were shooting from too far out on the ice," Holmes said. "We told the girls to utilize their speed and take the puck to the net."
The invisible protective shield came off both nets in the final period. Hannah Alexander and Baumann each scored in the first 2:15 of the final frame but the Wingers responded immediately with their third power play goal of the night to make it a one-goal game again.
Gavin then notched her second of the night to make it 5-3 only to have the Wingers turn a poor Farmington outlet pass into another easy score to pull within one with 2:01 to play. Baumann's freebie with 32 seconds left, her 13th of the season, finally put the game out of reach.
"It was good to see Grace (Gavin) get in the scoring column," Holmes said. "She played a period in the JV game and had a couple of goals there too. It was a big night for her."
Gavin also had an assist for a three-point night. Betsy Anderson, Haleigh Zwart and Rachel Peroutky each matched Baumann's and Batta's two-point-total with a pair of assists apiece. Emily Severson also had an assist for the winners who had eight different players score.
The Tigers outshot the Wingers 42-28 with goalie Jessica Erchul picking up 24 saves in winning her third game of the season.
"I think our tough schedule has helped already," Holmes said. "If we had beaten up lesser teams, a game like tonight could have gotten away from us. We still have a lot of work to do but it was a step forward."
Farmington (3-3 overall and 2-0 in the Missota Conference) resumes league play Thursday night, Dec. 2, against New Prague at Schmitz-Maki.

Tiger Scoreboard: December 1, 2010

Girls Basketball
Farmington 53 Owatonna 45

Girls Hockey
Farmington 6 Red Wing 4

Boys Hockey
Rochester John Marshall 7 Farmington 1

29 November 2010

Boys Basketball: Guard play big key to successful season

Alex Michels
All-Missota Conference honorable mention in 2009-10

FHS coach Shane Wyandt saw his under-sized 2009-10 team struggle to win the close ones. The Tigers finished 7-20 overall and 5-9 in the Missota Conference while losing seven games by six points or fewer.
The bad news is that four starters who accounted for 75 percent of that team's 60-points per game average--Kyle Winkelman, Conner Duffy, Justin Lavey and Michael Jolliff--graduated last spring.
The good news from the Tiger camp is that the 2010-2011 edition of Tiger basketball might be a little stronger across the board than last year's.
"I don't think we are great in any one particular phase of the game," Wyandt said, "but I think we can be solid in all areas.
"I think we have a hard-working group that will play a true team type of basketball."
Heading the group of 10 returning letterwinners is senior all-Missota Conference honorable mention post player Alex Michels who averaged 11 points a game and ranked as the team's leading rebounder as a junior.
Seniors Sebren Baer and Josh Ruthenbeck and sophomore Darren Beenken also saw extended varsity floor time last winter. Other returnees include seniors Andy Born, Zach Wallace, Sam Hanson and Elliot Fenske; junior Austin Bassett and sophomore Alex Chadwick.
Wyandt said several other hopefuls will be given an opportunity to win varsity playing time but it was way too early to see what his rotation will look like in January.
"We really don't know who will step up until we see it on the court," he said.
Wyandt listed three keys to a successful season: guard play, defensive rebounding and outside shooting.
"If we can be good in those areas, we will surprise some people." he said. "Guard play will be huge. We have to limit turnovers and get some scoring from the perimeter."
Wyandt picked Shakopee and newcomer Chaska as the pre-season favorites in the chase for the Missota Conference title and Owatonna as an early favorite to defend its Section 1 championship.
Tharen Johnson and Brian Ryba return to their respective junior varsity and B-squad coaching positions with Roland Bradley and Steve DeLuc sharing the ninth grade duties.
The Tigers open the 2010-11 campaign Friday night, Dec. 3, with a non-conference game against Rochester John Marshall at Tiger Gym.

28 November 2010

Wrestling: Young and hungry

Carl Elmer
All-Missota Conference and state meet
entrant in 2009-10

The Tigers lost four key wrestlers from their 2009-10 varsity lineup--state meet wrestlers Eric Adrian and Nick Albano, Will Pauling and Seth Franklin. And that lineup more often than not gave away points by the pound due to an inability to fill all weight classes.
But that news doesn't appear to faze first year coach Chad Olson who served as Jon Lund's varsity assistant coach last winter.
"We had 50 wrestlers in the room for the first day of practice," the former FHS state qualifier said. "That means we are hoping to fill all of the weight classes and have some good depth.
"There are numerous young wrestlers who have prepared very well for this season and who will be fun to watch."
Olson has just three veteran upperclassmen to build around but they are good ones: seniors Carl Elmer and Josh Iverson and junior Bret Hoffman.
All-Missota Conference performer Elmer posted a 30-5 record last season and is rated seventh in the pre-season individual state poll at 152 pounds.
Iverson and Hoffman both saw extended action in 2009-10. Four freshmen--Joe Hoeve, Jake Rudeen, Joe Liden and Brayden Chapman--earned varsity letters as eighth-graders last winter.
Based on early practices, sophomore Jake Bauman; eighth graders Kyle Benjamin, Matt Rustad and John Walz and seventh grader Taylor Venz should also be among the top contenders for varsity mat time.
"We have great senior leadership and are expecting a great season," Olson said. "With a lot of wrestlers returning we should be able to fill out all of the weight classes.
"The keys will be how our young and inexperienced wrestlers respond to competing on a varsity team with a very tough schedule. We need to keep our numbers up and stay healthy."
Olson picked Shakopee and the new Chaska/Chanhassen team as the front-runners for Missota Conference honors with Prior Lake and Lakeville South the early favorites in the Section 2AAA race.
Olson and Lund have flipped-flopped coaching positions with Lund joining Doug Quick as a varsity assistant.
The Tigers open the season with a trip to the Panther Invitational, Saturday, December 4, at Lakeville North.

Girls Hockey: North wins battle of section rivals 4-2

Betsy Anderson
Scored first goal of the season against the Panthers

Section 1AA rival Lakeville North overcame an early Farmington lead to post a 4-2 non-conference win over the Tigers Saturday, Nov. 27, at Ames Arena in Lakeville.
The win was the second in as many starts for North; the loss dropped Farmington to 2-3.
"We played a good first period," coach Jon Holmes said. "We had some hustle and sense of urgency in our stride.
"But we came out in the second and third like a totally different team. We somehow and some way lost all of the small battles and we were surrounding our own net like bees around a hive."
The Tigers started on a positive note, limiting the Panthers to just three shots in the opening period and taking a 1-0 lead into the second frame on Krystal Baumann's power play goal. Hannah Alexander assisted on Baumann's score, her 11th goal of the young season.
The Panthers came out more aggressively at the start of the second period and from then until the final horn peppered Farmington goalie Jessica Erchul with shots. North outshot its guests by a lopsided 39-10 over the final 34 minutes.
Erchul kept the shutout alive until five minutes into the second when Hedi Winiecki and Ashley Kloncz scored within a three-minute span to give the Panthers their first lead.
Tiger defender Betsy Anderson netted her first goal of the season in the period's final minute to send the teams to the second break knotted at 2-2.
North's offensive barrage continued in the third period where Kloncz and Alexis Joyce netted goals to account for the difference in the game.
Erchul finished the contest with 38 saves in the losing effort. Through five games Farmington has allowed the opposition an average of 31.4 shots a game.
The Tigers, 1-0 in the Missota Conference, jump back into league play Tuesday, Nov. 30, against Red Wing at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
"We have to become engaged for a full three periods," Holmes said. "One good thing is that it's better to have these issues early in the season rather than later."

