31 August 2011

Girls Swimming: Tigers open Missota season with win at Red Wing

Kirsten Kracke
3 firsts versus Red Wing
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Farmington's depth played big dividends in a 90-88 Missota Conference dual meet win Tuesday, Aug. 30, in Red Wing.
The final score was deceiving as the Tigers built a commanding 90-50 cushion over the the first nine events before swimming the final three in exhibition status.
"I'm excited to see the versatility with this team," coach Jennifer Marshall said. "It's nice for the girls to have the flexibility to move around in events and mix things up a bit. We're a very deep team and that will only help us the rest of the season."
The official score sheet shows the Tigers winning six of the first nine events as well as posting the best times in the three races they swam as exhibitions.
Kaitlyn O'Reilly who finished the night with four firsts led the way with a win in the 100 freestyle. Other individual winners included Zoe Avestruz (200 medley); Kirsten Kracke (50 freestyle) and Sarah Kintner (500 freestyle).
The 200 medley relay foursome of O'Reilly, Abby Haugen, Avestruz and Kracke took top honors as did the 200 freestyle relay team of O'Reilly, Kracke, Avestruz and Haugen.
Exhibition winners included O'Reilly in the 100 backstroke, Haugen in the 100 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay quartet of Robin Ellis, O'Reilly, Chloe Holton and Hannah Seitzinger.
Scoring second place points in individual events were Haugen (50 freestyle); Avestruz (100 butterfly); Cory Ruzicka and (100 freestyle) and Kendall Novak (diving).
The 200 medley relay team of Delaney Wright, Kintner, Ruzicka and Ellis and the 200 freestyle relay squad of Seitzinger, Ruzicka, Sarah O'Reilly and Holton each placed second.
Finishing runners-up in exhibition events were Kinter in the 100 breaststroke and Ellis in the 100 backstroke.

Additional Farmington point-scorers:
200 freestyle: 3. Sarah O'Reilly; 4. Seitzinger
200 individual medley: 3. Holton; 4. Ellis
50 freestyle: 4.Ruzicka
One-meter diving: 3. Jade Alm; 4. Nikki Cayard
100 butterfly: 3. Seitzinger; 5. Kracke
100 freestyle: 3. S. O'Reilly
500 freestyle: 4. Maddie Alexander

Boys Soccer: Zero Tolerance

Senior captain Brandon Scott scored the second Tiger goal
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

The Tigers (2-0-1) kept the opponents side of the scoreboard blank for the third straight game in a 2-0 shutout of Rochester John Marshall, Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Tiger Stadium.
Goalkeeper Chad Stivers and a stingy team defense have not allowed a goal in 250 minutes of play this season.
"We need to score more on offense but our defense has been very good so far," coach Julian Buss said. "We've played aggressively and Chad has been excellent in goal."
Tuesday's win over the Rockets was a game of two halves. The teams went to intermission tied at 0-0 and Buss said the dreary weather conditions may have contributed to the Tigers ineffectiveness.
"We came out flat," he said. "The wet weather seemed to throw us off our game a bit. We didn't really play our game of fast passes and getting scoring opportunities."
The Tigers wasted no time in flipping the 'on' switch after the break as Cole Landwehr scored on a pass from Blake Smith just 37 seconds into the second half. From that point forward, most of the action took place in the JM half of the pitch.
Brandon Scott closed out the scoring 11 minutes into the second period on a give-and-go pass from Landwehr.
"The boys should be congratulated for getting the job done when they needed to after a rough first half," Buss said.
The Tigers put their unbeaten record on the line Thursday night when the host Rosemount under the lights at Tiger Stadium.

Girls Soccer: Valley blanks Tigers 2-0

Keeper Sydney Eckert
12 saves vs Apple Valley

Farmington (2-2) fell 2-0 to Apple Valley of the South Suburban Conference Tuesday night, Aug. 30, in a non-conference game at Apple Valley.
The Eagles led 1-0 at intermission and then added an insurance score with 25 minutes to play in regulation to run their early season record to 1-2.
"The best word for our first half play would be 'skittish'," coach Rob Carpentier said "After Valley scored its second goal, we played much better. We are a young team and experiencing some growing pains."
Valley edged the Tigers in shots 22-17 but Carpentier said his team did not want for scoring opportunities.
"We missed some great chances in the second half," he said.
"One of the bright spots for the visitors in the losing effort was the net play of junior goalkeeper Sydney Eckert.
"She stopped 12 shots and had some of the best keeping I've seen in a long time," Carpentier said. "She absolutely kept us in the game when we weren't firing on all cylinders."
The Tigers continue non-conference play Thursday with a home contest against Section 1 rival Rochester John Marshall.

Volleyball: Tigers send Austin packing

Bekah Lippert (center) scores one of her six kills
as Mia Johnston (11) and Adrienne Jolicoeur (1) look on
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Farmington (2-0) made it two straight against Big Nine Conference competition Tuesday night, Aug. 30, with a convincing 3-0 win over Austin at Tiger Gym. The Tigers got better in every game, winning 25-22, 25-20 and 25-11.
"Considering the schedule and how we are improving, I'm not necessarily surprised we are 2-0," coach Mike Woody said. "I might be a little surprised we won this match in three games."
Farmington eked out the win in the first game by scoring the last three points after surrendering an early six-point lead. The Packers scored the first point of game two but the Tigers led the rest of the way. In the third contest, the home team roared to an 8-1 lead and never looked back.
Bekah Lippert and Laura Steege had a team-leading six and five kills respectively. Mia Johnston handed out 11 set assists and a scored a trio of service aces. Ruthanne Schmitt and Emily Fahning also notched a trio of aces for the winners.
Defensively, Rachel Eckert recorded nine digs and seven service receptions; Adrienne Jolicoeur and Fahning each chimed in with six serve receptions. Fahning had four blocks.
"The difference between the first two games and the third was that we cut out of errors," Woody said. "We were more aggressive and we didn't make the kind of mistakes we did in the first two...Our goal is to keep improving as a defensive team and we did that tonight."
The competition level ramps up a notch on Thursday, Sept. 1, when the Tigers travel to Rosemount for a non-conference clash with the Irish.

