2011-2012 Winter Sports Guide

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2011-2012 Winter Sports Guide for Austin and Mower County, Minnesota

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<ul><li><p>Austin Daily Herald</p></li><li><p>2 | WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2011-2012</p><p>Friday, December 9, 2011</p><p>YoungGuns.........A youthfulbackcourtlooking togive thePackers aboost.Packer boys willput off-seasonwork to the test</p><p>P. 3</p><p>ReloadedPacker</p><p>gymnastseyeing a returnto state with a</p><p>bolsteredlineup</p><p>P. 5</p><p>P. 4</p><p>Grapplingwith</p><p>changeChanges to</p><p>impact wrestlers</p><p>P. 7</p><p>The gangsall hereGirls hockey:</p><p>new facesand</p><p>veterans</p><p>P. 8</p><p> GirlsBB.............p.6</p><p>Boyshockey......p.8</p><p>Boysswimming.p.10</p><p>Dance....p.10</p><p>TTiimmee rreemmaaiinngg oonn tthhee cclloocckkTThhrreeee ssttoorreelliinneess ttoo wwaattcchh ffoorr tthhiiss sseeaassoonn</p><p> Hayfields BobbieStephens has 217 careerthrees and needs 47 totie all-time school recordholder, David Johnson.</p><p> Austins Sela Fadness hopes to befully recovered from a major arminjury at the seasons midpoint.Only time will tell if she can return to her top form.</p><p> RCC men is expecting DenzelSmith back after semester break. </p><p>An Austin Daily Herald publication</p><p>Text by Rocky HulneGraphics and Design by Eric Johnson</p><p>Starting LineupAustin BruinsBruins enjoying a good start to their second season</p><p>Riverland A rundown of the RCC mens, womens seasons</p><p>Southland Southland girls will run with a deep bench</p><p>Lyle/Pacelli LP girls hope to expound on last years breakout season</p><p>Hayfield Boys return plenty of experience and scoring</p><p>Grand Meadow GMLOK wrestling moves forward with new coach</p><p>LeRoy-Ostrander Boys basketball hoping numbers will turn things around</p><p>Blooming Prairie Girls BB looking to win despite big loss in starting five</p><p>PP.. 1111</p><p>P. 12-13</p><p>P. 14-16</p><p>P. 17</p><p>P. 18-19</p><p>P. 20</p><p>P. 21</p><p>P. 22-23</p></li><li><p>As this season moves forward thePackers young backcourt will grow</p><p>into their role as leaders</p><p>YYoouunngg GGuunnss</p><p>Story by Rocky Hulne Photos by Eric Johnson</p><p>If things go as planned, the two sophomores, who have playedtogether since they were third graders, will be starting in thebackcourt for the Austin basketball team on a nightly basis.Wessels played on the varsity team his entire freshman year</p><p>and Lukes was close to cracking the varsity lineup at the end oflast season.Its been a long time coming for the duo, who played on sepa-</p><p>rate AAU teams over the summer, to play together at the varsitylevel.Theyre both gym rats and theyre hard workers, Austin</p><p>head coach Kris Fadness said. Zach is highly competi-tive and hes tough and Brett is a strong, physical</p><p>guard.Wessels averaged 9.4 points, 2.4 assistsand 2 steals per game last season and hespent the summer working on a jumpshot that he struggled with his fresh-man year.</p><p>Wessels is pleased with theprogress hes made and heslooking forward to this season.Im very comfortable (with</p><p>my jump shot) now and I donthave that kick anymore. I justgo straight up and Im excitedto show it off, Wessels, a 6-foot, 1-inch guard said. Itsgoing to be a fun year. Ourgame improved last year, andwe should be wanting to win ourconference andwin our section.That takes a lot ofwork and we have to</p><p>practice hard.Lukes is ready</p><p>for his first lengthyvarsity action as he did</p><p>get into a few games last sea-son.</p><p>Hes not intimidated and hes ready togo.Im pretty much used to competition</p><p>and Im not real nervous about it, Lukes, a5-10 guard, said. Itll be more physical. Illjust have to be ready and stay calm.Fadness said that both players have al-</p><p>ready shown vast improvements due to theirexperience of playing over the summer. Zach is taking it to the basket at a differ-</p><p>ent level than last year with a stronger burst.I wouldnt be surprised if he was dunking bythe end of the year, Fadness said. </p><p>Zach Wessels and Brett Lukeshave been in the same backcourtfor most of their basketball careers and after a year apart,they will be reunited with the</p><p>Packers this season.