29 October 2012

Tigers Win Wild One Over Minneapolis Southwest

As high school football playoff games go, the Section 3AAAAA semifinal at Tiger Field on Saturday night, Oct. 27  certainly was no yawner.  Not by any stretch. Not when host Farmington and visiting Minneapolis Southwest combined for a whopping 84 points and 771 total yards. In the end, FHS secured a 49-35 victory with senior quarterback Darren Beenken throwing for 311 yards and five touchdowns, including three to junior wide receiver Mac Bassett. It was Farmington's first playoff win since 2006.

The action-packed triumph sends the Tigers to the sectional final at Apple Valley on Friday, Nov. 2.  The Eagles reached the final after downing St. Louis Park 38-14.  Top-seeded Apple Valley, which finished third in the South Suburban Conference, now stands 7-2.  Farmington, the second seed, also improved to 7-2 as they bounced back from a lackluster performance in a 35-7 loss at Shakopee in the regular season finale.

Minneapolis Southwest, runner-up in the Minneapolis Conference to Washburn, proved to be a worthy foe on the cool (37 degrees) but windless evening. The third-seeded Lakers had beaten Bloomington Jefferson 20-16 in the first round. Their senior class had become the first Laker team in school history to have three consecutive winning seasons and they possessed a first-rate dual threat in quarterback Darin Richardson.

Farmington jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led 28-13 at halftime behind three Beenken touchdown passes.  Twice the Tigers took two-touchdown leads but each time, the Lakers rallied to tie.  After three quarters, the game was tied 35-35.  However, Beenken sealed the game with his fourth and fifth scoring tosses of the game. Both went to wideout Mac Bassett and both came on identical fade patterns in the right corner of the end zone. 

Head coach Mark Froehling was relieved and probably a little tuckered out from witnessing the offensive onslaught.  He said, "I was read proud of how our guys just kept battling. Everytime they rallied, we responded with a key play.  We knew they had some good athletes and could spread the field out on you."

As for Beenken's sterling effort, Froehling remarked, "He was just awesome when we needed him most. He threw the ball well, especially on the long ones, and he stepped up as a senior leader for us."

Although the offensive exploits were obvious, it was the defense that provided the impetus for victory as Farmington forced turnovers on three straight Southwest possessions in the second half.  Junior cornerback Mitch Gaylord, who switched to safety when Reid Taubenheim suffered a concussion in the first half, was tremendous replacing his talented teammate.  He leapt high to intercept Richardson at the Tiger five yard-line with FHS leading 42-35, just when it appeared that a Laker receiver was about to tie the game. Gaylord made a diving interception on the next series to help the Tigers secure the win.

"Gaylord was huge for us and made two critical plays when the game was on the line," said Froehling. "He stepped up big-time in the defensive backfield and was excellent with his kicking, also."

Junior running back Derek Klotter was a workhorse for the winners, rushing 38 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns.  Held down early, he was stuffed up the middle on most rushes there but excelled when he could get outside with his speed.

Meanwhile, Mackinley (Mac) Bassett led an outstanding effort by four junior Farmington wide-outs.  In addition to the two vital fourth-quarter touchdowns, he scored on a 67-yard bomb to give his team a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.  He finished with four catches for 96 yards.  Tyler VanWinkle averaged 35.7 yards a catch with three catches for 107 yards.  Johnny Dittman caught two balls for 54 yards, including  a 44-yard scoring play on a fly pattern which gave FHS a quick 7-0 lead.  Jordan DeCrook, who also returned four kicks for 77 yards, had two grabs for another 40 yards. Another junior, tight end C.J. Wynings, caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.  With Beenken normally having good protection, the Tiger speedsters were able to consistently get behind the Laker defenders.

"Bassett is so aggressive going to get the ball and getting his body in position to make plays," added Froehling about his talented receiver.  "Our entire corps of receivers really went up for the ball well and they were great in the blocking game, too."

Besides outgaining Minneapolis Southwest 443-328, the Tigers had 18 first downs to the Lakers 13.  Beenken averaged 25.8 yards per completion, as he went 12 for 20 with one interception. His counterpart, Richardson, proved shifty and elusive as a runner and a capable passer. Richardson ran 17 times for 54 yards and a touchdown and was 14-24 passing for 177 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Most of Richardson's yards came on scrambles as he was harassed consistently by the Tiger defense. Dantavian Sears had nine rushes for 84 yards and a touchdown while Jimmy Roth had three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, junior linebacker Mason Auge was stellar. He had a team-high seven solo tackles and five assisted tackles, in addition to a sack and was active all evening. Another junior linebacker, Nickolas Ruark, had 6.5 tackles (four solos), a sack, and  recovered a "pooched" onside kick.  Junior tackle John LeBlond was credited with 2.5 sacks and was a force in the line. Senior safety Alex Chadwick had five solo tackles, a blocked punt that led to a Tiger touchdown and a blocked extra point.

"We gave up some points and Southwest made some nice individual efforts but our defense was tough when they had to be and those three straight turnovers were very important to our success," said Froehling.  "Auge, Ruark, and LeBlond really got after it and we persevered."  

Up for grabs in the Section 3AAAAA finals, of course, is a state tournament berth. The Dakota County teams, playing in separate conferences, will have plenty of motivation to prove their mettle in what appears to be an evenly-matched contest.

"We don't know much about Apple Valley before we see film on them but I know they like to run the ball," stated Froehling.  "We will have to stay true to our assignments on defense and fill the gaps."  Froehling and company hopes that the Beenken aerial show and the opportunist defense is ready for prime time, too, and that safety/kicker/punter Reid Taubenheim will be cleared for action, too.


