29 March 2012

Missota Conference honors 29 Tigers

The names of 29 Farmington High School athletes appeared on the list of winter season honorees announced last week by Missota Conference officials. Sixteen Tigers earned all-conference distinction and 13 more received all-league honorable mention.

The boys swimming and diving team led the way with four all-league selections. The resurgent wrestling squad had three while girls hockey, gymnastics and dance teams picked up two apiece.

All-Missota Conference Selections:

Boys Swimming and Diving.
Zach Holton, sr.
Aaron Lane, sr.
Evan Carufel, jr.
Christopher Kirchmann, jr.

Jacob Gabbard, so.
Joe Hoeve, so.
Taylor Venz, 8

Dance Team
Kelsey Erickson, sr.
Courtney Wahl, sr.

Girls Hockey
Jessica Erchul, sr.
Betsy Anderson, sr.

Kiana Lord, jr.
Nadia Lorencz, jr.

Girls Basketball
Taylor Meyer, sr.

Boys Basketball
Nick Varner, so.

Boys Hockey
Victor Simones, sr.

All-Missota Conference Honorable Mention
Dance Team: Kaylie Rudeen, sr. and Julie Tang, sr; Boys Swimming and Diving: Conner Kealy, sr. and Aaron Cochnauer, jr; Boys Hockey: Blake Weinand, sr. and Kevin Olund, jr; Wrestling: Bret Hoffman, sr. and John Walz, fr; Girls Hockey: Haley Doll, so. and Chloe Batta, fr; Gymnastics: Kylie Wharton, fr; Boys Basketball: Darren Beenken, jr; Girls Basketball: Isis Alexander, sr.

Boys Swimming and Diving: 2011-12 Post-Season Awards

Christopher Kirchmann

All-Missota Conference
Aaron Lane
Evan Carufel
Christopher Kirchmann
Zach Holton

All-Missota Conference Honorable Mention
Aaron Cochnauer
Connor Kealy

State Meet Point Scorers (Top 16)
Zach Holton
Christopher Kirchmann
Connor Kealy
Aaron Lane

Rookie of the Year
Jake Baule
Caleb Poisant

Coaches Award
Patrick Shea
Brock Lange
Daniel Berg
Eric Schimmel

Most Improved
Ethan Hensch (Freestyle)
Spencer Kabran (Breaststroke)
Brandon Dion (Butterfly)

Most Dependable
Aaron Cochnauer

Hardest Worker
Austin Kueck

First-Time Letterwinners
Ian Alexander
Christian Bell
Dahlton Bell
Clark Coffey
Brandon Dion
Bradley Dow
Alex Garofalo
Spencer kabran
Jonathan Kingsbury
Austin Kueck

2012-2013 Captains
Christian Bell
Dahlton Bell
Cameron Molnar
Evan Carufel
Christopher Kirchmann

28 March 2012

Girls basketball award winners announced

Girls basketball award winners (l to r) Mariah Mincke, Sofia Chadwick, Isis Alexander and Taylor Meyer

Eleven varsity players received letters at the Tiger girls' basketball post-season banquet held March 26.

Seven of the letterwinners were seniors: Taylor Meyer, Isis Alexander, Dava White, Allie Rice, Mariah Mincke, Desi Loftus and Gabby White

Underclassmen earning varsity monograms included sophomores Jeanna Gaalswyk and Aly Grebner and freshmen Sofia Chadwick and Abby Gallus.

Meyer, the team's Most Valuable Player, landed a berth on the all-Missota Conference team for the fourth straight year and Alexander gained all-conference honorable mention.

Chadwick was named Rookie of the Year and Alexander was the recipient of the Tiger Award. Mincke earned Academic All-State honors.

26 March 2012

Girls Lacrosse: Everyone back for a re-do

(top to bottom) Haley Bradshaw, Ally Midboe and Adrienne Jolicoeur
combined for 98 points in 2011

Last spring the Tigers battled through a tough second season. losing 10 of 11 games, including three by one goal and two more in overtime.

A silver lining in that season of near-misses was that the roster didn't contain the name of a single senior, meaning that the 2012 team will look like a carbon copy of last year's.

"It sounds sort of weird, but even though we are still very young, experience will be one of our strengths," coach Dan Pickens said. "All of our players played last year and most of them have been playing together for several years. We have a senior class that we expect to lead us to a successful season."

The eight members of the quality senior class include Haley Bradshaw, Jess Erchul, Ashley Gandrud, Kelli Harstad, Tia Jacoby, Adrienne Jolicoeur, Ally Midboe and Betsy Anderson. Midboe (31). Bradshaw (30) and Jolicoeur (27) combined to score 98 points last season.

Other returnees include juniors Brittany Olson and Delaney Wright; sophomores Lindsay Benson, Haley Doll, Kylee Glen, Kaeli Halverson, Shaye Jenrich, Delaney Johnson, Maddie Kohlbeck, Kailin LaCroix, Breanna Raske, Brooke Raske and Rachel Welzin; freshmen Becky Genzler and Shelby Klotz and eighth-grader Brooke Genzler.

"The only question mark we have right now is execution," Pickens said. "We have the skills. Now we need to put our offensive and defensive games together and get some wins."

Although the Missota Conference again won't have the required number of schools to make lacrosse an official league sport, Pickens said he is excited about the upcoming season.

"We have all of the makings for a very successful season," he said. "A good group of senior leaders, some young players expected to contribute, returning goalkeepers and finally, some experience."

Shawn Andeson, Abby Thell and newcomer Ken Demachek will serve as assistant coaches this spring.

The Tigers kick off their season Monday, Apr. 9, with a road contest at Lakeville North.

Baseball: On the rebound

All-Missota Conference performer Jake Baskerville hit .358 in 2011
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Last spring the Tigers got off to a miserable start, losing eight of their first nine games on the way to a 4-17 season that included a 3-11 mark and a seventh place finish in the Missota Conference.

Eight seniors from that squad were lost through graduation but veteran coach Mike Winters is optimistic the 2012 edition of Tiger baseball will be an improved product.

"We still have some experience and we have competitive depth at most positions," he said. "There is a of of young talent coming up to the varsity this year."

