HS Notebook: Century a pleasant surprise

Century a pleasant surprise

There weren’t huge expectations this season for the Rochester Century boys soccer team.

The Panthers had lost their head coach, Brent Johnson, who had moved with his family to Florida. They had also lost all but one starter from year ago, Ben Harney.

But the new coach, Hal Houghton, and all the new players, have been operating like a bunch of seasoned veterans so far.

The Panthers are 4-1-1 after Tuesday’s 2-2 tie with Winona.


"The key to our nice start has been that this is an enthusiastic group, they’re coachable and they’ve got a solid bond," Houghton said. "Those things have been huge. And the guys who aren’t getting much playing time are contributing to our success.

"Some teams have real issues with playing time. But these guys have all been really friendly with each other."

It also hasn’t hurt to have Harney, a senior midfielder.

"He’s pretty rangy, he scores goals, gets assists and does a little bit of everything else," Houghton said.

— Pat Ruff


Pine Island to host first Panther Open

The Pine Island cross country teams will play host to a boys and girls invitational meet on Thursday, featuring a handful of other Hiawatha Valley League teams such as Byron, Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Rochester Lourdes.


In addition to the high school varsity races, the first Panther Open 5k will be held following the boys varsity meet, at the Pine Island Golf Course. The race is open to any individual who would like to compete. It will serve as a fundraiser for Panthers cross country and track and field booster club.

Race-day registration opens at 3:30 p.m., while race time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15, which includes a T-shirt for the first 50 entrants. Registration forms are available at the Pine Island school K-8 office, downtown businesses in Pine Island or by e-mailing coach Amy Northrop at

— Jason Feldman

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