Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.
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Another week, another foot of snow throughout the state of Minnesota. At this point, spring sports have been in swing for more than a month and while challenging, many spring sports teams have had some level of competition thanks to the occasional nice day or indoor facilities. Except for the golf teams, that is. Unless they happen to have a trip to Palm Beach planned, the Hastings Raiders face an uncertain future after this last snowfall.
Feet of snow on their field has not stopped the Hastings Raiders softball team from getting in some competitive action after more than a month of practice indoors. The Raiders traveled to Rosemount to face the Irish in a scrimmage on Wednesday, April 11, held at the Irish Sports Dome. Hastings will be pretty familiar with the Dome after this season as they play a tournament there Friday, April 20. They will face Forest Lake at noon and Anoka at 2 p.m. The day after they are scheduled to have another tournament and then their first home game against Hopkins on Saturday, April 28.
The 2018 Hastings Spring Sports tab was printed with the wrong captions for many of its pictures. Due to the weather and not being able to get pictures of the teams practicing outdoors, pictures from the previous season were used. New and updated captions were added to the pictures, but through a technology glitch, our software pulled the old captions instead. We apologize for the error.
Hastings senior Jaden Axelrod was the only Raider athlete to participate in the spring national signing day on Wednesday, April 11. Axelrod committed to playing lacrosse at the University of Providence (formerly the University of Great Falls) in Montana, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school located in Great Falls, Mont.
The same story plays out nearly every year, yet it never ceases to cause chaos and consternation. Winter sports end, the weather starts to turn for the better just in time for spring sports, but it is only a tease by Mother Nature. She responds with mounds of snow, dropping temperatures and swirling winds to thwart athletes, coaches and fans all over Minnesota and the Midwest in general.
Neither snow nor cold could stop the Hastings boys' tennis team from starting its competitive season. The Raiders and head coach Mick Willette hosted a modified doubles tournament this past weekend at the Apple Valley Sports Arena. Competing teams were Hastings, Apple Valley, Roseville and Hudson. Each match was simply a regular match, but only doubles. Scoring was a single set to eight points and a tie-breaker at 7-7, called an eight-game pro-set. Each team played a round-robin and at the end of all matches, the total number of points calculated to determine the winner.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' track team started their competition season by hosting a time trial with the Red Wing Wingers. While times and scores were not recorded, boys' head coach Jason Koch said that the meet was a good start to the season. "I was very pleased with how our kids competed and was pleasantly surprised with a lot of the performances throughout the night," he said. "We still have a long way to go, but it was a great start to the season."
Hastings senior Callie McNary was one of four Raider seniors to sign a letter of intent to play collegiate athletics this last winter. McNary committed to playing soccer at NAIA school Concordia University-Nebraska. The commitment is the culmination of playing soccer for most of her life, and McNary has known soccer is her passion since her freshman year of high school. "I just love the atmosphere of being on the field," she said. "I've been playing soccer for 14 years and I don't think I've ever not loved it. (It's) just a passion I've always had."
This past season was a difficult one for the Hastings boys' swimming and diving team as they competed with a small senior class and no junior class at all. The Raiders had 13 swimmers who were freshmen or younger, which was weighed against five seniors and seven sophomores. Despite that youth, head coach Gerry Rupp said that his team improved immensely over the course of the past year.