22 July 2013

Getting bigger, faster, stronger

Senior CJ Wynings (l) and sophomore Kyler Norquist part ways on an agility drill
Not long after the softball bats and track hurdles had been put away for summer storage, Tiger athletes turned their attention to their 2013-14 seasons.

Under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier and coaches Brad Albano and Shane Wyandt, the four-day a week summer training camp opened its doors for business the week after graduation.

The camp runs through the first week in August interrupted only by the Minnesota High School League 'no contact' period the first week in July..

"Summer is a critical time for high school athletes," Meier said. "Even though there are summer league for some sports, this is really everyone's 'off-season'. It's really the most important time for improvement as far as strength and conditioning is concerned."

More than 200 student athletes in grades nine through 12 have taken part in the training camp this summer, a number than Meier said has increased gradually over the past couple of years.

"We started the training camp in 2000 and we seemed to peak around 2005," Meier said. "After that we hit a plateau but the last couple of years we've seen some nice increases in participation."

Meier said the 90-minute sessions stress weight lifting (one hour) and half an hour of what he terms JAQS training which stresses Jumping, Agility, Quickness and Speed. Two days a week the non-weight training session consists of a "brutal recess" where the participants work with such unique training partners as tractor tires and sandbags.

"It's fun but it's a lot of work," Meier said.

Senior Nick Ruark gets up close and personal with a a jump rope at the 2013 training camp
Of the 200 training camp attendees this summer about 50 percent come from the ninth and tenth grades. Meier also noted that the 2013 camp has also followed a recent upward trend in female participation.

Meir said he is anxious to see what effect the results of the camp will have on the performance of Tiger athletes in the fall. One good indicator will be the results from the annual Ironman competition held the first day of football practice.

The Ironman is a seven-event (40-yard dash, vertical jump, shuttle drill, tire flip, bench press, squat and clean) and over the past couple of  seasons some of the results, especially in the weights, have trended in a downward direction.

"We've seen a lot of big increases as far as lift numbers from last spring to now," he said. "I would expect the Ironman numbers to be up this year."

All in favor raise your left hand


19 July 2013

Jon Summer headed to Chaska

Jon Summer
After eight years as athletic director at Farmington High School Jon Summer is moving on.

Summer's last day on the job in Farmington is Friday, July 19. On July 29th he will assume his new duties as assistant principal in charge of athletics at Chaska High School.

"With the assistant  principal position at Chaska there are some opportunities for personal growth," Summer said of his departure. "In my 12 years of athletics administration, I have worked solely in the athletic department.

"In Chaska I will see more involvement with the academic side of things. I am looking forward to the learning experience."

Summer reflected with pride on his tenure in Farmington as the school and community dealt with their unprecedented growth.

Asked to name the biggest issues and accomplishments over the past eight years, he put expansion of the overall athletic program, the opening of the new building in 2009 and the impending move to the South Suburban Conference at the top of the list.

"I think our enrollment when I came in 2005 was around 1250." he said. "Now it is 1745. Using the High School League numbers, we are now the 23rd largest school in the state. That's a big jump."

During the growth spurt, the Farmington added varsity programs in boys' and girls' lacrosse and expanded competitive levels in several existing sports.

"The district, the community, the coaches and the kids all supported us as we have grown," Summer said. "The bottom line is we got a lot more kids involved and that's what it is all about."

Summer said the new building provided some excellent opportunities for student athletes while at the same time showed more work needs to be done.

"As time goes on there will have to be more school-city collaboration in facility areas," he said. "Most of the schools in the South Suburban Conference have some pretty impressive community facilities to go with the ones on the school campus."

As for the move to the ultra-competitive South Suburban Conference in 2014-15, Summer said it was the logical outgrowth of the school's rapid rise in enrollment.

"We're now bigger than Lakeville North and Lakeville South," he said. "Geographically and competitively, that is where Farmington belongs."

Though Summer will miss the busy year leading up to Farmington's changeover to the South Suburban, he will have some transition issues of his own at Chaska, a school joining the new seven-team Metro West Conference in 2014-15.

