27 July 2012

Wrestling golf fundraiser set for Sept. 8

The second annual Tiger wrestling golf tournament, a fundraiser for the program, will be held Saturday, September. 8, at Southern Hills Golf Course in Farmington.

Tiger wrestling coach Chad Olson said organizers are looking forward to the event.

"Last year was a lot of fun and this year will be no different," he said. "Lots of prizes and good times."

The tournament will begin with a noon registration followed by a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m.

Registration fee is $65 per golfer and includes 18 holes of golf with cart, range balls and dinner following the tournament.

Olson added he is looking for hole sponsors. For more information or to learn about becoming a hole sponsor, contact Olson at 952-200-3568 or colson@farmington.k12.mn.us.

To download a tournament flier, visit the wrestling website at www.farmingtonwrestling.com

23 July 2012

Softball: Looking to the future

When former FHS three-sport athlete Paul Harrington (left) took the reins of the Tiger softball program last spring, one of the first things that struck him was the small number of players in the program.

With  only 30-plus players out for the sport, it became a challenge to fill the the rosters of the three teams for the 2012 season.

"We will do better than that in the future," Harrington said of his lack of numbers.

True to his word, the Tiger coach has taken a big step toward that goal this summer by providing six-week clinics for future.

The clinics, open to girls ages nine through 16 and run by Harrington and assistant coach Mal Betzold, ran from mid-June through mid-July and focused on hitting, fielding, throwing and base running skills and fastpitch softball strategy.

"Each age group met once a week for a total of six weeks," Harrington said. "Sixty-one kids signed up for our four age groups, so we were pleased with the numbers for our inaugural year.

"A large majority of the kids participating were 13 years or younger. It has been fun to get to meet them and get to know the players that we will be working with in future years."

Harrington said another one of his goals heading into the off-season was to see that more of his varsity players hone their skills by playing summer ball. From the list of 2012 summer players, it looks as though that is another item to check of his "To Do" list.

The names of nine members of the 2012 Tiger Section 1AAA championship team dot the rosters of area teams this summer, including Ashley Betzold and Brooke Searles (Minnesota Stars); Molly Berdan and McKenzie Nelson (Minnesota Synergy); Allie Rice (Rookies); Toni Hunsinger (Arctic Blast); Taylor Yousse (Invasion); Amber Doyle (Thunderboltz) and Jordyn Keprios (Ice).

"All of this off-season exposure to softball will go along way toward improving our school program," Harrington said.

22 July 2012

Alumni Tracker: Schmitz runner-up at Minnesota State Amateur Championship

Sammy Schmitz
1999 Tiger grad Sammy Schmitz shot rounds of 73-72-71 to finish in a second place tie at the 2012 Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) State Amateur played at Hastings Country Club last week. Schmitz, the 2011 MGA Player of the Year, finished three shots back of winner Frederick Van Rooyen.

It's been a busy month for Schmitz who earlier placed second in the Twin Cities Open played at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids and Keller Golf Course in St. Paul. At that tournament, FHS boys golf coach Jon Holmes finished in a sixth place tie with 2012 Missota Conference champion Jonathan Dutoit of Chaska.

Another  former FHS golfer, Greg Werner, earned a tie for 42nd place at the State Amateur Championship with rounds of 77-77-75. Earlier this summer, Werner qualified for and played in the United States Golf Association (USGA) Publinx Championship Tournament in Hill, Utah.

2005 FHS male Athlete of the Year Matt Simon who was the tight ends coach for Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion University of St. Thomas last fall has headed east and will be a member of the Rutgers University staff. Rutgers of the Big East Conference finished 8-4 last fall and defeated Iowa State 27-13 in the Pinstripe Bowl played in Yankee Stadium.

Mike Markuson of the FHS class of 1979 should find a good fit for his skills this fall as he takes over the offensive line coaching duties at the University of Wisconsin. Markuson's teams at Arkansas and Mississippi were consistently among national leaders in rushing offense.

Captain John Feely
2001 Oscar Lubke Award winner John Feely who later went on to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy is back in Colorado teaching at his alma mater. Captain Feely is an instructor in the Management Department at the Academy...Another former Tiger, 2008 male Athlete of the Year Jordan Hauschild, graduated with distinction from the Air Force Academy this spring and will attend the University of Minnesota Medical School this fall.

