Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.
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SHAKOPEE - If things start to get away from the Red Wing boys golf team, they have one simple plan. Grind it out. "That's (assistant coach Kris) Hager's famous term," said Wingers senior Jack Gorman. "No matter how things are going out there, you have to just grind it out." Battling shorter pins at the par-71 Stonebrooke Golf Club for a Missota Conference meet Wednesday, Red Wing's golfers were able to grind out the course and come away with a fourth-place finish by shooting a 320. "It was good to have our guys play like that," said Red Wing senior Taylor Hanson.
Trying to snap a four-game slump, Red Wing had to rely on a pair of first-time starters on the mound. And what junior Cody Leitner and senior Marcus Leach lacked in starting experience, they more than made up for in results on Tuesday as the pair helped the Wingers to a Missota Conference sweep of New Prague at the Red Wing Athletic Field. Red Wing (5-7, 5-6 Missota) opened the set with a 6-3 victory in Game 1, followed by a 12-5 win in the night cap.
ZUMBROTA - After a solid outing against Farmington on Friday, Zumbrota-Mazeppa junior Michael Wicks was thrust back on the mound on Monday against Byron. "He looked good and we won 3-2 (against Farmington)," said Cougars head coach Chuck Ohm. "We wanted to give him another start and see if he could go back-to-back. ... I'll tell you what: he might be my No.
Red Wing's pitching and defense kept the team in the hunt in a pair of games against Northfield and Hastings on Saturday. But when the Wingers had runners in scoring position and needed an offensive boost, the clutch hits never showed up.
Red Wing is searching for its next boys hockey coach as Mike Belisle was ousted as the Wingers' head coach last week. "All coaching positions are year-to-year contracts, and we've opened the position," Red Wing Athletic Director Matt Schultz said. In three seasons, Belisle led Red Wing to a 28-51-3 record, getting as far as the Section 1A semifinals in 2010-11.
With just two outdoor meets prior to Tuesday, the track and field season still felt like it was in its infant stage for the Red Wing boys and girls track and field teams. But in Tuesday's Section 1AA True Team meet, both Wingers squads had to grow up in a hurry as the weather-shortened season is nearing the end. "With the inexperience we have, as far as who's competing, without much meet experience, that kind of plays a part," Red Wing head boys track coach Adam Nelson said. "That kind hurts the guys who have developed a lot in the last year.
For a team still looking for an identity on offense, Thursday's windy, rainy, sloppy forecast was a problem for Red Wing. Playing against one of the top teams in the Missota Conference in Shakopee, the Wingers were grounded throughout the game in a 10-0 five-inning loss at Red Wing High School. Red Wing could muster just one hit: an infield single by Laura Chalmers in the bottom of the second inning that was misplayed by Shakopee's catcher. "Really, our offense is what we need to fix and it showed today," said Wingers head coach Jon Bohmbach.
For Red Wing athletics, what's old is new again. As the Missota Conference continues to dissolve, Red Wing has found itself a new home in 2014-15.
CANNON FALLS - If things go awry for seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Cannon Falls, the team has a simple philosophy: flush it. When the runs were hard to come by on Monday against Lake City, the Bombers flushed it. When the Tigers' defense turned a pair of double plays, the Bombers flushed it. And when Lake City brought the score to 3-3 late in Game 2, the Bombers flushed it. "When things aren't going right, you have to flush it when you get back on the field and do what you need to do," Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow said.
In a short time span, Red Wing native David Goggin has made an immediate impact on the Angelo State (Texas) baseball team. Hitting for a .351 batting average in Lone Star Conference games and .321 overall, Goggin was named the LSC's Freshman of the Year on Wednesday. Currently ranked fourth in the South Region rankings, Angelo State earned the No. 3 seed in the LSC tournament. The Rams (33-17, 17-11 LSC) started the conference tournament Friday against fourth-seeded West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.