1st Quarter Recap:

On Farmington's second possession Darren Beenken hit Tyler VanWinkle with a 22-yard strike. Derek Klotter rushed three times for a total of 15 yards. Facing third and 13, Beenken rolled out left and rifled a pass to a wide-open Johnny Dittman at the Laker five-yard line and he waltzed into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown.  Reid Taubenhem coverted and Farmington led 7-0 with 3:54 showing on the clock.

After holding Southwest on downs for a second straight series, FHS took over at their own 33. Klotter lost a yard and then gained a yard before Beenken fired long downfield and connected perfectly with Mac Bassett at the Laker 25, who strode into the end zone on a 67-yard touchdown play. Taubenheim's extra point was good and the Tigers led 14-0 with 15 seconds left in the initial quarter.

2nd Quarter Recap:

After holding the visiting Lakers again without a first down, Richardson's short 25-yard punt gave FHS the ball at their own 45.  On the second play, Beenken was blindsided and fumbled with Southwest tackle Ahmad Aly recovering. The Lakers finally earned a first down when Richardson passed 10 yards to DeAnthony McKinley.  Richardson ran up the middle for five yards and on the next play, he was rushed hard but scrambled up the middle again for a twisting 18-yard touchdown. Evan Winter converted the extra point and Farmington led 14-7 with 8:00 left in the half.

Farmington's next series led to a shanked Taubenheim punt (17 yards) and Southwest took over at the Tiger 35.  After a holding penalty and a stout Tiger defensive effort, Southwest was forced to punt and the Tigers got the ball back at their own nine-yard line.  Klotter ran behind right guard but was stripped by linebacker Alfred Hartwell and the Laker defender bulled his way nine yards for a touchdown and the Lakers were within a point. However, senior safety Alex Chadwick knifed in to block Winter's conversion and Farmington kept a 14-13 lead with 5:10 left.

On the next series, Beenken hit Dittman for a 10-yard first down before hitting VanWinkle on a slant for 23 more yards.  DeCrook took a swing pass 15 yards to the Laker 17. Klotter carried off left tackle for three yards. Facing third and seven, Beenken was flushed out of the pocket by a hard Laker rush and barely got off a lofted pass to the end zone.  The ball narrowly got over the hands of a Laker defender but junior tight end C.J. Wynings made a sensational catch at his shoetops for a 14-yard touchdown. Taubenheim's kick was good and Farmington took a 21-13 lead with 2:07 remaining.

 Taubenheim, with one of the strongest legs in the metro, didn't boom his kickoff into the end zone, however. He popped up his "pooch" kick and the ball took one high bounce and Nick Ruark recovered it at the Southwest 37.  Klotter ran twice for 12 yards. On his third rush, Klotter took the ball in the backfield and the entire left side of the Tiger offensive line had the Lakers sealed. Klotter bolted toward the left corner the end zone to complete a 25-yard touchdown scamper. Taubenheim conversion was true and the hosts now led 28-13 at halftime.

By halftime, Beenken was already 8 for 13 for 198 yard and three touchdowns and Klotter had 17 rushes for 67 yards, including 37 yards on his final three carries.  Farmington held a wide edge in first downs - 11 to two.

3rd Quarter Recap:

Minneapolis Southwest started the third quarter with a seven-play, 72-yard drive to pull within 28-21 with 8:38 left in the frame.  Dantavian Sears ran three times for a total of 23 yards. After a Farmington personal-foul penalty, Richardson ran for 10 yards to the Tiger 15.  Richardson hit Camden Knuckles on a slant at the five-yard line and he ran in for a 15-yard score. Sears ran in the two-point conversion.

After Jordan DeCrook ran back the kick 19 yards to the Tiger 29, Beenken's second down pass was intercepted by Southwest's Oliver West on a jump ball at the right sideline and the Lakers took over at their own 25 after a block in the back on the return.  Richardson fumbled but fell on the ball for a five-yard loss before Tiger senior defensive end Tom Sell sacked him for another five-yard loss.  Facing third and 20, Richardson was smothered by Nick Ruark and John LeBlond.  Punting from his end zone, Richardson's punt was partially blocked by Chadwick and recovered by the Tigers at the Laker nine-yard line. Klotter immediately skirted around right end untouched for a touchdown on another perfectly-blocked effort by the Farmington offensive line. Mason Gaylord converted and FHS led 35-21 with 5:19 left in the quarter.

The scoring flurry continued unabated as Southwest responded with another 72-yard drive.  McKinley's screen pass for six yards earned a first down at the Laker 34. Richardson then overthrew Roth for a sure touchdown down the middle on a blown coverage. Undaunted, Richardson tossed another long bomb that Roth caught at the Farmington 30 with two Tiger defenders draped on him.  While they fell, Roth regained his footing and raced into the end zone for a spectacular 65-yard scoring strike. Winter kicked the extra point and the wild and wacky affair now stood at Farmington 35, Minneapolis Southwest 28 with 2:44 on the clock.

DeCrook had a nice 24-yard return to the Tiger 33 but Farmington was forced to punt and Kevin Olund's 27-yard punt gave Southwest the ball at their own 34.  A questionable pass interference call on FHS gave the Lakers a first down at the 44.  Then Sears, a slender senior running back, busted up the middle and ran 56 yards for the tying touchdown, breaking three or four tackles on a tough, determined run.   Winter's kick was good and the score was tied at 35 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter.

Just as the Laker faithful started to believe an upset was at hand and the Tiger rooters showed obvious concern, the big-play Farmington offense came to the rescue. Klotter was stopped for no gain at the Tiger 26. Beenken stepped back and winged the ball on a line to VanWinkle, who was completely unguarded at midfield and finally was caught from behind at the Laker 13 for a 61-yard gain.

