Former Farmington and Rosemount athletes are having tremendous success at all levels of collegiate athletics. With baseball and softball seasons now underway across the country, here are a few former Tiger and Irish ball players who have continued their passion beyond prep sports. Should you know of any former athletes who have continued playing or working in sports at the collegiate level or beyond, please send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Griffin Lanoue is a 2017 graduate of Rosemount High School and was a standout baseball player for the Irish. He is in his sophomore year at Xavier University where he is a pitcher for the Musketeers.
In 2018, Lanoue made 15 appearances and five starts for Xavier and was named to the Big East All-Academic team. So far this season, he has made five appearances (four starts) and has a 2-1 record.
While at Rosemount, Lanoue sported a 1.50 three-year ERA and earned All-Conference honors. He was also a standout on the football field and led the Irish in numerous statistical categories. Lanoue received a presidential award and was a member of National Honor Society.
Carly Esselman is a 2016 Farmington High School grad who is a junior at Minnesota State University, Mankato and plays softball for the Mavericks in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Even though she is just in her third year playing for the Mavericks, Esselman has already had a great career. As a freshman, she started 71 games in the outfield, hit .356 and was named to the All-NSIC Second Team. Last year she started 54 games in right field, upped her average to .438, was named to the All-NSIC First Team and the NSIC Gold Glove Team.
So far this season, Esselman has started 20 games and is hitting .317 with 19 hits, 16 RBI and three home runs.
While at Farmington, Esselman was a four-year starter and received All-Conference and All-Section honors each of those four years. She also was named All-State Second Team two different times before earning All-State First Team her senior year. To top off the awards, she was the Pioneer Press' Player of the Year. She is the daughter of Craig Esselman and Melissa Pearson and is majoring in mathematics.
Michael Nezerka, a 2017 Farmington graduate, is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota-Morris and is playing baseball for the Cougars. So far this spring, Nezerka has played in four of nine games and started one of them.
While playing baseball at FHS, he earned letters his junior and senior years and was the Tiger Award winner in 2016. He is the son of Shawn and Sarah and is majoring in elementary education with a minor in sports management.
Rosemount graduate Kennedy Rieck is a junior at Mankato and a teammate of Esselman's on the Mavericks' softball team. As a freshman she played in 10 games, and last season she played and started in 50 games, hit .288 with 22 RBI and was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team. So far this spring, Rieck has started 11 games, tallied five hits and seven RBI.
While playing for the Irish, Rieck was a four-year starter who earned All-Conference Honorable Mention twice and led the team in several statistical categories. She is the daughter of Jason and Nandi Rieck and is majoring in communication disorders.