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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A wave of navy blue and gold flooded across the finish line near the front of the pack in the boys race at Friday's South Suburban Conference Championships. At that point, the official results were just a formality. Seven Rosemount runners had sprinted across the finish line among the top 25 finishers in the 88-runner field - including the last five in a 15-second span - giving the eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish their third straight conference title in convincing fashion, 51-92 over runner-up Burnsville in action outside Eagan High School. No.
Two teams heading in opposite directions crossed paths Friday night at Irish Stadium. Bloomington Jefferson entered riding a 14-game losing streak dating back to last season and the host Irish -- coming off back-to-back South Suburban Conference road wins -- were looking to win their third in a row. Both streaks continued as the Irish scored a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two quarters and built a 33-point lead in a 33-7 victory. Three rushers topped 50 yards as the Irish chewed up a season-high 239 yards on the ground.
Goals have been hard to come by for Rosemount during the South Suburban Conference season. The Irish wrapped up their league schedule by being shut out by a pair of ranked teams last week, first a 4-0 setback to fifth-ranked Burnsville last Tuesday and then at third-ranked Eastview last Thursday. The team finished ninth out of 10 teams in the final standings at 1-6-2 and was held scoreless in seven of those games. "We have struggled all season to put a full 80 minutes together and our offense has been down this season," Rosemount coach Kevin Adams said.
Strong finishes up front powered the Rosemount boys and girls cross country teams to a pair of second-place team finishes at last Thursday's Ev Berg Invitational at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Senior Trevor Capra and sophomore Sam Ivanecky placed 3-4 to lead the eighth-ranked (Class 2A) Irish to a team total of 68 points, 15 off the pace of seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Owatonna's 53 points.
If it were up to the Rosemount volleyball team, the entire season would be comprised of tournament consolation matches. The Irish won their second consolation championship in as many tournaments this season over the weekend, winning four straight matches Saturday to close out play at the 32-team Midwest Fall Classic Tournament at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
The sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Rosemount girls swimming and diving team moved one step closer to an undefeated run through the South Suburban Conference with a 96-78 dual win over Burnsville last Thursday at the Rosemount Middle School pool. A year after finishing 8-1 and sharing the title with Lakeville North and Prior Lake, the Irish are 6-0 with dual meets remaining against Bloomington Jefferson, Eastview and Lakeville South. Burnsville took the early lead with a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay Thursday, but it was all Irish after that.
Rosemount's football season looked to be slipping away when a 17-7 loss to Prior Lake on homecoming dropped the team to 1-3. But just two weeks later, the Irish took the field on a chilly night at Lakeville South and looked rejuvenated. They made some changes to a turnover-plagued offense and used their fourth straight strong defensive showing to spoil the Cougars' homecoming with a 12-0 shutout victory Friday night.
The final three games of the regular season served as a reminder to Rosemount of just how good the boys soccer is in the South Suburban Conference. Coming off a 1-0 loss to second-ranked (Class 2A) Apple Valley, Rosemount overcame a three-goal deficit in the last 20 minutes to forge a 3-3 tie on the road at Burnsville last Tuesday. The team then closed out the conference slate with another 1-0 setback, this time at sixth-ranked (Class 2A) Eastview last Thursday.
The Rosemount football team moved back to 3-3 and spoiled Lakeville South's homecoming with a 12-0 shutout victory over the Cougars Friday night in Lakeville. After a scoreless first half, first-time starting quarterback Jackson Erdmann gave Rosemount the lead with a one-yard sneak across the goal line. The run was set up by a 55-yard punt return by Dimitri Williams. The Irish put the game away with a 16-play, 84-yard drive that spanned the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.
There was no letdown for the Rosemount volleyball team against an Apple Valley squad that entered last Thursday's match on a nine-game losing streak. The Irish played well from the start and improved to 8-6 overall and 3-2 in the South Suburban Conference with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 league win at Irish Gym. "We knew we had to play smart and battle through each point," Rosemount coach Smokey Vitek said. "We came out strong and played strong through the entire match." Katie Duff led a balanced offensive effort with 14 kills and three ace serves.