Joe Brown is a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia. Prior to becoming regional editor, he was the sports editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle from 2012-2018. He also worked as the sports editor for the Marshall Independent (2010-2012) and as a sports/news clerk for the St. Cloud Times (2008-2009). He graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication.
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KENYON – No matter the competition, no matter the ranking, Kenyon-Wanamingo will knock 'em down. Since Sept. 20, the K-W volleyball team has been a perfect 9-0 and have knocked off ranked teams like Kasson-Mantorville (fifth in Class 2A), Hill-Murray (eighth, 2A), Rocori (third, 2A), Maple Lake (second, 2A) and Hayfield (10th, 1A). And after Thursday, add seventh-ranked (2A) Stewartville to that list after a three-set Hiawatha Valley League sweep on Thursday, 25-15, 25-21, 25-15.
ZUMBROTA — Robvon Jackson’s hard work has always paid off, even when he’s been miscast. As a freshman, Jackson played offensive line and was prepared for another year in the trenches as a sophomore. It took a week for the Cougar coaches to change their minds and move him to running back on the junior varsity. The varsity already had a solid running back in Jacob Bennett. But somehow, someway, Jackson had to get on the field for Z-M.
CANNON FALLS – Cannon Falls' 1-3 record is deceptive. Zumbrota-Mazeppa clawed back to beat the Bombers in Week 1. And against top teams in the Southeast Red District like Stewartville and Rochester Lourdes, Cannon Falls has played right there with a pair of ranked teams. But as they walked off the field at John Burch Park after falling 26-6 to Lourdes on Friday, the reason the Bombers are 1-3 is clear: Playing a team on the field is tough enough. Trying to play a team while making errors on the field is a tough road to trek.
It's become a Marty family tradition to convert corner kicks into goals. As Red Wing led 1-0 over visiting Faribault on Thursday, Nadine Marty plopped the ball in the corner and took aim in the 36th minute. “I'm not going to line: I've made a few of those goals before. I think once in summer league and my sister made one exactly like that last year,” Nadine said. “Sometimes I do it on accident and sometimes I'm like, 'Maybe I'll shoot it at the net.'”
Prior to the season, Red Wing senior David Howe was behind center Josh Jilk, taking snaps at the line of scrimmage. Nowadays, if Howe wants to see Jilk, all he has to do is look to his left. “It’s a little different,” Howe said with a smirk. First a quarterback in the preseason, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Howe was moved to the offensive line, where he is the Wingers’ starting right guard in the team’s new power run scheme. This is the first time that Howe has played on the line in his football career.
The numbers aren't eye-popping, but improvement is showing for the Red Wing boys' soccer team. Switching their formation to be more defensive-oriented, the Wingers have played in tighter games but have come out with more positive results after a 1-5-0 start. First, there was a 2-1 victory against Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Monday, followed by a 1-1 tie with Big Nine Conference foe Albert Lea Tuesday at Russ “Cougar” Marshall Field.
CANNON FALLS – There is no frills to the Lake City offense. More often than not, the ball is going to middle hitter Daynalyn Jostock, so good luck stopping her. And in the first set of Thursday's Hiawatha Valley League match at Cannon Falls, that strategy proved effective as the Tigers took a 1-0 lead. “Our goal was to come out and serve tough, play tough defense and have a good serve-receive, and we did that,” said Lake City head coach Kirk Thornton. “And we had the momentum.”
KENYON -- The talk this week from the Kenyon-Wanamingo coaches: Get tough. A week ago, Goodhue outmuscled the Knights for a Week 1 victory. Back at home Friday against St. Clair, K-W wasn’t going to be bullied again. “Going through practice, we talked about being more physical. We got to beat up on each other to get ready for the games and I thought they did a good job this week,” said Knights head coach Jake Wieme. “That was a focus this week to be more physical, offensively and defensively.”
HASTINGS – The legs put everything in motion, but the eyes may be the most important thing on the course for the Red Wing girls' cross-country team. Taking first place at the Dewey Minnaert Invite with a score of 36 and holding off East Ridge (43) and Northfield (89), the Wingers got a 1-2 finish from Grace Johnson (19 minutes, 47.1 seconds) and Jasmyn Armstrong (20:05.8). But it was the rest of the team's ability to see their top two runners, and the rest of the purple-and-white jerseys, that vaulted the Wingers to the top.
Players come and go at Cannon Falls. But the Bombers’ passing always seems to stay at a consistently high level. In a three-set victory over Red Wing on Tuesday, 25-12, 25-12, 25-19, the ball always found its way back towards the net, allowing Cannon Falls to get into its system.