4th Quarter Recap:

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Klotter banged for four yards. Beenken faded back and tossed a high timing pass over Bassett's right shoulder. The junior made a diving catch for a nine-yard touchdown. Gaylord converted and the partisan Farmington crowd cheered the 42-35 lead with 11:17 still left.

Gaylord's deep kick and sound coverage gave Southwest the ball at their own 18. Sears and Richardson both ran for first downs. Knuckles dropped a pass that would have gained 20 yards but the left-handed Richardson hit Jackson Hurst for 31 yards to the Farmington 27.  On the next play, Richardson appeared to have Roth for a game-tying touchdown down the middle of the field at the Tiger five-yard line. However, the ball was slightly underthrown and it gave safety Jason Gaylord just enough time to leap in front of him and intercept. The critical turnover may have been the play of the game.

Farmington then completed a clutch, 10-play, 95-yard drive to score and put the game away.  Klotter ran eight times for 63 yards on the impressive series with his slashing bursts and DeCrook caught a 25-yard pass from Beenken. Facing a third and eight from the Laker 17, the Beenken-Bassett connection hooked up again as Beenken put some air under the ball down the right sideline. The "alley-oop" toss worked and with Gaylord's extra-point, Farmington took a reasonably-safe 49-35 lead with 4:42 remaining.

Gaylord's "pooch" kick was caught for a fair catch by the Lakers at their own 40. Richardson went back to pass but his pass was tipped and Gaylord snared the ball with a diving catch at the Tiger 43.  Klotter's three carries netted just six yards and Olund punted to the Southwest 23.  With 2:24 left, Southwest had to score quickly and then get the ball back. It didn't happen, as a ferocious Tiger pass rush forced a Richardson fumble and Ruark recovered for his second fumble recovery at the Southwest 28. The Lakers had turned the ball over on three successive offensive plays; each, however, was forced by sound Tiger defense.

The Tigers just needed to hang onto the ball and Klotter did. Despite gaining just two yards on four carries, the Lakers had just 1:18 after FHS turned the ball over on downs at the Laker 26. Richardson passed for two first downs as the Tigers effectively protected itself against the deep ball and the game ended with Richardson being sacked by a slew of Tiger defenders at the Laker 21.


Section 3AAAAA Semifinal:  Saturday, Oct. 27

Minneapolis Southwest   0    13    22     0  =  35

Farmington                       14    14      7   14  =  49

1st Quarter:

Farmington - John Dittman 44-yard pass from Darren Beenken (Reid Taubenheim kick) 

Farmington - Mac Bassett 67-yard pass from Beenken (Taubenheim kick)

Minneapolis Southwest - Darin Richardson 18-yard run (Evan Winter kick)

2nd Quarter:

Minneapolis Southwest - Alfred Hartwell 9-yard fumble return (kick blocked)

Farmington - C.J. Wynings 14-yard pass from Beenken (Taubenheim kick)

Farmington - Derek Klotter 25-yard run (Taubenheim kick)

3rd Quarter:

Minneapolis Southwest - Camden Knuckles 15-yard pass from Richardson (Dantavian Sears run)

Farmington - Derek Klotter 9-yard run (Mason Gaylord kick)

Minneapolis Southwest - Jimmy Roth 65-yard pass from Richardson (Winter kick)

Minneapolis Southwest - Dantavian Sears 56-yard run (Winter kick)

Farmington - Mac Bassett 9-yard pass from Beenken (Gaylord kick)

Farmington - Mac Bassett 17-yard pass from Beenken (Gaylord kick)










Tigers Girls' Swim & Dive 3rd at Missota Championships

The Farmington girls' swim & dive team copped third place at the Missota Conference Championships at Northfield on Saturday, Oct. 27.  FHS totaled 330 points to finish behind champion Chanhassen (495) and host Northfield (476).  Coach Jen Marshall's squad totaled 330 points to easily outdistance Chaska (227) behind the frontrunners.  FHS junior Kaitlyn O'Reilly was stellar for the Tigers with a first-place and second-place in individual swims and two third-place efforts as part of two relay teams.

"We finished in a solid third place which is what we expected heading into the meet," said Marshall. "There were some fabulous swims and leaves no doubt in my mind that we will again have an unbelievable taper."

The Tigers are tapering for the Section 1AA meet, which will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8 (preliminaries) and Saturday, Nov. 10 (finals), both at the Rochester Recreation Center.

Chanhassen finished first in seven of the 12 events while Northfield copped four others as the two schools battled for the conference title. The top two teams were dominant in the relays, finishing first and second in each of those events.

The only race that wasn't won by the top two schools was won by O'Reilly, who won the 100-yard individual medley in 2:11.10 to beat Northfield sophomore Kylie Dahlgren (2:11.82). Her splits were 28.84, 33.07, 38.18, and 31.01.  O'Reilly's runner-up finish came in the 500-yard freestyle (5:19.54) where Dahlgren finished three seconds ahead of her in the arduous event.

FHS sophomore Kirsten Kracke also had a sterling meet. She was third in the 50-yard freestyle (25.48) and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (56.37).  She was also a member of two third-place relay teams. Freshman Chelsea Gehrke had an impressive performance, as evidenced by her fourth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.58) and her seventh-place standing in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:15.05).

Cora Ruzicka, a talented junior, was sixth in the 500-yard freestyle (5:38.09) and seventh in the 200-yard freestyle (2:05.33).  Another Farmington junior, Chloe Holton, took sixth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:28.63) and 11th in the 100-yard butterfly (1:08.59).  Sophomore Ellie Sundet finished ninth in the 100-yard freestyle (58.23) and 12th in the 200-yard freestyle (2:08.55).  Promising seventh-grader Catherine Gehrke was 10th in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:46.66 and 13th in the 200-yard freestyle (2:09.55).  

