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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Red Wing boys basketball coach Doug Toivonen thought he had several players last season who were capable of carrying the Wingers' offense. The problem: injuries took their toll. Republican Eagle All-Area Player of the Year Joel Newman kept Red Wing afloat, averaging 17.9 points per game and shooting 46.4 percent from the field.
The 2012-13 season will be a bit of a balancing act for the Red Wing boys hockey team. With a mix of veterans and newcomers, the Wingers coaching staff decided to mix things up in the first weeks of practice by holding practices more like tryouts. "It was more like how the bigger schools do it," said Red Wing senior forward Taylor Hanson. "It was not so much about seniority, but how you play and how you earn it.
In the first game of the 2012-13 season, the Goodhue girls basketball team was pressing.
It took some broken bones and a bruised ego for Cannon Falls senior middle hitter MaKenzie Franklin to discover her dedication to volleyball. As an eighth-grader, Franklin showed the Bombers' coaches enough potential that she was slated to join the varsity program. But she had another passion that was a big part of her life since she was 6 years old: motocross.
Even after beating 10th-ranked St. Paul United 7-2 at home Tuesday, there is still some skepticism from Red Wing head girls hockey coach Scott Haley. "I still don't know for sure if we're better or some of the competition is down," Haley said. But after opening the season with wins against two ranked teams and outscoring opponents 28-5, even Haley can't be too critical. "We're playing really well, and it's been a pretty special start," he said.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The waiting was the hardest part for Red Wing junior swimmer Ashley Thompson. Qualifying for the consolation finals at the Class 1A state swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Thompson had to wait 10 events before getting her chance to compete in the 100-yard breaststroke.
MINNEAPOLIS - Three years ago, Ashley Thompson's debut at the Class 1A state swimming championship ended very briefly. Going into the 2009 state meet as an eighth-grader, Thompson competed in the 100-yard breaststroke, taking 21st place out of 30 swimmers. Fast-forward three years, and the Wingers junior gets to stick around for one more day. On Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Thompson snuck into the consolation championship of the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 10.27 seconds. Her time was just .53 seconds faster than St.
Tied at 1 in the second period, Chisago Lakes looked at a prime scoring opportunity when Allison Borgstrom got free for a breakaway before Red Wing goaltender Ashley Corcoran came up with a key save. The Wingers recovered the puck, and Reagan Haley popped in a goal from the point to put the Wingers ahead 2-1. From there, the momentum snowballed for fifth-ranked Red Wing, which dominated the rest of the way to defeat No. 8-ranked Chisago Lakes 6-1 at Prairie Island Arena.
NORTHFIELD - Running in his second Class 1A state championship meet, Lake City senior cross-country runner Carston Dammann knows there are traps everywhere. There are slowdowns at the beginning when 175 runners are bolting out of the chutes to begin the race. "It's always hard at the start because you get boxed in by everybody," Dammann said. "It got a lot better once we came out of that back loop." And near the end of the race, Dammann nearly fell into another trap around a curve as runners started slowing down.
NORTHFIELD - Although the Class 2A state championship on Saturday was a new experience, running in a big race at St. Olaf College was something Red Wing junior runner Aiden Winn had done before.