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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ZUMBROTA – With a chance to end the regular season with a win, Zumbrota-Mazeppa put the ball into the hands of freshman Jacob Bennett. And like he did for most of the second half, Bennett followed his offensive line and bulldozed his way through the heart of the Pine Island defense into the end zone.
CANNON FALLS – A 7-0 sweep in the opening round of the Section 1A tournament was but a microcosm of how the Bombers have played lately. The No. 2 seed in the section tournament, Thursday’s first-round win over St. Croix Central was the Bombers’ eighth straight victory and their ninth over the last 10 matches.
GOODHUE – Even when things are a little off for Cannon Falls, the Bombers know how to adapt to any situation. On the road for a Hiawatha Valley League match with Goodhue on Tuesday, Cannon Falls was getting clogged up the middle by the Wildcats’ block and a back row that got stronger in each set. “Goodhue was extremely scrappy. They got a lot of nice touches on their block,” said Bombers head coach Melissa Huseth. “They slowed that ball down a lot and their defense picked up a lot of stuff.”
Family was a word Hunter Connelly frequently used when discussing his swimming future. Last week, the Red Wing state champion verbally committed to continue his swim career at the University of Minnesota, starting in 2016. “I got family up there. The team up there is a lot of fun, they have the best facilities around, the coaching staff up there is amazing,” Connelly said Thursday after choosing the Gophers over Division I schools such as Iowa, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Buffalo, Illinois-Chicago and South Dakota State.
Red Wing was stunned last Friday. The winless Austin Packers got their homecoming crowd into a frenzy with a 28-0 lead in the second quarter. “It was a mixture of shock and frustration because we knew we were a lot better than what we showed,” said Wingers wide receiver Travis Toivonen. “We opened our eyes and were like, ‘We can’t play like this for the rest of the game.
During the summer, a trio of Red Wing divers enjoyed plenty of ACDC. It had nothing to do with the famed hard rock group. Instead, the Wingers’ trio of Abby Estabrooks, Emelia Olson and Riley Marty made the trek to Inver Grove Heights to learn from the Aquatic Club of Dakota County. In hoping to improve the diving team, they know it’s a long way to the top, much like the Australian rock quartet bellowed back in the 1970s.
What started as a blowout ended up as a shootout. And what looked like a certain Austin victory finished up as an improbable Red Wing comeback win on Friday night. Down 28-0 in the first half, the Wingers managed to climb out of that hole and tie the Big Southeast Blue Division game at 42-42 at the end of regulation. There, a goal-line stop and a pair of Sam Hanson rushing touchdowns helped Red Wing escape with a 56-50 double-overtime win over the Packers.
Red Wing cross-country missed out on a chance to compete against some section foes in Rochester back on Sept. 17, leaving the Wingers with 19 days between meets So what did the girls do with the rain-out? They ran. “It was kind of a bummer because we were looking forward to good competition there. But with that, (Jasmyn Armstrong) and I ran across town one day,” said senior Kianna Stewart. “We started at the high school and ran to Burnside (Elementary School).”
Amir Sutherlin’s name and number 90 aren’t on the Red Wing varsity roster. But with the way the freshman nose tackle has come on the last two weeks, Sutherlin’s a name that hopes to anchor the Wingers’ defensive line for years to come. With the line dealing with a rash of injuries, Red Wing was looking for any help to shore up the middle of the line. What coaches found was a hard-nosed youngster. “We gave him a look during one-on-one drills and he actually showed us that he can play,” said Wingers’ defensive coordinator Dennis Lee.
Whether you measure it by goals or wins, success has been a long time coming for Red Wing boys soccer. Coming away with a 2-0 victory over Section 1A foe Kasson-Mantorville Tuesday at Russ “Cougar” Marshall Field, the Wingers snapped an eight-game winless streak, winning their first game since Sept. 3. “Yeah, it has been (a long time coming),” Red Wing head coach Tony Casci said with a laugh. “We’re thrilled with the victory.”