Eric Morken is the sports editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
The Beetles have proven all season that when their pitching can hold teams at bay, they have the offense that can win a lot of games. That was on full display through three wins in the last four games that got the Beetles back to .500 in the second half of the season.
Alexandria's Lisa Grimes wasn't really ready for the call she got from the United States Golf Association (USGA) asking her to be a part of the field at the 67th LPGA U.S. Open. Grimes had finished second at the U.S. Open qualifying tournament in Wayzata earlier this summer.
Alexandria's Gideon Hartsell was recently honored by the Minnesota Adapted Athletics Association (MAAA) when he was named the Russ Bakko Most Valuable Player for adapted bowling in Minnesota. Hartsell found out about receiving the award when head coach Carol Feldmann presented him with it on June 27. Hartsell posted a 131 average during his senior season this past spring. Russ Bakko committed many years to adapted athletics. He served as the MAAA board of director's president and CI Division schedule coordinator.
Two weeks ago, Alexandria's Nick Knoblach thought his summer baseball season was over and the start of his senior year of football might be in jeopardy. Instead, he was back on the field this past Sunday trying to pitch his team to a third-place finish in the Elden's Fresh Foods Fourth of July Tournament at Knute Nelson Field. Knoblach had what doctors originally thought was a hernia that would require surgery and six weeks of recovery time. Knoblach went to schedule the surgery when the surgeon took a second look at the injury.
A rich tradition of Urbank baseball started a new chapter on June 24 after an entire community got behind an effort to remake an aging field. Baseball is a part of the fabric of a lot of small towns and it's no different in Urbank. The town is home to the Urbank summer recreation teams, the Parkers Prairie Babe Ruth and Legion teams, the Bombers amateur team and the Goldtimers. "There is a long tradition of Urbank baseball," president of the Urbank Lions Club Carla Bettin said. "It started in the early 1900s and last year they did a reunion of all the Bombers baseball teams.
First class, a wow factor - those are just a few of the phrases being used to describe the facilities that Alexandria athletes will have at their disposal in 2014. When District 206 voters passed the bond referendum last September to build a new high school, they were already guaranteeing those athletes a better home.
The Fat Daddy's Alexandria American Legion Post 87 baseball team ran its winning streak to six games on Tuesday night with a nine-inning win in Perham. Post 87 got out to a 6-0 lead after half an inning and held on late for an 11-9 win. Perham battled back to within one run after the seventh but two scoreless innings from Logan Serum closed out the win for Alexandria. Zach Peterson, AJ Anderson, Erich Murphy and Jeff Swedberg all had doubles in the six-run first inning. Anderson finished 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.
Boys' track and field coach Jerry Amundson is just the beginning of the list of coaches that District 206 activities director Dr. David Hartmann is currently responsible for replacing this summer. Adapted bowling coach Carol Feldmann and varsity head boys' soccer coach David Vinje also handed in their resignations after their seasons. Vinje made the decision to go back to Minnesota State University-Moorhead to finish his degree. "We encouraged him to do that," Hartmann said. "He has given a lot to run our boys' soccer program. It was time for him to get his degree.
Sunday's 12-11 win over the St. Cloud Sox epitomized the type of games that the Alexandria Beetles have had to try to win so far this summer. The Beetles scored their 12 runs on 10 hits. They took a 12-6 lead into the ninth inning before having to sweat out a one-run win as 2011 all-star closer Anthony Bazzani came on to pick up the final two outs to earn the save. It's a Beetles' offense that has averaged more than six runs a night through their first 25 games. Where Alexandria has struggled has been from the mound.
Alexandria Beetles' second baseman Tanner Vavra has never let the fact that he is blind in his right eye affect the vision he had for himself on a baseball field. Vavra, son of Minnesota Twins' hitting coach Joe Vavra, was a three-sport athlete in high school. He went on to star in the junior college ranks at Madison Area Technical College for two years before signing to play Division I baseball at Valparaiso. Now in his second summer with the Beetles, Vavra is proving himself as one of the top hitters in the Northwoods League through the first month.