Boys Hockey: Raiders spoil Tiger opener

Jake Eldred
Goal and assist in season opener

Hastings outshot visiting Farmington by a decisive 34-19 on the way to a 5-2 non-conference decision Saturday, November 27, at Hastings Civic Arena. The contest was the season opener for both teams.
"We had some moments but we were really hurt by our transitional defense," Tiger coach Keith Revels said. "Four of their goals came when we were moving from offense to defense.
"We worked hard and had numbers backchecking but we didn't communicate and left guys unaccounted for. That was far and away our Achilles heel."
The Tigers trailed 2-1 after the opening period with Jake Eldred (from Zak Payne) accounting for the Farmington score.
If there was a turning point, it might have come in the opening two minutes of the second period when Hastings scored two quick goals to build a lead too big for the visitors to overcome.
The Raiders outshot their guests 27-13 over the first two frames although Revels said his team had its chances.
"Hastings was shooting the puck every time they had the opportunity," he said, "and we weren't. When we had open looks at the net we didn't capitalize. That's another thing to work on."
Jake Sorenson (from Eldred and Kevin Olund) tallied the final Farmington goal midway through the second period.
Neither team found the net in the final period and Revels said keeping Hastings off the board for the final 17 minutes was a positive to take away from the loss.
"We stayed together as team even when we were down late and that was a good sign," he said. "In the past, that has not always been a strength for us."
Aaron Dahl worked the nets for the visitors, stopping 29 of the 34 shots he faced.
The Tigers return to the ice Tuesday, November 30, when they travel to Rochester for a game with Section 1AA rival John Marshall.

Tiger Scoreboard: November 28, 2010

Boys Hockey
Hastings 5 Farmington 2

Girls Hockey
Lakeville North 4 Farmington 2

24 November 2010

Tiger Scoreboard: November 24, 2010

Girls Hockey
Farmington 6 Chaska/Chanhassen 3

Girls Hockey: First line carries Tigers to 6-3 win over Chaska/Chanhassen

Krystal Baumann had her second four-goal game of the season, leading the Tigers to a come-from-behind 6-3 Missota Conference win over Chaska/Chanhassen Tuesday night, Nov. 23, at the Chaska Community Center.
The first line of Baumann, Hannah Alexander and Chloe Batta accounted for almost all of the Farmington scoring, piling up six goals and 7 assists. The Tiger trio has accounted for 30 of the team's 32 points this season.
The Tigers started slowly with Chaska/Chanhassen drawing first blood with a goal just 1:34 after the opening face-off.
Baumann, Alexander and Batta each scored in the second period to give the visitors some breathing room and then Baumann took over in the final frame, scoring a pure hat trick in the first 11 minutes.
Chaska/Chanhassen closed the scoring with a pair of goals in the final four minutes of play.
Baumann finished with four goals and an assist to run her four-game total to 12 points (10 goals, 2 assists). Alexander and Batta each had a goal and three assists. Betsy Anderson added an assist for the winners.
Tiger goalie Jessica Erchul had another busy night between the pipes, stopping 30 of 33 shots. Chaska/Chanhassen outshot Farmington 34-33.
Farmington (2-2 overall; 1-0 in the Missota Conference) jumps back into play Saturday, Nov. 27, with a non-conference game against section rival Lakeville North at Ames Arena in Lakeville.

23 November 2010

Boys Hockey: 11 seniors raise Tiger hopes

Co-captains Tyler Grubb (below)
and Jake Sorenson (right)

The 2009-10 Tiger team that finished 9-16-1 overall and 2-12 in the Missota Conference had just five seniors on its roster. This year's edition of Tiger hockey will sport more than twice that many (11).
Coach Keith Revels is hoping that veteran corps will provide the nucleus of a much improved squad that could be in the annual hunt for second place in the Missota Conference behind Holy Angels.
"I expect all 11 seniors to play regular shifts and contribute," Revels said. "There aren't many teams that have that much experience and leadership returning."
The eleven twelfth graders include forwards Tyler Grubb, Quinn Malcolm, Zak Payne, Matt Provost, Dan Handberg and Trevor Hockert; defensemen Jake Sorenson, Justin Rees, Quinn Eden and goalies Aaron Dahl and Mike Moser.
Underclassmen returnees include junior forwards Trevor Howard and Blake Weinand; junior defender Andrew Peterson; junior forward/defender Jake Eldred and sophomore forward Kevin Olund.
Co-captain Grubb, an all-Missota Conference performer as a junior, led the team in scoring (22 goals, 11 assists) and was selected to the all-Missota Conference team last winter. Peterson was last season's "Most Improved Player", and Weinand received the "Mr. Hustle" award. Olund took home Rookie of the Year honors.
"Grubb and Handberg were our leading scorers last year," Revels said. "We have a big group of defenders back led by co-captain Sorenson and two goalies in Dahl and Moser who both have varsity experience.
"Our other goalie, Victor Simones, had 14 wins for a very good B-squad team
(19-4-1) last year. We'll need to establish a go-to guy there."
Revels likes his team's overall size and strength but cautioned that it would need to make sure those two attributes don't lead to increased minutes in the penalty box.
"We have to learn to keep our elbows and hands down," he said. "and we'll need to be better in our own zone than we were last year."
As for the Missota Conference, the veteran Tiger coach said that the addition of Chaska and Chanhassen clouds the picture a little.
"I'm not sure about the new schools but I imagine their split from last year will have an impact," he said. "I see us in the mix. It should be a pretty competitive
field after Holy Angels."
In the race for Section 1AA honors, Revels said Rochester Century and the two Lakeville schools would rank as pre-season favorites but added his team will get a chance to prove its mettle in a handful of regular season games against section opponents.
"We'll have many important games with section teams that will have seeding implications," he said.
Todd Karich will serve as varsity assistant coach with Dean Weasler handling the junior varsity team as well as working with the goalies. Brian Oswall and former Tiger Ryan Donnelly are also assistant coaches for the 2010-11 season.
The Tigers open the regular season Saturday, November 27, with a non-conference game at Hastings.

21 November 2010

Girls Swimming and Diving: Tigers make big splash at state

Elizabeth Wolfe (above), 7th, 100 breaststroke
Kaitlyn O'Reilly, 8th, 100 backstroke

Farmington set school records for points and ranking in state competition and two girls won all-state honors. In other words, the Tigers 2010 trip to the state championships held last weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center was a roaring success.
As a team the Tigers totaled 43 points and ranked 17th among 39 schools. That figure almost doubles the previous best of 26.5 set in the fall of 2005. The 2005 team finished 21st in the final rankings.
Farmington qualified for state in five events and made the finals in four of them: Kailtyn O'Reilly in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley; Elizabeth Wolfe in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 medley relay team of O'Reilly, Wolfe, Caitlin Kracke and Kirsten Kracke.
The 200 freestyle relay team of O'Reilly, the Kracke sisters and Ellie Sundet finished 24th in Friday's preliminaries and did not qualify for the finals.
"This is the most successful state meet we have ever had," coach Jen Marshall said. "The girls had some good performances and it is definitely something to build on for future seasons."
In Saturday's finals, Wolfe and O'Reilly each punched their all-state tickets by finishing among the top eight in their respective races.
Senior Wolfe ranked seventh in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:07.77 clocking while freshman O'Reilly took eighth in the 100 backstroke in 58.82. O'Reilly also earned points by placing 15th in the 200 individual medley.
Only one other Tiger has ever finished higher at the state meet. Laura Hanson took second in the 100 backstroke in 2001 when Farmington competed in the Class A meet.
The 200 medley relay team came within an eyelash of becoming the first Tiger relay team ever to earn all-state distinction. Farmington finished ninth with a time of 1:51.58, one spot out of the money.
The strong showing at state capped an outstanding season for the Tigers who won the Section 1AA True Team championship and placed second in both the Missota Conference and Section 1AA meets.

