Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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The Alexandria Muskies special hockey team will once again host the Minnesota Special Hockey Jamboree at the Runestone Community Center. The two-day event is set for this Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5. Feb. 4 games are set for 10:45 a.m. and noon. Sunday games are scheduled for 10 and 11:15 a.m. Admission is free to the public.
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. St. Cloud Apollo, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at Royalton, 7:30 p.m. WCA vs. Upsala, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville at Hillcrest Lutheran, 7:15 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Rothsay, 7:15 p.m. Ashby at Underwood, 7:15 p.m. GYMNASTICS Alexandria vs. St. Cloud Tech, 6 p.m.
The Alexandria girls Nordic ski team had one final tuneup on its home course before what it hopes will be a memorable section meet on Feb. 7. The Cardinals are fresh off a second straight Central Lakes Conference championship they won on Jan. 26. They were at Andes Tower Hills on Tuesday and continued what has been a special season for this group with a first-place team finish, led by Bethany Miller and her second-place finish overall in 23:23.
The Alexandria boys Nordic ski team will head into the Section 8 meet fresh off a win at its home invite at Andes Tower Hills after the Cardinals captured four of the top 10 finishes on Tuesday.
The Alexandria football team talked about a family atmosphere being instrumental in the program making the state tournament this past fall. That cohesion was on display again on Tuesday as a couple players culminated their high school careers by signing letters of intent to play at the next level.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team got the plays it needed down the stretch to beat Melrose 48-45 on Tuesday night. The Chargers (12-4) were trailing by one with less than a minute left when senior guard Kylee Hansen drove the lane. She dumped a bounce pass off to junior Allie Satterlie, who put it up and in for the one-point advantage. Kennedy Lund hit two more free throws with a few seconds left to help secure the win coming off a 70-39 loss to Henning last week.
The 2017 Winter Spectacular snowmobile races at the Viking Speedway are set for this Friday and Saturday with racing beginning at 11 a.m. both days. The two days of competition, put together by a local group called 10GDP, features racing that runs the gamut of vintage sleds to today's fastest snowmobiles available. The event is once again a part of the TLR Cup, a championship ice oval racing tour that brings professional drivers to Alexandria as they compete for a points championship by season's end.
When Pat Walrath got a call from his buddy Matt Wilkie asking if he wanted to be a part of a venture to get kids and veterans out ice fishing this winter, Walrath didn't hesitate with an answer. "I've wanted to try to throw something like this together, so when I got a call from Matt it was a good match," the St. Paul native said. "We are kind of five, six weeks into doing what we've been doing. Our first day on Lake Calhoun it was freezing cold and we had 50 people show up. It was awesome."
Gov. Mark Dayton released a budget proposal last week that had plenty of increases in spending and licence fees meant to help boost the environment and outdoor recreation in Minnesota. The plan includes higher fees for fishing, hunting and boating licenses, among others, in an effort to keep services and operations at the current level, Minnesota DNR officials said last Wednesday.
The Alexandria archery team got its season going this past Saturday as the team went to Melrose High School for its first competition and dominated the top-10 standings. Nine of the top 10 spots in the girls high school division went to Alexandria athletes. Paige Rardin led the way with a score of 281 out of a possible 300. Rardin hit 14 bullseyes.