Jake Pfeifer is a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, which encompasses the Hastings Star Gazette, Farmington-Rosemount Independent Town Pages, South Washington County Bulletin and Woodbury Bulletin. He previously worked as a sports reporter and outdoors editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and as a multimedia artist/editor for Detroit Lakes Newspapers.
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The Red Wing Aces, in its present-day form, has been around since 1971 and amateur baseball has been a mainstay in town since the early 20th century. However, building a roster year-in and year-out, especially a competitive one, hasn't always been straightforward in that time.
Hosting its first playoff game after getting a first-round bye, Red Wing was able to fend off Owatonna, 4-2, on Sunday at the Ath and get within one win of securing a state playoff berth. Nearly all of the scoring happened early in the game, with Owatonna putting up both of its runs during its initial crack at offense in the first inning. After a one-out single by Riley Thompson and double by Quinn Christenson, Benji Hager brought in two runs on a single with two outs. Red Wing responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to take the lead, however.
It's playoff time for the Red Wing Aces. Finishing the year with an 11-4 loss to Northfield on Tuesday, the Aces will now look ahead to its playoff opener against either Waseca or Owatonna on Sunday at the Ath. Red Wing concluded its regular-season slate with a torrid four-games-in-five-days stretch. The result of the condensed schedule was a 1-3 record. However, the Aces started the season 7-1, good enough to give them the No. 2 seed in the Region 5C playoffs.
MINNEAPOLIS — With all of the qualifying events in the books, the X Games at US Bank Stadium were all about handing out medals on Saturday. New Richmond, Wis., native and defending gold medalist in BMX Dirt, Colton Walker, faced one of the stiffest fields in any competition in the 2018 X Games. He hoped on using his "home field advantage" to his benefit. "The past three days I've been practicing and I've just been driving here so it's just like I'm having a normal session with all my friends," Walker said. "It's pretty cool; to have it here is sick."
The path to becoming a professional motocross racer isn't straightforward. Unlike mainstream sports like basketball and baseball, there is no option to hone the craft with a high school team. An even greater issue? Motocross tracks are scattered throughout the country with most aspiring athletes having to make the best of their surrounding resources. For Millville-born Alex Martin, motocross could be found all around him, although the path to professional riding wasn't always set in stone.
MINNEAPOLIS — Returning for the second day, the 2018 Summer X Games at US Bank Stadium had four athletes come away with their first career gold medal. Liam Pace, Giovanni Vianna and Alex Hiam all won an event for the first time, while Chad Kerley took his first gold medal since 2013. Before any of the day's finals took place, however, there were a three qualifying events.
The high school golf season ended on a high note for the Red Wing girls and boys golf teams with a third-place showing at the Class AA state meet, but the summer season is just getting started for some of the area's individuals. With state and national qualifiers and tournaments, the area's best golfers have plenty of opportunities to fine tune their skills. Summer tournaments also offer a different opportunity — the courses are more challenging, the holes are longer and the competition is stiffer.
At 10 p.m. on June 5, in the second game of a doubleheader — the Section 1AAA baseball championship no less — Seth Yeatman was called upon to get Red Wing out of a bases-loaded jam with no one out while holding a two-run lead. Yeatman did exactly what he had all season for the Wingers, come up big in the game's biggest moments. He proceeded to get nine of the 10 batters he faced out and punched Red Wing's ticket to the state tournament.
From the start of Lyndsey Quam's softball career with Zumbrota-Mazeppa, all signs pointed to her having the skill set and talent to become one of the school's best pitchers. The road to becoming the ace of the pitching staff was muddied for Quam, however, with the Republican Eagle's 2016 All-Area Player of the Year, Morgan Olson, holding the job in 2016 and Quam splitting duties with Tara Matuska last year.
The Red Wing trap team concluded its season on Saturday, June 16, at the state trap shooting meet in Alexandria, Minn. With only 18 athletes receiving medals out of over 850 competitors, hardware was not easy to secure. But, Red Wing had a number of athletes outperform their season averages and for Chloe Struss, it meant a second-place showing, giving the trap team its lone medal of the meet.