Tiger Scoreboard: August 31, 2011

Farmington 3 Austin 0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-11)

Boys Soccer
Farmington 2 Rochester John Marshall 0

Girls Swimming
Farmington 90 Red Wing 88

Girls Soccer
Apple Valley 2 Farmington 0

30 August 2011

Girls Tennis: Packers down Tigers 6-1

Megan Stivers
6-2, 2-6, 6-2 winner at No. 4 singles

South St. Paul swept the double competition and won three of four singles matches to defeat the Tigers 6-1 Monday, Aug. 29, at the Boeckman Middle School courts.
"They (South St. Paul) were very strong, particularly in singles," Tiger coach Jack Olwell said. "I thought our level of play went up but we could not get on an even footing with this team."
Sophomore Megan Stivers used an improved forehand in the third set to score a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win at fourth singles to account for the lone Farmington point.
"Megan didn't get rattled when her opponent came back to win the second set," Olwell said. "She re-focused and came out strong. It was a fun match to watch."
In doubles play the No. 3 tandem of ShyAnne Spurzem and Tasha Sinha played well in defeat, losing 2-6, 7-5, 3-6.
"This was a reunion of a team from last year and they showed a lot of promise," Olwell said.
South St. Paul 6 Farmington 1
No. 1 singles Meghan Lindstrom lost 2-6, 1-6
No. 2 singles Maggie Rudorfer lost 0-6, 0-6
No. 3 singles Melanie Kappes lost 0-6, 1-6
No. 4 singles Megan Stivers won 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
No. 1 doubles Katie Burgess/Ally Midboe lost 4-6, 2-6
No. 2 doubles Rachel Molitor/Jessica Autey lost 1-6, 2-6
No. 3 doubles ShyAnne Spurzem/Tasha Sinha lost 2-6, 7-5, 3-6

Tiger Scoreboard: August 30, 2011

Girls Tennis
South St. Paul 6 Farmington 1

28 August 2011

Volleyball: Farmington wins Battle of the Tigers

Laura Steege
19 digs, 9 kills, 5 blocks in season opener

Farmington opened its 2011 season on a positive note, winning the battle of the Tigers with a 3-1 road decision Thursday, Aug. 25, at Albert Lea. The locals defeated the Big Nine Conference version of the Tigers 25-13, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23.
"Albert Lea was a very good opening match for us," coach Mike Woody said. "We passed pretty well and started to show signs of some scrappy defense.
"Albert Lea started to play much better in games three and four, so it was big for us to build confidence by finishing strong in the fourth game."
Bekah Lippert and Laura Steege led the Farmington offensive attack with 12 and nine kills respectively. The senior duo also paced the effort at the net, each totaling five blocks. Kaylene Seueur also had five blocks for the winners.
Rachel Eckert led the team in digs with 21. Steege added 19, Emma Fahning 17, Adrienne Jolicoeur 15 and Andrea Smith hit double digits with 10. Eckert and Jolicoeur tied for the team-high in service receptions with 20; Fahning added 10.
Smith and Mia Johsnton shared the setting duties with Smith totaling 18 and Johnston 14.
The Tigers return home Tuesday, Aug, 30, when they entertain Austin, another Big Nine Conference school.

Boys Soccer: Tigers battle North to 0-0 tie

Chad Stivers
9 saves in 2nd straight shutout

Farmington (1-0-1) didn't come home with a win from Saturday night's 0-0 tie with defending Section 1AA champion Lakeville North but according to coach Julian Buss, the draw marked a big step forward for his program.
"We passed another test," he said. "Could we play tough on the road under the lights against a defending champion. The answer is 'yes'.
"The boys proved in this game that they have elevated the level of play to what can be expected from the Farmington boys soccer program....We walk away from this game with our chins up."
Both teams had their chances in the defensive-oriented contest. Tiger forwards Brandon Scott and Cole Landwehr each had good looks at the net.
North also had its opportunities but couldn't get the ball past Tiger keeper Chad Stivers who made a critical save with one minute remaining in the second overtime period.
Stivers finished with nine saves in posting his second straight shutout.
The Tigers return home next week to host a pair of non-conference tilts, Tuesday, Aug. 30, against Rochester John Marshall and Thursday versus Rosemount.

Girls Soccer: Kimmel paces Tigers to second place finish in Prior Lake tourney

Ashley Kimmel scored three goals to lead the Tigers
to a second place finish at the Prior Lake Invitational
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Senior tri-captain Ashley Kimmel scored three of the four Farmington goals as the Tigers split a pair of games to finish second at the four-team Prior Lake Invitational played Aug. 27-28.
Farmington (2-1) rallied for two second half goals to defeat Waconia 3-1 in Friday's opener and then came up just short in a 2-1 loss to host Prior Lake in the title game.
In the opening round win the Tigers got off a robust 43 shots, 25 of them on frame, but connected on just three--two by Kimmel and another by Alyssa Parco. Kenya Macias had two assists and Parco one.
Sydney Eckert worked the nets on Friday, finishing with two saves. Farmington outshot the opposition by a convincing 43-13.
"We played a very good second half," Tiger coach Rob Carpentier said, "but we need to finish better."
In the championship game, the finish was fine but the start left a little to be desired.
"We came out flat, almost like we were scared of Prior Lake because they're a South Suburban Conference team." Carpentier said. "The bottom line is some players play scared and others don't. We're young and we have to figure this out quickly, because we play Apple Valley Tuesday night."
Prior Lake led 2-0 with 11 minutes play when Kimmel scored her fifth goal in three games off a free kick to cut the deficit to one.
"We had a late goal disallowed that would have tied it," Carpentier said, "but it was the proper call."
The Lakers won the shots battle 16-10 with Ashley Becker tending the Tiger goal.
"Neither goal was her fault," Carpentier said. "She made some really astounding saves."
The Tigers head to Apple Valley Tuesday, Aug. 30, before returning home on Thursday to entertain Section 1 rival Rochester John Marshall.