Nathan Graham All-conferene honorable mention last season
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Among the key returnees is all-Missota Conference performer Jake Baskerville who hit a team-high .358 last spring. Nathan Graham, who received all-league honorable mention, is also back as is Top Gun Award (best pitcher) winner Jonathan Ellis.

Other veterans include last year's Rookie of the Year Spencer Merle, Ryan Schoening, Drew Hegseth, John Stibal, Nick Newman, Ty Vincent and Andy Morris.

Newcomers expected to make a run at varsity playing time include senior Marty Rivera; juniors Kevin Olund, Jordan Lugowski, Isaac Toenjes, Jared Lipinski, Zach Huber, Kyle Mayer, Michael LeTourneau, Turner Olson, Caleb Eiffert and Hunter Demo and sophomores Johnny Dittmann and Jordan DeCrook.

Winters said that as with most teams in most seasons, pitching will go a long way toward telling the tale of the upcoming campaign.

"We need to develop pitchers who want the ball and can throw strikes," he said. "We also need team players to accept and excel at the roles they are given."

The Tiger coach said Shakopee and Chanhassen should both be in the hunt for the Missota Conference title with the Rochester schools and Owatonna the pre-season favorites in Section 1AAA.

The team is not making its annual spring trip to Arkansas for warm-weather training this year but has a special opening day planned. The Tigers kick off the season on Wednesday, Apr. 4, with a non-conference game with Hastings at the Metrodome.

John Graff is back as Winters' top assistant this spring with Brent Grengs handling the junior varsity coaching duties. Jason Kohlbeck will coach the B-squad with Matt Grove and Andy Pierskalla sharing the ninth grade chores.

Matt Ellingrund and Brandon Chant team up to coach the eighth grade and Tom Auge and Nick Davis co-coach the seventh-graders.

19 March 2012

Boys Track: Winning the numbers game

Middle distance standout Tyler Lerbakken

Not too many years ago the Tigers were fortunate to have 30 athletes on their roster. My, how times have changed.

When practice started Mar. 12, no less than 102 hopefuls reported for duty. Coach Brian Helmstetter said the massive turnout is both a blessing and a curse.

"Only eight to 10 of those are seniors," he said, "so there could be some big surprises coming from some guys I haven't watched compete yet.

"We are excited about the numbers and look at that as a strength and also a challenge each day to work hard and compete for the top spots."

Most of the point scorers from last year's squad--Tyler Grubb, CJ Record, Tyler Beckett, Carl Elmer, John Schimmel, Dillon Pariseau and Zach Wyatt--were lost to graduation last spring but Helmstetter feels the numbers explosion will more than fill the void left by their absence.

Four senior letterwinners do return, including jumper Justin Hett, thrower Joe Ouyang and distance runners Chad Retterath and Trevor Breezley. Junior returnees include meddle distance standout Tyler Lerbakken, sprinter Alex Chadwick and hurdler/pole vaulter Connor Phu.

The sophomore class may well hold the key to the 2012 season with 11 monogram winners returning: sprinters Mason Auge, Jack Erickson and Derek Klotter; middle distance runners Tanner Grubb, Dan Berg, Eric Stoeckman and Mason Gaylord; pole vaulter Reid Taubenheim; jumper Cullen Smith; distance specialist Jake Rudeen and thrower/sprinter CJ Wynings.

Helmstetter took a deep breath and began to reel off all of the new names that could contribute to this year's effort. The list seemed endless (**see below).

"We are all newcomers," Helmstetter said, "so I am expecting our sophomores to start competing for varsity spots and instead of being in the top nine in an event, I expect them to be in the top three.

"A lot of bodies have have changed and gotten longer and stronger. It's been a fun first week of practice watching guys compete and fight to make each other better."

Helmstetter said he doesn't see any one specific area as a strength but on the flip-side doesn't see any major weakness.

"Because we are so young and have so many question marks, it's difficult to know where we will finish," he said, "But our depth is going to help us in every event. Many of our younger athletes don't know their potential yet."

Helmstetter said his early season goal is a top three finish in the always-tough Missota Conference and a top third placing at the Section 1AA meet.

"That's a big jump over last year," he said.

Shakopee and Chanhassen, two veteran and talented teams, figure to be top contenders in the Missota with Rosemount, Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Owatonna the schools to chase in the section race.

Helmstetter will be assisted by a veteran staff, including Lisa Lippold, Joe McCarthy, Julian Buss, Justyn Helgeson and Maggie Endersbe.

The Tigers have already had an indoor scrimmage and are scheduled for another at the University of St. Thomas on Wednesday. The regular season begins Tuesday, Apr. 3, when they host Shakopee at Tiger Field.

For the second straight season Farmington will host the Missota Conference Championships scheduled for May 24.

**Other Tiger hopefuls:

Tanner Renken - Jumps
Albert Obnamia - pole vault
Trevor Breezley - distance
Aaron Bendix - throws
Brett Hoffman - throws

Athen Ashton - sprints and jumps
Josh Baker - mid distance
Evan Carufel - mid distance and pole vault
Jeremiah Bostrom - sprints
Nick Lach - sprints
Aaron lane - pole vault
Alex Lubbers - mid distance
Mikkel Peterson - hurdles/mid distance/jumps
Clayton Webb - mid
Blake Ross - sprints
Tommy Weigel - sprints
Alec Wilson - distance
Sam Wyatt - Jumps
Helbert Zelaya - jumps

Jeff Gutierrez - distance
Jake Lee - throws/sprints
Hunter Meyers - distance
Jared Wolt - distance
Josh Patterson - throws
Nick Ruark - hurdles
Blake Smith - sprints

Justin Hyytinen - distance
Matt Olund - sprints
Panayoitis Kontinakis - sprints

Boys Basketball: Up and down and all around

Co-captain Darren Beenken 14.4 points per game
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

The most accurate way to describe the 2011-12 Tiger roster would be "young". It contained the names of only four seniors.

"Young" might also might help explain the team's up-and-down season that produced an overall record of 10-17; 6-10 in the Missota Conference.

