Micah Friez covers Bemidji State basketball and BSU for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Beaver basketball updates.
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Our goodbyes last a half hour — at least — as we progressively inch closer to the door while reminding one another of new talking points to discuss. Our universal, "Well, I s'pose" conveys, "I've run out of things to say," in which we finally part ways until texting our counterparts that we've made it through the blizzard and home safely. Unless the pickup needs a jump. All the more reason to stay for supper!
One Minnesota Viking in particular holds a special place in my heart. And my fantasy football roster. The budding superstar has shot out of a cannon this season, and his success has sparked a national movement of praising him as Minnesota’s favorite homegrown hero. He journeyed from Detroit Lakes to Minnesota State, Mankato, then from the practice squad to the Pro Bowl. Maybe you’ve heard of him?
The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team has been investing all season long, and now, the Cardinals are ready to cash in. “At the beginning of the season, we deposited a little ‘money’ in every workout that we go through, all the weights we do, the dryland,” Addison Rodel said. “This section meet is when we’re getting our interest back. We’re hoping that everything we’ve put in… will be worth it.”
The Alexandria Area Mountaineers mountain biking club was well represented at the state meet in Mankota on Oct. 27-28, which culminated in a fifth-place finish among 47 teams in Division 2.
After leading the West Central Area boys cross country team to a second-place finish at last week’s state meet, John Van Kempen has been named Section 6A Coach of the Year. The WCA boys and girls teams also earned the Academic All-State Gold Award alongside Osakis. The Silverstreaks’ Alison Triebenbach was named Section 6A Assistant Coach of the Year, as well. Bruce Fuhrman of Staples-Motley won 6A Coach of the Year honors among girls teams.
Laura Wilmesmeier, Joria Downing and Kaylee Svee all reserved their spots on the Central Lakes All-Conference Team after their seasons with the Alexandria girls tennis team. Wilmesmeier made the team as an individual, while Downing and Svee were selected as a doubles team. The trio helped lead the Cardinals to a 17-8 record on the year, including a third-place mark of 7-3 in the CLC.
For the second consecutive year, Jake Munsch was named Section 8AAA Coach of the Year by the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association. Munsch earned the yearly honor during the John Wilkens MSHSBCA conference on Oct. 26-28, where he was recognized for leading the Alexandria baseball team to its second consecutive section championship.
North Iowa put an end to the Alexandria Blizzard’s five-game winning streak with a weekend sweep in Mason City, Iowa. The Bulls (10-5, 20 points) won 5-3 on Friday before taking Saturday’s finale 4-1 over Alexandria (8-7, 16 points). The Blizzard drew first blood on Friday when Caleb Strong netted the weekend’s opening goal, but Peter Verstegen and Zachary Simon answered with scores for North Iowa before the end of the first period.
Soon after he placed eighth overall at the Class A state cross country meet on Saturday, Jacob Bright was back at the finish line. Cheering on his sister. “I caught her in three places. I was cheering her on, told her how the course was laid out,” Bright said of his younger sister, Lexi. “We pull for each other just as much as we pull for ourselves. I think that’s pretty cool.”
The Alexandria girls cross country team didn’t change a thing during Saturday’s Class AA state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. That’s what made all the difference. “You come down here, a lot of teams with young girls, they want to do well and do things differently,” Cardinals head coach Travis Hochhalter said. “I was really proud of these girls not doing anything differently and just deciding to go out there and compete.”