27 August 2011

Tiger Scoreboard: August 28, 2011

Girls Soccer
Prior Lake Invitational Championship
Prior Lake 2 Farmington 1

Boys Soccer
Farmington 0 Lakeville North 0

Tiger Scoreboard: August 27, 2011

Girls Soccer
Prior Lake Tournament
Farmington 3 Waconia 1

Girls Tennis
Farmington Invitational
Cannon Falls 21, Belle Plaine 11, Farmington 6, New Life Academy 4

26 August 2011

Boys Cross Country: New coach, new challenges

Tigers take off on their first training run of the season

Former FHS running standout Keith Revels resigned as Tiger boys cross country coach last spring and turned the program over to another ex-Farmington elite runner.
Lisa (Dingman) Lippold, a two-time state meet runner in high school and an all-American performer in college, took over the reins of the Tigers this past summer and is looking forward to the challenge of moving her alma mater's program forward.
"We want to become a team that others are looking out for," she said. "We have a good number of boys fighting for the top seven spots.
"They have been working hard so far. It has been rewarding to see the determination on their faces during a hard day at practice."
If Lippold is to improve on Farmington's 2010 fifth place finish in the Missota Conference and eighth place showing at the Section 1AA Championships, she will have to do so without the benefit of a wealth of experienced athletes.
Nine members from last year's team were lost to graduation, including state meet qualifier Elliot Fenske and 2010 male Athlete of the Year Carl Elmer.
Lippold will build her team around the nucleus of junior letterwinners Adam Wallenta and Ben Olson and sophomore monogram winner Dan Block.
Senior Patrick Sunderman, juniors Tyler Lerbakken and Caleb Seiffert and sophomore Jake Rudeen have all looked good in early practice sessions and a host of other hopefuls could also make a strong push for the varsity lineup.
The first-year coach said she really doesn't have a clear picture of how her team will stack up against the conference and section competition.
"I won't know that until we run a couple of meets and I see how the boys are responding to the workouts," she said.
Red Wing claimed the conference crown last fall while Owatonna won top honors in Section 1AA.
Lippold isn't the only new face on the Tiger coaching staff. Tiger girls track coach Tom Hart comes on board as varsity assistant coach. Connie Berg will work with the middle school runners.
The Tigers open their 2011 season Friday, Sept. 2, when they head to Eagan for the annual Dakota County Championships.

Boys Soccer: Fast start propels Tigers to 4-0 win over Faribault

Chad Stivers (right), 9 saves/shutout
Cole Landwehr 2 goals

Farmington struck for three early goals in the first half and added another on a penalty kick shortly after intermission to post a 4-0 non-conference win in its season opener Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Faribault.
"We have been trying to focus on communication, accurate, crisp passes and controlling the midfield," coach Julian Buss said. "For the most part we succeeded in those things. We had a lot of scoring opportunities."
Cole Landwehr, with an assist from Urive Omana, netted the first of his two goals at 36:56 of the opening half to kick off the scoring for the Tigers.
Fewer than three minutes later, Tyler Petter-McCauley converted the Tigers first corner kick opportunity of the season into a score on a header after a spot-on boot by Blake Smith.
Fifty-two seconds later Kaid Nokes took a blocked shot by Omana and turned it into the visitors third goal in in a span of 2:24.
"We had hoped to start off with some quick goals to set the tone for the game," Buss said.
Ten minutes into the second half Landwehr was fouled heading to the net and was awarded a penalty shot that resulted in the final score of the afternoon.
Goalie Chad Stivers started his senior season out on a high note, stopping all nine Faribault shots and recording the shutout.
The Tigers don't get a lot of time to savor their season-opening win. Saturday night they travel to Lakeville North and next Tuesday they play their home opener against Section 1 rival Rochester John Marshall.

Girls Soccer: Tigers blank Falcons in opener

Ashley Kimmel
2 goals, 1 assist in season opener
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Farmington scored three goals in each half to defeat Faribault 6-0 in the season opener for both teams played Thursday afternoon, Aug. 25, at Tiger Stadium.
Despite the final outcome, Tiger coach Rob Carpentier said his team's performance could best be described as up-and-down.
"I wasn't happy with what appeared to be a complacent attitude on the part of some of the girls," he said. "Couple that with nerves on the part of the younger girls and we had an inconsistent performance.
"If the older girls continue to play with a sense of entitlement which they didn't have in our scrimmages, they'll be in for a rude awakening..."
Goals by Rachel Beck, Ashley Kimmel and Destiny Schmitz netted first half goals and Beck, Kimmel and Alyssa Parco scored after intermission to account for the Tiger goals.
Kimmel had an assist for a three-point game and Hannah Miller, Kentya Macias and Izzie Ferm each chipped in with assists.
Junior Sydney Eckert and freshman Ashley Becker shared the goalkeeping duties in the shutout but neither received much of a test. The Tigers outshot the Falcons by a lopsided 44-3 count.
"That's not a misprint." Carpentier said. "It (the score) should have been much worse."
The level of competition figures to pick up this weekend at the Prior Lake Invitational. The Tigers open tourney play Friday night against Waconia.

Girls Swimming: Tigers jet by Eagles in opener

Kendall Novak shows winning form on the one-meter board
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Visiting Apple Valley led by two points after the opening event but the rest of the night belonged to Farmington as the Tigers opened their 2011 season with a convincing 92-85 win at the Dodge Middle School pool.
After Valley out-pointed them 8-6 in the 200 medley relay, the Tigers went on an 86-44 run before swimming the final two events in exhibition status.
"We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year at this time," Tiger coach Jen Marshall said. "The girls are working their tails off in practice. If they can keep this up it's going to be another surreal season."
Farmington won with depth. It won only four of the 12 events but piled up a large number of second, third and fourth place points.
Kirsten Kracke (200 individual medley), Zoe Avestruz (50 freestyle), Kaitlyn O'Reilly (500 freestyle) and Kendall Novak (one-meter diving) scored the four Farmington firsts.
Five Tiger entrants tallied second place points, including Cory Ruzicka, 100 medley and 100 butterfly; Sara Kintner, 200 freestyle; Nikki Cayard, diving; Robin Ellis, 100 backstroke and Kracke, 100 freestyle.
Finishing third for Farmington were Chloe Holton, 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly; Sarah O'Reilly, 200 individual medley; Ellie Sundet, 50 freestyle; Jade Alm, diving; Hannah Seitzinger, 100 freestyle and Delaney Wright, 500 freestyle.

