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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CANNON FALLS — Red Wing girls’ golf coach Mark Herzog was beaming. As his golfers came came into the Cannon Golf Club, scores continued to drop up and down the lineup. Even as the team’s final player, Stephanie Herzog, walked off the green, Red Wing’s 11th straight trip to state was a formality. “Our horses came to play today,” Mark said.
LAKEVILLE – The physical tools have been there for Madisyn Lyons. But the gains she's made on the mental end, that is what has helped the Red Wing junior separate herself from the pack. Before she takes a leap into the jumper's pit – whether in the long jump or triple – keeping Lyons' mind right has been the focus of the coaches.
LAKEVILLE – Putting newcomers into a relay race is a risky endeavor. But Red Wing wanted its best for the 4x200-meter relay, so it was time to get a little creative. “We had eight girls run the 200 and he picked the top times,” said Wingers junior Madisyn Lyons. “We were going off a guesstimate time, so we didn't know where we'd end up.” When the practice experiment was over, two newcomers, Paige Patterson and Lyons, would start the race with two 4x200 stalwarts in Emily Hart and Tyler McGrath.
Getting called player of the game in the dugout isn’t quite enough for the Red Wing baseball team. If a player has an outstanding performance on the diamond, the player of the game is coronated. Not with a crown, though. Instead, an aged fake afro found at the bottom of Zach Harding’s locker. “We had 70s night with the Aces probably 10 years ago. Someone brought a wig and it’s been sitting in the team room ever since,” said Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann.
Five days since its last game, there was some pause as to how Red Wing would open the Section 1AAA playoffs. “You get into a routine in the spring season, playing every other day or third day,” said Wingers' head coach Paul Hartmann. “With that many days off, you wonder what kind of performance you'll get out of your guys.” The way Teddy Tauer was throwing in Saturday's opening-round game against eight-seeded Byron, concern dissipated rather quickly for top-seeded Red Wing.
CANNON FALLS — Even after taking a 4-0 loss to Rochester Lourdes in the Section 1AA-West championship game, Zumbrota-Mazeppa wasn't about to go into the off-season quietly. In an elimination game against Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland, the mood was high. The Cougars weren't ready to hand in their uniforms quite yet. Neither was GMLOK, which eliminated Pine Island with a 6-4 victory earlier in the day.
The Red Wing girls' golf team remains atop the Big Nine Conference perch Since re-entering the Big Nine in 2014-15, the Wingers have been conference champions. And with a team score of 310 in Tuesday's conference championship at Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing was once again christened as the Big Nine's best. “It's always fun to win the conference, especially since it was at our home course,” said senior Stephanie Herzog, who wrapped up her third straight Big Nine individual championship with a score of 70. “It was nice not having to drive anywhere.”
STILLWATER – Between eight other teams and a crippling cold weather forecast, the Red Wing girls' track and field team had plenty to compete with on Saturday. With temperatures in the 40s with steady rain and wind beating down on Pony Stadium in Stillwater, the Wingers were able to battle both the teams and the elements for a third-place finish at the Class 2A state True Team championship.
ZUMBROTA — Coming off the field following a 5-4 Hiawatha Valley League win over Lake City Thursday, Zumbrota-Mazeppa softball coach Kevin Nelson was greeted with five yellow balloons and five packages of Twizzlers from his daughter Megan. After becoming the eighth softball coach in Minnesota history to reach 500 career wins, Thursday was as good a time to enjoy a celebratory licorice rope.
DUNDAS – With three games in three days, there was some legit concern that the Red Wing baseball team would be burnt out Saturday against Northfield. “That was definitely a talk on the bus ride over about how we're going to respond from two straight games, including an emotional senior night on Friday,” said Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann. Hartmann was able to follow that statement up rather quickly. “We squashed all that in the third inning.”