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.
- Member for
- 5 years 2 months
The honors for the Alexandria football team keep coming in after the Cardinals made their run all the way to the state tournament this season. The recognition has come on the field and for players' work in the classroom. Senior quarterback Jaran Roste was recently named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State football team, while senior teammates Will Odland and Luke Paschka were named academic all state.
Osakis girls basketball coach Pat Kalpin has been at this long enough to know that rankings don't put banners up in the gymnasium at season's end. "You look at the NCAA — who's always ranked in the top five at the beginning of the year?" Kalpin said after an Osakis morning practice on Nov. 17. "I don't put too much into that and I never have because ultimately you have to win games at the end. I've been ranked number one all year long one year and got beat in the section finals in 2005."
Alexandria's Megan and Bethany Hasz posted times in high school during the cross country season that suggested they would translate to immediate success at the college level. One never knows, though, until it happens. These are different courses with different difficulties. It's generally a greater distance, going from 5K in high school to 6K at most college meets. Strategy throughout race day becomes even more important going up against some of the best college runners in the country. In short, it's everything the twin sisters wanted.
Class 5A's top-ranked Elk River football team got past Alexandria in the opening round of the state tournament and punched its ticket to the championship game this past weekend. The Elks (12-0) were pushed in their closest game of the season but got by Owatonna (9-3) in a 19-7 game on Nov. 18. It was tied 7-7 late into the second quarter before Elk River got two touchdowns from running back Sam Gibas on runs of one and four yards inside the final three minutes of the half.
Alexandria's Ken Snyder has quite a resume in the world of wrestling. The Iowa native was a high school state champion as a senior at Columbus High School in Waterloo, Iowa in 1971 before going on to the University of Northern Iowa where he won Division II national championships his junior and senior years wrestling at 142 pounds.
The Alexadria Blizzard fell behind 5-0 through two periods on Saturday and dropped a 5-2 decision to West-Division leading Breezy Point. The Northstars (16-3-1, 33 points) got three points from Alex Flicek on a goal and two assists. Matej Krasny, Wyatt Stotts, Nick Blanchette and Cody Butcher all scored, as well.
Alexandria senior Hannah Eklund moved up in the standings in her final swim as a Cardinal on Friday as she finished 13th at the Class A state meet in the 100 breaststroke. Eklund earned the final spot in the finals by finishing 16th in the prelims in 1:09.30 on Thursday. She took some time off that on Friday, finishing in 1:09.20 to move up three spots in the standings. It’s the second straight season that Eklund has taken 13th in the finals.
The Brandon-Evansville football team had the most wins in program history this past fall, and the Chargers were honored for that in the postseason awards that were handed out this week. Senior McKenon Plaster led five B-E players who were named all-subdistrict as the senior running back and linebacker was named the league's defensive player of the year.
The Little Eight Conference handed out its league awards with Brandon-Evansville well represented after taking second in the conference standings. Seniors Kylee Hansen, Shyanna Behrens and Lizzy Friedrich all earned first team All-LEC recognition, while junior Elizabeth Schiele earned second-team honors. Seniors Kennedy Lund and Carrigan Okerlund were honorable-mention selections.
The Minnewaska girls golf program is at it again when it comes to producing Division I talent for college programs. The Lakers have churned out players like Emily and Sarah Roering for Colorado State, Jenna Janu for the University of North Dakota and Brianna Janu for South Dakota State University. Alexis Guggisberg is a senior on the UND women's golf team, and now it's her younger sister's turn to prepare for that Division I level.