Senior Robin Ellis (1:07.66) took eighth in the 100-yard backstroke and was 10th in the 50-yard freestyle (26.26).  Sophomore Kendall Novak (238.95) placed sixth in one-meter diving and junior teammate Nikki Cayard (234.35) was seventh. Scoring points in the 100-yard breaststroke were junior Sara Kintner (ninth in 1:16.29), and freshman Kaylee Dahlberg (11th in 1:19.15).  Kintner took 14th in the 500-yard freestyle (5:51.02),  Others scoring for Farmington included junior Hannah Seitzinger (13th in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:00.99), freshman Emily Lee (14th in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:01.70), and seventh-grader Grace Roach, who was 13th in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:09.13).

Farmington was third in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:43.74, five seconds behind Chanhassen, with Robin Ellis (26.63), Cora Ruzicka (26.17), Kirsten Kracke (25.35), and Kaitlyn O'Reilly (25.59).  Another third-place finish was in the offing in the 400-yard freestyle relay as FHS clocked a time of 3:50.68, 15 seconds behind first-place Northfield.  Kracke, Ruzicka, Chelsea Gehrke, and O'Reilly swam in that quartet. In the other relay, the 200-yard medley, the Tigers were sixth in 2:03.18, nearly 12 seconds slower than Chanhassen's winning total.  Robin Ellis, Chelsea Gehrke, Chloe Holton, and Ellie Sundet competed in that event.

Chanhassen sophomores Kaia Grobe and Zoe Avestruz were the individual standouts in the Missota meet.  Grobe claimed the 50-yard freestyle (23.82) and the 100-yard butterfly (57.33) and swam the first leg of her team's top time (1:38.37) in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which set both pool and conference marks.  Avestruz, meanwhile, finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.67) and the 100-yard backstroke (58.27); the latter swim established both pool and conference marks, too.  She was also on Chanhassen's winning efforts in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle races. 


Missota Conference Championship Team Results

1) Chanhassen    -   495

2)  Northfield      -   476

3)  Farmington   -   330

4)  Chaska            -   227

5)  Shakopee       -   197

6)  Red Wing       -   194

7)  New Prague   -    94

8)  Holy Angels    -    68

Mayo Defeats Tigers in Section Volleyball Quarterfinals

Rochester Mayo beat visiting Farmington High in straight sets in a Section 1AAA volleyball quarterfinal in Rochester on Friday night, Oct. 26.  Host Mayo won their second match of the year against FHS and ended the Tigers season with a sweep (29-27; 25-20, and 25-10).  The Tigers finished with a 14-15 overall mark.

Head coach Mike Woody remarked, "We were much improved over our first match with them in the regular season because we were at full strength but losing that marathon first set was tough to overcome."

Indeed, the Spartans prevailed in a tense opening set which both teams had several chances to end earlier.  In fact, Farmington led 26-25 and would have taken the critical first set but a hit from the front row was out of bounds by inches. Mayo eventually won the 56-point set and FHS needed to win the final two sets to reach the semifinals, a tough task against a talented foe.

"It was back and forth as both teams played phenomenal volleyball," said Woody.  "That close loss, which could easily have been ours, sort of set the tone for the rest of the match."

In the second set, however, Farmington was resilient and led 12-5 with a balanced and solid offense as they took advantage of some Mayo errors to forge ahead.  The Spartans then made four or five key blocks to mount a comeback.  Mayo's well-designed block and some errant Farmington passing allowed them back in the set. It was a seesaw affair until the final points, when the home team pulled away for a deceiving 25-20 win.

In the third set, the Tigers started pressing and was a bit too aggressive.  Faulty passing trying to get the ball to the net hindered any chances for hopes of extending the match. Down 8-6, Woody's charges were buried by a Spartan run and they cruised to a decisive win.   

The Tigers, a bit shorter on the outside and younger than the Spartans, served well and their defense was strong.  Woody commented, "In the first two sets, we played very good volleyball and each set could have went either way.  Our passing was good and we were fine at the net and our misses were close.  I was pleased with our effort and our execution."

"Emma Fahining had some tremendous digs in the back row and Kaylene Seurer and Kelsey Lindell, our two senior middle hitters had strong performances, too," stated Woody.  "

The Spartans had beaten the Tigers in three sets on Sept. 25 but Farmington was hampered by injury as they lost 25-13, 26-24, and 25-12.

Senior setter Ruthanne Schmitt led Farmington with 11 assists while another senior setter, Mia Johnston, totaled seven.  FHS, which was hoping to serve at over 90%, finished at 93% with eighth-grader Emma Fahning 13 for 13 and Schmitt 12 for 12.  Schmitt, senior defensive specialist Rachel Eckert, and senior middle hitter Kaylene Seurer each contributed two aces to lead the Tigers.

Meanwhile, Eckert and Fahning lead the way with 21 and 18 receptions, respectively.  Senior left-side hitter Emily Nelson added 10 receptions and also had a team-high five kills with junior right-side hitter Lexi Wenskaug totaling four and Fahning, Seurer, senior right-side hitter Courtney Johnson, and eighth-grade left-side hitter Makenzie Hesse chipping in with three apiece. 

Seurer led FHS with three blocks as the Tiger had just nine for the entire match. Schmitt had a team-high of six digs while Eckert, Fahning, and Mia Johnston all had five of Farmington's 27 digs. 

