Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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It hasn't been the start that the new Hastings boys soccer coach has wanted in terms of wins and losses, but first-year-coach Shane Lanning is excited at what he has seen so far this season. First, he took over the team just days before it began practice, and has been busy just getting to know the players and their strengths. "I'm new to the program, and new to these players," he said. "We had to start from ground zero. We have a base, and now we have to start to move on." The base, if you will, was built in part through the first 3.5 games of the season.
No matter the level, there's one thing football coaches from across the country stress: running the football on offense and stopping the run on defense. Hastings had trouble doing both on Friday night, and ended up losing in its season opener, 35-0, to White Bear Lake. Hastings, dealing with all kinds of injuries in the backfield, had 39 yards of rushing offense. White Bear, meanwhile, piled up 280 yards on the ground. "We couldn't run the ball and we couldn't stop the run," coach Dana Strain said. "That was the story of the game. We have to do a better job there.
The Hastings Hawks are still alive at the state amateur baseball tournament, but making it back into the winner's bracket will be no easy feat. Hastings lost to Shakopee on Saturday but held on Sunday afternoon to beat Sauk Rapids. That means the Hawks will have to win three games this weekend to stay alive and get back into the winner's bracket. The first of those three games will come at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Dundas. If Hastings loses, they are out of the tournament. If they win, they play again at 1 p.m. Sunday and then at 3:30 p.m.
Through two weeks of the Hastings High School girls tennis season, the Raiders have a solid 4-2 record. At Friday's annual Hastings invitational, again a triangular this year, Hastings split its matches, beating Woodbury and then losing in a close match to a strong Rosemount team. Vs Woodbury Hastings cruised to an 8-0 win over Woodbury during the annual Hastings tournament Friday. At first singles, Lindsey Reinisch defeated Louisa Schunemann, 6-1, 6-0. At second singles, Kirsten Peterson defeated Hannah Robbins, 6-3, 6-3. At third singles, Morgan Tjomsland beat Michaela Anderson, 6-1, 6
There's nothing like a 3-mile race through streams and mud to kick off the season. For the Hastings Raiders cross country teams, that's exactly what they faced last week in River Falls at the annual extreme meet held there. The long course and wild conditions showed Hastings coach John Dewall one very important thing: just how fit his athletes are, or aren't. "You can't fake being out-of-shape in a race like that," Dewall said. "It is the toughest race of the year. There is no doubt. You're running through water. You have wet shoes.
When the Hastings girls swim team takes to the pool deck this fall, there will be plenty of room left for the opposing team. Hastings graduated a big senior class and will have 21 swimmers on the team this fall. Stillwater, meanwhile, will have many times that. "You look at Stillwater, they have five times as many kids as we do," Hastings coach Katie McAlpin said. "We just can't beat them. We don't have enough people. But I've never been one of those people who is like, 'We have to win this meet.' I'm always looking at, 'What did we get out of it?
This year's Hastings High School girls tennis team will look a lot like last year's. And that's a good thing. All 10 of Hastings' top players from last fall's very competitive team return this year. "They were good last year, and we have another year of experience," Hastings coach Craig Raway said. "It's going to be fun. Everyone worked really hard this summer to be sure we have a good year. The captains were instrumental in making sure everyone played during the summer." Last year's team advanced in the section tournament before falling to Rochester Mayo in the quarterfinals.
This time of year, as football fans begin forecasting how their favorite teams will fare in 2010, one key stat is used: How many returning starters does their team have? By that measure, there will likely be many other teams in the Suburban East Conference that will have a leg up on the Hastings High School team. The Raiders return a total of eight starters. That leaves 14 spots that will be filled by newcomers, and the field of those newcomers is smaller than normal for the Raiders.
Balance. For Hastings coach Rita Girgen, that word will have all kinds of meaning, and all kinds of importance, for her 2010 Hastings girls volleyball team. "We definitely lost some key players from last year, but we have had players totally step up so far," Girgen said. "Those players who have moved on to college have set the standard. They've encouraged the kids who are coming back, and they're running with it. "We are very deep this year. This year, we don't just have one go-to player. We're going to have four go-to players.
New faces are the norm this fall for Hastings cross country coach John Dewall. The longtime Hastings coach saw the graduation last summer of many decorated runners for both the girls and the boys, leaving him looking high and low this fall for enough athletes to field competitive teams for the boys and the girls. The good news? He's found some runners. The boys and the girls are not deep, but berths in the state meet are certainly possible for at least a few boys and girls. "We have a lot of new kids this fall," Dewall said.