1990 Tiger grad Tim Sejba was on hand for the Tiger football scrimmage with Caledonia and Mankato West a couple of weeks ago. Lt. Colonel (Air Force) Sejba is headed to the Washington D.C. area where he will attend a leadership program that will also be attended by a high school classmate, Lt. Colonel Eric Quehl of the United States Marine Corps.

Former Tiger boys hockey coach Jim Hoey, who has already published two trivia books, one on the Minnesota Twins and the other on the state high school hockey tournament, is working on a third dealing with Minnesota Vikings trivia. Hoey is also the editor of new online hockey magazine that will debut this fall...Long-time Tiger football coach Earl Wetzel is pursuing a graduate degree in writing in California.

Two ex-Tiger football players, Andy Pierskalla and 2007 Oscar Lubke Award winner Ben Froehling, will be assistant coaches for state powerhouse Wayzata this fall. Pierskalla, who has coached the Farmington American Legion baseball teams the past several seasons, played college ball for St. John's University; Froehling played at Wisconsin-Lacrosse.

1988 Oscar Lubke Award winner Chad Hansen was among the finishers of the 2012 Lifetime Fitness Triathlon held in Minneapolis earlier this month...1999 Leslie Lindell Award winner Janet (Brownawell) Smith has stepped down from her position as girls cross country coach at Faribault.

21 July 2012

Chadwick gearing up for second season

Tiger girls basketball coach Sondra Chadwick draws up a play
Sondra Chadwick accepted the position of FHS varsity girls basketball coach last year too late to work with her players during the off-season.

This summer the former Wheaton High School and University of Minnesota-Morris player has provided Tiger hopefuls a variety of summer playing opportunities.

Chadwick has a team of roughly 15 athletes competing in a Monday night league at Lakeville North and has separate teams entered in scheduled tournaments in Lakeville and St. Cloud later this month.

In addition, all players in grades seven through 12 have had the option of joining the Breakfast Club which has been meeting from 6:30-8:00 a.m. for early workouts followed by weight training sessions at the high school.

""We have about 30 players and they've been working very hard," Chadwick said. "They have shown great attitudes--even at that hour.

"This has given me an opportunity to to get some work in with the kids that I wasn't able to do last season and also to see see the talent in the younger grades...We've got a solid base of talent. How well they do will depend on the time they put in improving their individual skills."

Sophia Chadwick (photo by Jim Lindquist)
The second-year Tiger coach also has a number of players on area AAU teams that have been traveling to highly competitive tournaments throughout the Upper Midwest.

Sophomore-to-be Sophia Chadwick, the coach's daughter, is a member of the Minnesota Metro Stars team that finished runner-up in the 14U national championship game played earlier this month in Orlando, Florida.

The off-season work by her players has left coach Chadwick feeling positive about her second year on the Tiger bench.

"I am impressed with the number of girls who have showed an interest in working hard over the summer," she said. "I've challenged each of them to come back next winter as a better individual player to make us a better team.

"It is important that players understand there is always someone out there who is going to try to work harder than they are...The level of commitment our girls have shown this summer certainly improves our chances of starting the season strong. That is very encouraging."

16 July 2012

2nd Annual Tiger Scramble set for August 3

The second annual Tiger Scramble, a fundraiser to benefit the Farmington girls hockey and girls lacrosse programs at Farmington High School, will be held Friday, Aug. 3, at Fountain Valley Golf Course in Farmington.

The four-player, best-ball tournament gets under way with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start. The entry fee is $65 per golfer or $260 per foursome. The registration fee includes 18 holes of golf with a cart and lunch on the course.

Event co-chairmen Jon Holmes and Dan Pickens, respective head coaches of the Tiger girls hockey and girls lacrosse teams, are requesting interested individuals register by July 21.

The organizers are also looking for business and/or individual sponsors for the event.

To register, provide sponsorship or obtain more more information, contact either Holmes (jholmes@farmington.k12.mn.us) or Pickens (dpickens@farmington.k12.mn.us) via e-mail.

12 July 2012

A run with the big dogs

QB Darren Beenken eludes the Mankato West rush
The Tigers took a run with a couple of the state's big dogs Thursday afternoon in a three-team scrimmage held at Tiger stadium.

Defending Class 2A champion Caledonia and Class 4A semifinalist Mankato West joined Farmington in the summer get-together that drew mixed reviews from Tiger head coach Mark Froehling.

"It's good to go up against teams like West and Caledonia," Froehling said. "They are two programs who plan in to be in the state tournament every year. Playing competition like that only makes us better."

