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On Friday, the Red Wing girls' basketball team opened its season with its annual four-team tournament. Goodhue, Hastings and River Falls all came to Sonju Gymnasium for the two-day skirmish, which the Wingers won last year. Now in his third year as head coach, Jesse Nelson is coming off a 22-7 season that ended in the Section 1AAA championship game, a 41-34 loss to eventual state runners-up, Northfield. Nelson also guided Red Wing to 17 wins in his first year.
ROCHESTER — Goodhue and Blooming Prairie are no strangers to Section 1A championship games. It seems like every year one of the two, or both, are battling for a spot in the state tournament. Saturday was no different, though the end result was not the same for the defending section champion Wildcats. The Awesome Blossoms withstood a flurry of Goodhue points in the third quarter to pull out a 21-18 win and a spot in the Class A state tournament next week.
Cannon Falls off to state, Randolph's run ends in section finals Down goes Goliath. The Cannon Falls Bombers upset Section 4AAA powerhouse St. Croix Lutheran Academy, winning 27-10 in the Section 4AAA finals Friday night. St. Croix has won the Section 4AAA championship every year since 2011. On top of that, Cannon Falls came into the game with a sub-.500 record.
Red Wing grad ‘excited’ for new experience Red Wing graduate John Pohl is taking over Hill-Murray's athletic and activities departments at the end of the school year, replacing long-time AD Bill Lechner. Pohl, however, is not taking over behind the bench as Lechner, a legendary boys' hockey coach, will continue in that role. A laugh quickly escaped from Pohl when asked about the possibility. And an immediate shutdown followed.
The Section 1AA volleyball tournament gets underway on Thursday, and while there are two favorites, the depth in the field may make it the toughest bracket in Class AA. The tournament is split between East and West sub-sections, with the West featuring the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the state, and four teams that won at least 15 games. The East isn't as stacked, but the top three seeds all have at least 12 wins and come from the always-competitive Hiawatha Valley League and Three Rivers Conference.
With parking spots only a rumor, the Red Wing cross-country teams hosted two handfuls of teams on a cool, windy Friday afternoon. The races were lined with spectators, some dressed in full winter gear. And Winger fans got what they came for with a dominating effort from the boys, and a spirited run from a girls roster dealing with some late-season injuries. Weston Wyatt led a 1-2-3 finish for the Red Wing boys, completing the 5k race in 16 minutes, 12.37 seconds. Tom Nemanich (16:13.93) and Bryan Zucker (16:17.33) came in right behind Wyatt.
In a tweet posted at 11:49 a.m., Chuck Connelly announced the death of his son, Nick, a Red Wing High School graduate, Wednesday. Nick retired from football in 2017 after a concussion sustained against Purdue University.
Last year at this time, Red Wing was breaking in a new football coach after a tumultuous 2016 season saw the Wingers fail to crack the win column in nine games. This year, after a one-win season, Red Wing was hoping to find some measure of revenge against a New Prague team that welcomed Nate Freier back to Minnesota with a 48-point loss in his first game in purple and white since the '80s.
Four boys had a chance to clear 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump at the Class A state track and field meet on Saturday, June 9. Yahya Madar of Mounds Park and Saje Scheeler of Christ's Household of Faith took three cracks at the height and failed each time. Lake City's Ethan Heitman cleared on his first attempt while Annadale's TJ Jok needed two tries. That set up Heitman and Jok for a showdown at 6-7, the mark that won the 2017 championship for Tyl Woelber of Pipestone.
Snow, then perhaps some rain, and then snow. That's the latest forecast for Wednesday, with the National Weather Service calling for three-to-five inches of snow by Thursday morning. And though daytime temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40s to mid-50s Thursday through Sunday, each night the mercury is expected to flirt with numbers closer to freezing. That's the latest weather-related dilemma for area coaches, who have seen little in the way of competition as winter's grip tightened once again this past weekend.