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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Hastings’ season opener against Henry Sibley was a grind-it-out game fought in the trenches between two very good offensive lines. The Raiders won 13-6 over the Warriors thanks to a tremendous defensive effort that stifled Henry Sibley’s running game and slowed down their passing attack just enough to get stops.
The Hastings girls' tennis team seems to be trying to play as much tennis as possible before the start of the conference season. The Raiders have played nine duals so far, with one more rained out, over the course of three invitationals and a single dual. While their record is just above .500 at 5-4, they have played teams all across the size spectrum.
The Miesville Mudhens seem to be unstoppable as they continue to advance in the Minnesota Baseball Association's class B state tournament. The Mudhens won two more games this past week to advance to the state tournament semifinals and extended their winning streak to 24 straight games.
The Hastings girls' swimming and diving team opened their 2017 season against Farmington and it would be tough to ask for a closer result. Farmington narrowly edged out the Raiders 95-89 and both teams won six events apiece. Despite the result, head coach Katie McAlpin said her team had some great performances.
The Hastings Walleye first home game at Hastings Civic Arena against the Blaine Lycans can be described by one word: spectacle. The team and crowd were dressed in the bright blueish-purple and gold of the Walleye, which contrasted with the bright green of the turf they played on. Over 200 community members, families and youth lacrosse players gathered to watch the first-ever indoor box lacrosse game played in Hastings, where they proved to be a raucous crowd.
AAU basketball has exploded in popularity and with the positives come the negatives. Its reputation is far from sterling and has just as many detractors as supporters. Kobe Bryant believes it is bad for basketball, claiming it does not develop fundamentals and the right skills. Others say that AAU promotes the individual and is detrimental to team play and learning how to win as a team.
Hastings' standout athlete T.J. Pottinger announced his commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Furman University at the beginning of August. Pottinger is a three-sport athlete for the Raiders, competing in football, wrestling and lacrosse. He qualified individually for the class AAA state wrestling tournament at 160 pounds this past winter and helped the Raiders' wrestling team take fourth as a team in AAA. Pottinger said his interest in lacrosse started as a kid when he used to play baseball, but as soon as he got a taste of lacrosse he was hooked.
The Miesville Mudhens may have started slow against the Champlin LoGators in the first round of the Minnesota Baseball Association's class B state tournament, but like they have several times during their win streak, they wore their opponents down and busted the game open. Jacob Dickmeyer started the game for the Mudhens and gave up one run to the LoGators in the first inning on three straight, two-out hits. Miesville answered with a RBI single by Nate Hammes to tie the game, and from there they took control of the game.
Stephen Hansmann will not be your average marathon runner come Oct. 1 when he runs the Twin Cities Marathon, but he will be the most recognizable. Just look for the large Wounded Warrior Project flag he will be carrying every step of the 26.2-mile race.
Hastings is now home to one of two Minnesota box lacrosse teams, the Hastings Walleye, as part of the inaugural season of the Regional Box Lacrosse League-Minnesota.