"We were very young and inexperienced and its showed, especially early," coach Shane Wyandt said. "We struggled adapting to the pace and style of the varsity game. Turnovers and lack of physical play killed us.

"As a coaching staff we always wanted more, but from start to finish we saw a lot of improvement. We really started to gain confidence in our ability as a team and with that more of the individual talent started to show...If you throw out a couple of poor performances at the end of the season, I think we played pretty well."

The four seniors on the roster included co-captain Jake Hanson, Austin Bassett Grant Blomster and Alec Hogstad.

Underclassmen included juniors Darren Beenken (co-captain), Alex Chadwick, Zach Batta, Tom Sell, Charles Anderson, Turner Olson and Yannis Smollich; sophomores Johnny Dittman, Mackinley Bassett, Tyler VanWinkle, Nick Varner, Eli Rockett, Dallas Guyot and Jordan DeCroock and freshman Zach Speikers.

Beenken (14.4), Varner (11.2) and Mackinley Bassett (10.5) each averaged double figures for the Tigers with Varner finishing as the team's leading rebounder.

Leading rebounder Nick Varner
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Letterwinners, all-conference awards and other team honors will be announced at the team's post-season banquet scheduled for Mar. 29.

Wyandt said the season just completed produced some memorable moments, including early season wins over Rochester Mayo and Holy Angels; a 4-1 stretch during the second half of the conference season; three straight nail-biting home wins in a row and blowout victories over Burnsville and Park that displayed the team's ability to extend leads and "leave no doubt".

On the flip-side was an occasional lack of focus, identity and defensive intensity capped by a poor performance against Mayo in the opening game of the section tournament.

"We wanted to see a desire to attack the playoffs like a team that was hungry to advance," Wyandt said. "Instead it felt like we were a team already on spring break."

With most of the varsity regulars coming back next season, Wyandt said the potential is there for a big year in 2012-13. He cautioned, however, that a lot of hard work lies between this year's finish and next season's first practice.

"These kids have heard that they are going to be good for the next couple of years," he said, "but they need to remember most of our league is as young or even younger than they are. They'll have to out-work the competition.

"We will provide the opportunities to get better during the off-season, but the players must decide how good they want to be and what they want to do to get there...As we learned several times this season, just showing up will not get us where we want to be."

Senior co-captain Jake Hanson
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

The Tiger coach added that the departing senior class played a big part in his team's growth this winter.

"We had a mature and intelligent group of seniors who always did their share without complaint," he said. "They set a good example of sticking with it even when things weren't going their way as individuals. They will be missed."

Girls Track: Building on success

Nadia Lorencz
2nd in state in long jump and 100 hurdles last spring
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Last spring the Tigers roared to a school-best fourth place finish at the Class AA State Track and Field Championships. Based on the large number of returnees from that squad, the 2012 season offers even more promise.

"We have 65 girls out this year," coach Tom Hart said, "so it always helps to have depth. We have a good number of experienced athletes returning and early on we will be getting our younger athletes experience at our indoor meets.

"The girls who ran at state last year are hungry again, so I look for good things from them both in leadership and performance....So far the intra-team competition has been great to see. It is making everyone better each day at practice."

Leading the list of veterans are senior hurdler/sprinter Alyssa Parco and junior hurdler/jumper Naida Lorencz.

Alyssa Parco
3rd in state in 300-meter hurdles in 2011
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Lorencz finished second at state in both the 100-meter hurdles and long jump while Parco capped her third straight trip to state with a third place finish in the 300-meter hurdles. Parco also ran a leg of the 4x400 meter relay team that placed fourth at state.

Junior Maria Kiminski and sophomore Izzie Ferm, both all-Missota Conference performers last spring, also ran on that relay team and will be counted upon to score a lot of points in the sprints and middle distance events.

Sophomore Kelli Elmer (sprints/jumps), another all-Missota performer last season, heads the list of other returnees that includes seniors Jessica Arey (hurdlesl/jumps), Abby Haugen (vault/jumps), Elizabeth Okikiolu (sprints) and Kayla Watne (vault/sprints); juniors Alex Frost (distance), Courtney Johnston (sprints) and Kelsey Lindell (sprints/jumps); sophomores Kathryn Beckett (hurdles/jumps), Ally Grebner (throws/sprints), Kelly Kornmann (sprints), Maricia Pacheco (distance) and Hannah Seitzinegr (distance); freshmen Meghan Graham (middle distance) and Tori Jacoby (distance) and eighth-grader Marciello Pacheco (distance).

"We also have a good group of new upperclassmen and ninth graders," Hart said, "and many of them look like they will be able to help us."

While strong in many events, Hart said his team will have to fill some holes in others in order to reach its goals.

"We need more experience in the short sprints and our distance runners need to start moving up in places." he said. "In the field events, we'll need scoring from our throwers, pole vaulters and high jumpers...As always, how healthy we stay will play a big role in what kind of success we have."

Hart said his team hopes to challenge Chanhassen and New Prague for Missota Conference honors with the Tigers, Lakeville North and Lakeville South the three teams to challenge for the Section 1AA crown.

Hart said he is always looking to improve his team's conference and section finish.

"Being the champion is always our goal," he said, "and at the section meet we want to place as many performers as possible and qualify as many as we can for the state meet."

Lisa Lippold (distance), Joe McCarthy (middle distance) Julian Buss (pole vault), Maggie Endersbe (hurdles/jumps) and Justyn Helgeson (throws) will serve as assistant coaches this spring.

The Tigers have two early indoor scrimmages and then open their regular season Tuesday, Apr. 3, with a home dual meet with Missota Conference rival Shakopee.

18 March 2012

Alumni Tracker: Tim Sejba high-ranking Air Force officer

Lt. Col. Tim Sejba

Former Tiger athlete Tim Sejba hasn't let much grass grow under his feet since graduating from FHS in 1990.

First, he graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1995 with a degree in computer engineering and then received a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force through the ROTC training program.

Since receiving his commission, Sejba has served the Air Force in a variety of capacities, mostly in support of military and and intelligence space systems. He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

This summer Sejba, currently stationed in New Mexico, will be moving back to the Washington DC area where he will be attending training at the Industrial College of the Air Force.

