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ROCHESTER -- Did you feel it? "Oh, the whole time, yes. He was a little bigger, probably the biggest I've wrestled this year. Our biggest guy is 220 pounds. So, yeah, I felt it. It was a big difference.”
Goodhue 195-pounder Kodee O’Reilly bumped up to heavyweight in the final bout of the Section 1A championship on Saturday. Despite giving up more than 60 pounds to Caledonia’s Alec Francis, O’Reilly earned a late escape for a 3-2 victory that gave the second-seeded Wildcats a 33-27 win over the Warriors for a spot in the state tournament. Goodhue won eight of the 14 matches, including pins from Kelby O’Reilly and Kaleb O’Reilly.
Just in time for a slight warming of the winter air, three outdoor rinks at two locations are open for Red Wing skaters and hockey players. The Red Wing Athletic Field and Carol Ann Pirius South Park both open at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, with two sheets at the Ath and one, hockey-free sheet at South Park. And considering how frigid the temperatures have been so far this season, there is real hope that the record 2,200 skaters that used the surfaces last year could be surpassed in 2018-19.
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.