Alumni Tracker: Huls receives MIAC swim honor

Erik Huls
Former Tiger swimming standout Erik Huls has his junior season at the University of St. Thomas off to a flying start. Earlier this month the all-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) performer received MIAC swimming and diving Athlete of the Week honors for his efforts at the Hamline Invitational where he won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly and swam a leg on a victorious relay team...Two other ex-Tigers, Taylor Trowbridge and Nick Haugen, also swam for St. Thomas at the four-team meet at Hamline.
Former Tigers Katrina Fitzgerald and Kristin Peters helped the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's swimming and diving team to a recent 120-27 rout of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Fitzgerald won both the one and three-meter diving events while Peters took second in the 200 freestyle and swam on the winning 200 medley relay team.
Devon Meeks, who swam for the Tigers as a freshman before transferring to Rosemount where he became a state champion, is a freshman on the University of Iowa men's swimming and diving team.
Two ex-Tigers are still playing football in late November. Cody Eich, a safety for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, will be in the Bulldogs staring lineup Saturday when they open up NCAA Division II post-season play against St. Cloud State. Eich, who had eight tackles and returned a pass interception 35 yards for a touchdown in the regular season finale against Minnesota State, Mankato, was recently named to the all-NSIC first team...2009 Tiger male Athlete of the Year Derek Waldbillig returned two kickoffs for 54 yards in Bethel's 26-20 win over Wartburg last Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Two other former FHS gridders, Jimmy Deegan and Wade Fischer, narrowly missed out on post-season play. Their William Penn University team finished 10-1 but was ranked 13th in the NAIA standings and missed the post-season by one place. Both Deegan and Fischer started on the offensive line for the Statesmen who set a national record for rushing yardage this season.
Abby Kenealy of the FHS class of 2008, is averaging 11.5 points and seven rebounds a game for the Southwest Minnesota State women's basketball team...2007 Tiger grad Kelli Johnson, a starting defender for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team, has three assists for the Blugolds who own a 5-2 record...
2009 FHS female Athlete of the Year Kirstee Rotty's first volleyball season with St. Olaf College ended with a 3-0 loss to the University of St. Thomas in the NCAA Division III regional finals. Rotty finished as the second leading digger for the Oles who finished 31-5 and won the regular season MIAC championship.
Former Tiger coach Chris Harder guided his Rosemount boys cross country team to a third place finish in the Class AA state meet earlier this month...Sean McMenomy, who served briefly as a Tiger football assistant, is the head coach of the DeLasalle team that lost to Holy Family in the Class 4A semifinals at the Metrodome last Saturday...Tiger assistant football coach Gary Burr is back coaching the Hastings girls B-squad basketball team this winter...Former FHS girls basketball coach Jim Schreffler is in his fourth season as assistant coach for Lakeville North, the defending Class 4A girls basketball champions.

Girls Hockey: South tames Tigers 5-1

Lakeville South scored the first four goals of the game and rolled to a 5-1 win over the Tigers Saturday, Nov. 20, at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
"We definitely got outplayed the first two periods," coach Jon Holmes said. "They beat our players to the puck and did a great job of crashing our net.
"South has a very talented team. We will need to be ready in February when we could face off against them again in the playoffs."
The Cougars put on the offensive pressure early, peppering Farmington goalie Jessica Erchul with 16 shots in the opening period. Two of them found the back of the net and the visitors added two more scores in the second before Krystal Baumann broke the Tiger scoring drought with a power play goal in the closing minute of the period.
Neither team managed a score in the third period until the Cougars added an exclamation point to the non-conference win with an empty-netter in the final seconds.
Farmington's meager offensive production didn't come from lack of opportunities. The Tigers sent 34 shots at Cougar netminder Chelsea Laden but had only Baumann's sixth goal in three games to show for it.
"Laden is a solid goaltender," Holmes said, "She makes the tough saves and just doesn't miss any of the easy ones. Still, we made her job easier by not choosing our target before we shot."
Hannah Alexander assisted on the Tiger goal, her seventh assist of the young season.
Erchul had a busy night between the pipes, stopping 40 of 44 shots. In her first three outings, Erchul has faced 119 shots.
"We have given up way too many shots," Holmes said. "Last year we gave up an average of 21 shots a game. This year it's been 38. We have a lot of work to do in our defensive zone."
The Tigers (1-2) look to even their season record when they open their Missota Conference schedule Tuesday, Nov. 23, at Chaska/Chanhassen.

Tiger Scoreboard: November 20, 2010

Girls Swimming and Diving
Class AA State Meet at University of Minnesota
Farmington 43 points; 17th place out of 39 teams
Farmington point scorers:
100 breaststroke: Elizabeth Wolfe, 7. 1:07.77
100 backstroke: Kaitlyn O'Reilly, 8. 58.82
200 medley relay: O'Reilly, Wolfe, Caitlin Kracke, Kirsten Kracke, 9. 1:51.58
200 individual medley: O'Reilly, 15. 2:11.15

Girls Hockey
Lakeville South 5 Farmington 1

19 November 2010

Girls Basketball: Veteran Tigers aiming high

Taylor Meyer
12.4 points, 5.5 rebounds/game in 09-10

For the past several years the Tiger roster has been practically void of upperclassmen. A glance at coach Jason Berg's 2010-11 squad tells a different story, however. The future is here.
"We have seven girls who played in the section championship game two years ago against Rochester John Marshall," Berg said. "For those seven, it is either their third or fourth year of varsity basketball."
Berg has 12 players returning who saw court time last winter, including a half dozen seniors: Elena Koch (forward); Jamie Kenealy (guard), Shelby Calhoun (guard); Jordan Bridges (forward); Sarah Silber (forward) and Jess Gaalswyk (forward).
Underclassmen returnees include juniors Taylor Meyer (guard); Isis Alexander (guard); Paige Steele (guard); Mariah Mincke (forward); Desi Loftus (forward) and Gabby White (forward).
Senior guards Brittney Brown and Alex Yauch could also compete for varsity playing time.
Meyer was an all-Missota Conference selection last winter, averaging 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a contest. Koch received all-Missota honorable mention, averaging 8.7 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds.
Height should be the Tigers friend. Bridges stands 6-2, Koch 6-0 and Meyer and Mincke 5-10.
Berg said he expects his team to be solid on defense and balanced on offense.
"We should be a very good defensive team with our height and length." he said. "We are changing our defensive system a little to try to put our players in better position. We are really going to force contested jumpers. We'll still press but it will be more situational.
"Last year we were inconsistent and struggled at times trying to score. The girls have spent a lot of time in the gym over the summer and that should help. We have five to seven players capable of scoring eight to 12 points a night. Players have to step up and hit shots."
With the veteran lineup, Berg and his staff are raising the expectations bar, taking aim at both conference and section honors.
"I think we have a legitimate chance to compete for both," he said. "We are experienced and for the first time have only juniors and seniors on the varsity.
"These players should know what it takes to compete in a very tough conference and more importantly how hard they need to practice each day to be prepared."
Berg said Red Wing and Shakopee should provide the biggest obstacles in the Missota while Owatonna and Rochester Mayo should both be in the mix in the Section 1AA race.
Berg also returns his high school coaching staff of Jon Graff and Joe McCarthy.
The Tigers open their 2010-11 campaign with a non-conference road contest, Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Section 1 rival Owatonna.