"It will hectic year, I'm sure," he said.

Summer leaves his Farmington post with a treasure chest full of fond memories.

"I've had the pleasure of developing relationships with some wonderful coaches and kids here," he said. "I feel we have an outstanding and passionate group of head coaches...Through a lot of hard work, they have raised the competitive bar of our program."

Summer also issued a sincere "thank you" to the many behind-the-scenes people who help make an athletic program run smoothly.

'The building and grounds people, our site supervisors, the Tiger Fan Club, all of our volunteers from the community and many more," he said. "They have all helped make my time here a good experience."

Summer said his successor will have a full plate once he or she arrives.

"The conference change prep will be huge," he said. "There will have to be some discussions as to the direction of the middle school programs as many of the South Suburban schools don't have school programs. There will be a lot of challenges but that is the nature of the position."

The position has been posted and the vetting of potential candidates will begin soon. In the interim, assistant principal Jason Berg and principal Ben Kusch will serve as contact persons for athletics.

16 July 2013

Fall Registration July 30


The Farmington Athletics Department will hold its 2013 Fall Athletics Registration Night on Tuesday, July 30th, at Farmington High School (Recital Hall). Attendees should park in the east parking lot and enter the building through the east doors.

All Farmington School District Parents/Guardians and their sons and/or daughters, grades 6-12, who are interested in participating in a fall athletics program offered by the Athletics Department are encouraged to attend.

The Registration Night will begin at 6:00 pm for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders interested in participating in the Middle School athletics programs. Please note that during the fall season, 6th grade participation is limited to Boys’ & Girls’ Cross Country, Girls’ Swim & Dive, and Girls’ Tennis. 

At 7:00 pm, Registration Night will continue for students in grades 9-12.

It is recommended that the 2013-2014 Farmington Athletics Registration Packet be completed prior to attending this event. The 2013-2014 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

Parents/Guardians will be able to turn-in their registration packet and meet with coaches to receive information regarding the upcoming athletics season.

A reminder that all students interested in participating in the athletics programs must complete the registration packet and have a current
(within three calendar years) sports-qualifying physical examination on file before any participation is allowed.


Boys’ Cross Country Varsity/JV Monday, August 12th $180.00
Girls’ Cross Country Varsity/JV Monday, August 12th $180.00
Football Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th Monday, August 12th $180.00
Boys’ Soccer Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th Monday, August 12th $180.00
Girls’ Soccer Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th Monday, August 12th $180.00
Girls’ Swimming and Diving Varsity/JV Monday, August 12th $180.00
Girls’ Tennis Varsity/JV Monday, August 12th $180.00
Volleyball Varsity/JV/B-Squad/9th Monday, August 12th $180.00
Cheerleading Varsity/JV TBA $180.00
Adapted Athletics (Soccer) Varsity (C.I. and P.I.) TBA $180.00

Boys’ Cross Country** Middle School Monday, August 26th $140.00
Girls’ Cross Country** Middle School Monday, August 26th $140.00
Football 7th and 8th grade Monday, August 26th $140.00
Boys’ Soccer Middle School Monday, August 26th $140.00
Girls’ Soccer 7th and 8th grade Monday, August 26th $140.00
Girls’ Swimming and Diving** Middle School Monday, August 26th $140.00
Girls’ Tennis Middle School Monday, August 26th $140.00
Volleyball 7th and 8th grade Monday, August 26th $140.00

**Middle School students are encouraged to begin practicing on the high school start date: Monday, August 12th.

Please note that there will be separate 7th and 8th grade volleyball programs at Boeckman and Dodge Middle Schools. Student-athletes in this sport will play for the middle school they attend.

A further reminder that 6th grade athletics participation is limited to Boys’and Girls’ Cross Country, Girls’ Swimming and Diving, and Girls’ Tennis.

A Fall Strength & Conditioning program will also be offered at Farmington High School starting Monday, September 9th. This program is available to high school students only.