"We were fortunate to have a quality group of seniors," added Woody.  "With all the injuries we had to deal with, I couldn't be more proud of our girls. They really went down fighting in the last match."

26 October 2012

Tigers Girls' Cross Country 6th in Section 1AA Meet; Maricia Pacheco Earns State Berth

The weather was cold and blustery at the Brooktree Golf Club in Owatonna on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 25 but that didn't deter the FHS girls' cross-country team from a superlative team performance.  The Tigers claimed sixth-place in the 16-team Section 1AA meet that was highlighted by Maricia Pacheco's 12th-place finish (15:37.3). The junior captain's personal-best time earned her a berth in the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 3 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Head coach Heidi Revels was ecstatic with her team's effort and results and remarked, "I am so happy for our team with the huge improvement from last year. To go from third to last to sixth-place this year is very exciting. I was hoping we could get 10th and the girls certainly exceeded my expectations. It is a testament to all their hard work."

FHS totaled 198 points with a team total time of 1:21.27.5 for an average individual time of 16:17.5 and an impressive five-runner spread of 1:05.7.  Maricia Pacheco certainly earned her state berth as she needed to pass two competitors in the final 50-100 yards to cop the eighth and final state berth.  A new rule instituted by the MSHSL for this fall allows for the fastest eight times from teams outside of the top two teams to make their way to state.

"It was so thrilling to see Maricia come from behind and earn that final spot," said Revels.  "She's a great kid, a very harder worker, a good student, and such a well-rounded person and she really deserved it." Pacheco becomes the first Farmington girl to race in the state meet since boys' head coach Lisa Lippold (then Dingman) ran in the 1997 and 1998 meets.

Sophomore Sofia Chadwick, who was Farmington's top finisher in last year's sectional with a 27th-place finish, was 20th in 15:46.2.  Eighth-grader Sami Hyytinen completed a sensational first year with a clocking of 16:40.6 and 54th overall.  Senior captain Maria Kiminski closed out her career a step behind Hyytinen in 16:40.7 for 55th place.  Maricella Pacheco, Maricia's ninth-grade sister, was the Tigers fifth scorer with a time of 16:42.9 for 57th.  Sophomore Alexis Johnson was 76th in 17:06.8 and seventh-grader Alexandra Laube showed promise for the future with a run of 17:24.4, good for 88th place among the 111 varsity participants. 
Lakeville North won the 1AA team title again with 41 points with Lakeville South second (79) for the second year in a row with Northfield (137) third. Albert Lea, the Big Nine champs, finished fourth (148) and Rochester Mayo (179) was fifth.  Lakeville North, ranked sixth in AA, placed girls 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 13th, and 15th on the raw and dreary day. The Panthers had a sensational time spread of just 48.7 seconds for their five fastest racers with an average time of 15:19 per runner.
Taylor Perkins, a senior, was ranked ninth in the state and didn't disappoint for the Section 1AA runner-up squad. The Panther runner won the individual title in 14:30.6 to beat Lakeville South sophomore Kaytlyn Larson (14:50.7) by 20 seconds.  Larson's teammate, sophomore Annie Brekken was third in 15:10.2 and another Cougar runner, junior Erin Kilbride, was eighth in 15:21.6
Other state qualifiers include:

Kaia Bierman (11) - Northfield (fourth in 15:11.5)
Crissy Monson (12) - Albert Lea (fifth in 15:12.3)
Haley Splinter (12) - Austin (sixth in 15:16.8)
Madison Overby (9) - Austin (seventh in 15:18.1)
Caitlyn Domeyer (9) - Winona (ninth in 15:22)
Elise Topazin (12) - Rochester Century (10th in 15:27.5)
Sophie Butterfass (7) - Rochester Mayo (11th in 15:37.3)

Section 1AA Team Results
1)  Lakeville South     -     41
2)  Lakeville North     -     79
3)  Northfield -               137
4)  Albert Lea -               148
5)  Rochester Mayo -    179
6) Farmington -             186
7)  New Prague -            229
8)  Austin -                      233
9)  Rochester Century -235
10) Red Wing -               241
11) Owatonna -             258
12) Rochester J.M. -     262
13) Winona -                  277
14) Hastings -                 345
15) Faribault -                350
16) Kasson-Mantorville 481       

Hyytinen Third-Place; Leads Tigers To 6th In Section 1AA Cross-Country

Farmington's Justin Hyytinen, enjoying a sterling sophomore season, earned a berth in the state boys' cross country meet with a third-place finish at the Section 1AA meet on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Brooktree Golf Club in Owatonna.  Hyytinen, who is also a highly-regarded hockey player, ran the 5K course in 16:18.8.  The speedy FHS tenth-grader led the Tigers to a surprising sixth-place finish in the 16-team meet in cold and windy conditions.

Coach Lisa Lippold said, "It was so exciting to see Justin place third overall and earn a state berth and it was a great sectional meet for our entire team.  When we arrived at the course for the meet, we talked about how they could let the weather affect them or not and it was nice to see them not let it affect how they ran at all."
Hyytinen, who had Farmington's fastest time in each of their meets this fall, will race in the Class AA state meet at the St. Olaf course in Northfield on Saturday, Nov. 3. His steady improvement and dropping times will serve him well as he races against the state's elite next week. He nearly took second as Owatonna senior Mark Holzerland (16:16.5) barely beat him to the tape. Hyytinen had previously finished second in the Missota Conference Championships at New Prague in 16:22 on Oct. 16 as FHS finished fourth.

The Tigers 196 points helped them edge Rochester John Marshall (197) by a point as they improved upon their ninth-place (260) result in 2011.  Their total team time (five fastest finishers) was 1:26.45.3 , with an average finish of 17:21.1 and a five-runner time spread of 1:43.7.