Coincidentally, he will undergo that training with another former ex-Tiger, 1990 graduate Eric Quehl who is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps.

After placing fifth in the Big Ten Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in the shot put, 2007 FHS male Athlete of the Year Trey Davis started his outdoor season in style, winning the event at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, California.

Greg Werner

Former Tiger Greg Werner, a junior on the Minnesota State, Mankato, men's golf team shot rounds of 83 and 77 and tied for first place at the Classic Club Invitational hosted by Concordia University in Palm Desert, California. Werner was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC)Co-player of the Week for his performance.

2008 Tiger grad Abby Kenealy capped her senior season with the Southwest Minnesota State University women's basketball team by being named to the All-NSIC second-team. The former Tiger finished seventh in the league in scoring with an average of 14 points per game.

Kenealy, who also landed a spot on the All-NSIC academic team, leaves Southwest State as its 11th highest all-time scorer (1151 points) and ninth leading shot blocker (71).

Jordan Bridges
of the FHS class of 2011 who helped her high school squad to a school-best 23 wins during her senior season, played on Jamestown College (North Dakota) women's team that won 27 games and advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Association Sweet 16 this post-season.

2011 Tiger grad Krystal Baumann finished her freshman season with the University of Vermont's women's hockey team as its sixth leading scorer with five goals and six assists...Ex-Tiger Alex Carlson recorded three goals and six assists in his junior season at Ohio State University.

Josh Zitzmann of the FHS class of 2009 finished his freshman season with the Rochester Community and Technical College men's basketball team averaging 8.2 points, three rebounds and a steal a game.

Softball: Early spring, new coach buoy Tiger hopes

First-year coach Paul Harrington

First-year Tiger softball coach Paul Harrington couldn't be happier with the uncharacteristically early arrival of spring weather.

"Normally, we don't get to see kids catch fly balls until early April," The former Tiger three-sport athlete said. "We have also been running the bases on the field, something that is not easily duplicated in the gym.

"For a new coaching staff this has been ideal in helping us work with the girls and getting them ready for the upcoming season."

Harrington brings an impressive set of coaching credentials to his alma mater, having guided Totino Grace to five Northwest Suburban Conference titles and a like number of state tournament appearances during his 10-year tenure.

"We have a pitcher with three years of varsity experience and many players who have played at the varsity level the past couple of years," he said. "We have been working very hard on defense and that's some place where we really need to improve. We had too many errors there last year.

"It appears that we have a decent mixture of speed and hitting, so we're hoping to generate more runs, too. We have to work on cutting down our strikeouts."

Ashley Betzold
11 wins and .379 batting average in 2011
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

All-Missota Conference pitcher Ashley Betzold who won 11 games and posted a 2.99 earned-run average last year as a sophomore, heads the list of returnees from last year's team that finished 7-7 in the conference. Betzold also led the team in hitting in 2011 with a .379 average.

Other returning monogram winners include senior captain Allie Rice (infield); seniors Taylor Haakana (outfield) and Erin Wurst (infield/outfield); juniors Toni Hunsinger (infield) and Aleah Williamson (outfield) and freshman Taylor Yousse (infield/outfield).

Hunsinger hit .340 last spring after a late move up to the varsity team and Yousse (.283) and Williamson (.272) each received all-conference honorable mention.

Senior Brooke Searles (outfield) and junior Rachel Brietich (outfield) head the list of newcomers expected to battle for varsity playing time.

One area of concern revolves around the catcher position where all-conference performer Dani Muelken graduated last spring.

"We have kids that can catch and play other positions," Harrington said. "We will need someone to step up and fill that role for our team. Hopefully being the battery mate of one of the top pitchers in our conference will be incentive enough for someone to jump in there."

Harrington said that his goals for Farmington will be the same as they were for his teams at Totino Grace.

"We want to be near the top of our conference and section," he said. "Our No. 1 goal was always to be playing our best at playoff time and to make it to the state tournament. That goal never changes."

Harrington said Chaska and Chanhassen along with defending champion Shakopee should be the teams to beat in the Missota with defending state champion Hastings the early pick for Section 1AAA honors.

Former Tiger and St. Mary's University standout Mallory Betzold joins the program as a varsity assistant coach with veteran Loren Cartwright set to handle the B-squad coaching chores. Former Rosemount baseball coach Trevor Monroe will serve as a volunteer assistant and Jim Swedin will coach the ninth grade team.

Paul Ahrenholz and Jen Marshall team up to coach the eighth-graders while Lorraine Kennedy and Teresa Oyen share the seventh-grade coaching duties.

The Tigers kick off their 2012 season Thursday, Apr. 5, with a conference home game with defending champion Shakopee.

14 March 2012

Wrestling: Big Strides

Taylor Venz
Youngest Tiger ever to wrestle in state meet
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

After winning just two dual meets in two seasons, the Tigers roared to 11 victories in 2011-12, making the year a success by any measure.

"It was a great year for Tiger wrestling," second year coach Chad Olson said. "We had the most wrestlers in our youth, middle school and high school programs since the early 2000's.

"Our high school program showed tremendous improvement over last year. This was the first year in my 14 years of coaching where I wish the new season started tomorrow."

Twenty-one grapplers won varsity letters for their efforts during the season just completed, including five seniors: Trevor Breezely, Tyler Engel, Bret Hoffman, Dakoda Lois-Dupay and Ridge Raddatz.

Underclassmen winning monograms included junior Jamie Scavone; sophomores Brian Caravantes, Jacob Gabbard, Joe Hoeve, Joey Liden, Chris McCue, Kelvin O'Brien and Jake Rudeen; freshmen Kyle Benjamin, Brayden Chapman, Joey Herrera, Matt Rustad, John Walz, Logan Haakana and Jon Zeidler and eighth-grader Taylor Venz.

Venz, the youngest Tiger ever to compete in the state meet, finished the season with a team-best 32-7 record that included a 2-2 performance at the Class AAA state championships.

Joe Hoeve finished with a 27-12 record
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Hoeve finished 27-12; Gabbard 25-5, Walz 18-14, Rudeen 16-20, Hoffman 15-16, Louis-Dupay 13-12 and Rustad 12-8.