</p><p>...we should be wanting to win our conference and win our section.Zach Wessels</p><p>Wessels 2010-2011</p></li><li><p>4 | WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2011-2012</p><p>Brett has very good bodycontrol and he can take it to thebasket. Hes a solid shooter, butwed like him to speed up his re-lease a little.Wessels and Lukes have also</p><p>gotten better by playing pick-uphoops in the gym. They alwaysalways drive each other to bebetter in those games.We usually guard each</p><p>other and we push each otheraround a little bit. We help eachother get better, Lukes said.Wessels has also helped</p><p>Lukes by telling him about theatmosphere of var-sity games andhow to pre-pare forthem.</p><p>H efeels likethe two willfit in just fine,just like they alwayshave from youth basketball tomiddle school.Well be filling in some key</p><p>roles, but well be fine and welldo pretty well, Wessels said.Were pretty smart about read-ing each other when were com-ing off of screens and thingslike that.While Fadness has a lot of</p><p>trust in his young guards, thereis one thing they must showthat they can handle runningan offense.Their challenge will be how</p><p>do you command an offense andbe a quarterback, Fadnesssaid. You have to know whento slow it down and when tospeed it up.Lukes said its only a matter</p><p>of time before the Packersyoung backcourt has the teamrolling.Once we figure out what</p><p>everybodys doing and how towork together, I think well wina lot of games, Lukes said.</p><p>Once wefigure out</p><p>whateverybodys</p><p>doing...I think wellwin a lot of</p><p>games.Brett Lukes</p><p>Payingoff big</p><p>The Austin boys basket-ball team bringsback all three ofits top scorers asit hopes to takethe next stepand contendfor a Big Ninetitle and atrip to state thisseason.The team</p><p>will be led upfront by juniorforward TomAase, who av-eraged 8.5points, 7.2 re-bounds andtwo blocks lastseason and jun-ior center JoeAase, who aver-aged 13.1 points and 5.1 re-bounds last season. Sophomore point guard</p><p>Zach Wessels averaged 9.4points per game last season.Our guys are real confi-</p><p>dent, were coming off a strongseason, Austin head coachKris Fadness said. In the 15years Ive been here, its themost talented team Ive everhad, but I dont know if itsgoing to be the best team yet.Fadness said his squad</p><p>needs to show that it haschemistry and that the topof the zone defense can beas strong as it was last yearif it wants to be at the top ofits game.Hes pleased with the</p><p>leadership amongst hissquad so far.Ive seen Tom Aase take</p><p>a huge step in becomingmore vocal and GoliathOboyo has stepped up as anemotional leader for us,Fadness said. Everybodysdoing their part right now.</p><p>The Packer boysteam will find out if </p><p>work in the off-season pays off</p><p>&gt; PACKER BOYScontinues on 9</p><p>Tom Aase </p></li><li><p>WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2011-2012 | 5</p><p>Two years removed from their firstClass A state appearance in school history,the Austin gymnastics team has that lookof a contender once again.Austin took sixth in the Class A meet in</p><p>2010 and it just missed get-ting back to state lastseason.I hope the commu-</p><p>nity realizes they have anopportunity this year to seea team thats spectacular,Austin head coach Mark Ray-mond said. I hope to see a lot ofpeople come out, because theresteams that come around every nowand again that are special and itcould be a fun ride at the end of theseason.Along with returning individual</p><p>state qualifiers Abby Bickler and CarolynHackel, who are each freshman, the Pack-ers bring back Sela Fadness, who com-peted in USGA at Pine Island last seasonafter finishing third in the floor and 10thoverall at state for Austin in 2010.Fadness, a sophomore, is recovering</p><p>from a major arm injury, but shes hopingto be back up to full strength by the half-way point of the season.Im back here to gain back what I had</p><p>lost from my injury, Fadness said. Hope-fully Ill have it back soon enough. Ivebeen out for awhile and its been itching atme to start competing again.Bickler also suffered an injury to her</p><p>ankle last season that kept her from put-ting out her best routine at last years statemeet. She was having a great season, butcouldnt overcome an injury at the statemeet and wasnt able to go full speed.The injury has motivated me a lot to keep</p><p>my body healthy and to come in and workhard, Bickler said. I know where I can beand where I expect myself to be this year.Austin has a young, but experienced squad.