"Out of the 14 boys that ran varsity and junior varsity for us, 11 of them ran personal-best times and the other three ran within a second of their fastest run," said Lippold.  "It truly has been amazing to watch these runners this season make a name for Farmington cross-country."

Senior Adam Wallenta capped off his final high school race with a 26th-place finish (17:15.9) while talented freshman Alex Hart topped off a promising season with a run of 17:34.1 for 47th.  Another senior, Tyler Lerbakken, ran in unison with Hart and was 48th, also in 17:34.1. 

Lippold added, "Our goal was to have Adam, Alex, and Tyler run as a pack and work with each other throughout the race and they did that and the results show that."

Junior Sean Dougherty (18:02.5) gave Farmington its final counting score as he completed the 5K course in 72nd place.  Seniors Clayton Webb (18:30.7) and Caleb Eiffert (18:45.7) wound up their careers for FHS in 91st and 97th place, respectively.
Owatonna, seventh-ranked in Class AA and the Big Nine champions, won the team title with a score of 53 to easily out-distance runner-up Rochester Century (125) and third-place Red Wing (151). Rochester Century, second to Owatonna in the Big Nine conference meet, was a full two minutes of team time behind the defending champs. The Huskies' runners finished second, seventh, 13th, 15th, and 16th. Both Owatonna and Century advance their teams to the 16-team AA competition at St. Olaf next Saturday morning.

 Hastings junior Zack Benning, ranked ninth in AA, was the individual champion in 16:11.3 on the cold, wintery day. However, the next Raider runner came in 80th and Hastings finished 15th (362).  Kasson-Mantorville senior Derek Wiebke was fourth (16:21.8).  Owatonna senior Cameron Petersson was seventh (16:28.8) while Century seniors Graham Massot (16:31.9) and Colin Eakins (16:42) were  eighth and 11th, respectively.

In the junior varsity race, Farmington was seventh (193) as Owatonna (26) was  first and Rochester Century (45) second, just as in the varsity race. 
"Our top four junior varsity boys  established new personal-best times by quite a bit," stated Lippold.  "Josh Grimm finished 26th and was the only one of them who had broken 19 minutes and to see him run 18:26 was impressive and encouraging for next year. Hunter Sevenich and Santana Perdomo, who were running in the low 19-minute range, ran 18:40.8 and 18:41. With us losing four of our top seven to graduation, this sets us up well for next year."

Other state qualifiers include:
Samuel Hanson (12) - Northfield (fifth in 16:27.7)
Aiden Winn (11) - Red Wing (sixth in 16:28.1)
Corbin Godrey (10) - Northfield (ninth in 16:35.7)
Hunter Bailey (10) - Winona (10th in 16:36.9)
Jason Windhorn (11) - Lakeville North (12th in 16:42.2)

Section 1AA Team Results:
1)  Owatonna  -                53
2)  Rochester Century - 125
3)  Red Wing -                 151
4)  Lakeville North -       154
5)  Northfield -                155
6)  Farmington -             196
7)  Rochester J.M.-         197
8)  New Prague -             213
9)  Rochester Mayo -     222
10) Austin -                      265
11) Lakeville South -      268
12) Albert Lea -               274
13) Winona -                   286
14) Faribault -                 339
15) Hastings -                  362
16) Kasson-Mantorville 373   

24 October 2012

Girls' Swim & Dive: Tigers Downed by Rockets

The Rochester John Marshall Rockets dispatched the Farmington Tigers girls swimming and diving team 98-82 in a non-conference meet at the Dodge Middle School pool on October 23, 2012.  It was the final tune-up for Jen Marshall's squad before the Missota Conference Championships at Northfield on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Marshall remarked, "I am very excited to see how the girls are swimming right now as we head into the championship season.  We had some great swims last night including some nice time drops. The divers are also doing very well and working hard to improve their dives."

Rochester John Marshall's dominance showed as they won nine (including the first nine events) of the 12 separate competitions. Always strong in diving, Farmington's Melanie Brothers (156.75) won a tight battle with John Marshall's Allison Garett (155.85) while Nikki Cayard (142.75) and Kendall Novak (139.15) were third and fourth, respectively, in one-meter diving.

The Tigers' Kaitlyn O'Reilly took first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:09.69 and FHS also claimed the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Kirsten Kracke (1:01.9), Ellie Sundet (58.82), Chelsea Gehrke (59.36), and O'Reilly (57.81) finished in 3:57.89 to beat the Rocket quartet by 14 seconds. O'Reilly (1:02.74) was also runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly to Allison Schumacher (59.73).

John Marshall's Taylor Bass won the 100-yard backstroke (1:02.21) by barely besting Kracke (1:02.94). In the 200-yard individual medley, Bass was also first in 2:15.39 with Farmington's Cora Ruzicka third (2:23.41).  Ruzicka had a fine race in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing second in 57.20 to John Marshall's Anna Becker (56.29) with Farmington's Robin Ellis and Chelsea Gehrke both third in 58.40.  Madison Emery of the Rockets also took two events - the 500-yard freestyle (5:13.81) and the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.14) with Kracke second at 2:04.50.  Meanwhile, Ellis (26.63) was second in the 50-yard freestyle to Schumacher (25.15).

18 October 2012

Winter Registration October 22


The Farmington Athletics Department will hold the 2012-13 Winter Athletics Registration Night on Monday, October 22, at Farmington High School.

All Farmington School District parents/guardians and their sons and/or daughters, grades 6-12, who are interested in participating in a winter athletics are encouraged to attend.