Missota Conference and other individual awards will be presented at the team's post-season banquet Mar. 27.

Olson ticked off a long list of highlights from the 2011-12 campaign, including claiming nine places at the section individual meet; winning four consecutive dual meets for the first time since 2002; posting a fifth place finish at the ninth grade state meet; winning a section dual meet for the first time in a decade and compiling a team grade-point-average of 3.51.

"About the only disappointment was not closing the gap between us and Lakeville North in the second round of the section," Olson said.

With 35 of 40 wrestlers expected to return for the 2012-13 season, Olson said he was confident the future of his program is bright.

"We need to work on our strength and our willingness to be uncomfortable," he said. "We also need to recruit some bigger athletes to help fill and give depth to our upper weights."

13 March 2012

Boys Hockey: A season of near-misses

Victor Simones
MVP and All-Missota Conference
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Though the final season record of 7-17-2 (4-9-1 in Missota Conference play) wasn't the type of finish Farmington coach Keith Revels and his team were anticipating, the 2011-12 campaign was not without its moments.

The Tigers played opponents close all season with eight games decided by one goal, all losses.

"We also had two ties and in both of them we had breakaways in the closing seconds," Revels said, "but both times we came up short.

"It was frustrating for all of us and it eventually took its toll on morale. Just a handful of goals could have really changed things for us."

Senior goalkeeper Victor Simones and the defense did their part, holding the opposition to just 3.1 goals a night, the lowest figure in Revels' four years on the job.

The offense, however, managed just 69 goals in 26 games, 38 fewer than the previous season.

Twenty-two players received varsity letters at the team's awards banquet, including seven seniors: Simones, Jack Buss, Blake Weinand, Sean Johnson, Jake Eldred, Ryan Schoening and Marques Words.

Underclassmen winning letters included juniors Jordan Lugowski, Kevin Olund, John Donnelly, Austin Krause, Grant Hauswirth, Zach Colaw and Dan Block and sophomores Stan Buss, Jack Erickson, Alex Aubrecht, Tanner Grubb, Landon Nielsen, Dallas Tucker, Nick Schoening and Christopher Fitzgibbons.

Blake Weinand
Hobey Baker Award and All-Missota honorable mention
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Simones was tabbed as the team's Most Valuable Player and was the only Tiger to make the all-Missota Conference squad. Weinand and Olund received all-league honorable mention.

Lugowksi won Most Improved Player honors and Erickson was named Rookie of the Year. Weinand received the Hobey Baker Award for character.

"We had our share of adversity," Revels said. "but we lived to tell about it. By the end of the season we had nine sophomores on our 20-man roster. That should bode well for next season and beyond.

"We'll have a pretty talented group of returnees next year and they'll be joined by the first batch of the most successful youth team we have had. We'll need to replace a very solid goaltender and find some scoring."

11 March 2012

Taylor Meyer FHS Athena Award winner

Senior Taylor Meyer has been named the winner of the 2012 Farmington High School Athena Award.

The award program, now in its 17th year, honors dedication and excellence in athletics in 39 public and private schools in the metropolitan St. Paul area.

Meyer has been a standout two-sport athlete for the Tigers, excelling in basketball and soccer.

She finished her four-year varsity career in basketball as the third-leading scorer in school history with 1301 points and helped her team to a pair of Section 1AAAA championship game appearances. Meyer was a four-time all-Missota Conference performer and served as team captain her junior and senior seasons.

Meyer won five varsity letters in soccer and was named Missota Conference Goalie of the Year in 2010.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth basketball recruit has also been involved in off-the-court activities at FHS. She is a member of the National Honor Society and an active participant in the Tiger Leadership Club.

In addition to helping with a variety of sports-related youth camps, Meyer has volunteered for the Feed My Starving Children program through her church and the annual Toys for Town community charity event.

Meyer, the daughter of Mark and Penny Meyer of Farmington, plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Meyer and the other Athena Awards honorees will be recognized next month at a luncheon at the Prom Center in Oakdale hosted by Kare 11 Television's sports anchor Randy Shaver.

08 March 2012

Boys Basketball: Tiger season ends in Rochester

Darren Beenken 16 points in season finale
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

After winning five of seven games with just two games to play in the regular season it looked as though Farmington had built some momentum for a post-season run.

But after closing the season with back-to-back losses to Chanhassen and Red Wing the momentum train had ground to a halt. In Wednesday night's 88-54 Section 1AAAA loss at Rocheter Mayo it went completely off the tracks.

The fifth-seeded Tigers beat the fourth-seeded Spartans 72-70 earlier in the year but the rematch was no contest. Mayo scored at will in running up a 49-23 halftime lead on the way to a semifinal date with top-seeded Lakeville North.

Farmington played much more competitively in the second half but by then the outcome had long since been decided. The 34 point-loss was the largest of the year for the Tigers.

"I'm not sure we ever got off the bus and Mayo was fired up and ready to go," Tiger coach Shane Wyandt said. "We played very soft and they were extremely physical and aggressive.

"Defensively we allowed them to get a bunch of uncontested jumpers early and they knocked them down. That gave them confidence so that later they were making everything, contested or not."

Mayo shot a blistering 63 percent from the field, including a 46 percent mark from behind the three-point line. The Tigers shot just 37 percent from the floor and were outscored 22-8 from the foul line.

Darren Beenken scored 16 points and Nick Varner and Austin Bassett added 12 and nine respectively to pace the Tiger offense.

"All around it was just a bad game for us and one in which Mayo played really well," Wyandt said.

Farmington finished the 2011-12 season with a 10-17 record, 6-8 in Missota Conference play.

07 March 2012

Tiger Scoreboard: March 8, 2012

Boys Basketball
Section 1AAAA Quarterfinals
Rochester Mayo 88 Farmington 54

05 March 2012

Boys Swimming: Tigers break school 400 relay record at state meet

The Tiger 400 freestyle relay team of (l to r) of Conner Kealy,
Zach Holton, Christopher Kirchmann and Aaron Lane broke its own school
record at the Class AA state meet.

