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 wrestling team finished tied for 11th out of 13 teams at the Foley Tom Keating Memorial Invitational on Wednesday after tying Holdingford with 55 team points. Class 2A's fourth-ranked Foley won the event with 260 points and St. Cloud Tech (169.5) and Mounds View (161.5) rounded out the top three. Adam Kremer got the Cardinals' top finish as he took fourth at 106 pounds. Kremer got a bye and a pin in 2:39 during his first contested match in the quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals and the third-place match.
The Alexandria girls hockey team played a game that will go down in the books as a tie at the Hastings Holiday Tournament but one that was actually a shootout win on Wednesday afternoon. Alexandria unofficially won the game 3-2 as senior Lauren Niska scored the only goal of the shootout when she beat Shakopee's goalie between her pads for the game winner. The Minnesota State High School League doesn't have shootouts after a scoreless overtime during regular season play, but the holiday tournaments allow teams to have some fun by deciding tie games in a shootout.
The Alexandria boys hockey team wrapped up its week at the Thief River Falls Holiday Tournament with a 1-2 record after falling in a 6-1 game to Crookston on Wednesday. The Pirates (6-7) outshot the Cardinals (4-6-1) by just five at 35-30, but they took advantage of their opportunities with three goals in the second and third periods. Crookston led 4-0 at 7:20 of the third frame when Ethan Magsam scored to give his team all the momentum.
The Alexandria girls basketball team led at the break against Hutchinson but couldn’t overcome a tough stretch offensively in the second half during a 50-39 loss in the Cardinals’ Holiday...
The West Central Area boys basketball team followed up a win over Battle Lake on Dec. 22 by dropping a 70-58 game against Hancock in its first game back after Christmas on Tuesday night. The Knights (7-2) trailed by eight at the half as the Owls (5-3) shot 55 percent (27-49) for the game to hold off any WCA rally. Hancock held the Knights to 22-of-64 shooting from the field and outrebounded them 35-22.
Big Stone Lake, on the Minnesota-South Dakota border, has long had a reputation as a top-notch walleye fishery. While the walleye has long been king, Big Stone also has a booming perch fishery that now offers anglers another top notch fishing opportunity, especially in winter when these fish are often on the bite.
A total of 29 entries were submitted to this year's Hunt Down Your Photos contest put on by the Echo Press. From those, the top three were named. Brandon's Shirley Saathoff snapped the winning photo during an elk hunt in the White River National Forest in Colorado this past October. Saathoff says she has tagged along on elk hunts with her husband, Daryl, through J-Bar-H Outfitters in Colorado. "I love to go horseback riding and it's awesome to ride in the mountains," she said.
Alexandria's Missy Erickson has been dreaming of competing at the 2016 summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, and that goal took another step with her selection to the Team USA cycling long team. USA Cycling announced the men's and women's track Olympic long teams on Dec. 18.
The Alexandria girls basketball program will host its annual holiday tournament, starting on Tuesday and wrapping up on Wednesday at Alexandria Area High School. Hutchinson (6-1), Buffalo (3-4) and Robbinsdale-Armstrong...
To celebrate the new year, Lake Carlos State Park in Alexandria is hosting a variety of events. All are free to the public with a purchase of a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit. Thursday, Dec. 31, 6 to 8 p.m. All are invited to a New Year's Eve Candlelight Event that will offer snowshoeing or walking by moonlight with candle luminaries set up along the path. Afterward, there will be fires and marshmallow roasting.