Assistant coach Glenn Mogensen discusses defensive strategy
As for his team's performance against the state powers, Froehling said it was about what he expected. In other words, some positive signs but no shortage of things to work on between now and the start of the 2012 season.

"These guys have come a long way this summer as far as becoming a team," he said, "but they still have a long way to go to get where they want to be. These summer workouts start the process of becoming a real team.

"High school football isn't like the pros where you have many of the same players year after year. You have new players every season and that means different individuals, different personalities and different chemistry. It's a building process and we've started going down that road."

Five Tiger black shirts converge on a Mankato West runner
The Tigers will conclude their summer schedule by participating in a seven-on-seven passing league at Eagan High School the next three Sundays and then start fall practice on Monday, Aug. 13.

Farmington opens its 2012 season with a non-conference home game against Rochester Mayo Friday, Aug. 31, at Tiger Stadium.

No off-season for Tiger cagers

(File photo by Jim Lindquist)
Most people don't give basketball a second thought during the summer months. Ninety-degree temperatures and dew points on the northern side of 70 tend to put hoops on the far back burner of the sports stove.

Not so for Tiger boys coach Shane Wyandt and his 2012-13 hopefuls. however.

"As usual, we have a ton going on this summer," Wyandt said. "Our guys are here (at FHS) for our Basketball Academy from 8:00-9:00 in the morning followed by strength and conditioning workouts. We also are putting on four youth camps this summer."

Besides the academy and the youth camps, Farmington also has three varsity and sub-varsity teams playing in the South of the River Summer League held on Thursdays in various schools in the South Metro and another team for incoming ninth graders competing in a league at Concordia College in St. Paul.

A varsity level team has also and will continue to play in weekend tournaments throughout the state. It plays in a big tournament in Prior Lake on July 15 and then closes out its summer season with an appearance in a tourney in St. Cloud the weekend of July 28-30.

"We also have a group of guys who are playing on various AAU teams this summer," Wyandt said. "There is a lot of basketball being played."

With all of the other summer sports options open to his players, Wyandt said getting a complete team together for a even single game has presented somewhat of a challenge.

"When we've had everybody there, we've been very competitive," he said. "Hopefully, we'll have a full team for the St. Cloud tournament. Some of the best teams in the state will be there."

11 July 2012

Getting ready for some football

64 Tigers attended the Augustana College camp (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Fall football practice doesn't start for another 33 days, but coach Mark Froehling and his staff have been getting in some summer work with their 2012 team since early June.

One of the highlights was a trip the Augustana College team camp held June 24-26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

This is the first time the Tigers have attended the Augsutana camp. For the previous 11 summers Froehling took his team to a similar camp at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

"We changed for a couple of reasons," Froehling said. "Mankato West and Caledonia go to the Auggie camp and their coaches are former players of mine from when I coached at Caledonia....Augustana's coach is also a former teammate of assistant coach Jon Lund from their  playing days at St. Olaf College."

A record 64 players, half of them first-time attendees, and a full Tiger coaching staff took part in the camp that featured skill practices by position, team drills and scrimmages against other schools.

Farmington matched up with five South Dakota schools, including Brandon Valley, Sioux Falls Washington, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Sioux Falls O'Gorman.

Froehling said the competition was top notch and he felt his team competed well.

"We scrimmaged most of the big schools in South Dakota," he said. "The Sioux Falls schools have each won a state title in recent years and Washington is expected to be the favorite this year.

"We improved as the camp progressed. By the third day I thought the offense moved the ball well both running and throwing. The defense played well the entire camp and I thought our players were engaged and enthusiastic in their play."

The veteran Tiger coach said the camp gave him and his staff an opportunity to try some new things on both sides of the ball as well as check on the progress of individual athletes.

"Most importantly, the camp allowed our group of players to continue the process of developing into a true TEAM," Froehling said.

The Tigers continue practice this week and entertain Caledonia and Mankato West in in a scrimmage Thursday at Tiger Stadium.

The team will also compete in a seven-on-seven league in Eagan for three Sunday evenings starting July 15 in preparation for the start of fall practice on August 13.

Farmington opens its 2012 season Friday, August 31, when it hosts Rochester Mayo in a non-conference game at Tiger Stadium.

"We have more returning athletes with experience that we have had in the past three years," Froehling said. "We expect to be a good, competitive team."