The Tigers didn't fare nearly as well as they did last year at the Class AA State Championships held last weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center but they did score eight points while adding a school record to their year's list of accomplishments.

The new school mark came in the 400 freestyle relay where the Farmington foursome of Conner Kealy, Zach Holton, Aaron Lane and Christopher Kirchmann placed 14th in a time of 3.19.68. The same quartet had set new records in the event in both the Section 1AA meet and the state preliminaries.

Kirchmann also had a hand in the other Farmington points with a 15h place finish in the 50 freestyle race, clocking 22.36 in the finals.

The Kealy-Holton-Lane-Kirchmann entry in the 200 freestyle relay claimed 17th place and Kirchammn turned in a 20th place effort in the 100 freestyle.

Earlier in the week Evan Craufel ranked 24th in the one-meter diving competition.

Tiger coach Ryan Hamen said his state qualifiers had a rewarding weekend at state and that the performance of the 400 freestyle relay quartet came somewhat as a surprise.

"We were actually seeded higher in the 200 free," he said. "We weren't expected to come back (on Saturday) in the 400 but we had some good performances. I challenged all four of them to get under 50 seconds for their splits and Kirchmann and Kealy both did that on Friday."

Girls Basketball: A season to build on

First-year coach Sondra Chadwick diagrams a play

At times the principle of Murphy's Law seemed to be in effect for the Tigers. What could go wrong more often than not did.

For openers, first year coach Sondra Chadwick had to play the first 10 games of the season without all-Missota Conference post player Taylor Meyer due to off-season knee surgery. Then another key contributor from last winter's section finalists opted not to return for her senior season.

During the year, injury and illness followed the team like a shadow. It even lost its new assistant coach to a head injury before the season began.

"There were a number of things that happened that were uncontrollable," Chadwick said of her team's 6-20 season (4-10 in the Missota Conference). "Injuries and illness impacted our depth and rotation during the course of the season."

Taylor Meyer
1,301 career points
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Meyer, who returned to action after the holiday break, led the team in scoring (14.4) and rebounds (9.6) per game. The University Minnesota-Duluth recruit ended her career as the third highest scorer in school history with 1301 points.

Sofia Chadwick averaged 10.6 points a game and led the team in assists (96) and steals (75). Isis Alexander averaged 8.7 points while Mariah Mincke scored at a 7.1 points-a- contest clip.

Individual awards will be announced at the team's post-season banquet slated for March 26.

Coach Chadwick said beating Red Wing and Northfield at home and nearly upsetting Rochester Mayo in the first round of section play ranked as the most memorable moments from the season just completed.

"Although it is never fun to lose, I view the growth of this team as a success," she said. "The girls overcame a number of obstacles, never let up and improved dramatically over the course of the season.

"Because of the timing of my hire, we didn't get an opportunity to work together over the summer, so we had a two-week crash course before our first game in getting to know and adjust to one another, learn a new philosophy and set expectations...The girls should be proud of what they were able to accomplish."

With only two players who saw extended playing time--Sofia Chadwick and Gallus--set to return next winter, coach Chadwick said the 2012-13 season could again be one of rebuilding.

Sofia Chadwick led in assists and steals
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

"There is a lot of talent coming up from the younger grades," she said. "Once they start to adjust to the speed and the strength of the varsity game, we will start seeing success...It will be very interesting to see who will put in the time in the off-season in order to compete for varsity spots next year."

Chadwick said she is looking forward to the opportunity of working with the girls in the off-season months. She hopes to instill in them a belief in full-court pressure defense and an up-tempo style of play.

"We need to develop players that are disciplined, fundamentally solid, well- conditioned and willing to accept their roles," she said.

Chadwick said the challenge of replacing this year's large senior class when practice time rolls around next November will be a difficult one.

"It is never easy to come in and prove yourself to a new coach," she said, "But these girls all came in, worked hard and quickly adjusted. They showed great leadership on and off the court.

"They have helped lay the ground work for what this program can be: hard-working, competitive, fun and inclusive."

04 March 2012

Gymnastics: A year of ups and downs

Nadia Lorencz placed second in the state in vault and broke two school records

By its very nature, gymnastics is an up and down sport, but Farmington's 2011-12 campaign fit the description more than usual.

"Injuries and illness made it that kind of year," Tiger coach Lynn Bauman said, "but with such a large team I think we managed our time well and successfully.

"We developed many new and interesting skills that had everyone talking. It was always fun to go to meets where people hadn't seen us. I received a lot of compliments about the girls."

Thirteen Tigers earned varsity letter this winter, including three seniors: Jade Alm, Brianna Ruiz and Leah Rohde.

Underclassmen winning letters included juniors Nadia Lorencz, Kiana Lord and Taylor Schmaltz; sophomore Kathryn Beckett; freshmen Kylie Wharton and Maddie Timerson; eighth-graders Sidney Comes, Racquel Beckett and Mackenzie McCuddin and seventh-grader Rachel Kiminski.

Lorencz had an outstanding junior season, qualifying for the Class AA state meet in three individual events and all-around. At state she finished second in vault, breaking her own school record in the process.

"Nadia also broke our school floor exercise record at the conference meet," Bauman said.

Lorencz finished the season with team-high scores in vault (9.8); bars (9.175), floor exercise (9.8) and balance beam (9.325).

Bauman said that the steady stream of illness and injuries was one of the biggest disappointments of the season, a factor that no doubt kept the team score down from early season expectations.

"All of the injuries and illness made it difficult for us to have a full squad," she said.

"I was also disappointed with how we fell apart as a team on the bars and beam at the sections, especially after we looked so good on floor and vault."

The Tiger coach said she is looking forward to next season with the core of the varsity team returning.

"It will be good to get Tarah Eckert (elbow injury) back on the varsity," she said. "The girls are prepared to work hard in the off-season to raise their skill difficulty which will enhance their competition level."