Girls Hockey: Baumann's overtime goal gives Tigers 4-3 win over Wayzata

Jessica Erchul
34 saves

For the second time in three nights the game came down to the wire and this time the Tigers skated off a winner.
Krystal Baumann provided the deciding goal, scoring 33 seconds into overtime to give coach Jon Holmes team a hard-fought 4-3 win over Wayzata Thursday night, Nov. 18, at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
Baumann also had a pair of assists for Farmington, running her two-game point total to seven. Linemate Hannah Alexander finished with a goal and three assists to give her seven points in the early going.
The contest was a wide-open, back-and-forth affair with both teams scoring a goal in each of the first three periods. The Tigers scored first in each frame only to see the Spartans rally and tie the score.
Bria Donnelly's first goal of the season early in the opening period gave the locals their first lead.
Seventh-grader Chloe Batta notched her first varsity goal in the second and Alexander netted her first of the year in the third.
Batta also contributed a pair of assists in her home debut. Rachel Peroutky added an assist for the winners.
Both teams had more than their share of scoring opportunities with the visitors finishing the night with a 37-34 edge in shots on goal.
Tiger goalie Jessica Erchul recovered from a shaky third period in Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Breck to record 34 saves, a percentage of .919.
The Tigers conclude their three-game opening week Saturday afternoon when they entertain Lakeville South. Face-off is 3:00 p.m. at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

18 November 2010

Tiger Scoreboard: November 19, 2010

Girls Hockey
Farmington 4 Wayzata 3 (OT)

Volleyball: Trouble winning the close ones

A year after winning the school's only section championship, the FHS volleyball team suffered a reversal of fortune in 2010. The Tigers finished 9-19 overall and 2-5 in Missota Conference play.
"We worked hard and had fun,"" coach Mike Woody said. "We wish we could have pulled out a few more matches, but I was proud of the way we finished the season...We lost a lot of close matches."
Woody awarded 13 letters to team members for their work in 2010: seniors Renee MacLean, Amanda Mohr, Ashlyn VanNoy, Brook King, Jordan Bridges and Katie Habeck; juniors Adrienne Jolicoeur, Laura Steege, Andrea Smith, Bekah Lippert, Allie Pierskalla and Katy Varner and sophomore Mia Johnston.
Habeck, who shared captain's duties with Bridges, had a memorable senior season. The 6-2 hitter moved from the inside hitting position to the outside and led the team in kills (404), digs (349) and service aces (28) and ranked second in blocks (52) and serve receptions (434). Those numbers along with her reaching the 1000 career kill mark, helped her earn all-state honors and a repeat spot on the all-Missota Conference squad.
"Having a young lady of Katie's caliber and character for four years was a blessing for me and our program," Woody said.
Bridges who led the team in blocks with 92 received all-Missota Conference honorable mention.
Woody said that the loss of his six seniors will offer a challenge to the 2011 team.
"For the first time in four years we will not have a 'superstar' to build around," he said. "We have a lot of talented girls in the program who could be very competitive if they put in the work in the off-season.
"We'll need to get back to he basics of passing and playing defense. We will have to be a scrappy, ball control team that can keep our opponents from scoring. That will take patience and resilience because it's not going to happen in the first week."
As for the six seniors, Woody said they had a good year despite the final numbers.
"I am very proud of them," he said. "It is very difficult to follow a team that had so much success. This group worked hard, had fun and handled things well."

17 November 2010

Tiger Scoreboard: November 17, 2010

Girls Hockey
Breck 5 Farmington 4

Girls Hockey: Baumann's four goals not enough in 5-4 loss to Breck

Krystal Baumann
4 goals in season opener

University of Vermont recruit Krystal Baumann scored four goals but a furious third period rally by Breck proved the difference in the Mustangs 5-4 win over the Tigers in the season opener for both teams played Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Breck-Anderson Arena in Golden Valley.
"We had two solid periods of playing position and taking care of the defensive end of the rink," coach Jon Holmes said. "In the third you could almost see the excitement, fear and anxiety hit our girls like a steamboat."
Baumann's hat trick, including one power play goal, and some timely goaltending by Jessica Erchul combined to give the visitors a 3-1 lead after two periods. Erchul stopped 25 shots over the first 34 minutes.
But the final period belonged to the Mustangs. Breck scored just 1:10 into the final frame and then after Baumann's power play score seemed to restore order, the Class A power went on a three-goal scoring binge that secured the victory.
Kate Schipper scored the game-winner for the Mustangs with 2:49 to play.
Hannah Alexander assisted on three of Baumann's goals but no other Tiger registered a point in the season opener.
The Mustangs owned a 38-27 shot advantage that included a 12-7 margin in the decisive third period.
"There were positives and negatives to take away from this game," Holmes said. "We know we can play with the top notch teams. We'll head back to practice tomorrow and start figuring out how to put three solid periods of hockey together."
Farmington continues its rugged non-conference schedule Thursday night, November 18, with its home opener against Wayzata before taking on Section 1AA rival Lakeville South in a Saturday (3:00 p.m.) matinee at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

16 November 2010

Girls Cross Country: Young and Improving

Maricia Pacheco
MVP, All-Missota Conference honorable mention

It doesn't take a person with 20-20 vision to tell the Tiger future looks bright. One need only look at the varsity lineup coach Heidi Revels fielded for most meets this fall.
After a season-ending injury to senior Nicole Clifton in the early going, Farmington went with a lineup entirely made up of underclassmen. Its top runners were a junior and a freshman and two eighth-graders were lineup regulars.
Yet even with a young and mostly inexperienced lineup the Tigers were able to put together a respectable season, finishing sixth among eight teams in the Missota Conference and tenth at the 14-team Section 1AA Championships.
"I am proud of all of the dedication and hard work of our runners," Revels said. "I think it is just as important to have a team that gels as a team that wins and this team had a strong bond.
"They went above and beyond in practice and they supported each other in competition. All of our runners showed improvement in personal times and I am happy with what they accomplished."
Ten girls earned varsity letters for their efforts: seniors Kayla Long and Nadia Perdormo; juniors Bailey Opsal, Marissa Stewart and Natalia Sitzman; sophomore Maria Kiminski; freshman Maricia Pacheco and eighth-graders Sofia Chadwick, Victoria Jacoby and Morgan Medved.
Pacheco finished 20th at the Missota Conference Championships to earn all-conference honorable mention and also garnered team Most Valuable Player honors. Veteran Opsal served as team captain.
Kiminksi earned the title "Most Dedicated Runner" while Long won the "Most Improved" award. Medved took home Rookie of the Year honors.
Revels cited several strong team performances during the 2010 season, including runner-up performances at both the New Prague and Rogers Invitationals and a fourth-place effort at the Shakopee Invitational.
The second year Tiger coach said she felt badly about losing two seniors, one to transfer and one to injury, and was disappointed that her team didn't have more depth.
"We are always looking for more runners," she said, "and that continues to be one of our biggest struggles."
Until the numbers improve, however, Revels seems content with the girls she has on her current roster.
"We had no seniors this year, so I am hopeful everyone will be back next fall," she said. "I believe we have the talent to move up if we keep working hard."

24 Tigers receive All-Missota honors

Thirteen Farmington High School athletes earned berths on all-Missota Conference teams this fall; 11 more received all-conference honorable mention.
In some sports, the all-league teams were chosen by conference coaches and in others determined by performance in conference meets or tournaments.

