Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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The youthful Hastings girls basketball team had hopes of a major upset in the opening round of the Section 1AAAA tournament, but top-seeded Lakeville North stood its ground. Hastings, seeded eighth in the eight-team section, battled Lakeville North to a 34-24 first half of the playoff opener on Wednesday, March 5, in Lakeville.
The Hastings boys basketball team’s final season in the Suburban East Conference came to an end against Rochester John Marshall in the first round of the Section 1AAAA tournament. However, Raiders’ coach Chad Feikema saw improvement in his team this year and predicts a 20-plus win season in 2014-15 in the newly formed Metro East Conference. “We more than tripled our wins from last year to this year,” Feikema said. “Our goal next year is to triple those wins again and get to 21. We feel like we’ve got a shot at really knocking some doors down.
Growing up, Minnesota native Lindsey Vonn first met her idol Pikabo Street at a local ski swap. On Friday, however, Vonn played the part of role model as she visited with hundreds of fans at Afton Alps ski area in Hastings. Vonn, the most decorated ski racer in American history, returned to her home state of Minnesota as part of Afton Alps’ annual Fall Fair and Swap and to help promote the newest Vail resort’s Epic Pass. “It’s really cool for me to be able to kind of be in the same position,” Vonn, 28, said.
Roughly 150 Cottage Grove residents gathered at Park High School to discuss the option of leaving the Suburban East Conference as a way to bolster the school's sports programs - a debate waged inside the walls of Park in 2009. The "community input night," led by Park Activities Director Phil Kuemmel, came as Park staff members have searched for ways to improve the school's level of competition and bolster participation.
Minnesotans get used to sporting events being called off due to rain, lightning, snow or even a collapsed roof. But having a baseball game stopped in order to cut the grass? Now that's a new one. The St. Paul Park and Hastings Legion baseball game at Miesville's famous Jack Ruhr Stadium on Saturday, July 9, was canceled so the grounds crew could mow the field. "We were tied 3-3 through three-and-a-half and they had to cut the grass," said St. Paul Park Legion team head coach Matt Doornink. "I've never seen, or even heard of, anything like it.