Other Farmington point-scorers:
200 medley relay: 2. Kracke, K. O'Reilly, Ruzica and Sundet; 3. Ellis, Abby Haugen, Avestruz, Sundet
200 freestyle relay: 2.K. O'Reilly, Abby Haugen, Ruzicka, Kintner; 3. S. O'Reilly, Ellis, Wright, Holton
200 freestyle: 4. Wright
50 freestyle: 4. Ellis
100 freestyle: 4. Kintner

Girls Tennis: Tigers edged at Faribault, finish second in tourney

Melanie Kappes
6-1, 6-0 winner at 3rd singles vs. Faribault

The Tigers finished a hectic first week of the season with a 4-3 dual meet loss at Faribault on Thursday, Aug. 25, and a third place finish in the four-team Farmington Invitational on Friday.
Faribault 4 Farmington 3
"We lost a heart-breaker," coach Jack Olwell said. "I'm still not over it. We had some great efforts and several of the matches were very close."
Thanks to wins at the third and fourth singles positions by Melanie Kappes and Megan Stivers and a victory by the first doubles tandem of Katie Burgess and Ally Midboe, the match was tied at 3-3 with the lone remaining match at third doubles.
The Tiger duo of ShyAnne Spurzem and Kassie Seegert won the first set 6-4 and held a 5-4 lead in the second before falling 5-7. Faribault rode that momentum to a 6-0 win in the third set to win the match and the meet.
"Faribault put it in another gear in the third set," Olwell said. "They played flawless tennis."

Farmington Results:
No. 1 singles: Meghan Lindstrom lost 1-6, 0-6
No. 2 singles: Maggie Rudorfer lost 0-6, 0-6
No. 3 singles Melanie Kappes won 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 singles: Megan Stivers won 6-3, 6-0
No. 1 doubles: Ally Midboe/Katie Burgess won 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 doubles: Rachel Molitor/Jessica Autey lost 3-6, 2-6
No. 3 doubles: Kassie Seegert/ShyAnne Spurzem lost 6-2, 5-7, 0-6

Farmington Invitational

Cannon Falls didn't lose a match in running away with the team title in Friday's tournament. The Bombers racked up 21 points, 10 more than runner-up Belle Plaine. Farmington tallied six and New Life Academy four.
The fourth doubles team of Rachel Rees and Liz Adams turned in the best Farmington performance, compiling a 2-1 mark, good enough for second place.
Maggie Rudorfer, Kappes and Stivers each went 1-2 at second, third and fourth singles to tie for second place in their respective brackets.
"We lost a number of squeakers," "Olwell said. "We lost all five of our matches that went to a deciding third set tiebreaker. Cannon Falls, on the other hand, won all six of theirs."

Farmington team results:
Cannon Falls 7 Farmington 0
Farmington 6 New Life Academy 1
Belle Plaine 7 Farmington 0

Farmignton individual results:
No. 1 singles: Lindstrom, 0-3
No. 2 singles: Rudorfer, 1-2
No. 3 singles: Kappes, 1-2
No. 4 singles: Stivers, 1-2
No. 1 doubles: Midboe/Burgess, 1-2
No. 2 doubles: Spurzem/Callie Olmscheid, 1-2
No. 3 doubles: Molitor/Autey, 1-2
No. 4 doubles: Rachel Rees/Liz Adams, 2-1

25 August 2011

Tiger Scoreboard: August 26, 2011

Farmington 3 Albert Lea 1 (25-13, 25-15, 23-25, 25-23)

Girls Swimming
Farmington 92 Apple Valley 85

Girls Soccer
Farmington 6 Faribault 0

Boys Soccer
Farmington 4 Faribault 0

Girls Tennis
Faribault 4 Farmington 3

24 August 2011

Girls Tennis: Tigers open with runner-up finish at Mound

Rachel Molitor (bottom) and Jessica Autey
Medal-winners at No. 4 doubles

Tiger coach Jack Olwell liked what he saw at his team's season opener Monday, Aug. 22, at the Mounds Doubles Invitational.
Host Mound won the three-team get-together with nine points. Farmington tallied five and Bloomington Kennedy four.
"It was a very encouraging start," Olwell said. "We medaled at two spots and split matches at five others. It was a big improvement for us from previous years."
The medals came at at the fourth and fifth positions from the Tiger tandems of Rachel Molitor/Jessica Autey and Melanie Kappes/ShyAnne Spurzem.
The No.2 duo of Katie Burgess/Ally Midboe and the No. 6 paring of Molly Rudorfer each scored a point by splitting their matches.
"Even in the matches we lost, we were very competitive," Olwell said.
The Tigers open their dual meet season Thursday, Aug. 24, with a non-conference road match at Faribault.
Complete Results:
No. 1 doubles: Meghan Lindstrom/Maggie Rudorfer lost 4-6, 6-7; won 3-6, 4-6
No. 2 doubles: Katie Burgess/Ally Midboe lsot 5-7, 1-6; won 7-5, 6-7 (retired)
No. 3 doubles: Callie Olmscheid/Megan Stivers lost 1-6, 3-6; lost 6-7, 3-6
No. 4 doubles: Rachel Molitor/Jessica Autey lost 6-0, 4-6 (4-7); won 6-1, 6-0
No. 5 doubles: Melanie Kappes/ShyAnne won 6-2, 6-2 and 7-5, 6-2
No. 6 doubles: Molly Rudorfer/Liz Adams lost 1-6, 2-6; won 6-1, 6-0
No. 7 doubles: Kassie Seegert/Jenny Ouyang lost 2-6, 4-6; won 6-1, 6-1
No. 8 doubles: Cassandra Blair/Izzy Johns lost 0-6, 0-6; won 6-3, 6-3
No. 9 doubles: Heather Kelzenberg/Tasha Ruthenbeck lost 2-6, 3-6; won 6-2, 6-1