Farmington High School all-Missota Conference selections for fall 2010:
Girls Soccer: Devyn Alberts, Laine Trowbridge, Shelby Calhoun and Taylor Meyer
Girls Swimming and Diving: Caitlin Kracke, Kirsten Kracke and Kaitlyn O'Reilly
Boys Soccer: Justen Thelen and Sam Leske
Football: CJ Record and Cory Johnson
Volleyball: Katie Habeck
Boys Cross Country: Elliot Fenske

All-Missota Conference Honorable Mention
Girls Soccer: Kelli Harstad and Elena Koch
Girls Swimming and Diving: Elizabeth Wolfe and Sarah O'Reilly
Boys Soccer: Chad Stivers and Christian Thao
Football: Eric McWright and Tommy Korbein
Volleyball: Jordan Bridges
Girls Cross Country: Maria Pacheco
Girls Tennis: Maggie Rudorfer

Boys Cross Country: Experience and youth land Tigers in the middle

Carl Elmer
Senior Co-Captain, Most Dedicated Runner

Tiger boys cross country coach Keith Revels fielded a varsity lineup of extremes for most of the 2010 season.
At the front of the pack were a pair of seniors, two-time state meet qualifier Elliot Fenske and dependable Carl Elmer. The other spots were usually occupied by a group of underclassmen long on effort but short on experience.
The result was a middle-of-the pack finish at both the Missota Conference (5th of 8) and Section 1AA (8th of 14) Championships.
"There are always things you'd like to improve upon," Revels said, "but as a group I think we competed close to our potential. The boys trained hard and improved every week. You can't ask for much more than that."
All in all, Revels awarded 15 runners varsity letters for their work during the 2010 season: seniors Fenske, Elmer, Austin Bell, Drew Cayard, Chris Gorder, Brian Huls, Justin Rees, Josh Ruthenbeck and Brandon Strofhus; juniors Lincoln Kirchoff and Chad Retterath; sophomores Ben Olson, Adam Wallenta and Alec Wilson and freshman Dan Block.
"Having Elliot(Fenske) and Carl (Elmer) the only healthy runners with experience, the younger guys had to step into scoring roles," Revels said. "Olson, Block, Wallenta Kirchoff and Wilson improved as the season progressed. No pun intended, but they made great strides."
Revels said disappointments were few and far between but noted that losing Retterath to injury early in the season took its toll.
Co-captain Fenske won team MVP honors for his stellar senior season's work that included an individual title at New Prague, a fourth place finish in the conference, a seventh place effort at the section meet and a 40th place finish at the state finals.
"Elliot is a great, mentally tough talent who trained hard," Revels said. "He is the complete package who will do well at the next level regardless of where he goes."
Elmer served as co-captain and according to his coach earned his "Most Dedicated" award.
"Carl was a workhorse," he said. "Perhaps not a natural, but his efforts were second to none. There was never any doubt about him giving his best. A great quality possessed by a great kid."
The steadily-improving Olson was named the most improved runner while Block who moved up from the middle school this fall earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Revels said that he should start the 2011 campaign with six runners with varsity experience but cautioned that alone won't mean a move up the conference and section ladders.
"It's going to take five guys getting under 18:00 (for 5000 meters) and one or two under 17:30," he said. "Red Wing, Chaska and Chanhassen will all be pretty good and we can't overlook any of the teams that finished behind us this year, either."

Tigers find positives in losing season

For the first time in 28 years the Tiger football team won just one game (1-8) but veteran coach Mark Froehling said there were more than a few positives to take away from the 2010 season.
"As a team we showed great improvement throughout the season," he said. "The players never quit and continued to learn through the final game.
"We got behind early in a lot of games but we were able to come back and play competitively. Our running game produced two 200-yard games by CJ Record and in the passing game our sophomore quarterback completed 50 percent."
Froehling pointed to a come-from-behind win over Red Wing, a fourth quarter rally in a one-point loss to Holy Angels and a near upset of Northfield as major highlights of the season just completed.
On the other side of the ledger Froehling said his team's two shutout losses, spotty special teams play early in the season and habit of giving up big plays were the biggest disappointments.
Froehling and his staff awarded varsity letters to 38 players, including 18 members of the senior class: Dayne Eich, Record, Sebren Baer, Tyler Grubb, Tyler Beckett,, Evan Workman, Eric McWright, Peter Folz, Ricardo Ziegler, Jake Schaeppi, Josh Zarras, Cory Johnson, John Schimmel, Dillon Pariseau, Derek Sather, Jacob Lee, Tommy Korbein and Tyler Bagley.
"The coaches really enjoyed working with the seniors," Froheling said. "They are good people who woked well together and gave us good effort."
Underclassmen monogram winners included juniors Austin Bassett, Brady Lindrud, Drew Hegseth, Nathan Graham, Blake Weinand, Ryan Schoening, Charlie Weierke, Mitchell Prout, Joey Ouyang, Andy VanBlarcom, Jake Novak, Nick Newman, Bret Hoffman, Josh Cordes, Tyler Engel and Jordan Vandivier and sophomores Darren Beenken, Kevin Olund, Alex Chadwick and Athen Ashton.
Record, the team's leading rusher with 1,013 yards and six touchdowns and Johnson, the anchor of the offensive line, made the all-Missota Conference team.
McWright, the team leader in tackles (58) and quarterback sacks (7) and Korbein, third on the team in tackles with 55, received all-league honorable mention.
Record was voted the team's most valuable offensive player while the defensive MVP award was shared by Zarras, Ziegler and Sather.
Johnson won the most valuable offensive lineman award while Pariseau's hard work earned him a special coaches award. Baer took home the Earl Wetzel award named for the Tiger coach of the 1980's and 1990's.
The losing season was the second in a row for the Tigers and Froehling was realistic in noting that a reversal in fortune will be neither easy nor guaranteed.
"It will take some time to have the number of athletes 'varsity ready' that we need to be dominant again," he said. "We don't have the size and athleticism along the line or the depth at the skill positions that we've had in some seasons.
"What we do have are underclassmen willing to commit to the work necessary to fulfill their potential. As more athletes reach their potential, the team will reach its potential."
The Tiger coach said he plans to stick with the new spread offense he and his staff introduced this season.
"We used several sophomores at both the varsity and junior varsity levels this year, so they will be familiar with it," he said. "The ninth graders had a successful season and some of them could help us right away if they work hard in the weight room in the off-season."

More volleyball honors for Habeck

When Tiger senior Katie Habeck landed a spot on the Minneapolis StarTribune's all-Metro volleyball team a couple of weeks ago, it was just the start of a long string of post-season honors.
Since then the talented outside hitter has made all-state teams chosen by the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In addition, Habeck was a repeat selection for the all-Missota Conference squad.
Habeck, who helped lead Farmington to its one and only state tournament appearance last year, led the Tigers with 404 kills, 349 digs and 28 service aces. Her 434 receptions and 52 blocks ranked second on the team charts.
"This year Katie played every position except setter and libero," coach Mike Woody said. "Her ability to transition from a middle hitter to our number one outside hitter, passer and defender was seamless. Leading the team in both kills and digs says a lot about what she does on the floor."
Habeck plans to continue her volleyball career at the collegiate level with NCAA Division II powerhouse Concordia University-St. Paul.