CONTACTS: Jason Berg
Assistant Principal
Farmington High School

Ben Kusch
Farmington High School

12 July 2013

Alumni Tracker: Trey Davis assistant AD at Shakopee

Trey Davis
2007 FHS male Athlete of the Year Trey Davis who played football and competed in track at the University of Minnesota wasted little time in finding a job after completing a Master's Degree in Sports Management this spring. The former state shot put champion has been named assistant athletic director at Shakopee High School.

Former Tiger boys hockey coach Jim Hoey who has published two sports trivia-related books, one on the Minnesota Twins and another on the Minnesota boy's state hockey tournament, is releasing a third this fall on the Minnesota Vikings. The retired Farmington teacher has a busy schedule these days having just accepted the position of athletic director at Trinity, a small private school in Eagan, where his son Eddie Hoey is a track and cross country athlete.

Ex-Tiger Kurt Schneider who held the school shot put and discus records for many years was a volunteer coach at Chisholm and Mountain Iron-Buhl this past spring... Heather Kampf, a Rosemount graduate married to 2005 FHS Oscar Lubke Award winner Ben Kampf, runs professionally for Asics shoe company and recently won a couple of races for Team USA Minnesota in Ireland and Belgium.

Former Tiger golfer Sammy Schmitz, a 1999 grad, is tied for second in the 2013 Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) player rankings. In his last tournament, the 35th Players' Championship, Schmitz who plays out of Valleywood Golf Club, advanced to the quarterfinals...Another ex-Tiger, Greg Werner, playing out of the Wilds Golf Club, lost in the opening round of the match play tournament.

Former football coach Earl Wetzel who won several Tri-Metro Conference football titles during his 20 years on the Tiger sidelines is living in California. He is pursuing a graduate dgree program in creative writing and in his spare time volunteering at a local school helping non-native speaking students learn English...

Veteran Tiger assistant coach Gary Burr who has been with the Tiger football program since 1979 has resigned from his winter job as assistant girls' basketball coach at Hastings, a position he held for 24 years, including the state champion season of 1996.

(l to r) Alex Frost, John Walz and Carl Elmer
Two former Tigers, 2011 male Athlete of the Year Carl Elmer and 2013 grad Alex Frost, and Tiger junior wrestler John Walz were among the top finishers in their respective age groups at the challenging Warrior Dash, a 5-kilometer mud run/obstacle course race, held in Afton a couple of weeks ago. Elmer who now wrestles for St. Olaf College placed 10th in his age group and 14th overall in a field of 8311. Frost ranked 11th among 328 in the female 14-19 age bracket and Walz placed 112th out of 372 in his age division.

Two FHS grads were inadvertently omitted from the the Alumni Tracker list of top finishers in the 2013 Farmington Dew Run held last month. Janet (Brownawell) Smith and Christine (Ailabouni) Cahill finished 1-2 in the women's division of the four-mile run...1991 Tiger alum Christopher Rupp who now lives in Lyon, France, is returning home this fall to run the Twin Cities Marathon.

Former Tigers Ben Froehling and Shelly Sturm from the FHS class of 2007 will be married July 13 in Lakeville. Froehling, son of Tiger football coach Mark Froehling and Lori Froehling, teaches and coaches football in Wayzata. Sturm, the daughter of long-time local sports supporters Mike and Debbie Sturm, is an elementary school teacher in the Kenyon-Wanamingo school district.

11 July 2013

Girls Soccer: Tracie Randall new Tiger coach

Tracie Randall
When Rob Carpentier resigned from the head girls coaching position to take the athletic director job at Park Center earlier this summer, the Tigers turned to veteran assistant Tracie Randall to fill his shoes.

Randall, has been around the soccer block and back many times since her playing days at Burnsville High School where the then Braves  finished runner-up to Wayzata in the 1991 Class AA title game.

She later played college soccer at Minnesota State, Mankato before beginning her school coaching career with stints at Eden Prairie and Minneapolis Edison.

