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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CANNON FALLS – Strong serving and solid defense look to be the calling card for Cannon Falls this fall. Facing off with Red Wing in the season opener Thursday, the Bombers found success at the service line and frustrated the Wingers’ hitters with stellar back row play in a four-set victory, 25-21, 25-21, 16-25, 25-13.
There is plenty of familiarity between David Thurston and the Red Wing girls’ soccer team’s nine seniors. Thurston was a coach for those girls since their U-10 or U-11 days. So, it isn’t a surprise that Thurston has high hopes for this group in their final season when the Wingers’ 2015 campaign begins Thursday at home against Mankato East. “They’re familiar with my personality and tactics, and I know their strengths and weaknesses,” Thurston said. “When we were in the club system in our own age, we did very well as far as record-wise.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. – A backup quarterback for Red Wing last year, junior Kipp Adams wanted to find a different way to contribute to the team. “He came to me in the beginning of the summer and goes, ‘Coach, I want to play slot.’ Perfect. The guy can run, jump and catch, and he’s a great athlete,” said Wingers head football coach Rickey Foggie. “He’s an athlete. … He’s kind of long and he can run great routes.” And in his first game as a converted receiver, Adams showed he can come up with game-winning catches.
Cannon Falls went through plenty of growing pains, but the result remained the same: a trip to the state tournament. After a 10-0 victory over the Mankato Cubs last weekend in the Region 4C tournament, Cannon Falls advanced to its fourth straight state tournament, gaining the region’s third seed. The Bears (18-21) will make the trek to central Minnesota this weekend, opening the Class C state tournament against the Roseau Royals at 7:30 p.m.
ZUMBROTA – With plenty of new faces across the field and a new head coach for the first time in 14 years, Zumbrota-Mazeppa is expecting plenty of growing pains this fall. But in the same vein, new head coach Darin Raasch sees a Cougars squad with plenty of promise. “We have good potential and our learning curve is certainly high,” said Raasch, who succeeds Willie Rauen as the team’s head coach. “We’ve got guys who have worked hard. “Wins and losses, I wouldn’t know what to even tell you with that. What I expect of us is to be better at the end than where we start.
Around this time a year ago, Red Wing was scared stepping onto the field with Northfield. The Wingers were facing a familiar foe, but it was in a new conference with a new squad and a new coaching staff that was trying to gain the team’s trust.
GOODHUE – The 13 seniors on the Goodhue football team have been building a rapport for over a decade. “I’ve been here since first grade and we’ve been playing recess football ever since then,” senior lineman Casey Deneen said.
ZUMBROTA — Darin Raasch’s goal isn’t to reinvent the Zumbrota-Mazeppa football program overnight. Instead, his goal is to make smaller changes that can hopefully pay huge dividends. Raasch, who was an assistant the last seven years at Z-M, is now the head coach of the Cougars this fall. He replaces Willie Rauen, who was the team’s head coach for 14 seasons. And in Raasch’s mind, the focus is to tweak Rauen’s program instead of overhauling it. “Willie ran a great program and there’s not a lot here I need to change.
With bases loaded in the second inning, Dixon Irwin had a chance to give the Red Wing Aces some much-needed momentum against Northfield on Tuesday. But, the youngster struck out in the clutch situation. Irwin knew if he got another chance like that, his fortunes would change. “I got to learn from it,” Irwin said about the strikeout. “I knew I had to put my foot down and drive one next time.”
During summer vacation, a trip to the swimming pool usually makes for a fun-filled afternoon. For Hunter Connelly, it was all business. When the Red Wing state champion swimmer took to the water this summer, it was to swim against some of the top talent in the Midwest. Connelly, who won the Class 1A state title in the 100-yard backstroke in March, returned back to Minnesota this week after participating in the USA Swimming Futures Championships at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. “It’s a great experience to get out to these meets and swimming with some of the top guys out ther