Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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While the Farmington Tigers wrestling team had a great deal of success this season, one individual's biggest accomplishment came off of the mat. Over the past two years, Matt Clark has embodied the Tigers' mission to develop young men not only as wrestlers, but off the mat as well.
A rough first-period quickly snowballed for the Farmington Tigers girls' hockey team in their state quarterfinal game against the Andover Huskies. After a slow start for both teams as they felt each other out, Andover exploded for four goals over the last 12 minutes of the first period and the Tigers struggled to recover. The second period saw Farmington commit a couple costly penalties that resulted in two Huskies' power-play goals to start the period and the chances for a Tiger comeback dwindled. Trailing 7-0 heading into the third period, Farmington got on the board with a goal from senior Jenna Gerold and 7-1 was the final.
Hastings wrestling has a rich history, but it had been lacking until the end of December when seventh-grader Skyler Little Soldier became the first Hastings female wrestler to record a varsity takedown, pin and win in the history of the program. Little Soldier wrestled at the Bi-State Classic Dec. 28-29 in the 113-pound weight class and went 1-2 in the tournament. All three of the records she set came in her second match against Gabe Weiks of Athens when she got a takedown and then pinned Weiks 44 seconds into the third period.
Audra Richards was hired as an assistant for the Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team two years ago, and it's tough to imagine someone more qualified or passionate to help teach the Raiders all about hockey. Richards has played at nearly every level of hockey imaginable—from youth, high school and juniors to Division 1 collegiate hockey—and now she has embarked on a new journey of professional women's hockey in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), inspired in part by her time coaching the Raiders.
The Hastings School Board held a special session Nov. 26 to discuss an investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds by assistant principal and head wrestling coach Josh McLay. On Wednesday during its normally scheduled meeting, the board summarized the investigation’s findings and announced its decision regarding McLay’s employment with the school district.
The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' cross-country teams both put together some incredible performances Saturday at the Class AA state meet on the campus of St. Olaf College. The Tigers girls took fourth overall and were just 18 points out of third and the podium, led by a second and third-place finish from senior Lauren Peterson in her last prep race and a resurgent sophomore Anna Fenske. The boys took 12th behind great performances from juniors Noah Revels and Aaron Kruse.
History was made this past season on the grass of Todd Field at McNamara Stadium, though it passed unnoticed to many. During the Raiders win over the Hill-Murray Pioneers at the beginning of September, the third generation of a prominent Hastings family continued his family's legacy and accomplished a feat that surpassed what his father could do in a whole season.
Friday night will be a night the Farmington football team remembers for a long time. They held off a furious Eagan comeback in the third quarter to win 41-28 and spoil the Wildcats' homecoming. They won their first game of the season. But what they will never forget is playing in front of over 6,000 people at Twin Cities Orthopedics' (TCO) Stadium in the Minnesota Vikings' new practice facility and being the first high school football team to ever win there.
Tiger stadium was loud and raucous Friday night as Farmington celebrated its homecoming, but the Rosemount Irish quickly quieted the crowd as they routed the hometown team 35-7. The Irish offense was clicking on all cylinders while the Tiger offense had trouble finishing drives and preventing big plays. Rosemount improves to 2-2 and gets back to .500 for the first time this season while Farmington drops to 0-4.
Addison Bourdages first rode an Arctic Cat snowmobile when she was 5-years-old and after asking her dad, Carl, to go faster, she was hooked. Addison, now 14 and a freshman at Rosemount High School, has been riding and racing ever since. "I rode it and I didn't want to get off," she said about the experience. "I asked him if it could go faster and that's where we got into racing."