Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team traveled to Eagan Civic Arena in between snow storm Wednesday night to take on the Eagan Wildcats in the first round of the Section 3AA playoffs. The Raiders entered the night as the No. 8 seed while the Wildcats were the No. 1 seed in Section 3AA. After being down 1-0 at the end of the first period, Hastings had a rough second period that cost them and they fell 4-1, ending their season. The Raiders finish the 2018-2019 season with an overall record of 8-16-1 including the playoffs and 3-6-1 in the Metro East Conference.
The Hastings Futbol Club (HFC) hosted a charity futsal tournament this past Saturday, Feb. 2, that saw more than 60 kids participate and raised over 300 pounds of food for Hastings Family Service. The club also put on an equipment exchange where players could bring old or used equipment that the organization could then provide to players in need and had HFC players try on new jerseys for the upcoming season.
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team ended their regular season last week on a bit of a downward slide. The Raiders lost six of their last seven down the final stretch, including two last week against Simley and Woodbury. The Raiders head into Section 3AA playoffs with an 8-15-1 overall record and as the No. 8 seed they'll travel to Eagan on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to take on the No. 1-seeded Wildcats in the first round of section playoffs. Should the Raiders win, they would next play on Saturday, Feb. 9, against the winner of No. 4 Apple Valley and No. 5 Eastview.
Hastings wrestling has a rich history, but it had been lacking until the end of December when seventh-grader Skyler Little Soldier became the first Hastings female wrestler to record a varsity takedown, pin and win in the history of the program. Little Soldier wrestled at the Bi-State Classic Dec. 28-29 in the 113-pound weight class and went 1-2 in the tournament. All three of the records she set came in her second match against Gabe Weiks of Athens when she got a takedown and then pinned Weiks 44 seconds into the third period.
Audra Richards was hired as an assistant for the Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team two years ago, and it's tough to imagine someone more qualified or passionate to help teach the Raiders all about hockey. Richards has played at nearly every level of hockey imaginable—from youth, high school and juniors to Division 1 collegiate hockey—and now she has embarked on a new journey of professional women's hockey in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), inspired in part by her time coaching the Raiders.
The Hastings Raiders boys' hockey team is in the midst of a tremendous season and at the forefront is the play of sophomore goalie Tyler McCarville. When the season started the starting goalie job was up for grabs between McCarville, fellow sophomore Simon Hedin and senior Parker Johnson. However, after the first couple of games McCarville separated himself from the others and has not looked back. Since getting his first start in the 10-0 win over Dodge County, McCarville has gone 12-2 when between the pipes with five shutouts.
Playing under a new head coach and adjusting to entirely new systems and philosophy can be difficult for the best of teams and the Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team is no exception. However, things seem to be clicking for the Raiders in 2019 after a rough start of the season saw them lose their first 11 games, as they have now won three of their last four games as of Jan. 17. They now sit 3-12 and are 2-2 in the Metro East Conference. Their three wins have all come at home to North St. Paul, Woodbury and Mahtomedi.
The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team has bounced back from a rough December, are 3-2 so far in 2019 and are winners of three out of their last four games. That third win came Tuesday night at Hastings High School as the Raiders came back from behind against the Mahtomedi Zephyrs to force overtime and went on to win 67-62. Hastings is now 3-12 overall but 2-2 in the Metro East Conference, whis puts them in a tie for third with Henry Sibley and Tartan.