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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Another dominant season for the Osakis tennis team was wrapped up when head coach Ryan Maddock recognized his players at the fall sports awards banquet on November 12. Senior Lauren Silbernick and junior first singles player Taylor Kraemer shared the honor of the team MVP after helping Osakis to a perfect 18-0 regular season. Those two anchored the top two spots in the singles lineup through most of the season and finished with the most wins on the team.
The Osakis volleyball team got back to the top of the Prairie Conference this fall behind a lineup that featured three all-league players. Becka Sadlemyer, Dani Chisholm and Annalise Savageau were all recognized for that honor at the fall awards banquet on November 12. Tayler Waldvogel and Brooke Sorenson were also honorable mention all-conference for a team that finished 21-8 overall. Sadlemyer led the way offensively and defensively at the net for Osakis. The senior middle hitter had a team-high 211 kills on her way to being named the team's MVP on offense.
The phrase "buck of a lifetime" can get thrown around rather loosely sometimes, but when that buck ends up in the Minnesota record books, it probably really is deserving of that label. That's what is likely to happen when all is said and done for Alexandria's Aaron Gould after he and his brother-in-law, Josiah Hetland of Osakis, took a buck from Todd County that green scored 236 6/8 inches on the first weekend of firearms season. "As soon as he came out of the brush, I could tell it was him," Gould said, "even though it was just a second and a half or so that I had to shoot.
Former Jefferson High School graduate Mike Kalinowski got his hands on the most prestigious trophy in the NHL during a recent 90-day Stanley Cup Tour for Los Angeles Kings players and staff members. The Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup finals over the New Jersey Devils in six games. Hockey fans know all about the magical run they made through the playoffs as an eighth seed in the Western Conference. Now imagine being along for the ride. "This is my 41st year on earth and it might be the best year I've ever lived," Kalinowski said. "I got engaged to my fiancée.
Jon Dingwall and Josh Pikkaraine are like a lot of NFL fans who play fantasy football, meaning those who don't play fantasy football probably think they are crazy. Both Dingwall and Pikkaraine admit they are addicted to the multi-million dollar industry. They both spend hours each day searching the Internet for the latest player information, checking teams' schedules and examining the waiver wire. "I probably spend at least an hour a day looking at that kind of stuff," Pikkaraine said. "It's after work, and then I have the Yahoo Fantasy app on my phone, so I look at that.
By Eric Morken firstname.lastname@example.org Alexandria's Shawn Reilly is still in the process of trying to secure a local owner for the Alexandria Beetles, but felt pretty good about those prospects with a deadline looming. Reilly said last Thursday that he has until the end of November to sell the team before the Northwoods League would take over the franchise. He has also been assured by league president Dick Radatz Jr. that that is not what the league wants to do. "I've had some very nice, candid conversations with him," Reilly said. "He doesn't want to take this over.
The Minnewaska football team took an early lead but couldn't hold off top-seeded BOLD as the Warriors punched their ticket to the Class AA state tournament with a 42-21 win in the Section 5AA finals on Friday night. "I thought that our guys played hard to the finish," Lakers head coach Steve Hill said. "I'm very proud of them, and I'm sure that the fans, parents and students that were at the game would agree with me. There was no quit in the Lakers." Minnewaska's Austin Ostrander connected with Jake Amundson for a 20-yard touchdown in the first quarter that made it 7-0 Lakers.
Tomorrow morning, close to 500,000 Minnesota deer hunters will tip-toe through the woods in the dark with great anticipation as the firearms opener gets under way. All will be picturing a big buck presenting them with a perfect shot. That will happen for some, but what most will find is that there are plenty of yearlings and small bucks in the woods this year. That was the popular consensus held by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources coming into this fall.
The Alexandria Blizzard had been hoping to bury a few more pucks to make things easier on themselves after an up-and-down start to the season. That happened in a big way in a 7-1 win over Twin City last Saturday. The Blizzard dominated the pace of play as much as any team can, outshooting the Steel 69-24. That led to a 5-1 lead through two periods. The Blizzard put 28 shots on net in the opening frame and led 2-1 after goals from Bryce Mitzel and Ian Eckland.
The Alexandria girls' soccer team knew it would have to be almost perfect to have a chance against defending Class A state champion Blake last Thursday. The Bears came into the opening round of the state tournament with 14 shutouts in 15 wins. They featured three all-state players in Maddy Crawford (G), Ali Leslie (M) and Lydia Sutton (M) and one honorable-mention all-state midfielder in Lauren Kelly. Alexandria's Sarah Bruzek almost trumped all of that. The junior goalkeeper neutralized an explosive Blake offense and kept it a 1-0 game through 72 minutes.