Where are they now?
Numerous past Hastings Raiders athletes and Hastings natives are having success playing collegiate sports around the country. Others are coaching or have continued their love for athletics in other ways. Below are several former Raiders who saw success in athletics after leaving Hastings High School. If you know of someone who is continuing their passion for sports past high school from Hastings, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mathew Nicklay is a Hastings native and 2017 graduate of Hastings High School who is in his sophomore year at Augsburg University where he plays baseball for the Auggies. Nicklay is a pitcher who made three starts and four total appearances for Augsburg as a freshman with a 2-1 record, two complete games and 12 strikeouts over 20 ⅔ innings. He also hit .272 in those ames. So far this spring, Nicklay has made four starts and is 0-4 with a 5.57 ERA through 21 innings with 14 strikeouts. So far this season, the Auggies are 5-12 overall and 1-3 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Nicklay is studying psychology and is the son of Dona and Stephen Nicklay.
Cody Leflay is another 2017 HHS graduate and a teammate of Nicklay's on the Augsburg University baseball team. While at Hastings, Leflay was a standout athlete in football, wrestling and baseball. He is an outfielder who played in two games as a freshman, recording two hits, a double and an RBI, but has not yet seen action this spring. According to his bio on the team's website, Leflay's goal while playing for Augsburg is to reach the national baseball tournament. He is studying physical education and health education and is the son of Mike and Sherri Leflay.
Dustin Vogelgesang is a Hastings native and 1999 HHS graduate who is now the head coach of the East Ridge Raptors boys' hockey team. While a student at Hastings, Vogelgesang was a three-sport athlete and was part of the Raiders boys' hockey team that was the Class AA runner-up behind Roseau in 1999 as well as the Raider baseball team that won the state championship that spring. He went on to play football at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and was a varsity boys' hockey assistant at Hastings from 2009-2014 before behind hired as an assistant at East Ridge in 2014.
After Wes Walz stepped down as the Raptors boy's hockey head coach in 2017, Vogelgesang was hired as head coach and has been there ever since. Through two seasons as the head coach at East Ridge, he has a 23-26-1 regular season record and is 2-2 in the section playoffs. On top of his head coaching duties, Vogelgesang is also very involved with the Minnesota Wild's "Little Wild Learn to Play" program and helped run the Hastings location this past fall.
T.J. Pottinger graduated from HHS last spring after outstanding football, wrestling and lacrosse careers for the Raiders. Pottinger is a freshman at North Dakota State University where he wrestles for the Bison. While at Hastings, he racked up a 127-40 record on the mat, was a three-time conference and section champion and finished his prep wrestling career by taking third at 182 pounds at the 2018 Class AAA state individual tournament. He was also all-district in football and all-state in lacrosse.
This past winter, Pottinger wrestled unattached and was a runner-up at 184 pounds in the University of Jamestown Jimmie Open in November, going 2-1 in the tournament. He finished third in the 48th annual Bison Open after going 3-1, was again runner-up at the Finn Grinaker Open in the gold division, went 3-2 at the UNI (University of Northern Iowa) Open and took sixth at the North Country Open. Pottinger is the son of Todd and Kari Pottinger and is studying biology.