14 November 2010

Girls Swimming: Tigers second in section; qualify for state in five events

Kaitlyn O'Reilly (below)
State qualifier in 4 events
Elizabeth Wolfe (right)
Section 1AA breaststroke champion

The weather outside was frightful but the results inside delightful for the Tiger girls at the Section 1AA swimming and diving finals held Saturday, November 13, at the Rochester Recreation Center.
As a team, Farmington finished runner-up in the seven-team meet, trailing only champion Rochester John Marshall. The Rockets out-pointed the Tigers 458-338 to take home the championship hardware. Rochester Century took third with 310.5, followed by Faribault 272, Winona/Winona Cotter 271.5, Owatonna 221 and Rochester Mayo 164.
The second place finish matched the highest ever by a Tiger team in the section meet. The 2006 team also came in second.
"We are very excited about our runner-up finish," coach Jen Marshall said. "After Thursday's prelims, we were in fourth place, but we came back for some outstanding performances in the finals to move up."
Individually, the news was even better. The Tigers qualified for this week's state meet in five of the 12 events, claiming three gold medals and meeting the state standard time in a pair of relays.
Kaitlyn O'Reilly had a huge day for Farmington, winning the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke and and swimming a leg on both state qualifying relay teams (200 medley and 200 freestyle relay). Only one other Farmington swimmer has ever won two individual events at the section meet, Lindsey Ternes in 2005.
Elizabeth Wolfe scored the other Farmington first, winning the 100 breaststroke. Wolfe also joined with O'Reilly. Caitlin Kracke and Kirsten Kracke in qualifying for state in the 200 medley relay.
The 200 freestyle relay foursome of O'Reilly, the Kracke sisters and Ellie Sundet also is headed for the state championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
If the second place team finish and five state qualifiers weren't enough to savor, the Tigers also shattered seven school records in the two-day meet: Caitlin Kracke in the 50 and 100 freestyle; O'Reilly in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke; Wolfe in the breaststroke and both the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays.
Next up is the state meet and Marshall is confident her swimmers will perform well on the big stage.
"The girls are very focused on their swims right now," she said. "We've got good experience going in and our goal is to get to the finals in all five events.
"Kaitlyn (O'Reilly) and Elizabeth (Wolfe) are shooting for all-state honors and we have never had an all-state relay team (top eight) so that is another goal."
Other top Farmington finishes:
200 freestyle: 7. Sarah O'Reilly
50 freestyle. 4. C. Kracke
One-meter diving: 8. Kendall Novak
100 freestyle: C. Kracke
500 freestyke: 4. Sara KIntner; 5. Sarah O'Reilly
100 backstroke: 5. K. Kracke
100 breaststroke: 8. Abby Haugen

10 November 2010

Alumni Tracker: Harstad all-UMAC in soccer

Rachel Harstad

Former Tiger Rachel Harstad, a senior defender for the University of Minnesota-Morris women's soccer team was recently named to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) all-league team. Harstad led a Cougar defense that allowed less than a goal per game and was one of just four seniors to make the all-UMAC squad....2009 Tiger graduate Kristina Waltz played in nine games and started one for the Minnesota State, Mankato women's soccer team this fall...
2008 FHS grad Abby Kenealy scored 12 points, pulled down five rebounds and blocked four shots for Southwest Minnesota State in its season-opening loss to the University of Minnesota last week at Williams Arena...Another former Tiger basketball player, 2007 FHS female Athlete of the Year Alisha Todd, won't be able to start her senior season at the University of Wisconsin-Stout until after the holidays after suffering a pre-season injury.
Former Tiger Jimmy Deegan, a tight end for once-beaten William Penn University (Iowa) caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in its 58-10 win over Waldorf College last weekend...2009 FHS male Athlete of the Year Derek Waldbillig gained 20 yards on four carries and scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 10-yard run in the Royals 52-0 rout of Hamline...Tyler Barnes of the FHS class of 2010 is a freshman tight end for Valley City College (North Dakota) this fall.
Former Tiger goaltender Erin McNamara (2007) came up with 63 saves in her first two starts for St. Olaf College this season...Another 2007 Tiger grad, Kelli Johnson, had an assist for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in last week's 4-3 win over St. Mary's.
2010 Tiger grad Kyle Winkelman is a freshman guard on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team...David Steege of the FHS Class of 2009 is a sophomore post player for Jamestown College (North Dakota).
Eric Wicktor, a 1988 Farmignton grad, is the boys basketball coach at Pine City, Minnesota...Tiger alum Pat Carey, girls basketball coach Jason Berg and former athletic director Byron Olson were on the officiating crew that worked the Section 1AAAA championship football game between Northfield and Faribault last week.

Girls Hockey: Tigers look for Missota repeat and more

Hannah Alexander

Krystal Baumann

Despite a roster with just one senior the Tigers returned to the top of the Missota Conference standings last winter and finished the season with an impressive 18-8-1 record. This year they are looking to hold on to their conference crown as well as win a section title and return to the state tournament.
"We are really positive when we look at the upcoming season," coach Jon Holmes said. "Not only have we been working on team concepts and skills the past few years, but these girls have now grown into young adults capable of performing at a level never before possible."
A glance at the roster shows the reasons for Holmes optimism. The Tigers return 14 letterwinners from last year's title team. The only missing link is captain and all-conference defender Angie Schull. Her presence will be missed but several hungry returnees appear ready to step in and pick up the slack.
This year's roster still contains just three seniors, but that trio of captains Krystal Baumann, Hannah Alexander and Emily Severson will play a big role in Farmington's fortunes in 2010-11.
Last winter the all-Missota Conference duo of Baumann and Alexander combined for 61 goals and 51 assists in 27 games. Both rank among the top 10 Tiger point scorers of all time. Severson came on strong last year and should also provide scoring punch.
"I cannot say enough about our captains," Holmes said. "They are big contributors to our success and just all-around great people. Whatever success we have will be a direct result of their ability to lead both on and off the ice."
Five other young but experienced forwards should also keep the opposition busy: sophomores Haleigh Zwart, Grace Gavin and Sydney Schoenecker and freshmen Haley Doll and Shaye Jenrich.
On the blue line, six letterwinners with varsity playing experience should go a long way toward filling Schull's skates: juniors Betsy Anderson, Molly Friedlud and Katie Burgess; sophomore Rachel Peroutky and freshmen Bria Donnelly and Rachel Welzin.
The goaltending position is in good hands with the return of junior all-Missota performer Jessica Erchul who posted a 1.90 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage last year. Ashley Corocran and Kayla Bohanon will vie for the back-up goalkeeping posiiton.
A pair of eighth-grade forwards, Chloe Batta and Emily Johnson, have looked good in the early going and freshmen Maddie Strid, Breanna Raske and Megan Stivers could also make a run at varsity ice time. Brooke Raske and Lexi Smrekar are expected to battle for playing time on the blue line.
Holmes expects his team's experience and ability to work together will overcome what will arguably be the toughest schedule in the school's history. In addition to the ever-improving competition in the Missota, the Tigers will face off against such perennial state powers as Eden Paririe, Breck, Blake, Wayzata, Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Hastings.
"We feel we have the ability to compete with these teams," Holmes said. "Hopefully this will better prepare us for post-season play."
Farmington should be the favorite to repeat in the Missota but according to Holmes, the race for Section 1 honors will be a five-team battle.
"With a lot of hard work and a little luck, we should be right there," he said.
A veteran coaching staff returns to help the Tigers, including assistants Shawn Anderson, Jason Kohlbeck, Dan Pickens and Al Jenrich.
Farmington opens the 2010-11 season Tuesday night, November 16, against Breck in Golden Valley.

