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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Alexandria's Logan Doyle suffered a setback after just getting his college basketball career started during summer practices for the South Dakota State men's basketball program in mid-July. Doyle was going through team activities when he suffered a knee injury that is expected to keep him out of practice until at least November. The 6'8" forward was sprinting down the court near the baseline when he planted and tried to cut. Doyle dislocated his patella on the play. He tore his medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) and also suffered two bone chips.
The Alexandria football team wasn't content with looking at a 2-8 season in 2012 and chalking it up as just a result of being too young across the board. The Cardinals had to play a lot of sophomores last year, especially on defense, but what the coaches found when they did an autopsy of their season is that things went deeper than that on the offensive side of the ball. "One of the things I think we discovered offensively is teams have really kind of solved the riddle as far as what we were doing," head coach Mike Empting said.
Alexandria's Brock Wood had no intention of letting Hodgkin's lymphoma dictate the way he lived his life from the day he was diagnosed last fall. It ultimately did, though. It hasn't touched his adventurous spirit. Instead, it gave him an opportunity to turn the adventure of a lifetime into something much bigger than himself. PADDLING WITH A PURPOSE Before he was ever diagnosed with cancer, Brock and his dad came up with the idea to kayak the length of the Mississippi River this summer.
Alexandria's Brock Wood still looks the part of a three-sport athlete. He still features an athletic build that would easily let him slip back into football pads and fit right in to the outside linebacker and running back positions that he manned for the Cardinals as a team captain in 2011. To see him now, one would never know that he recently went through months of chemotherapy and radiation to beat Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, at the age of 19. The only thing the chemotherapy took from him was his hair, but that too has returned.
The Alexandria VFW 16s finished the 2013 season by splitting four games at the state tournament last weekend in Ely. Alexandria won games against Ely and Brainerd and lost to Northfield and Hutchinson. After playing in the state tournament, they finished the season 32-13. "We won two, lost two, and played pretty well generally speaking," head coach Orin Schueler said.
The Alexandria football coaches are going to try to honor some of the history of Citizens Field this fall before they move into their new home once the new school opens up for the 2014 season. Defensive coordinator Russ Hinrichs is leading the efforts to get at least one player from every class that has ever played at Citizens Field and honor them during halftime of the homecoming game against Willmar on September 28. "I played back in 1993," Hinrichs said. "That was my team and I didn't play much but I was a part of that team and of course I've been coaching here for 20 years.
Don Berry of Edinburgh USA was the top pro in the field on July 28 as he shot a 67 to win the 2013 Pro-Am at the Alexandria Golf Club. The Pro-Am, which had 32 teams in this year's field consisting of three amateur golfers playing in a group with a pro, had three pros finish in the 60s in almost perfect weather conditions on Sunday. Scott McDonald of the Minnewaska Golf Club and Mike Barge of the Hazeltine Golf Club each shot 69 to finish tied for second behind Berry. Berry had a 34 on the front and a 33 on the back and finished with a bogey-free round. He had birdies on Nos.
Alexandria driver Jeff Crouse wrapped up a feature win to take home 35 points in the Super Stock Feature at the Viking Speedway during racing action this past Saturday night. Crouse edged out Cory Tammen of Fargo in that feature. Rocky Yeats of Hoffman finished third, while Alexandria's Cody Lee took fifth. With the win, Crouse upped his points total to 579. He's six points up in the Super Stock standings over Jon Stepan of Brandon. Lee is 46 points behind in third place. Travis Saurer of Elizabeth had a big night of his own.
Alexandria's John Vogeler has had the life of a traveling salesman this summer. Here one day, gone the next, all with the hope of selling himself for the future, while preparing for the present. "It was very much of a grind," Vogeler said as the final days of summer ticked away this past Monday.
A match-up between two former champions should require the winner to make some pressure birdie putts and that's exactly what happened as St. Cloud's Daryl Schomer won his second straight Men's Executive Division title on Saturday. Schomer locked up with Tim Peterson of Lino Lakes, the 2011 champion, in a match where neither player led by more than two holes at any point. In the end, Schomer knocked in birdies on Nos. 14 and 16 for what proved to be the difference in a 1-up win. "Congrats to Tim Peterson," Schomer said as he accepted his trophy in the awards ceremony after the win.