Jake Pfeifer is a sports reporter and outdoors editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Previously, he worked at Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
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The Mississippi River is a bustling place this time of year. However, it's not marine traffic that fills up the water, but over 300 species of migrating birds. "The Mississippi River is important as a migration corridor because of its north-south orientation," said Tim Schlagenhaft, Upper Mississippi River Program Manager for the Audubon Society. "The river has a lot of diversity of habitats. It offers a lot of diversity and meets the needs of a lot of different bird species."
It's one thing to teach firearm safety classes, it's another to teach with the passion to make the lessons memorable. Combining both and doing it for 30 years? That is something rarely witnessed, but Red Wing local Jason Jech has accomplished that and was honored for his three decades of service on April 30. Appropriately, the service award was presented during a firearm safety class at Twin Bluff Middle School.
Aiden Winn has plenty of experience as a long-distance runner. A 2014 graduate of Red Wing High School, he helped bring the boys' cross-country team to its first state meet since 1998 as a senior. In all of his years running, however, nothing compares to the pride of participating in one of America's greatest races — the Boston Marathon. The marathon, held this past Monday, was not just a personal milestone for Winn but also a monumental challenge. While Minnesotans were unburying ourselves from the latest winter storm, Winn faced a weather issue of his own in Boston.
Poor weather has delayed the start to nearly every spring sport this year, but one has continued on its scheduled pace. The Red Wing trap team opened its season last Sunday at the Hampton Sportsmen's Club. That is where Red Wing will do all of its shooting this year since that is the nearest range set up for trap and skeet shooting. In just its third year of existence, the Red Wing team has continued to see growth in the sport with a strong mix of returning and new athletes.
Every fall the Randolph volleyball team has adorned themselves in pink for one night each October — like many athletic programs around the country — in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What separates Randolph, however, is that this year, the Side-Out Foundation announced it was the No. 1 fundraising school in the nation for the Dig Pink initiative.
Skill, poise, leadership and determination are all traits needed for any basketball player hoping to become the best. Goodhue's Sydney Lodermeier displays all of those characteristics and more.
A year ago, the Red Wing boys golf team shared the Big Nine title with Mankato West. They also finished five strokes behind Lake City, to place second in the Section 1AA tournament. At the end of last season, head coach Nate Gale hoped that those two finishes would provide momentum going into this year. And while the team returns many of its varsity golfers, any confidence gained from last year's performance is put on hold until the weather begins to cooperate.
The last time the Red Wing girls golf team failed to win its conference was in 2013. The last time it didn't win its section was 2006. Although the Wingers lost six-time state qualifier, Minnesota Miss Golf and now University of Iowa golfer Stephanie Herzog, head coach Mark Herzog still expects similar results this season. After two years of being in Class AAA, the team made the move back to Class AA this year. Herzog hopes the move will coincide with a return as state champions.
Andy's Bar in Red Wing is under new ownership, but patrons of the establishment may have noticed a familiar vibe with the change in management. Matt Odman and Mike Hemphill both have a history with the building — Odman's father, Dave, was owner from 1975-2001 and Hemphill has tended the bar there since 1999.
Last spring, Red Wing's girls' 4x200-meter relay team broke a school record on their way to medaling at the Class AA championship. This year, three of those four runners — Madisyn Lyons, Emily Hart and Tyler McGrath — return, as do many of the other athletes that led the Wingers to a fourth-place finish at the Big Nine championship, first-place finish at the Section 1AA True Team meet and a third-place finish at the Class AA state True Team championship.