Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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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.
Marc Kjos approaches basketball with seemingly little fear. The 3-point line is simply a suggestion for the Lake City senior, who routinely fires from well beyond the arc. And if a defender dares come out to put a hand in Kjos' face, the University of Jamestown commit will bolt in either direction, a beeline to the hoop that will end with an acrobatic finish or a dish to a teammate for an open shot. Simply, Kjos' game is electric. His demeanor in an interview setting is the opposite.
With winds whipping through the property, Mississippi National Golf Links professional Nate Gale just shook his head. As he unlocked the door to the clubhouse, about the only thing not covered in snow or ice was the parking lot. And the blacktop had just two cars on it, a not-ideal situation for a seasonal business that will likely get at least one more day of snow and a few rain showers before golfers can even think about teeing off.
There are few things better for coaches than a group of experienced seniors to lean on. Doug Toivonen and Drew Olinger have that this year with seven seniors picking up rackets this week. But that's about the end of the line for Wingers who have competed in a varsity match. "We definitely have a good nucleus of seniors coming back, kids that have all played varsity tennis," Toivonen said. "But we're short on numbers after that. We only have one sophomore and no juniors. We have a bunch of freshmen that played JV last year that we'll be relying on to fill our lower spots."
Red Wing's 2017 season ended with consecutive losses, but those came in the Class AAA state tournament. So despite the results in Minneapolis, the Wingers unquestionably had a great year. But this is a new season, and with it come some drastic changes to the roster. Four of the top five spots in the state quarterfinal lineup graduated, leaving holes on the right side of the infield, in center field and right field.
In an email to players, parents, administration and media, Red Wing girls' hockey head coach Scott Haley, as well as assistant coach Dan Anderson, retired from coaching. The email, signed jointly, is below. Dear Red Wing High School Hockey Players, Parents, and Red Wing High School Administration: We are announcing our retirement as coaches of the Red Wing Girls High School Hockey program. It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of such a successful program over the past 12 years.
It's a good thing that the Red Wing softball team practices at the high school. That way, the team can finish class and walk to the locker room to get ready. Because with one senior, three juniors, six sophomores and a freshman, the Wingers would need some creative carpooling to go anywhere else.
ROCHESTER — Zumbrota-Mazeppa ran into a problem on Saturday, and the Cougars and the rest of Section 1AA will have the next three years to figure out an answer. But there may not be one. At least not an easy remedy. Stewartville's Erin Lamb is a 6-foot-2 scoring machine. And though she's just a freshman, the Tiger carried her team to a 78-73 victory over Z-M in the section semifinals at Mayo Civic Auditorium.
ROCHESTER — Of Red Wing's six losses this season, only three have come against Section 1AAA opponents. And two of those were to Northfield. On Thursday, the second-seeded Wingers will get their third opportunity to beat the top-seeded Raiders after a 53-35 victory over third-seeded Faribault in the Section 1AAA semifinals on Saturday.
For a team ranked in the top five, there is no better opponent to face heading into the playoffs than another ranked team. Goodhue, No. 4 in Class A, got that chance on Friday, hosting No. 3 Hayfield in the final regular season game for both teams. The Vikings, who beat the Wildcats in early January, took advantage of several Goodhue turnovers for a 72-58 victory and a season sweep. Hayfield also clinched the Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division and a spot in Monday's conference championship game against Stewartville.