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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.
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.