23 August 2011

Tiger Scoreboard: August 23, 2011

Girls Tennis
Mound Doubles Invitational
Mound 9 Farmington 5 Bloomington Kennedy 4

22 August 2011

Girls Swimming: A tough act to follow

Tiger swimmers fill the lanes on the first day of practice

2010 was a banner year for FHS swimming and diving. The Tigers won the Section 1 True Team meet for the first time in school history; finished runner-up at both the Missota Conference and Section 1AA Championships and established school records in eight of a possible 12 events.
Farmington also racked up a school-record 47 points at the state meet to finish 17th in the final team standings, another school milestone.
While the record 2010 season may seem a tough act to follow, Section 1AAA Coach of the Year Jennifer Marshall, says her 2011 has the ability to do exactly that.
"We have big meet experience, good leadership and team cohesiveness," Marshall said. "The girls are back and ready for bigger and better things."
Another reason for Marshall's optimism is the return of no less than 22 letterwinners from last year's record-breaking squad: seniors Jade Alm, Abby Haugen, Sarah O'Reilly and Victoria Resch; juniors Maddie Alexander, Melanie Brothers, Robin Ellis and Delaney Wright; sophomores Katie Aaron, Nikki Cayard, Brooke Christenson, Sydney Geiger, Chloe Holton, Abby Kampa, Sara Kintner, Kaitlyn O'Reilly, Cora Ruzicka and Hannah Seitzinger and freshmen Kirsten Kracke, Kendall Novak, Ellie Sundet and Hanna Sundt.
Freshman Zoe Avestruz and eighth-grader Chelsea Gehrke should also battle for varsity pool time.
Marshall will miss the presence of all-state performer Elizabeth Wolfe and all-Missota Conference selection Caitlin Kracke who both graduated last spring but there is no shortage of award-winners on this year's team.
2010 MVP Kaitlyn O'Reilly earned all-state honors in the backstroke last fall and along with Kirsten Kracke landed a spot on the all-Missota Conference team. Sarah O'Reilly received all-Missota honorable mention while Ellis was the junior varsity MVP.
With her veteran squad, Marshall said varsity slots in individual events are beginning to fill but some relay positions are still up for grabs.
"Relay personnel is a question mark at this time," she said.
Marshall expects her team to battle defending champion Northfield for the Missota Conference crown while 2010 champion Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Mayo figure to be the teams to beat in Section 1AA.
Section 1AA Assistant Coach of the Year Joe Velaski returns while newcomer John Tegg works with the divers. Tiger boys head coach Ryan Hamen handles the middle school coaching chores.
The Tigers open their 2011 season Thursday, Aug. 25, with a dual meet versus Apple Valley at the Dodge Middle School pool.

Football: Looking to bounce back

Junior QB Darren Beenken
786 total yards, 8 TD's (6 passing, 2 rushing) in 2010

After winning just one game last fall, veteran coach Mark Froehling is cautiously optimistic about the chances for a turnaround in 2011.
"We'll have good team speed and athleticism," he said. "With a returning quarterback and several wide receivers the offense should improve, and we'll have six starters back on defense. We should be more aggressive and effective earlier in the season."
Froehling (68-43), entering his 12th season as head coach at Farmington, cautioned, however, there is still a lot of work to do to put together a successful season.
"We will be young at several positions, especially on offense," he said. "We have to replace our entire offensive line from last year...Early in the season, our depth and lack of experience could be a concern."
So will the loss of 1000-yard rusher in CJ Record, all-conference tackle Corey Johnson and defensive linemen Eric McWright and Tommy Korbein who ranked first and third in tackles last fall.
Just three starters return on offense, led by junior quarterback Darren Beenken who had a solid year under center as a sophomore. The other veterans include senior wideouts Austin Bassett and Nathan Graham.
Junior tailback Athen Aston and junior wide receiver MacKinley Bassett should add some punch to an offense that will likely throw more than Farmington teams in the past and junior Josh Boatwright and senior David Silber will play prominent roles in the re-construction of the offensive line.
On the other side of the ball the Tigers return three starters up front, including senior tackles Andy VanBlarcom and Bret Hoffman and junior end Kevin Olund. Senior linebackers Drew Hegseth and Ryan Schoening are back as is speedy safety Blake Weinand.
Senior Alex Chadwick, the winner of the team's Ironman competition, should see a lot of action in the defensive backfield and defensive end Denver Robinson is expected to fill McWright's shoes at the defensive end position.
With just a handful of pre-season practices under his team's belt, Froehling said it was far too early to predict how the Tigers will fare in its conference and section races.
Shakopee and Northfield, the top two teams in the Missota in 2010 should be contenders again with defending champion Lakeville South the early pick in Section 1AAAAA.
One advantage the Tigers have is a veteran coaching staff. Varsity assistants Gary Burr, Pat Hudak, Glenn Mogensen, Jon lund and Shane Wyandt have been together for years.
Another trio of veterans, Lew Miskowicz, Jon Malin and Mike Winters return to coach the B-squad while Brian Helmstetter, Brent Grengs, Chad Olson and Tharen Johnson team up to handle the ninth grade coaching duties.
The Boeckman Middle School coaching staff includes Jim Swedin, Kevin Waldbillig, Lance Walsten, Justyn Helgeson, Shawn Anderson, Jesse Ostertag, Mark Pickar and Nick Davis.
Matt Alleva, Paul Ahrenholz, Jeff Stulz, Jon Stock, Matthew Grove, Brian Louis, Michael Schommer and Dave Diehl coach the Dodge Middle School teams.

