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 VFW 16s finished the 2013 season by splitting four games at the state tournament last weekend in Ely. Alexandria won games against Ely and Brainerd and lost to Northfield and Hutchinson. After playing in the state tournament, they finished the season 32-13. "We won two, lost two, and played pretty well generally speaking," head coach Orin Schueler said.
Alexandria's Brock Wood still looks the part of a three-sport athlete. He still features an athletic build that would easily let him slip back into football pads and fit right in to the outside linebacker and running back positions that he manned for the Cardinals as a team captain in 2011. To see him now, one would never know that he recently went through months of chemotherapy and radiation to beat Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, at the age of 19. The only thing the chemotherapy took from him was his hair, but that too has returned.
Don Berry of Edinburgh USA was the top pro in the field on July 28 as he shot a 67 to win the 2013 Pro-Am at the Alexandria Golf Club. The Pro-Am, which had 32 teams in this year's field consisting of three amateur golfers playing in a group with a pro, had three pros finish in the 60s in almost perfect weather conditions on Sunday. Scott McDonald of the Minnewaska Golf Club and Mike Barge of the Hazeltine Golf Club each shot 69 to finish tied for second behind Berry. Berry had a 34 on the front and a 33 on the back and finished with a bogey-free round. He had birdies on Nos.
Alexandria driver Jeff Crouse wrapped up a feature win to take home 35 points in the Super Stock Feature at the Viking Speedway during racing action this past Saturday night. Crouse edged out Cory Tammen of Fargo in that feature. Rocky Yeats of Hoffman finished third, while Alexandria's Cody Lee took fifth. With the win, Crouse upped his points total to 579. He's six points up in the Super Stock standings over Jon Stepan of Brandon. Lee is 46 points behind in third place. Travis Saurer of Elizabeth had a big night of his own.
Alexandria's John Vogeler has had the life of a traveling salesman this summer. Here one day, gone the next, all with the hope of selling himself for the future, while preparing for the present. "It was very much of a grind," Vogeler said as the final days of summer ticked away this past Monday.
The Alexandria Post 87 Legion baseball team wrapped up a productive summer with a dramatic win over Cold Spring that helped them go 1-2 at the Division I state tournament this past weekend. Post 87 ran into a couple of strong pitchers in the losses as they fell 4-1 to the St. Cloud Chutes in game three. That came after a 3-0 loss to Burnsville and future University of Minnesota pitcher Tyler Hanson. "You never want to go down there and go 0-2," head coach Jake Munsch said. "Once you get to that point, you obviously have high expectations to do well, but every win from then on is a bonus.
The Alexandria VFW 16s tuned up for the state tournament by hosting an exhibition game against a team comprised of two players from each district team at Knute Nelson ballpark this past Friday. Alexandria won the game 11-4 behind five pitchers who didn't allow an earned run. Danny Kuhn, Cole McLaughlin, Kris Setterstrom, Micah Hedstrom and Grant Hockert all threw in the game as they combined to strike out 12 and allow just six hits. Setterstrom and Hockert also had back-to-back doubles in a six-run seventh inning.
Alexandria's Tom Eidsvold had to wait 57 years to capture his first-ever Resorters Golf Tournament title. He didn't have to wait near as long to earn his second. The Resorters veteran made it back-to-back championships in the Masters Division on Saturday as he took down another perennial contender in Sarasota, Florida's Ron Clayton. It was close until the end, but a 14-foot birdie putt on 18 helped Eidsvold seal the deal and hold off an eight-time Resorters champion in a 2-up match. "I putted very well today," said Eidsvold.
A match-up between two former champions should require the winner to make some pressure birdie putts and that's exactly what happened as St. Cloud's Daryl Schomer won his second straight Men's Executive Division title on Saturday. Schomer locked up with Tim Peterson of Lino Lakes, the 2011 champion, in a match where neither player led by more than two holes at any point. In the end, Schomer knocked in birdies on Nos. 14 and 16 for what proved to be the difference in a 1-up win. "Congrats to Tim Peterson," Schomer said as he accepted his trophy in the awards ceremony after the win.
The Carlos Cougars are perfect to this point in the season, but they still haven't accomplished what they set out for at the beginning of the summer. That road starts tonight when the Cougars open up the Region 14C tournament at home in an 8 p.m. game against Hi-10 West representative Detroit Lakes. Make no mistake; Carlos is thrilled to be 16-0 after rallying for a 5-4 win over Clarissa to take the Resorters East tournament title this past Sunday. But the Cougars are a veteran bunch that always has their sights set on playing well at a region tournament.