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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This past week was but a sample of the fall prep scene. Starting on Monday, the full slate of sports will really begin when cross-country gets underway, followed by girls' swimming and football on Thursday. For football season previews and looks at Week 1, be sure to check out Wednesday's Republican Eagle. As for the rest of the fall sports, here's what to look forward to this week:
After a pair of Big Nine Conference road triangulars, the Red Wing girls’ tennis team was happy to return home. With Lake City making the trip up Highway 61, the Wingers improved their record to 2-3 after beating the visiting Tigers 5-2. Early in the season, the outcome has been promising to Red Wing head coach Patty Otteson. “I’ve been very impressed with the singles play. Our singles play has been very tenacious and it’s been very patient,” Otteson said. “It’s been improving match to match. … They’ve all been trying hard and working toward improvement.”
RANDOLPH – One of just three seniors on the Randolph volleyball roster, setter Grace Taylor knows it'll take some time for trust to build between the Rockets' veterans and the players that were bumped up from last year's junior varsity. “A lot of us have played on a lot of different teams and not necessarily with each other, so it's kind of hard to get used to the person standing next to you,” Taylor said.
The goal for the Red Wing boys’ soccer team: Stay home. They don’t want a short season. Far from it. After going 2-11-3 in 2015 and missing out on a home playoff game, the Wingers’ aim is set on starting the Section 1A playoffs on their home turn. “We were one seed away last year as the ninth seed,” said Red Wing second-year head coach Tony Casci. “I hope to be at that same point again and can go up a couple spots.”
Last year was a stepping stone for the Red Wing girls’ soccer team with an 8-9-1 record and a second-round playoff game. Now in 2016, with seven returning letterwinners out of nine seniors, the Wingers are hoping to make another step up the Big Nine Conference and Section 1A ladders. To them, it’s more evolution than progression.
School isn’t set to begin until around Labor Day, but fall sports are done sitting around. On Friday, fall sports officially got to a start as Lake City girls’ tennis at Rochester John Marshall. And things will continue to pick up, starting Monday. Here is what you can look forward to:
In the regular-season finale and in Game 2 of the Section 1B playoffs, the Red Wing Aces could not solve Northfield pitcher Jake Mathison. In the regular season, Mathison kept Red Wing at bay by showing all his pitches early, keeping the Aces guessing. But in Game 2 Thursday at the Red Wing Athletic Field, the Aces waited for Mathison to start throwing his breaking ball or off-speed pitch.
John Ott was pressed for time if he wanted to pull off his first goal as Red Wing’s new head football coach: Get a camp going. Tabbed as the Wingers’ new coach on July 7, Ott had just over a month to get some of his players together to learn his new system before practice begins on Aug. 15. Ott was under the gun and it was tough to reach out to all the players in a short amount of time, but the Red Wing football team got some experience with their new head coach during camp this past week at Red Wing High School.
Jake Mathison and the rest of the Northfield pitching staff wasn't going to let Red Wing get any solid footing on Sunday. In the Aces' Classic Cannon Valley League finale at the Red Wing Athletic Field, Mathison held Red Wing to just one hit over the first four innings while striking out five. Then in relief, Ben Voss and Will Gustafson combined for three scoreless innings of relief, helping the Knights leave with a 6-2 victory over their Section 1B foe.
APPLE VALLEY – In both of its games in the Sub-State 6 tournament, Red Wing waited in vain for something to come around. In the opening round against Eastview, it was waiting for the lineup to wake up after a lethargic start. Post 54 managed to come on late with the game-tying run at the plate in the ninth inning before losing 6-3.