After taking a few years away from the sport to start a family, Randall began coaching youth soccer in Farmington in 2005 and eventually coached the local 15U team to a state championship. In addition to her youth coaching experience Randall served as varsity assistant at the middle and high schools under then head coach Seamus Trichtler. Currently she is a youth coach, trainer and evaluator for a U12 Select team in Lakeville.

Randall said her coaching philosophy is a simple one.

"I want to create an environment that is supportive and conducive to the growth and physical and emotional development of all players," she said. "If players put in the time, train hard, play hard and keep expectations high, success is inevitable.

"Being a part of the program for the last seven years I have had the opportunity to get to know many great kids and families...I bring many years of coaching and playing experience to the program...Professionally, I work with students with various disabilities so I understand the need to modify and adapt to various learning styles and needs of my players."

Randall said that some recent health challenges faced by her husband Pat have also given her an opportunity to gain a new perspective regarding her approach to her new coaching position.

"The opportunity to coach and work with great kids is what keeps me going," she said, "and it reminds me that life goes on. You only get one shot at it, so make it count!"

Randall inherits a veteran Tiger team that finished 12-5-2 last season while advancing to the Section 1AA championship game. Key returnees from that team include first-team all-state defender Isabelle Ferm and all-state honorable mention goalie selection Ashley Becker.

"Our goal is to get to the section finals again this year," she said. "We're bringing back a good number of girls from last year which will give us the depth and strength we need to come back strong."

Randall is also counting on building on her past relationships with the upperclassmen, many of who she coached in the youth program.

The official opening of fall practice is scheduled for Monday, August 12.

04 July 2013

Baseball: Jon Graff named Tiger head coach

John Graff
Farmington athletic director Jon Summer said the pool of applicants for the vacant Tiger baseball coaching position was as deep and qualified as any he has had since his arrival in the fall of 2005.

But when all was said and done, Summer said the best person for the job was already on the staff.

Long-time assistant coach Jon Graff will head up the Tiger program starting next spring, replacing Mike Winters who held the post for the past 13 seasons.

Graff, a 1992 Northfield graduate who has served as an assistant on the Tiger staff for 11 years, has also coached at the sub-varsity level in football, basketball and soccer during his 17 years at Farmington.

Graff's baseball coaching experience goes all the way back to his high school days when he worked with the park and recreation youth programs for the City of Northfield.

He served as Northfield's interim Parks and Recreation Director before joining the Farmington High School faculty in 1997 where he now teaches United States history and Advanced Placement United States history.

Graff said he has learned  a lot from the past six seasons as Winters' varsity assistant but also feels he will bring some new ideas to the program.

"I want to bring in an arm strengthening and conditioning program," he said. "This will hopefully help guard against arm fatigue and injury while helping our pitchers throw with more velocity. It should help not only our pitching staff but also allow position players to throw with more power."

Graff also admits to being fond of the use of technology in his coaching, including videotaping players so they can better address their strengths and weaknesses 

"This allows players to really look at their swing or their pitching motion," he said. "The feedback from the kids so far has been great."

The new coach embraces the concept of baseball fundamentals, especially defensively, but also plans to stress the mental part of the game.

"Getting players to stay positive and developing a high baseball IQ, is important," he said. "Getting them to know the game and be able to anticipate what will happen next...I believe small things done well is probably the greatest secret to success. Do small things right and big things can happen."

Graff said he likes the returning players who will form the nucleus of his first team next spring and expects to be competitive in what will be Farmington's final year in the Missota Conference.The Tigers finished 7-7 in the Missota this spring.

Graff said despite a personal association with the Missota Conference for the past 26 years he is also excited about Farmington's move to the South Suburban Conference in 2014-15.

"I look forward to the challenges and opportunities it provides," he said. "Our youth programs have a lot of kids playing and they're playing teams from the South Suburban schools and they're dong a good job."

Regardless of the final won-lost record, however, Graff said he wants his coaches and players to positively represent the game of baseball.

"It's a great sport and there is a right way to play it," he said. "If we can be good ambassadors for the game, we'll have a lot to be proud of."