Wrestling: Taylor Venz 2-2 in state debut

Taylor Venz went 2-2 in the 106 lbs. Class AAA individual state tournament

Tiger eighth-grader Taylor Venz proved he can handle wrestling on the big stage, splitting four matches at the Class AAA State Individual Tournament held this past weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Venz, who entered the state meet with an impressive 30-5 record, scored a second period pin over Willmar's Logan Walkow in his opening round bout on Friday before dropping a tough 5-3 overtime decision to Blaine Tschida of Coon Rapids in the 106 lbs. quarterfinals.

Later in the day on Friday, the Tiger standout defeated Stillwater's Christian Bahl 8-1 to come within a victory of the medal round.

Saturday morning, Trent Piepenburg of Alexandria defeated Venz 3-0 to eliminate him from the competition.

"I was extremely impressed with the composure and maturity Taylor displayed," Tiger coach Chad Olson said, "especially as an eighth grader making his first state tournament appearance.

"He finished as one of the top-eight 106-pounders in the state and was right there with the other placer winners. His two losses were to the 5th place finisher and the 4th place finisher...The future is very bright for Taylor and I am going to enjoy the ride."

Venz finished his eighth grade season with a final record of 32 wins and seven losses.

Tiger Scoreboard: March 4, 2012

Class AAA State Meet
Taylor Venz finished 2-2 in the 106 lbs. weight class

Boys Swimming and Diving
Class AA State Meet
Farmington scored 8 points with the 400 freestyle relay team of Conner Kealy, Zach Holton, Aaron Lane and Christopher Kirchmann finishing 14th in a school record time of 3:19.68.
Kirchmann placed 15th in the 50 freestyle in 22.36.

Boys Basketball
Section 1AAAA Tournament
Farmington drew the No. 5 seed and will travel to Rochester Wednesday, Mar. 7, for its opening game against No. 4 Rochester Mayo.

03 March 2012

Girls Hockey: No three-peat but still a good year

Betsy Anderson (top), Jessica Erchul
All-Missota Conference
(photos by Jim Lindquist)

Farmington didn't stretch its Missota Conference championship streak to three years but coach Jon Holmes said the 2011-12 season was a pleasurable one nonetheless.

"It was fun," he said. "The girls on this team are so unique and genuine that it made this season a coaching experience I will never forget.

"No matter what the record or outcome of a game they always kept their heads up. I had a blast coming to the rink every day."

The Tigers finished with an overall record of 9-17, including a 5-7 mark in the Missota Conference, good enough for a fifth place finish in the league standings.

Twenty-one players and three student managers received varsity letters for their work, including four seniors: captains Molly Friedlund, Katie Burgess, Betsy Anderson and Jessica Erchul.

Other players receiving varsity monograms, included juniors Grace Gavin and Haleigh Zwart; sophomores Grace Vincent, Shaye Jenrich, Haley Doll, Scootie Donnelly, Alexis Smrekar, Brooke Raske, Breanna Raske, Rachael Welzin and Maddie Strid; freshmen Michaela Tonsager, Chloe Batta, Morgan Medved, Emily Johnson and Ashley Corcoran and eighth-grader Madeline Oines.

Maddie Kohlbeck, Sophie Kohlbeck and Amy Pietsch received letters for their work as student managers.

Anderson and Erchul won all-Missota Conference honors and both were selected to play in the Senior All-Star game played this past weekend in Blaine. Batta and Doll received all-league honorable mention.

Erchul, a four-time all-conference selection, leaves the program ranked among the leading Tiger netminders of all time. She's first in career minutes played (5570); shots faced (2922) and saves (2682) and tied for first in save percentage (92%). Erchul also ranks second in shutouts (27); third in win-loss record (66-40-2) and fourth in goals-against average (2.20).

Holmes listed defeating Lake Conference powers Eden Prairie and Hopkins, the trip to the Iron Rage for scrimmages and winning the school's first ever Academic State Championship Award as the most memorable moments of the season.

"We had a rocky road on the ice, winning some games we probably shouldn't have won and losing some we should have won," Holmes said. "We would have liked to get to the top half of the conference and to the semifinals of the section because both were attainable.

"But all in all, it was a good experience and hopefully we all learned from both our accomplishments and our shortcomings."

With only two juniors from this year's team slated to return for 2012-13, Holmes is optimistic about his team's future.

"The young players will have had another year under their belts," he said. "The big thing is that we need to develop some scorers. Scoring goals (1.5 per game) was definitely our nemesis this year.

"Chloe (Batta) started to put the puck away after the holiday break but the bottom line is that we need more out of the offensive zone."

Holmes closed his look back on the 2011-12 season with some positive words about the quartet of departing seniors.

"It is sad to see this group go," he said. "They have been with the program for five and six years and have grown from middle schoolers to adolescents to young women.

"They will always be remembered for their uniqueness and their many contributions. They have helped put up a lot of banners at Schmitz-Maki (Arena)."

Boys Basketball: Not this time

(top to bottom) Mackinley Bassett, Zach Speikers and Nick Varner
combined for 42 of Farmington's 51 points
(photos by Jim Lindquist)

This time the glass slipper didn't fit.

After pulling off four Cinderella home court finishes against Missota Conference rivals, the Tigers came up short in a 55-51 loss to Red Wing in the regular season finale Friday night at Tiger Gym.

The loss was a tough one for Farmington (11-16) who entered the night in a log jam in the middle of the Section 1AAAA rankings.

"We needed a win tonight to help us in seeding and to give us some momentum heading into the playoffs," Tiger coach Shane Wyandt said after the game. "I'm at a loss for words right now."

The teams slogged through a lackluster first half that saw them combine for just 25 percent shooting from the field (13 of 52). Farmington went to the break with a precarious 20-19 lead.

Mackinley Bassett supplied almost all of the Tiger offense, scoring 14 points, 12 of which came on four three-pointers.

The shooting got a little better in the second period, especially for the Wingers who hit seven of their first 10 attempts on the way to a 42-36 lead.

But as has been the case in almost every home game this winter, the Tigers clawed their way back into it. Zach Speikers' fourth three-pointer of the half pulled the the home team to within 47-44 to set up a frenetic last two minutes.

The Tigers pulled to within a point at 52-51 thanks to a personal seven-point run by Nick Varner, but a missed lay-up and four Winger free throws sealed the Tigers' fate.