09 November 2010

Habeck second team all-Metro

Katie Habeck
All-Metro Second Team

Tiger senior Katie Habeck earned a spot on the Minneapolis StarTribune's all-Metro volleyball second team announced Tuesday, November 9.
The versatile Habeck, a four-year regular for coach Mike Woody's team, had an outstanding senior season, finishing with team-highs in kills (404), digs(349) and service aces (28). She also ranked second in blocks (52) and serve receptions (434).
"Katie along with Kirstee Rotty and Danielle Dombeck have been players that I have been able to build a team around," coach Mike Woody said. "She has carried herself with dignity and poise through the high of a section championship and the low of a 2-5 conference record her senior season.
"This year she played every position except setter and libero. Her ability to transition from a middle hitter to our number one outside hitter, passer and defender was seamless. Leading the team in both kills and digs says a lot about what she does on the floor."
Though her high school career has ended, volleyball is very much in Habeck's future. She has committed to play next year for Concordia University-St.Paul, the top-ranked NCAA Division II team in the nation.

07 November 2010

Fenske 40th at state cross country

Tiger senior Elliot Fenske ran the challenging, 5000-meter, state meet course five seconds faster than he did as a junior but finished 12 places lower at the 2010 Class AA Championships held, Saturday, November 6, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Fenske clocked 16:31.5 in his final high school race and finished 40th in a field of 154 runners. Last fall he placed 28th at state with a finishing time of 16:36.
"I know Elliot was hoping for the top 25 which would have meant 'all-state'," coach Keith Revels said. "The leaders went out fast and didn't let up. Elliot gained places over the final mile but not as many as he would have liked. He posted a solid time and didn't leave anything on the table.
"Elliot has been a pleasure to coach the last four years. Being all-Missota twice and running in two state meets is quite a career. It sounds like he has an interest in continuing to compete and he most certainly has the ability to do so."
Wayzata won the Class AA team competition with a meet-low total of 61 points. Moorhead and Rosemount finished second and third. Section 1AA qualifiers Owatonna and Lakeville North placed eighth and 10th respectively.

05 November 2010

Girls Tennis: Short on wins but long on improvement

On the basis of wins and losses, the 2010 season wasn't one for the time capsule but veteran coach Jack Olwell said despite his team's 0-13 dual meet record (0-7 in the Missota Conference), it did not lack for accomplishment.
"We improved greatly from the start of the season to the finish," he said. "Even though we lost early in the section tournament, the girls hit their peak at that time.
"I was most pleased that our effort did not flag during the losing streak. It has been said that character is best defined as the willingness to fulfill commitment after the desire has faded. I don't know if the desire diminished but the effort certainly didn't."
Thirteen players received varsity letters at the post-season awards banquet, including six seniors: captains Danielle Froehling, Brianna Kashak and Emilee Shearer, Lucy Gentilini, Mila Jacobson and Sam Leighton.
"I hope the seniors realize that they provided the coaches a very special experience," Olwell said. "More importantly, they have set a wonderful example for the younger players."
Underclasssmen earning letters included juniors Jessica Autey, Katie Burgess, Meghan Lindstrom, Rachel Molitor and Maggie Rudorfer; sophomore Melanie Kappes and freshman Megan Stivers.
Rudorfer, who occupied the No. 1 singles position all season, won the team's Most Valuable Player award and also received all-Missota Conference honorable mention. Lindstrom, who had the best individual record, took home the Player of the Year award.
"We had 34 players who demonstrated a growing love for the game," Olwell said, "and the team formed a strong bond as the season progressed."
The Tiger coach said he was obviously disappointed with the lack of victories but added that some of the circumstances were out of his players' control.
"The season was a little like running a race in which your opponents have a head start and it was too great to overcome in the time allowed," he said. "We ran hard and closed the gap but couldn't overtake them."
The Tigers have not won a Missota Conference dual meet since the 2008 season and Olwell said that in order for that to change, players here need to start playing competitively at a younger age.
"Most of the teams we play have their key players who have been under the watchful eye of a professional for years." he said. "They have seventh and eighth graders who have played in section and state tournaments.
"In Farmington we develop players on our own courts, usually starting in middle school. That helps account for the head start we concede to our opponents."
To help even the playing surface, Olwell advocates starting players at a younger age, at least in elementary school. Until that process evolves and begins to produce results, however, the Tiger coach said there is much to be learned from the game, regardless of the win-loss numbers.
"There are so many life lessons to be learned," he said. "Sacrificing for other team members, dealing with adversity and handling both success and disappointment with maturity are things we all want our kids to learn.
"Ultimately the journey toward that end includes striving for one's best effort and best performance against the obstacles that face you."

Boys Soccer: A step forward

Last fall first-year coach Julian Buss inherited an inexperienced and undermanned squad that finished the season with four wins. This fall the win total went up by 50 percent.
The Tigers posted a 6-11 record, going 3-4 in Missota Conference play and tying for fourth place in the league standings.
"Last year we beat three teams and this year we beat six," Buss said. "We had increased participation numbers and got great leadership from our captains. Our parent leadership was also outstanding.
"We played some of the best teams in the state and were competitive. I feel our program is becoming competitive with every team we play."
Buss awarded 17 varsity letters to team members this fall, including six seniors: Aaron Dahl, Elijah Kierski, Mike Moser, Christian Thao, Justen Thelen and Zach Wyatt.
Other letterwinners included juniors Chad Stivers, Brandon Scott, Mike Ricker, Sam Leske and Cole Landwehr; sophomores Reid Wolfe and Tyler Petter-McCauley and freshmen Jared Holt, Blake Smith, Hunter Meyers and Jeff Hanson.
Junior Tyler Vue, a starting defender last season, was injured during the pre-season, and did not play. Buss expects to have him back in the lineup next fall.
Elsa Saari and Nikki Websters served as team managers this fall.
Thelen (8 goals, 6 assists) and Leske (3 goals, 2 assists) landed spots on the all-Missota Conference team. Thao (2 goals, 1 assist) and goalie Stivers received honorable mention.
Stivers, whose 157 saves tied for eighth in the state, won the team's Most Valuable Player honor while newcomer Wyatt took home the Most Improved Player award. Smith and Hanson shared the Rookie of the Year award.
Buss pointed to his team's 2-0 start; an exciting 4-3 win over Chaska; the development of Stivers as a goalkeeper and a quality effort against state champion Apple Valley as major highlights of the 2010 Tiger season.
On the downside, he pointed to a six-game losing skid in the middle of the season that included a 3-2 overtime loss to conference champion Chanhassen in which his team led 2-1 with a minute left in regulation.
"We also lost a tough overtime game to Winona and didn't play well in losses to Northfield and Park," Buss said.
Buss has named Leske, Scott and Stivers as tri-captains for the 2011 season and said the trio will have to work hard to provide the leadership provided by departed senior captains Thelen and Thao.
"Justen was a great goal scorer but he was also very unselfish," he said. "He has what it takes to play at a higher level.
"Christian is an outstanding soccer player with outstanding character. He was an amazing resource in terms of knowledge and skill. He made the players around him better."
Buss said he hopes to add a fourth level of competition either next year or in 2012 while continuing to add to participation numbers.
"We've also scheduled more games against section teams so we have a better chance to move up in the seedings for the section tournament," he said.
"I'm looking forward to next year. We'll be returning quite a few strong soccer players."

