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 boys hockey team knows the challenge at hand is to replace 15 seniors from a 22-win team a year ago. The guys responsible for doing that are eager for their chance. "We got a bunch of young kids coming in this year that I'm not worried about stepping up," senior defenseman Nate Folsom said from practice on November 13. They're real good players. ... It's going to be a great year." That's the attitude the Cardinals took into the season opener at Little Falls this past Tuesday night.
The Alexandria girls hockey team has a lot of reasons for optimism this season after returning 15 letter winners from an 18-win team. The Cardinals finished as last year's Class A consolation champions and have gotten off to a great start to this winter season. They are 5-1 after outscoring teams 26-11. That helped earn them a 11th-place ranking in the November 18 Let's Play Hockey polls. "I think we knew that we could be this good," junior defenseman McKenzie Revering said after beating Moorhead 3-1 on November 17.
The Alexandria dance team lost just two letter winners from last year's group and has some higher expectations for both the jazz and kick teams as a result. The Cardinals will have to replace Lyndsey Harp and Brooke Rinicker from last year's roster but will do so with a group of 12 letter winners leading the way.
Alexandria wrestling coach Tom Ellison likes the team he has at his disposal this season as the Cardinals try to improve upon a 7-10 record from a year ago. "This team is a very dedicated bunch," Ellison said. "Led by our captains Blake Olhausen, Ben Johnson and Adam Johnson, they really have a no-nonsense approach to preparing themselves. It all boils down to how hard do you want to work, and this team is ready to push the limit on hard work." The veteran presence within this group lies through its middle weights with those captains all manning spots within that stretch.
The Alexandria girls basketball team got up and down the court under bright red numbers that read "43-42" on the scoreboard at Alexandria Area High School as they went through a fast-paced practice last Tuesday night. Fans may not remember what those numbers indicate, but the players do. Head coach Wendy Kohler has been sure to remind them. She'll continue doing so by having that final score of their section-title game loss to Thief River Falls on the scoreboard through all of their practices this season. "That's too close to not get there and our kids know that," Kohler said.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team has four returning starters from a subsection championship team, but the one starter they have to replace left some big shoes to fill. Emma Friedrich was the Chargers' leading scorer and rebounder a year ago. Her absence will be tough to fill, but it's another Brandon-Evansville team that hopes to be competitive in the Little Eight Conference after winning the league title last winter. "We think we can be competitive in both the conference and section races," 37-year head coach Dick Simpson said.
The Alexandria gymnastics team has a couple key figures to replace heading into the winter season, including a state champion in Hannah Wendel. Wendel wrapped up her senior season with the Cardinals last winter by taking home two state titles. She won the floor and vault routines at the Class A meet.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team was defeated 51-42 on a cold shooting night on the road in the season-opener against Swanville on Tuesday. The Chargers opened up the regular season...
It wasn’t the start Alexandria was looking for, but it was the way the Cardinals finished that mattered in the season opener on Tuesday night. The Moorhead boys basketball team...
The Alexandria boys hockey team got the shots it wanted in the season opener at Little Falls on Tuesday night, but the Cardinals didn’t get the final result they were...