17 August 2011

Volleyball: Tigers looking for answers

"...Hopefully we can become a scrappy, defensive team"- coach Mike Woody

Tiger coach Mike Woody was pleased with the large turnout at the opening practice of the season but admitted at this point there were more questions than answers regarding his 2011 team.
Part of the reason for Woody's concern is the loss of several talented seniors from last year's squad that compiled a 9-19 record and won two of seven matches in Missota Conference play. Chief among the losses were all-state hitter Katie Habeck, who now plays for NCAA Division II national champion Concordia-St. Paul, and 6-2 hitter Jordan Bridges.
"Every part of our game will be a question mark to start the season," Woody said. "Hopefully we can become a scrappy, defensive team."
Six letterwinners return to form the nucleus of this year's team: seniors Laura Steege, Beckah Lippert, Allie Pierskalla, Andrea Smith and Adrienne Jolicoeur and junior Mia Johnston.
Seven other juniors should also make a run at varsity court time, including Emily Nelson, Kaylene Seurer, Kelsey Lindell, Rachel Eckert, Kayla Collins, Elissa Baago and Courtney Johnston.
As usual the competition level in the conference and section will be top-notch. Woody said perennial state power Shakopee, Chaska and Chanhassen should battle it out for the top spot in the Missota with Owatonna, Rochester Century and Rochester Mayo the teams to beat in the chase for Section 1AAA honors.
As for his team, Woody said he is setting modest goals.
"We're hoping to have a .500 season and finish in the middle of both the conference and section," he said.
Kelli Hrdina-Amie returns as Woody's varsity assistant coach with veteran Jon Ostgaard handling the B-squad team. Troy Hedtke and Megan LaChapelle will guide the freshmen teams.
Heather Ballstadt and Molly Meinke coach the Boeckman Middle School eighth graders while Kerry Beton and Ann Schmidt work with the seventh grade squads. At Dodge Middle School, Maggie Endersbe coaches the eighth grade and Megan Roche the seventh with an extra coach to be added at each level.
Farmington kicks off its 2011 season, Thursday, Aug.25, with a non-conference match at Albert Lea.

16 August 2011

Girls Cross Country: Experience gives Tigers a leg up

Freshman Sofia Chadwick is all smiles
on the first day of practice

The first day of practice must have seemed like the movie "Groundhog Day" to FHS coach Heidi Revels. The 2011 edition of Tiger cross country looked like a xeroxed copy of the squad that finished sixth in the Missota Conference and 10th in Section 1AA last fall.
Seven letterwinners, who logged most of the varsity running time last year, return from 2010, led by sophomore all-conference honorable mention performer Maricia Pacheco who missed most of the 2010 track season with a stress fracture.
"We are hoping Maricia is healed up and ready to race," Revels said.
Also returning are seniors Bailey Opsal, a staple in the varsity lineup since seventh grade, and Marissa Stewart; junior Maria Kiminski, a state track meet qualifier last spring, and freshmen Sofia Chadwick, Victoria Jacoby and Morgan Medved.
Eighth-grader Maricella Pachecho is also expected to make a run at the varsity starting lineup this fall.
"We have a large group of younger girls out this year, too," Revels said. "It will be fun to see what talent they bring."
Revels said it's not only her team's experience that gives her optimism but also the extra work some of the girls put in over the summer months.
"They should continue to show steady improvement," she said. "The girls are supportive of each other but they also have a healthy competition level with several of them running close together during races."
Revels picked Shakopee and Red Wing to lead the race for top honors in the Missota with Lakeville North and Lakeville South favored in Section 1AA.
"I think we have the ability to move up in the conference and section," she said, "although the larger teams will continue to have the advantage...Our goal is always to do better."
The Tiger coach added she is looking forward to working with newly appointed Tiger boys coach Lisa Lippold whom she described as "having a lot of fresh ideas".
Revels also has a new assistant coach Allison Laube who formerly worked with the highly successful Tiger track program. Connie Berg returns to work with the middle school runners.
The Tigers open their 2011 season with an appearance at the Dakota County Championships, Friday, Sept. 2, at Eagan.

Girls Tennis: On the rebound

Maggie Rudorfer (below) and Meghan Lindstron
return at 1st and 2nd singles

The 2010 edition of the Tiger girls tennis didn't win a dual meet and finished at the bottom of the Missota Conference standings...but that doesn't mean there is a lack of optimism in the FHS camp this fall.
Veteran coach Jack Olwell returns his entire singles lineup as well as three veteran doubles players and is looking for a major reversal of fortunes in 2011.
"We had some tantalizingly close matches last year and we are older and wiser now," Olwell said. "We have veterans at all of the singles slots and it looks like we have lots of younger players who are taking the game seriously.
"The success of our season will be decided in large part by what takes place in practice and what has been done over the past 10 months. It's tough to give our opponents a head start and then hope to catch them."
The returning singles lineup includes seniors Maggie Rudorfer and Meghan Lindstrom at the first and second positions and junior Melanie Kappes and sophomore Megan Stivers at the third and fourth slots.
"At least that's the way it looks right now," Olwell said.
Senior Katie Burgess played first doubles last fall and seniors Rachel Molitor and Jessica Autey started at third doubles to give Olwell some much needed experience on this season's doubles ladder.
Others expected to compete for varsity court time include juniors Rachel Rees, Jennifer Ouyang, Tasha Sinha and ShyAnne Spurzem.
Olwell, in his 30th season coaching tennis at FHS, offered that defending champion Shakopee appears the team to beat in the Missota Conference race with Red Wing, Chanhassen and Holy Angels all expected to field strong teams. State powerhouses Rochester Century and Rochester Mayo wear the favorite tags in Section 1AA.
"Some of those teams may be out of our reach," Olwell said, "but we are intending to close the gap."
Joe "Doc" Emond, one of the state's top singles players in his age division, returns as assistant coach with Brian Engebretson set to handle the middle school coaching duties.
The Tigers open their fall season, Monday, Aug. 22, with their annual trip to the Mound Doubles Invitational.

