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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In 1973, no one knew how big the cross country Lions Meet of Champions would become in Alexandria. Fewer than 10 boys' high school teams lined up that day as Fargo South won the inaugural race. Now, 40 years later, more than 1,500 runners representing 24 teams will ascend on Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria on Saturday morning. "When you host a meet like this, the negative is there's a lot of responsibility on the coaches and administration and the grounds crew," Alexandria head coach Mark Nelsen said. "The Lions Club coordinates all that. There's time and a lot of energy put into it.
In a season where the Alexandria football team is searching for improvement from week to week, head coach Mike Empting thought his team took a step back through two quarters against Willmar last Friday. Empting said his team wasn't ready to play as they fell behind 27-0 by the half. The Cardinals were able to bounce back a little after the break. They scored the only two touchdowns, but it wasn't near enough to climb out of that early hole. "We did not play very well in the first half on either side of the ball," Empting said. "We had a lot of missed assignments defensively, missed tackles.
Logan Riedel didn't have his best night as a quarterback for the Prairie Valley football team, but he moved onto the next play after a couple interceptions to score the winning touchdown for his team in a 27-22 win over Verndale last Thursday night. Riedel capped off a 17-play drive in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run from two-yards out that proved to be the game winner. That put an end to a possession that spanned 73 yards and chewed up almost eight minutes of clock. "This was a tough, hard-fought game for both teams," head coach John Sieling said.
I still remember the first time I came across Twitter a few years back. Another stupid social network I thought. Today, I'm ready to admit I was dead wrong. I know now that I was too quick to judge. I believed the stereotype, that Twitter was just another outlet for people to tell us mundane facts about their day-to-day lives. Slowly but surely, I've come to see it for what it really is.
By Eric Morken email@example.com Alexandria Blizzard head coach Jeff Crouse felt his inaugural team in the NA3HL could compete right off the bat coming into the season. Three games into that stretch, he seems to be right. The Blizzard improved to 3-0 last Friday night with its third straight dominant performance in a 3-1 win on the road against Breezy Point. Alexandria has outshot its opponents 111-42 through its first three games of the season.
The Alexandria football team didn't have long to celebrate its first win of the season with another good team on the docket in week five. The Cardinals will travel to Willmar tonight, Friday, for a game against a 1-3 Cardinals team that is probably better than its record indicates. Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said earlier this season he felt Willmar was talented enough to challenge teams at the top of the Central Lakes Conference. The Cardinals have done that, but found themselves on the losing end of a lot of those tight games.
Alexandria Beetles owner Shawn Reilly admits he made an emotional decision to buy the Northwoods League franchise three years ago based on potential and his desire to see the Beetles stay in Alexandria long term. That desire hasn't changed, but in order to ensure that, it will have to be done under new ownership. Reilly and his wife Christine have decided to sell the team after not being able to get back what they put into the organization financially when they bought it from Alexandria's Jim and Jill Wagner.
The Alexandria football coaches were looking for improvement from their team after an 0-3 start to the season and that's exactly what they saw in a 21-7 win over St. Cloud Apollo on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals got off to an early 14-0 lead that set the tone. Mitchell Peck capped off a nice opening drive on a touchdown run from four yards out. Alexandria never trailed after that in what was a much-needed win in front of a packed house on homecoming at Citizens Field. "I think they were looking for something," head coach Mike Empting said of his players. "They've been working hard.
Senior outside hitter Megan Friedrich got in a groove early on and her Brandon-Evansville teammates kept going to her in a 3-1 win over West Central Area last Thursday night. The Chargers came out a bit sluggish in the first set before Friedrich began to take over. The Knights had no answer for her throughout much of the night as she finished with a match-high 26 kills to help her team win 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18. "Megan had a big night for us, not only at the net but in serve receive and on defense," head coach Kelly Olson said.
The Alexandria football team created five turnovers on Saturday afternoon on its way to a 21-7 win over St. Cloud Apollo on homecoming. The Cardinals played in front of a packed house at Citizens Field, and they gave their fans plenty to cheer about from the get-go. Alexandria methodically moved down the field on the game's first possession before Mitchell Peck punched in a touchdown from the five-yard line. The Eagles put the ball on the ground on the very next possession.