Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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The first meet was a long time coming for Red Wing, and Thursday finally gave Red Wing's coaches a chance to gauge how the boys and girls teams look this season. "It was great to finally get outside," Wingers boys track coach Adam Nelson said. "It was nice to finally get a meet in." Hosting a quadrangular for its home invite, Red Wing finished third behind New Prague and Farmington in both the boys and girls meets.
LAKE CITY - Rochester Lourdes had a distinct advantage Tuesday against Lake City. The Eagles have an indoor practice facility in Rochester to escape the inclement weather this spring while the Tigers are stuck indoors at the high school gym without a regulation size net. And it doesn't hurt that Lourdes is also the third-ranked team in Class 1A. "They've been practicing at night indoors all the time and we just have a gym and you can't get much done in a gym," Lake City head coach Dave Toole said. During Tuesday's match, Lourdes' talent and training led to a 7-0 victory over the Tigers.
The Augustana (S.D.) women's golf team was up by 50 strokes going into the final two rounds of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championships last weekend. With the pressure off, Red Wing native Marisa Toivonen and her teammates still put together a title-worthy performance Saturday and Sunday at Paradise Pointe Golf Club in Smithville, Mo., to pick up the Vikings' fourth consecutive conference championship.
HAGER CITY - The long wait to play this spring didn't impact Ellsworth's Isaac Hines Tuesday at home against Baldwin-Woodville. Hines was spot on as the Panthers' starting pitcher, striking out five of the first six batters he faced and throwing a five-inning shutout as Ellsworth defeated the Blackhawks 10-0 in five innings at Brown Sports Complex. "(Hines) set the tone by throwing strikes," Panthers' head coach Steve Block said.
LAKE CITY - Lake City's Ben Schramski struggled in his first two at-bats against Winona Cotter Monday and made two throwing errors at shortstop. But when it mattered, Schramski came through. With a runner on second base and one out in the sixth inning, Schramski ripped a single over the shortstop to break a 2-2 tie and came around to score later in the inning as the Tigers went on to win 4-2 at Bill Kieffer Field. "Ben's been a starter for us for three years," Lake City head coach Perry Iberg said.
A native son returns to Red Wing. Paul Hartmann, a 1997 graduate of Red Wing High School, was a bat boy for the Red Wing Aces 30 years ago. Now, Hartmann is back as a co-head coach with Jim Bohmbach for the Wingers' baseball team and it's as though he never left. "A teaching job opened up and Jim and I have known each other for 30 years, since I was 5," Hartmann said. "I was a bat boy and my dad played here. When a teaching job opened up, I think both of us felt like it was meant to be, we were supposed to work together.
The 2012-13 season keeps getting better for the Red Wing girls basketball team as head coach Dave Muelken was recently named the Class 3A Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association. The Wingers made the championship game of the Class 3A girls state basketball tournament, falling to second-seeded DeLaSalle on March 16 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, but Muelken was shocked he received the honor. "I told my kids, 'I think I'm going to retire now,'" Muelken joked. "Two years in, two state tournaments, two section championships, I should retire now.
The circus is coming to Red Wing. A gaggle of scouts and baseball aficionados are expected to flock to the Red Wing Athletic Field for the much-anticipated start of baseball season to see the Wingers. The poor weather, with more snow expected this week, has provided a reprieve from the attention that will descend on the Ath every time Red Wing senior and major-league prospect Ryan Boldt hits the field. But if it was up to Boldt, Red Wing would already be deep into the season. "I've had enough of a break I think," Boldt said. "I'm eager to get outside and get going, that's for sure.
When Matt Kavanagh left Minnesota for his native Australia nearly two months ago, he was told when he returned the snow would be gone and the weather would be ready for tennis. With just two outside practice so far, Kavanagh hopes this winter isn't the norm because the new Red Wing head coach isn't adapted to the cold. "I get asked the question all the time, 'What is an Australian doing in Red Wing?' because it's not really where most people find themselves if they're international," he said.
It is scary to think how good Ben Schramski could be if he got sick more often. Going into Lake City's game against La Crescent on Feb. 15, the Tigers' senior admitted he felt terrible, but his shot was healthy. And once the game started, everything else faded away."I was sick for the majority of the week going into the game," Schramski said. "It was starting to feel better that game and then just during the game, all the sickness went away." Lake City fell behind quickly, giving up 46 points in the first half.