Eric Morken is the sports editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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Every now and then fans are reminded in sports that the most important outcome of a game is not always the final score. That scene played out on a hot Friday night two weeks ago when Alexandria's Gideon Hartsell got an opportunity he won't soon forget. Hartsell, a special needs senior at Jefferson high school, actively participated in football through his freshman year before taking over as the student manager for the varsity team as a sophomore. Hartsell has been on the Alexandria sideline in jeans and his jersey every game since then.
The Alexandria girls' soccer team weathered a strong Moorhead attack at Lincoln Field and came away with a 1-1 tie on Monday night. The Spuds came into the game winners of four straight and a 5-0-1 record in their last six games. They played like a confident team throughout the night as they took a 1-0 lead into the half. Alexandria withstood the Moorhead pressure before the Spuds finally connected with about two minutes left in the half. Alyssa Hanson ran onto a ball and lofted it over Cardinal keeper Sarah Bruzek from 18 yards out for a 1-0 lead.
By Eric Morken firstname.lastname@example.org The Alexandria football team will find out what it's made of when it wraps up homecoming week in what has become as close to a must-win situation as a team can be in through the first three weeks of the season. The Cardinals need to get things going in a positive direction after falling to 0-3 with a 28-14 loss in Fergus Falls last Friday. They will welcome in another 0-3 team in St. Cloud Apollo for tomorrow's 3 p.m. kickoff. It is a game this team feels it needs to get as it tries to battle through the adversity of the first three weeks.
A late penalty in the first half took a touchdown off the board for the West Central Area football team and helped Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg leave Barrett with a 14-6 win last Friday night. The Knights were trailing 7-6 when the Saints were forced to punt with four seconds left in the first half. Matt Wagner received the punt along the left sideline and worked his way past the KMS coverage team for what could have been a game-changing touchdown if not for an illegal block in the back on the return. KMS responded with the only score of the second half to put the game away at 14-6.
The Cardinal volleyball team's reign over the Central Lakes Conference is in jeopardy after Alexandria dropped its third straight conference match in a four-set loss to Willmar on Tuesday night. Willmar controlled the match for much of the night on its way to its first win over Alexandria since 2006. The visiting Cardinals set the tone with an early 9-3 lead in the first before holding off an Alexandria rally to win 25-19. Willmar carried that momentum through the rest of the evening.
By Eric Morken email@example.com The Alexandria football team will head to Fergus Falls tonight focused more on what it can do to improve than on anything the Otters are going to throw at them. The Cardinals have yet to score an offensive touchdown in a 0-2 start to the season. Six turnovers have been a big reason for that. Those are the miscues Alexandria wants to clean up as it tries to move forward after a slow start. "I don't think we're that far off," head coach Mike Empting said.
The District 206 activities department added two experienced coaches as Randy Albers and Andy Shriver were officially added to the coaching circle at Jefferson High School late this summer. Albers will take over the reins of the Alexandria softball program from Bob Cunniff, while Shriver heads a girls' hockey program that became a perennial state tournament contender under former coach Mitch Loch. Both coaches have exactly what Activities Director David Hartmann was looking for in the search. "When you have positions open, you don't know what to expect," Hartmann said.
The Alexandria football team was searching for answers on offense after failing to score an offensive touchdown for the second straight game to start the season. The Cardinals had 130 yards of total offense against an athletic St. Cloud Tech defense last Friday. On top of that, turnovers plagued them when they were able to put together a couple scoring chances in the second half. Alexandria lost two fumbles in Tech territory in the fourth quarter. The end result was a 14-9 loss in front of a packed house at Citizen's Field for the home opener.
The Alexandria swimming and diving team stuck right with section foe Sauk Centre last Thursday night before dropping back late in the meet in a 100-85 win for the Mainstreeters. The Cardinals trailed by just one at the midway point. They took second in the 200-yard medley relay and a two-three finish in the 200 freestyle before Kalli Bowser (2:38.34), Kate LeBrasseur (2:40.45) and Hannah Eklund (2:40.59) took the top three spots in the 200 IM. A win by Jenna Kremer in diving (124.35) then gave Alexandria some hope heading down the stretch.
The Osakis football team has gotten off to the strong start it was looking for after a dominant performance in a 32-7 win in New York Mills last Friday night. The Silverstreaks controlled the game from the get-go after Garrett Scherr caused a fumble that was recovered by Cody Rupert on the Eagles' first possession. That set the tone as Osakis went on to take a 14-0 lead at the half. Brian Thorstad improvised on the game's first touchdown. He took a handoff that was designed to go to the right before seeing nothing and reversing field to take it to the house.