The Registration Night will begin at 6:15 pm with a presentation on general information such as the registration process, eligibility, scheduling and transportation. Following at 7:00 p.m will be sport-specific meetings with the winter sports coaches.

All parents/guardians are encouraged to attend the 7:00 coaches meetings and those who did not attend the fall registration program should plan to attend the 6:15 general session.

It is recommended that the 2012-2013 Farmington Athletics Registration Packet be completed prior to attending this event. The 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

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 sport registration packet need only pay the registration fee, complete a new emergency information form and make sure an updated physical form is on file.

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.

Note: Dance Team will begin practice October 22. A parent meeting was held Wednesday, October 3, for those student-athletes and parents/guardians who made the varsity and junior varsity teams.

Boys’ Basketball Varsity/JV/B-squad Monday, November 19 $165.00
Girls’ Basketball Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th grade Monday, November 12 $165.00
Dance Team Varsity/JV Monday, October 22 $165.00
Gymnastics Varsity/JV Monday, November 12 $165.00
Boys Hockey Varsity/JV Monday, November 12 $165.00
Girls Hockey Varsity/JV Monday, October 29 $165.00
Boys Swimming and Diving Varsity/JV Monday, November 26 $165.00
Wrestling Varsity/JV Monday, November 19 $165.00
Cheerleading (Grades 10-12) Varsity TBA $165.00
Adapted Floor Hockey Varsity (CI/PI) TBA $165.00

All students in grades seven through 12 are eligible to participate in the following high school programs: Dance Team, Gymnastics, Boys Hockey, Girls Hockey, Boys Swimming and Diving and Adapted Floor Hockey.

The following programs, based on roster limitations and participation numbers, may have a try out/cut process: Dance Team, Gymnastics, Boys Hockey and Girls Hockey.

In addition, varsity and junior varsity level teams will be rostered with primarily high school students (grade nine through 12).

Girls Basketball 7th/8th Monday, October 29 $130.00
Boys Basketball 7th/8th Monday, January 2 $130.00
Wrestling 6th/7th/8th Monday, November 19 $130.00

Please note that for winter sports, sixth grade participation is limited to wrestling.

Also note that during the winter season, there will be separate seventh and eighth grade boys and girls basketball teams at Dodge and Boeckman Middle Schools. Student-athletes play for the middle school they attend.


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

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

Flat Tigers share Missota championship

Derek Klotter second straight 100-yard rushing night (file photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington held its destiny in its hands heading into Wednesday's regular season finale at Shakopee. A win meant outright possession of the 2012 Missota Conference championship; a loss a share of the crown with any or all of three other teams.

At the end of the day, the Tigers had to settle for a piece of the crown after a disappointing 35-7 loss to the Sabers. Farmington, Holy Angels and Chanhassen all finished the conference season with 5-2 records.

"Unfortunately we were not able to accomplish our goals," coach Mark Froehling said . "A list of reasons will only look like excuses for the loss, but I did think that our energy was low. Match-up problems contributed to some of our difficulties."

The trouble started on the game's first possession when Shakopee marched 80 yards in 11 plays to take a quick 7-0 lead.

While the Farmington offense sputtered most of the opening half, the Sabers moved the ball at will. The Tigers managed just three first downs in the half and compounded their problems with an untimely interception that gave the Sabers a short field.

It came on the heels of the lone Tiger highlight of the half when the overworked defense put together a goal line stand to stop Shakopee on fourth down at the one-yard line.

From the Farmington 37 The Sabers needed just six plays to find the end zone again to build a 14-0 halftime lead.

"We needed to control the ball more and sustain drives," Froehling said  "We did some good things (in the second half) but really only moved the ball between 20's."

The Tigers showed a little spark on their first drive of the second half but the march died at the Saber 43 where a short punt once again put Shakopee in business. This time it took six plays for the home team to hit pay dirt and push the lead to three touchdowns.

Shakopee made it 28-0 a couple of minutes later after holding the visitors to minus yardage on their next possession. The scoring drive covered 45 yards and took just five plays.

C Wynings 4 catches for 31 yards (file photo by Jim Lindquist)
Down four scores heading into the fourth period, the Tigers put together their best drive of the night but once again it stalled, this time when Derek Klotter came up inches short on a fourth-and-two at the Shakopee 29.

What wind remained in the Tiger sails disappeared with the measurement and nine plays later the Sabers were back on the board.

To their credit, the Tigers put together a scoring drive before time expired. Johnny Dittman set the table with a kickoff return and Noah Kary did the scoring honors on a six-yard run.

Farmington finished the night with just 186 yards of total offense, their second lowest total of the season. Shakopee, meanwhile piled up 397 yards, 293 of that number on the ground.

Klotter picked up 102 yards on 19 carries in his second varsity start. Beenken completed seven of 15 passes for just 52 yards. Tiger end CJ Wynings caught four of them for 31 yards.

Mason Auge kept his spot atop the Farmington tackling charts with 8.5 stops. Nick Ruark and Kevin Clifton had 7.5 apiece and Eli Rockett added 5.5. Johns LeBlond returned from a hip injury and had five stops, including the only Tiger sack.

John LeBlond 5 tackles and a quarterback sack (file photo by Jim Lindquist)
The loss hurt more than in the final conference standings. It also dropped the Tigers to No. 2 in Section 3AAAAA rankings behind Apple Valley.

Farmington will still draw a bye for next Tuesday's opening round before playing the Minneapolis Southwest (7-1)-Bloomington Jefferson (0-8) winner Saturday at Tiger Stadium. The semifinal winners meet Friday, November 2, at the higher-seed.

"Season one is over and we have much to be proud of with a conference championship, a two-seed in the section with a bye and a home game," Froehling said

"Season two starts now. The bye will help us get healthy so we can play at full strength as we go into section play."