</p><p>The only senior is Marissa Bartels and sheshelped the team, which includes four middleschoolers, learn the basics of a varsity sport.Marissa is a wonderful girl to have on</p><p>the team, Raymond said. Shes done a lotof leadership and helped mature some ofthe younger girls and bring them along.Shes been an absolute blessing.The Packers put in a lot of time in the off-</p><p>season and all of that work is paying off now.The team is hoping to improve its scorethroughout the season and it hopes to be scor-ing consistently in the 140s by seasons end.Our biggest goal is probably the state</p><p>tournament, Bickler said. This teamknows how much work we need to haveand how much we need to put in the gymto get what we expect.Fadness has been impressed with what</p><p>shes seen from her teammates after a yearof being apart.Im pretty excited. We have a good team</p><p>and the futures looking bright, she said.Weve all gotten so much better from wherewe have been. Our group is young, but weretalented and we can all push each other.While its clear the Packers would like to</p><p>make it to state, Raymond isnt about tofocus on that goal. Hed rather focus on howeach gymnast needs to improve throughoutthe year and work on their individual skills.If you can take care of the things you</p><p>can control, the concept of going to a statetournament, competing at a state tourna-ment and eventually winning a state tour-nament will take care of itself, he said.</p><p>Flip this houseWith some additions to the YMCA, the</p><p>Packers will have some new equipment totrain on this season.</p><p>There will be a new foam pit to work onvaulting, the bar and tumbling.</p><p>Before we didnt have a pit where wecould throw things we didnt have skillson, Sela Fadness said. If we threwsomething and we missed it, we were</p><p>gonna be out. Now we can get morerepetitions without any injuries.</p><p>There will also be a new tumblingstrip and four low beams for youngerathletes, and 10 extra feet ofdismount area for the tumbletrack will be added.</p><p>Theres a lot of equipmentcoming. We are doubling oursurface area, Austin head</p><p>gymnastics coachMark Raymond said.Im excited for what</p><p>it means to the highschool team, but Im probably</p><p>more excited for the kids thatare five to eight years old.Theyll get some morededicated space to work on.</p><p>Austin gymnast Abby Bicklersaid the new equipment can only help thePackers.</p><p>I think its going to help us a lot withthe skills, she said. Were at the pointwhere weve got to throw it big, or werenot going to go anywhere. </p><p>Its been two years since Austin reached state, but now the hunt to return is back on</p><p> Dec. 3 Austin Invite, 11 a.m. Dec. 10 Austin at Blue Earth, 11 a.m. Dec. 15 Austin at Mankato East, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 Austin at Stewartville, TBA Dec. 20 Mankato West at Austin, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 5 Austin at Faribault, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 Century, Mayo, JM at Austin, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 Austin at Farmington, 11 a.m. Jan. 19 Austin at Winona, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 Owatonna at Austin, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 Austin at Breck, 11 a.m. Feb. 11 Austin at Big Nine meet in Mankato, noon</p><p>SCHEDULE/ Home meets in bold </p><p>AbbySnater</p><p>R E L O A D E DPPaaiiggeePPaaiiggee</p><p>RaymondRaymondRRaacchheellRRaacchheellQuandtQuandt</p><p>CCaassssiiddyyCCaassssiiddyyBawekBawek</p><p>CCaarroollyynnCCaarroollyynnHackelHackel</p><p>SSeellaaSSeellaaFadnessFadness</p><p>AAbbbbyyAAbbbbyySnaterSnater</p><p>AAbbbbyyAAbbbbyyBicklerBickler</p><p>MMaarriissssaaMMaarriissssaaBartelsBartels</p><p>LLooggaannTischer</p><p>IIllaaIIllaaAndersonAnderson</p></li><li><p>6 | WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2011-2012</p><p>Building or Remodeling?Your Home Deserves A Mendota!