Chadwick rules Ironman competition

2011 Ironman Alex Chadwick (top)
Mason Auge competes in the tire flip

Senior defensive back/wide receiver Alex Chadwick piled up 4188 points to win the seven-event Ironman competition held on the first day of Tiger football practice. Senior running back/defensive back Athen Aston finished second with 4143 points.
Rounding out the top ten were Nathan Graham 3916,, Drew Hegseth 3883, Blake Weinand 3859, Andrew Peterson 3782, Mason Auge 3774, Bret Hoffman 3635, Jack Erickson 3624 and Kevon Olund 3515.
The seven events in the competition included three involving lifting, including the clean, back squat and bench press, as well as the 40-yard dash, L-drill, vertical jump and tire flip.
Chadwick won two of the seven contests, finishing first in the vertical jump (31.5 inches) and L-drill (7.3 seconds). Aston also claimed first in two events, winning the clean (223 lbs.) and finishing in a tie with Olund in the tire flip (31).
Auge won the 40-meter dash competition in 4.68 seconds. Hoffman claimed top honors in the back squat (445 lbs.) while Jake Nohner claimed the top spot in the bench press (306 lbs.).
FHS strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier said the results represented a mixed bag as compared to the past 10 Ironman competitions.
"Overall I'm happy with how it went," he said, "although the overall number of kids we had competing was down.
"The bad news was that the number of the strong kids were down. The good news was that the team averages in five of the seven events were way up. With a team with fewer players that's very important because we will be counting on those kids more than when we had the the big teams."
Team averages in all three lifting events, the 40-yard dash and L-drill were all significantly higher than last year, prompting some optimistic words from Meier.
"As a team, we were better than last year in six of the seven events," he said, "and considering how young were are, I'm even happier...obviously, team speed is going to be a strong area this season."

11 August 2011

FHS adopts testing program for athletics-related concussions

The recent concern over head injuries sustained in sports, specifically concussions, and their impact on athletes has pervaded athletics from the professionals to the peewees.
To help address the issue in its sponsored activities, the Farmington High School athletic department has instituted a new assessment program to assist athletes, coaches and medical personnel in evaluating and treating head injuries.
Starting this fall, all athletes in NCAA-designated "contact sports" will undergo a simple, computer-based assessment of brain function before the start of the season.
The video game-like tool called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) takes from 15-20 minutes to complete and assesses such areas of function as memory, reaction time, speed and concentration.
FHS athletes in football, boys and girls soccer and diving will take the ImPACT assessment this fall. Affected winter sports include boys and girls basketball, gymnastics, boys and girls hockey, wrestling and diving. Athletes competing in baseball, softball, boys and girls track and pole vaulting will be tested in the spring.
"The ImPACT assessment is not an IQ test," Farmington High School athletic director Jon Summer explained. "Essentially, it is a pre-season physical for the brain."
The initial pre-test results are kept on file and should a head injury occur, the athlete would re-take the test to compare results.
"The test data will help health professionals determine when a return to play is appropriate and safe for the injured athlete," Summer said.
Summer stressed that the test is not the entire answer to appropriately diagnosing concussions but rather a piece in the puzzle of making sure potential concussions are appropriately evaluated and specific steps are taken prior to an athlete returning to competition.
"I am excited about the opportunity that ImPACT testing presents in our continued effort to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes," Summer said.
For specific questions about the ImPACT testing, contact Summer at 651-252-2515 or jsummer@farmington.k12.mn.us

10 August 2011

Boys Soccer: Veteran-laden Tigers looking forward to 2011 campaign

With 11 players with significant experience retuning from last year's team that finished 6-11 overall and 3-4 in the Missota Conference, the outlook appears bright for coach Julian Buss' boys soccer squad in 2011...with one significant question mark.
Who is going to step up and pick up the scoring and leadership provided by the now-graduated Justen Thelen and Christian Thao?
Thelen piled up eight goals and six assists last fall, capping a varsity career that saw him twice earn all-Missota Conference recognition. Thao ranked third on the team in scoring while manning an important midfielder position. The dynamic duo served as senior captains in 2010.
"Justen was a positive leader whom we relied on to put the ball in the net," Buss said "and Christian was a player who brought everything he had to practices and competitions. Their loss will be deeply felt."
Much of that leadership void will fall to this year's tri-captains: Sam Leske, Brandon Scott and Chad Stivers.
The fiery Leske, an all-Missota Conference selection in 2010, served as junior captain last fall and was second on the team in scoring. Stivers' 157 saves ranked eighth in the state in 2010 and and he received all-league honorable mention for his efforts in the nets.
Other returning veterans include seniors Cole Landwehr and Michael Ricker; juniors Reid Wolf and Tyler Petter-McCauley and sophomores Jeff Hunter, Hunter Meyers, Blake Smith and Jared Wolt.
Tyler Vue was a varsity contributor as a sophomore before missing the entire 2010 season due to injury and is expected back at full strength for his senior season.
With 12 veterans returning that likely leaves between six and 10 available positions open on the varsity roster. Buss said it is way too early to even think about who will fill those vacancies.
"They could come from a very long list," he said. "We added a third level of play last year and many of those players will be competing for a spot as well as some other athletes who play soccer and don't participate in other fall sports.
"Many of those players will be very close in terms of soccer skills and physical ability so I would expect important character qualities to play a major role in helping coaches make the roster decisions."
Buss said that his team should be physically stronger than last year and that the experience gained both at the varsity and junior varsity levels in 2010 should pay dividends in the season ahead.
Buss likes his team's chances in both the conference and section. He tabbed Northfield and Shakopee as teams to beat in the Missota with Northfield also seen as a top contender in the section race.
The third year Tiger coach said the fate of his team's 2011 season will be determined by how physically and mentally tough it proves to be.
"Because skill levels are so close, it will come down to mental toughness," he said. "Winning programs have the mentality that they will out-work and out-hustle and eventually outscore their opponents.
"If we believe in our abilities and stick to the idea that everyone works their tails off, I think we will do quite well."
Robb Virgin returns as the Tiger junior varsity coach with Britta Pahl handling the B-squad coaching chores. Todd Karich and Al Jenrich will coach the middle school teams.
Farmington opens it 2011 season with a non-conference road contest, Thursday, August 25, in Faribault.

