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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A sense of family and home are important cogs in Lydia Wagner's life. For the Zumbrota-Mazeppa softball team, Wagner, the 2013 All-Area Player of the Year lit up the bases with a .455 batting average, belting eight home runs and a school record 47 RBI, helping the Cougars to a No. 1 ranking in Class 2A and a berth in the Section 1AA championship. All the while, it was a family-like atmosphere for the Z-M squad. "Even outside of softball, we have sleepovers and hang out with each other," Wagner said. "It didn't get to us being ranked No.
COON RAPIDS, Minn. - Different season, same results. After putting up a 337 in Day 1 of the Class 3A state golf championship meet, the Red Wing girls golf team put up another stellar round on Wednesday with a 336. With a two-day total of 673, the Wingers took fourth place at the state meet for the second straight year. "We played good; we had a good tournament and I thought we had a great season," said Red Wing head coach Mark Herzog. "Everybody played solid and they felt pretty good about what they did.
COON RAPIDS, Minn. - Last year, with two of the best golfers in school history, the Red Wing girls golf team put up a Day 1 score of 337 at the Class 3A state golf championship. And on Tuesday, the cast of characters was different, but the result was the same for the Wingers, who put up a 337 in Day 1 of the state tournament, putting the team securely in fourth place. "We hung in there," said Red Wing head coach Mark Herzog. "If you would have told me before the day started that we'd score a 337, I would have taken that. ...
Wanting to keep the Red Wing boys' hockey team in good hands, longtime assistant coach Bob Rajanen decided to make the leap from assistant to head coach. For the time being. On Thursday, Red Wing athletic director Matt Schultz announced Rajanen as the interim head boys' hockey coach. "He has a ton of experience and he's been in our program for quite a while," Schultz said. "He's a quality person and Bob has great hockey knowledge. ...
ST. PAUL - Donned in her Cannon Falls red and black on the podium, junior Emily Trost finally got to add some blue around her neck. In four years at the Class 1A state track and field championship meet, Trost had come away with four second-place medals, including a runner-up finish in the 1,600-meter run during Saturday's championship finals.
ST. PAUL - After missing the school record in the 4x800-meter relay at the Section 1AA meet by .15 seconds, Red Wing's relay wanted to work out all the kinks before state. Handoffs, pace, fighting through the calamity of the field, the Wingers' foursome of Aiden Winn, Joppa Olone, Tanner Alms and Darrick Jackson went over everything. "This past week, we've been working on all those situations," Alms said.
ST. PAUL - The large crowd of the state track championship meet can be an intimidating situation for any newcomer. Let alone four newcomers in a single relay like Lake City had in Saturday's 4x800-meter relay final. "It was very nerve-wracking," said Lake City's Madi Green.
ST. PAUL - On the feet that have helped her become one of the state's top distance runners, Cannon Falls' Emi Trost carries some extra motivation. Sprawled across her purple Nikes, Trost has the words of one of her favorite Bible verses: Philippians 4:13. "'I can do anything,'" Trost said, pointing to her running shoes, "'through Christ who strengthens me.' I run for my lord." Every uplifting bit helps for Trost, who secured her place in the 800-meter finals during Day 1 of the Class 1A state track and field championship meet Friday at Hamline University.
ST. PAUL - Taking part in two races at state, Red Wing junior Darrick Jackson had one specific goal in mind: break a school record. In the 400-meter dash at the Class 2A track and field state championship, Jackson's first shot at a record on the Hamline University track proved to be elusive. Running in the first heat of the 400 qualifiers, Jackson ran a time of 51.09 seconds, missing his chance to qualify for today's final and missing the Red Wing school record in the 400 by .25 seconds. "Coming out here, my major goal was breaking that (400) record," Jackson said.
MINNEAPOLIS - Isaac Toivonen stood up to some of the state's best. Playing in his first Class 2A state boys tennis tournament match Thursday at the University of Minnesota's Baseline Tennis Center, the Red Wing junior fought through a marathon first set with No. 2-ranked and fourth-seeded Zach Ekstein of Eagan.