</p><p>Heating &amp; Cooling, LLC</p><p>Come see the Mendota.Its the fireplace of your dreams.</p><p>103 3rd Street SEAustin, MN 433-5652</p><p> Mendota DXV gas fireplaces were rated BestBuy value by Consumers Digest Magazine</p><p> Mendota was awarded Best of Show at theNational Hearth Products Association EXPO</p><p> Mendotas award-winning log fire sets it apart from every other gas fireplace</p><p> Four sizes and 24 black, brass, silver, copper,pewter, cast, and gold fronts to fit any roomand decor</p><p>PLAYING HARD BALLThe Austin girls basketball</p><p>team brings back their top twoscoring options, but it needssome quality guards to step upas they look to improve onlast years 8-16 record.The first thing Austin</p><p>must do is to show upevery night by playing</p><p>their hardest. Austin headcoach Gary Peterson wants</p><p>his team tocrash theboards,h u s t l efor de-flections, chasedown steals and</p><p>take charges.The big thing is we want to keep</p><p> it fun and we want to play hard, hesaid. We want the best effort no matterwhat and if we work hard, weve got achance of beating talent. But if you dontwork hard, youll never beat talent.The Packers bring back two All Big</p><p>Nine players in senior forward BabayeOja, who averaged 12.8 points 7.2 re-bounds and 3.6 steals last season, andjunior forward Jenna Svoboda, who av-eraged 12.1 points, 7 rebounds and 2steals per game.Weve got to have more balanced</p><p>scoring. Id like to have threein double figures and some-times more, Peterson said.Were trying to figure outroles and we need to find outwhos going to handle thepoint guard position.This season will be Peter-</p><p>sons last one at Austin as heenters his 21st year at thehelm. Wed like to finish on a</p><p>good note, thats for sure, hesaid.Hes looking to work on the</p><p>little things in improvingAustins chances of winning.Were going to try some different</p><p>things to shoot better free throws andwere going to limit the turnovers, Pe-terson said. You have such a higher per-centage of winning if you can cut thoseturnovers down.Austin returns a few other players in</p><p>senior center Danielle Tschann, juniorforward Taylor Lady, and junior guardStephanie Justice.Other Packers players will be sopho-</p><p>more Merideth Fritz, juniors AllisonStoltz, Cassidy Mayer, ChristineBarinka, Gabby Wagner, Jocelyn Shee-han, and seniors Olivia Grev and MarwaOmot.</p><p> Nov. 29 New Prague atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 Red Wing atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 Austin at Owatonna,7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 Austin at AlbertLea, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 Rochester Mayoat Austin, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 Northfield atAustin, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 20 Austin at MankatoWest, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26-27 Austin at AlbertLea tournament, TBA Jan. 3 Austin at Waseca, TBA Jan. 6 Mankato West atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 Austin at Faribault,7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 Rochester Cen-tury at Austin, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 Austin at Winona,7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 Rochester JohnMarshall at Austin, 7:30p.m. Jan. 27 Owatonna atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 Albert Lea atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 Austin at RochesterMayo, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 Mankato East atAustin, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9 Austin at MankatoWest, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 Austin at Stew-artville, 7 p.m. Feb. 14 Faribault atAustin, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 Austin at RochesterCentury, 7:30 p.m.Feb. 21 Winona at Austin,7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 Austin at RochesterJohn Marshall, 7:30 p.m. </p><p>SCHEDULEHome games in bold </p><p>SHOWINGUP WILL BETHE FIRST</p><p>STEP INBUMPINGUP LASTYEARS</p><p>RECORD</p><p>BabayeOja</p></li><li><p>WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW 2011-2012 | 7</p><p>The Austin wrestling team has plenty oftalent this season. The trouble is, theyreall...</p></li></ul>