Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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Only the availability of the indoor tennis courts at Apple Valley Sports Arena kept Mother Nature from wiping out the entirety of last week's spring sports schedules in Rosemount and Farmington. The Irish tennis team swapped home dates with the Eagles and ended up losing 5-2 in its South Suburban Conference season opener last Thursday. "It was great to have the Apple Valley indoor arena to use for the match, just to get out and play.
The Rosemount girls track team just missed its first-ever True Team state meet berth last year when it finished second behind Prior Lake in Section 3AAAA, and ended up two spots away from earning a wild card berth. The Irish lost a few key contributors to graduation, but head coach Sara Hatleli is hoping a solid mix of returning sprinters, hurdlers and distance runners can once again put the team in the hunt for True Team state. "That was the best finish we have had at True Team in a long time," she said.
The return of forwards Carter Yepsen, Conner Yepsen and Grant VanOverbeke has the Rosemount boys lacrosse team ready to go after its fourth straight 10-win season, and score a whole lot of goals in the process. The threesome combined for 141 points a season ago when the Irish went 12-4, finished third in a tough South Suburban Conference and averaged over 13 goals a game. "With the guys we have back we're going to build off last year's success. The younger guys we have back know what roles they have to fill. We plan on being a 10-win team," Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said.
The Farmington and Rosemount softball teams escaped the cold spring weather by moving into the Irish Dome for a scrimmage last Wednesday morning. No official score was kept, but the live-game action gave both coaches an opportunity to evaluate their teams and find things they need to work on as they prepare for the upcoming season. "It was a great experience to get out of the gym and play in some game-type situations," Farmington coach Paul Harrington said. "We know we have a lot of improvements to make to get where we want to be by our first game....
The Rosemount boys track team showed depth in the sprints, distance races, jumps and throws Saturday at the St. Thomas Select Meet. The team competed for the first time this season on the 200-meter indoor track after practicing mostly in the gyms and hallways of Rosemount High School the previous two weeks. "We got spoiled last year, but this is Minnesota and our guys are preparing the best they can for the season," Rosemount coach Jay Hatleli said. "The guys are working hard preparing for the upcoming meets.
The Rosemount girls lacrosse team showed it was ready to step out on its own last spring. After playing as a cooperative with Eagan for seven years, the Irish went 9-6 in their first season as a solo program. The returning varsity players blended well with the newcomers who came up from the JV ranks and that cohesiveness helped the Irish excel in close games. They won six of their contests by a combined 10 goals.
The Rosemount baseball team is getting some much-needed time outdoors this week. Twenty-eight players headed for Vero Beach, Fla., Sunday night and will return tomorrow having gotten the chance to practice outside every day and play in eight games -- four each for the varsity and JV. Head coach Chris Swansson liked what he saw from the group during the first week of practice at the Irish Dome, but is looking forward to further evaluating his team in an outdoor setting. "We have 14 seniors this year that we are very excited about with a good mix of underclassmen," he said.
The Rosemount Black Sox town ball team is looking for a new coach and team manager. Duties would include completing the roster, filling out the schedule and coaching the team on the field. Anyone who is interested can call Lance Anderson at 952-210-9942. "We're looking for someone who is a baseball fan, a player or a former coach who is passionate about the game and wants to continue town ball in Rosemount," Anderson said. "A lot of our players are college-age and can't take on the responsibility of organizing the team.
Apple Valley showed why it's the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Friday night's Section 3, Class 4A, championship game. Highly-touted junior guard Tyus Jones set the tone with a steal and a lay-up on the first trip down the court and the Eagles led from start to finish in a 94-63 victory over Rosemount at Burnsville High School. The state-bound Eagles shot 57 percent from the floor, 87 percent from the free-throw line and drilled 10 three-pointers in their 27th straight victory.
With 13 returning varsity players, this year's Rosemount softball team could look a lot like last year's. But head coach Tiffany Rose is hoping an additional year of experience will produce different results. The Irish finished with a record of 6-12 and averaged just two runs per game last season. "The last couple of years our thing has been to get people on base and move them around. We had decent at bats last year and not a ton of strikeouts," Rose said.