17 October 2012

Tiger Scoreboard: October 18, 2012

Shakopee 35 Farmington  7

Alumni Tracker: Zitzmann helps RCTC to state junior college playoffs

Josh Zitzmann
 2009 Tiger grad Josh Zitzmann hauled in four passes for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Rochester Community and Technical College's 52-0 win over Minnesota West last Saturday. Rochester opens post-season play as the second seed in the Minnesota Junior College playoffs this Saturday...In the same game, another former Tiger, Nick Albano led the Yellowjackets in tackles with eight.

2009 FHS male Athlete of the Year Derek Waldbillig has started all five games at running back for Bethel University this year, scoring six touchdowns...Ex-Tiger Bubba Friedlund has drawn three starts for the Royals at offensive tackle.
Alex Carlson
Alex Carlson, a 2007 Tiger grad, who went on to play junior hockey in Iowa after graduation, is a senior forward for Ohio State this winter. The former Tiger skater scored a goal in the Buckeyes' season-opening 3-2 win at Minnesota-Duluth last weekend....Ex-Tiger Krystal Baumann who transferred from Vermont to Minnesota State, Mankato, ranks second on the Mavericks in shots attempted through five games

Former Tiger all-state volleyball player Katie Habeck sits  first in blocks and fifth in kills for Concordia University-St. Paul, the defending NCAA Division II champions who were ranked sixth in last week's national poll...2009 Tiger female Athlete of the Year Kirstee Rotty leads the St. Olaf College volleyball team in digs, averaging 5.87 per set...Danielle Dombeck of the Tiger class of 2010 ranks third in digs for North Dakota State University

Kayla Seivert
Former FHS girls soccer standout Kayla Seivert is a starting defender for the University of Wisconsin-Stout....2012 Tiger alum Kelli Harstad has started every match for the St. Mary's University soccer team in his her freshman season.

Sam Leske, a second team all-state selection last year at FHS, has started six games this fall for Gustavus Adolphus who sport a 10-2-1 record heading into this week....Two other players from last year's Tiger team are playing collegiate soccer this fall. Chad Stivers is the starting keeper for Edgewood College (Wisconsin) with a 5-3-1 won-lost record and 1.20 goals against average....Brandon Scott has five goals and four assists in nine games for St. Scholastica who owns a perfect 10-0 record in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC).

Brandon Scott
1989 FHS male Athlete of the Year Matt Walter's Annandale football team takes a 6-1 record into its regular season finale tonight...2006 Tiger grad Brent Mahltsedt, who played basketball and football at St. Olaf College, will coach the Tiger B-squad boys basketball team this winter.

2005 FHS Oscar Lubke Award winner Ben Kampf, a former University of Minnesota track and cross country runner, ran the Twin Cities Marathon 10-mile race two weeks ago, finishing fourth overall in a field of 7632...1991 Lubke Award winner Chris Rupp now lives in Lyon, France, where he ran his first marathon earlier this month...

Volleyball: Tigers fall to Shakopee in three

Makenzie Hesse 15 serve receptions (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Missota Conference co-champion Shakopee defeated the Tigers 3-0 Tuesday night in Shakopee in the league finale for both teams.

The Sabers swept the match by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-9.

Shakopee finished the conference season 6-1 to tie Chanhassen for the title. Farmington (13-14 overall) went 2-5 in league play and placed sixth.

Emma Fahning had another productive night for the Tigers in the losing effort. The versatile eighth-grader led the team in kills (5) and service aces (2) and also recorded 10 serve receptions, three digs and a block.

Ruthie Schmitt and Mia Johnston topped the assist charts with nine and six respectively.

Mackenzie Hesse led in serve receptions with 15; Rachel Eckert had 13 serve receptions and four digs. Kaylene Seurer registered two of the team's three blocks.

The Tigers now await the Section 1AAA seeding process that will determined who and where they play in next week's opening round. 

Tigers 4th; Hyytinen 2nd at Missota meet

Justin Hyytinen Missota Conference runner-up
Justin Hyytinen finished second overall to help the Tigers to a fourth place finish at the 2012 Missota Conference Cross Country Championships held Tuesday at the New Prague Golf Course.

The team finish was two rungs up the conference ladder from last season and Hyytinen's runner-up effort was the best Tiger individual performance at the meet since Ben Kampf won it in the fall of 2004.

Chaska won a three-team battle for the team title with 50 points. Chanhassen totaled 72, Shakopee 74, Farmington 109, Northfield 115, Red Wing 121, New Prague 151, and Holy Angels 224.

Chaska's Joey Deurr won the individual title, touring the 5000-meter course in 15:55. Hyytinen took the second spot in 16:22 to lead the Farmington effort.

The other four Tiger point-scorers finished within a span of 10 seconds: Adam Wallenta, 23rd in 17:26; Tyler Lerbakken 26th in 17:30; Tommy Weigel 27th in 17:31 and Alex Hart 31st in 17:36.

Caleb Eiffert clocked 18:16 to place 46th and Sean Dougherty came in 52nd at 18:35.

"The meet went great for us," coach Lisa Lippold said. "Our guys all ran personal best times. They went out hard and stayed strong throughout the race. They ran in a pack and worked with each other... That's how we were able to move up from last year."

Next up for the Tigers is next Thursday's Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.

Lippold is hoping for another strong team showing and is optimistic about Hyytinen's chances of qualifying for the state meet the following weekend in Northfield.

"Justin has good potential to make the top eight," she said. "The race is going to be stacked, so it's going to be important for him to go in focused on how he needs to run and who he needs to be in front of."