Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.
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MINNEAPOLIS — A total of 13 representatives from the Worthington YMCA Stingrays improved their times in 8-of-29 races Saturday and Sunday at the MYAS Midwest Regional Swim Meet. The Stingrays finished with 52 points as a team, putting them in 31st overall among 44 squads hailing from eight different states. In all, Worthington medalled in five different events.
LAKEFIELD — Westbrook-Walnut Grove opened the season Monday with a sweep over Heron Lake-Okabena on the Wildcats’ home course. The Charger boys came through with a convincing, 199-252 victory while the girls narrowly edged their counterparts 220-222. W-WG’s Abby Herding took home girls medalist honors with a top individual score of 40 with Chargers sophomore Kyle Kuehl shot a 46 to claim the best individual score on the boys’ side.
NORTHROP — Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove continued to pack a wallop at the plate Monday. After an 18-4 win over Windom Area in their season opener last week, the Falcons improved to 2-0 with a 17-6, five-inning nonconference triumph against Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Martin Luther. An eight-run fifth took what was a 9-6 contest and turned it into a 17-6 blowout.
WORTHINGTON — Experience in singles, depth in doubles. That is what Worthington High is looking at as it embarks on the 2016 season, which begins in earnest Tuesday when it travels to Montevideo. Last season, the Trojans were the No. 4 seed in the Section 3A Tournament. From that squad they graduated seven seniors, including No. 1 singles player and Class A State qualifier Andrew Johnson along with No. 2 singles Nick Newman. Worthington head coach Mike Marquardt said much of what his team can do this year will depend on how it performs mentally.
WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West averaged 12 runs per game Saturday and Sunday in sweeping a pair of home doubleheaders. The Bluejays, who out-scored opponents M State and Central Lakes 48-23, needed only five innings to win three of the four contests by run-rule. They beat the Spartans 10-9 on a walkoff hit by Luis Sanchez in the opener before a 12-2 thrashing to end the day. On Sunday, they earned victories of 17 -4 and 19-8 against the Raiders.
WORTHINGTON — The pieces are in place. Now, they just need to fit together. “The talent is there and the desire is there,” Worthington head baseball coach Stacy Sauerbrei said. “Our guys really like baseball and — not that they don’t like their other sports — but they look forward to this year-round.” The Trojans have reason to be excited. A majority of the 2015 squad that finished 9-12 is back and more experienced. Their pitching staff is deep — 10 to be exact — and the younger players are coming off of a summer during which they reached the VFW State Tournament.
A new format could mean more opportunities for Section 3A golfers in 2016. There will be no shortage of athletes coming off of strong campaigns last spring who will look to possibly pick up a few of those extra spots.
WORTHINGTON — Alex Rodriguez set the tone for Game 2 after a dismal opening to Minnesota West’s home doubleheader Sunday. The Bluejays fell 17-1 to Rainy River in the first half of the Easter Sunday matinee. In the second inning of the nightcap, Rodriguez belted a 3-run home run to give his team a lead it never surrendered. West finished the day 7-6 win for a split.
AUSTIN — Minnesota West opened its season under the domed football field in Austin Saturday with a trio of nonconference contests. The Lady Jays experienced one rough inning in a 10-4 loss to Mesabi Range that began the day. They then did battle with a stellar Gustavus Adolphus College junior varsity and lost 18-3 before finishing their day on a high note, beating Northland 17-0.