Girls Soccer: Another winning season

For the second straight season the Tigers put together a winning record, finishing 9-8-1 overall and 4-2-1 in Missota Conference play. Their league record and third place finish stand as school records.
Rob Carpentier has been head coach for the last two years and although he is pleased that his teams own the only winning seasons in school history, he said he could only speculate how much better things could have been had the injury bug not struck his team with a vengeance.
"We lost 71 player games this season," he said. "In my 17 years of coaching I have never had so many kids out with such crazy injuries. I would love to have seen what this team could have done if it had been healthy."
All in all, Carpentier and his staff awarded 25 varsity letters this season. Of that number, eight were seniors: Devyn Alberts, Laine Trowbridge, Shelby Calhoun, Elena Koch, Liz Gallus, Bree Brower, Amber Johnson and Janine Miller.
Junior monogram winners included Ashley Kimmel, Kelli Harstad, Sammie Johnoff, Natalee Chromy, Tia Jacoby, Taylor Meyer, Alyssa Parco, Gabby White and Rachel Beck.
Sophomores Leah Zak, Nadia Lorencz, Grace Gavin, Alex Frost and Kelsy Humpfer and freshmen Kayla Kucala, Kelly Kormann and Hannah Miller also picked up letters.
Captain Alberts who finished with team-highs in goals (10) and assists (10) received unprecedented post-season recognition. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay recruit made the all-state and all-metro teams; won the Missota Conference Player of the Year award for the second straight season and earned team Most Outstanding Player honors.
Two other senior captains, Trowbridge (5 goals) and Calhoun (3 goals) made the elite all-Missota Conference team as did goalie Meyer whose 91 percent save percentage garnered her the league's Keeper of the Year award.
Other post-season awards went to Koch and Harstad (all-Missota honorable mention); Lorencz (Most Improved Player); Beck (Rookie of the Year); White (Coach's Award) and Gallus (team captain).
Carpentier said the 2010 campaign was filled with highlights, including a 1-0 win over Park; a 3-2 comeback victory over Sibley on a last-second goal and tying conference champion Shakopee.
"We played the toughest schedule in program history and still tied for most wins in a season with nine," he said.
The spate of injuries led the Tiger coach to sum up the season in two words "unrealized potential."
"We never got blown out against some very good competition," he said. "We lost Hannah Miller in our first scrimmage and then Ashley Kimmel was out for both Northfield and Shakopee, the two teams in front of us in the conference.
"Then Shelby Calhoun and Taylor Myer both missed our playoff game with Rosemount. With those two on the field we would have had a real good shot at a win."
Carpentier called Alberts a "one of a kind" player but added that replacing Calhoun and Trowbridge might present as difficult a challenge next fall.
"They were our engine room and shield for our defense," he said. "If we can adequately replace them, we will be very, very tough next year.
"With the B-squad and junior varsity players moving up we will have one of the fastest teams in the state and that should lead to a great deal of success....barring injuries, of course."
The second year Tiger coach said he couldn't tie a ribbon on the 2010 season until after a final salute to his four senior captains.
"The community should know that I have never been around four people who gave their all for the team and led both in word and action like they did," he said. "For me, it was like having four assistant coaches on the field. Next year's captains have some big shoes to fill."

01 November 2010

Alumni Tracker: Rotty part of MIAC championship volleyball team

Kirstee Rotty

During her stellar high school volleyball career 2009 FHS female Athlete of the Year Kirstee Rotty never got to play on a championship team. Despite a couple of 20-win seasons, the Tigers were unable to carve out a Missota Conference title and twice they were stopped in the semifinals of the Section 1AAA tournament.
Rotty, a sophomore defensive specialist for nationally ranked St. Olaf College, can now cross the championship goal off her to-do list. The Oles (27-4), rated 11th in last week's NCAA Division III national poll, tied for the 2010 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) crown with the University of St. Thomas with a 10-1 league mark.
Rotty has played in all 31 matches in her first season with St. Olaf. The former Tiger, who piled up more than 2000 digs in her high school career, ranks second on the Oles team with 337, an average of 2.96 per game.
2009 Tiger graduate Danielle Dombeck, who recorded more than 1000 kills in her high school volleyball career, is a defensive specialist for the North Dakota State University women's team this fall.
Former Tiger Cody Eich ranks as the second leading tackler for the unbeaten University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs who are the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II football team in the nation. Eich has recorded 31 solo tackles, 18 assists, four pass break-ups and two tackles for a loss and in nine games.
2009 FHS male Athlete of the Year Derek Waldbillig, a sophomore running back at Bethel University, hasn't carried the ball too much (13 carries for 47 yards) in his first season with the Royals but is the team's second leading kickoff returner with 94 yards on seven returns, an average of 13.4 yards per try. Bethel is 7-1 this season and ranked 20th in the most recent NCAA Division III poll.
Former Tigers Wade Fischer and Jimmy Deegan continue to hold down starting lineman positions for William Penn University (7-1), currently 15th in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) rankings. Last week the former Tiger duo helped the Statesmen rack up an astonishing 607 yards rushing in a 70-6 win over Peru State (Nebraska).
Danny Tutewohl of the FHS class of 2009 was the leading tackler for St. Olaf College in its 42-10 win over Hamline last week with four solos and two assists...Another 2009 Tiger grad Drew Schaeppi, a redshirt freshman at Minnesota State, Mankato, has six tackles and two assists for the Mavericks this season.
Ex-Tiger Rachel Harstad is a midfielder on the University of Minnesota-Morris women's soccer team...2007 Tiger grad Erin Johnson has a goal and an assist in eight games for the Bemidji State University women's hockey team.
Former Tiger cheerleader Becca Doll is a senior on the cheerleading squad at St. Norbert's College in Wisconsin. In addition to performing at her school's games, the team also cheers at Green Bay Packer home games.
Former Tiger swimming and diving standouts Katrina Fitzgerald and Kristin Peters are members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's swim team...Three former FHS swimmers are on the roster of the University of St. Thomas men's squad: Erik Huls, Taylor Trowbridge and Nick Haugen. Huls, a junior, won all-MIAC honors for the Tommies last winter.

Volleyball: Tigers out in section quarterfinals

Jordan Bridges (above) and Katie Habeck

For the first time in four years Farmington won't be playing in the Section 1AAA semifinals.
Missota Conference rival Northfield scored a lopsided win in the first game and then held off a spirited Tiger rally in a 25-6, 25-20, 25-23 win over the defending section champs in a semifinal match played Friday, Oct. 29, in Northfield.
Sixth-seeded Farmington opened post-season play on Wednesday. Oct. 27, with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-13, shutout victory over No. 11 Hastings.
"We really struggled in the first game against Northfield," coach Mike Woody said, "but we bounced back in the next two. They could have gone either way.
"I am very proud of our girls. We were a different team in the section than we were most of the season. We had a very solid and fun week."
In the opening round win over Hastings, all-Missota Conference jack-of-all-trades Katie Habeck led the way.
Offensively, the Tiger senior accounted for 20 of her team's 35 kills and also served for nine points. Defensively, she registered a team-high 18 digs and came up with a dozen serve receptions.
"We were hitting on all cylinders in the first game," Woody said. "We got off to a slow start in game two but came back to play well at the end and carry momentum into game three. It was a great way to finish our home season."
Habeck had plenty of help in the win. Jordan Bridges turned in a solid performance, finishing with six kills and a pair of blocks while serving for a team-high 16 points. Renee MacLean and Mia Johnston served for 14 and 13 points respectively.
Johnston also had a good night distributing the ball, accounting for a team-high 17 assists. Andrea Smith added nine.
In the back row, Brook King continued her quality play, coming up with a team-best 24 serve receptions and ranking second in digs with 15.
The post-season split leaves the Tigers with a final season mark of nine wins and 19 losses.