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 football team had dealt with the headaches of trying to stop some high-octane, no-huddle offenses for a few years before deciding it was time to join the trend. The Cardinals had built their own brand of success over previous decades. One that revolved around the Wing-T, a ball-control system that relies on a strong running game and the play-action pass. But the game among a lot of bigger programs was changing. Coaches realized that before the 2013 season and decided to make the switch to a spread offense designed to get their playmakers out in space.
The Alexandria Blizzard will welcome in the Twin City Steel for the home opener on Friday night with head coach Jeff Crouse feeling there is a lot to like about this team. It would be unusual for a head coach to say anything differently about their team just four games into the season, but Alexandria has established itself as a playoff team in each of the last three years. That's exactly where the Blizzard hopes to end up again this season. "I like my team right now," Crouse said on Wednesday morning. "I like where we're at. I like our character and work ethic.
It's been business as usual for the Alexandria football team as the Cardinals get ready to host a 3-3 Rocori team for homecoming at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Cardinals are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and have plenty to play for in the final two weeks. These players understand that, but head coach Mike Empting says they aren't getting ahead of themselves. "They've been pretty consistent," he said. "They come out and do what they do every day. I think we have great leadership. They've kept guys even keel. It's a pretty focused group, but at the same time. They have fun with it.
Alexandria's Jaran Roste had to buy time by moving around in the pocket after a penalty against Brainerd in the second half last Friday set up a first-and-goal from the 20. The Warriors had covered up Alexandria's receivers initially on that play, but Roste saw Aarin Willander breaking free in the back of the end zone.
FOOTBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. WHN, 7 p.m. Osakis vs. UNC (homecoming), 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Browerville, 7 p.m. WCA-Ashby at Kimball, 7 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Benson (homecoming), 7 p.m.
The Osakis tennis team earned the top seed in the Section 6A Tournament with its 13-2 record through the regular season when the bracket was announced on Thursday morning. The...
BOYS SOCCER Alexandria vs. Fergus Falls, 7 p.m. GIRLS SOCCER Alexandria at Fergus Falls, 5 p.m. VOLLEYBALL Alexandria at Moorhead, 7 p.m. Brandon-Evansville at Ashby, 7:15 p.m. Osakis vs. WCA,...
CLC Athletes of the Week Alexandria had four students named Central Lakes Conference Athletes of the Week over the last couple weeks. Kaity Peterson and Jamie Lanoue, the first doubles duo for Alexandria, won the honor in girls tennis after winning three matches in straight sets when the award was announced on September 28. Haley Burns won the honor on September 21 in girls soccer after she scored five goals in two games.
The Battle Lake volleyball team swept Brandon-Evansville for the second time this season on Tuesday night as the Battlers won 25-19, 25-10 and 25-13 to improve to 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the Little Eight Conference. Battle Lake has proven to be one of the top teams in the LEC this season and proved it again on Tuesday. "We were looking forward to playing Battle Lake tonight," B-E head coach Kelly Olson said. "They are a quality opponent, and we wanted to see how we stacked up. I think when we could stay in system we did pretty well. We just were not in system near enough.
The Alexandria tennis team saw a fifth 4-3 match go the wrong way for it this season after falling just shy against Willmar on Tuesday night. Alexandria was hosting, and the home Cardinals swept the doubles lineup, with Willmar returning the favor in singles. Kaity Peterson and Jamie Lanoue won 6-4, 6-1 at first doubles.