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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Winning the Simley Invite has become an annual tradition for the Rosemount gymnastics team. The Irish won the season-opening invitational for the eighth straight year on Saturday, scoring 130.85 points to top the six-team field. Teams from North St. Paul, Bloomington Jefferson, Simley, Henry Sibley and Bloomington Kennedy also competed. The senior-less Irish mounted nearly their entire margin of victory in the floor exercise where they placed all six competitors in the top eight.
The first game of the regular season couldn't have gone much better for the Rosemount boys hockey team. The only thing head coach Scott Macho would have changed is the result. His Irish out-shot visiting Shakopee 51-24 and controlled the puck for most of the game, but the Sabers hung around and eventually grabbed a 4-3 overtime victory Friday night at the Rosemount Community Center. "The kids actually played pretty well. I wasn't disappointed with the performance, just the ending," Macho said. "I thought we completely outplayed them and controlled most of the game.
The Rosemount wrestling team bounced back from an opening -round loss to eventual champion Cambridge-Isanti to win its next two duals and place fifth out of eight teams at the season-opening Chisago Lakes Duals Saturday. Seventh-ranked Cambridge-Isanti went through the tournament uncontested, defeating Rosemount 55-14 before downing Mora, 44-22, and Kenyon-Wanamingo, 48-18. The Irish, with six first-time varsity wrestlers in their lineup, came back to defeat Hibbing 48-25 and host Chisago Lakes 49-20.
Rosemount coach Sam McDonald figured taking care of the ball was going to be his team's biggest obstacle this season. After two games, it looks like he may be onto something. The Irish started two sophomores at the guard spots and had four of the top eight players in their rotation making their first varsity starts as they committed 30 turnovers in a season-opening 79-43 loss to Centennial Friday night at the Hamline Tournament in St. Paul.
Saturday's 5-3 victory over 18th-ranked (Class 1A) Centennial was bittersweet for the Rosemount girls hockey team. The Irish matched their season high with five goals and once again got solid goaltending from Caitlyn Dantzscher, but both Dantzscher and forward Kristen Reuter went down with injuries. Dantzscher will miss at least two weeks with a hip injury and Reuter is out indefinitely with a back injury. "I really feel bad for these two because they were both playing great hockey. We are looking forward to their return," Rosemount coach Josh Hoekstra said.
Depth helped Rosemount capture the Section 3AA championship last week when the Irish advanced 34 of their 37 events through to the meet's second day. The team pulled off a similar feat at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships, advancing six of seven events to the championship or consolation finals en route to a 22nd-place total of 29 points. "The girls swam hard," Rosemount coach Tami Carlson said.
A couple of early losses didn't concern first-year Rosemount girls hockey coach Josh Hoekstra - especially after his team bounced back with a victory over previously-unbeaten Apple Valley. The Irish got in the win column with a 4-2 decision over the 4-0 Eagles in their South Suburban Conference opener Saturday at Apple Valley Sports Arena. "I was so pleased with the win because we had a total team effort," Hoekstra said. "We had scoring from all three lines and once again our goaltending and defense were incredibly solid.
While finishing a distant sixth place at the 2010 Section 3AA Championships, the Rosemount girls swimming and diving team probably couldn't have imagined they would be swimming as front-runners at the same meet a year later. But that's exactly where the Irish found themselves during the Section 3AA finals Friday at Richfield Middle School.
The Rosemount boys cross country team wrapped up the fall season with its second straight top-10 team finish Saturday at the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional meet. The Irish, fifth last year, placed seventh out of 26 teams with 221 points in action at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls. They defeated state championship teams from Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota. Minnesota Class 2A champion Stillwater won the meet with 96 points. They will be joined at Nike Cross Nationals by Hartland Hustle, which was second with 104 points.
The Rosemount girls hockey team accomplished a lot last season. It earned the best record in program history at 22-7-1, finished second in the South Suburban Conference, reached the No. 9 spot in the Class 2A rankings and qualified for the Class 2A State tournament for the first time ever. This year's Irish face the difficult task of building on that success while replacing five key seniors and playing under a new head coach - Josh Hoekstra. "I am excited to be taking over a program that has experienced so much recent success.