Girls Soccer: Young and talented

For the each of the past two seasons the Tigers have produced a program-best nine wins while at the same time ratcheting up the quality of their competition. Third year coach Rob Carpentier expects more success in 2011.
"Across the board this will be the fastest and most skilled team we have ever had," he said. "We could be better than last year if we are able to overcome our lack of experience. We are going to have to rely on our captains to lead us through the early part of the season...and I'm always concerned about injuries."
Injury has already reared its ugly head as senior goalkeeper Taylor Meyer, the 2010 Missota Conference Keeper of the Year, has been lost for the season after suffering a torn ligament in her knee during summer basketball. Kaylie Sorenson, another probable contributor, suffered a similar injury this summer.
Carpentier must also deal with finding replacements for Devyn Alberts, the Missota Conference Player of the Year in 2010, all-Missota Conference performer Laine Trowbridge, Shelby Calhoun and Elena Koch. Alberts and Trowbridge are both playing collegiate soccer this fall.
Key returnees include seniors Kelli Harstad, Ashley Kimmel, Alyssa Parco, Gabby White and Rachel Beck; junior Leah Zak and sophomores Kayla Kucala, Hannah Miller and Kelly Kornmann.
Kimmel, Jacoby and the injured Meyer have been named team captains for the upcoming season.
Other players expected to battle for varsity playing time this fall include juniors Caillie Kittleson, Megan Provost, Naomi Wood, Tina Oppedisano, Alex Frost, Emily Pulido and Sydney Eckert; sophomores Kelli Elmer, Izzie Ferm, Melissa Muelken, Kenya Macias and Maddie Strid and freshmen Emily Johnson, Sarah Zak and Ashley Becker.
Eckert, Becker and Muelken figure to fight it out for Meyer's vacated spot in goal although Carpentier said he may go with a "keeper by committee", especially early in the season.
"There are really so many talented younger girls at the other positions that it's difficult to say now who will step up," he said. "Sometimes a player just comes out of the woodwork. That will all be determined as we go."
Carpentier picked Northfield, a team with nine returning starters, as the favorite in the Missota Conference race with the Raiders, the two Lakeville schools and Rochester Century the most likely teams to make a run at the Section 1 crown.
Farmington moves to Section 1 this fall after playing in rugged Section 2 in previous seasons but Carpentier said the new assignment won't be an easy one.
"Five of the eight teams in the section could reasonably make the state tournament," he said.
"I think we'll be competitive in both the conference and section. How competitive remains to be seen. It's just too early and we are so young."
Tracie Randall will handle the junior varsity coaching chores while Eric Shelton and Linda Crawford will work with the B-squad and ninth grade team.
Jon Graff and Jason Kohlbeck will work with the Boeckman Middle School program and Sarah Drazkowski and Kjerstin Theraldsen will coach the Dodge Middle School teams.
The Tigers open the 2011 campaign with a non-conference contest with Faribault, Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Tiger Stadium.

03 August 2011

There's no place like home for Tiger coaches

Boys hockey coach Keith Revels, one of five ex-FHS athletes
serving as varsity coaches in 2011-12

When Lisa (Dingman) Lippold accepted the boys cross country coaching position this summer she became the fifth ex-Tiger on the list of FHS varsity coaches for the 2011-12 school year.
Lippold, a 1999 Tiger grad who ran in both the state cross country and track meets as a prep, joins former Tigers Jon Holmes (girls hockey and boys golf); Keith Revels (boys hockey); Lynn (Gramentz) Bauman (gymnastics) and Chad Olson (wrestling) on the coaching staff.
Olson and Holmes were FHS male Athletes of the Year in 1995 and 1999 respectively. Revels received the Oscar Lubke Award in 1987 and Bauman won the Leslie Lindell Award in 1993.
Olson isn't the only former Tiger wrestler who will beading up a varsity high school mat program in the metro area this winter. Eric Herrmann will be head coach at Richfield and Josh Burhans will take over the program at Edina.
Ex-Tiger Doug Dingman coached his Prior Lake team to a third place finish in both the the varsity and junior varsity divisions of the Minnesota High School State Clay Target Championships held at the Minneapolis Gun Club in June. 550 shooters from 29 schools competed in the event.
Zach Warweg of New Prague, the son of former Tiger Dave Warweg, finished first in the male competition and Anna Nicolai of St. Paul Academy, the daughter of FHS grad Dan Nicolai, jr. ranked second among female shooters.
1999 Tiger grad Sammy Schmitz, a state tournament golfer for the Tigers who went on to a stellar collegiate career at St. John's University, is now one of the leading amateur players in Minnesota. Last month Schmitz finished fifth at the 108th Minnesota Golf Association Championships at the White Bear Yacht Club and runner-up at the Minnesota State Open Championship played at Rush Creek.
Ex-Tiger boys hockey and softball coach Jim Hoey is wrapping up his second sports-related book, this one on the history of the Minnesota state boys hockey tournament. Last year Hoey, an avid sports fan, published a book of Minnesota Twins trivia.
Former Tiger boys basketball manager Steven Dow has stayed busy in the sports arena since enrolling at Gustavus Adolphus College. Dow has worked at the St. Peter school's sports information office and also served as a student assistant with the men's basketball team. This summer he is doing an internship in media relations with the Mankato Moondogs of the Northwoods Baseball League.
The roster for the 2011 Randolph Railcats of the Cannon Valley Classic Amateur Baseball League looked like a list for a Tiger baseball reunion with player-manager Andy Pierskalla, Bryan Hegseth, Shane Hawkins, Brent Mahlstedt, Caleb Schmitt, Matt O'Leary and Danny Tutewohl all included. Former Tiger hockey players P.J. McIntee and David Ripley also play for Randolph.
Ex-Tigers Carson Jones and Tyler Jones, who helped the Tigers to back-to-back Missota Conference baseball titles in 2005 and 2006, each hit over .300 for the Dundas Dukes of the Cannon Valley League this summer.