The night was chock full of missed opportunities for the Tigers. Missed lay-ups, missed free throws and miscommunication on defense.

The visitors also go the better of the calls, going to the free throw line a whopping 35 times while the Tigers managed just 16 attempts.

Three players combined for all but nine of the Farmington points. Bassett finished with 18, but only four after intermission. Speikers and Varner, who also hit double digits in rebounding, each had 12 with all of them coming in the second half.

The regular season finale was likely the last home game for four seniors: Co-captain Jake Hanson, Alex Hogstad, Austin Bassett and Grant Blomster. All four drew starting assignment for the Senior Night contest.

The Tigers will learn their first round section opponent this weekend. Section 1AAAA quarterfinal play begins Wednesday, Mar. 7, at the higher seeded school.

02 March 2012

Tiger Scoreboard: March 3, 2012

Boys Basketball
Red Wing 55 Farmington 51

Class AAA State Tournament
Taylor Venz won 2 of 3 matches in the 106 lbs. division and will wrestle again on Saturday

Boys Swimming
Class AA State Meet Preliminaries
50 freestyle: 15. Christopher Kirchmann, 22.22
100 freestyle: 20. Kirchmann, 48.90
200 freestyle relay: 17. Conner Kealy, Aaron Lane, Zach Holton, Kirchmann. 1:31.09
400 freestyle relay: 14. Kealy, Lane, Holton, Kirchmann, 3:19.78 (school record)

Spring Sports Registration Monday, Mar. 5

The Farmington Athletics Department will hold the 2012 Spring Athletics Registration Night on Monday, March 5 at Farmington High School.

All Farmington School District parents/guardians and their sons and/or daughters who are interested in participating in spring athletics are encouraged to attend.

The Registration Night will run from 6:30-8:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m there will be sport-specific, student/parent/coaches meetings for each high school sport.Locations for those meetings will be announced that night.

It is recommended that the 2011-2012 Farmington Athletics Registration Packet be completed prior to attending this event.

Parents/guardians will be able to turn-in their registration packet and meet with coaches to receive information on the upcoming athletics season. Those having completed the fall or winter sport registration packet need only pay the registration fee, complete a new emergency information form and make sure an current physical examination form is on file.

The 2011-2012 Farmington Athletics Registration Packet may be picked up at any of the following locations: Farmington High School, Boeckman Middle School, and Dodge Middle School or online at the Farmington Athletics website: www.farmington.k12.mn.us/athletics

A reminder that all students interested in participating in the athletics program must complete the registration packet and have a current Sports Qualifying Physical Examination (within three calendar years) on file before any participation is allowed. Please contact the Athletic Department to verify that a current physical examination form in on file.


Baseball Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th Monday, March 19th $165
Boys’ Golf Varsity/JV Monday, March 19th $165
Girls’ Golf Varsity/JV Monday, March 19th $165
Softball Varsity/B-Squad/9th Monday, March 12th $165
Boys’ Tennis Varsity/JV Monday, March 26th $165
Boys’ Track & Field Varsity/JV Monday, March 12th $165
Girls’ Track & Field Varsity/JV Monday, March 12th $165
Boys’ Lacrosse Varsity/JV Monday, March 26th $165
Girls’ Lacrosse Varsity/JV Monday, March 26th $165
Adapted Softball Varsity (CI and PI--Grades 7-12) TBA $165

Baseball 8th/7th Grade Monday, April 2nd $130
Boys’ Golf Middle School Monday, April 2nd $130
Girls’ Golf Middle School Monday, April 2nd $130
Softball 8th/7th Grade Monday, April 2nd $130
Boys’ Tennis* Middle School Monday, April 2nd $130
Boys’ Track Middle School Monday, April 2nd $130
Girls’ Track Middle School Monday, April 2nd $130

*6th Grade Athletics participation is limited to Boys’ Tennis during the Spring 2012 season.


Farmington Athletic Office
Farmington High School
612-252-2515 (office)

Jon Summer
Athletics Director
Farmington School District
651-252-2515 (office)

01 March 2012

Girls Basketball: Late rally carries Mayo past Tigers in section opener

Taylor Meyer finished her career with 1301 points,
third most in school history
(photo by Jim Lindquist)

Second-seeded Rochester Mayo rallied from a a six-point deficit in the final four minutes to pull out a 47-42 win over the Tigers in a Section 1AAAA quarterfinal game Tuesday night in Rochester.

The loss moved the Spartans into the section semifinals against crosstown rival Rochester Century and closed the books on seventh-seeded Farmington's (6-20) season.

"We gave Mayo a game they weren’t expecting," Tiger coach Sondra Chadwick said. "Our team defense was a big factor. Our guards applied backcourt pressure, causing a number of turnovers and forcing them into rushed passes and our interior game packed it into the lane and held their bigs to only six points in that first half."

The upstart Tigers led 25-21 at intermission thanks to the defense and the scoring of senior Taylor Meyer who tallied 12 of her game total of 14 points before the break.

The contest remained close through most of the second half before things began to unravel late for the visitors.

"We were up by six with four minutes left and then for about a 90-second stretch we seemed to lose our focus," Chadwick said. "Taylor (Meyer) fouled out and that's when Ulsh (Mayo center Lauren) went to work.

"A couple of untimely fouls and turnovers and all of a sudden we were down by two. We hit a couple of three's down the stretch but Mayo was able to close it out with free throws."

Ulsh scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the second half, most of them coming with Meyer on the bench with foul trouble.

Meyer led Farmington in scoring with 14 points and in rebounding with seven. Isis Alexander netted 11 and Sofia Chadwick finished with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Mariah Mincke, who hit two late three-pointers, added eight points.

"Allie Rice, Desi Loftus, Dava White and Abby Gallus also gave us some quality minutes," Chadwick said. "All of them played solid defense.

"It was a great game and I'm proud of how we executed our game plan. This team has come a long way and it showed tonight."

Note: Meyer, who missed the first 10 games of her senior season after summer knee surgery, finished her four-year career with 1301 points, the third highest total by a girls' player in school history. Julie Bauer (1988) tops the list with 1438; Lisa Sowieja (1993) ranks second with 1317.