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.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
Alexandria's Carol Feldmann doesn't think of herself as a reformist for women's athletics during her days at Winona State University, but there is no doubt her recent honor is an indication of the impression she made on the school. Feldmann was named a member of the 2012 Hall of Fame class at WSU after serving as a five-sport athlete for the Warriors from 1964 through 1968. It was an era when the opportunity for women to participate in college athletics was only getting started. Feldmann just wanted to take advantage of those opportunities.
The Alexandria girls' track and field team has the star power and the depth heading to the state meet that will make for an exciting couple days at Hamline University this weekend. The meet opens up today, Friday, and fans won't have to wait long for one of the feature events of the entire weekend. Jamie Piepenburg and the rest of a loaded distance field will battle in the 3,200-meter run at 9 a.m. in what the senior from Alexandria hopes is the first of two state titles for her. Piepenburg is one of 10 athletes Alexandria will be sending to St. Paul.
The Alexandria Beetles saw their losing streak hit four games with back-to-back losses in Thunder Bay on Monday and Tuesday night. The Beetles couldn't find the big hit on either night as they fell 7-1 on Tuesday after dropping a 7-3 game the night before. Alexandria had nine hits in the final game, including three from Dylan Raper out of the ninth spot in the order. Alexandria's Dalton Leuschke had the team's only RBI in the losing effort. After the game, the message was pretty simple. "I think the biggest thing right now is to not panic," head coach Drew Saberhagen said.
It was a bittersweet moment for Alexandria Beetles coach Drew Saberhagen when he told his players that reliever Anthony Bazzani would be joining this team for a second summer earlier this week. Bazzani was hoping to hear his name called in the Major League Baseball amateur draft that started on Monday and ran through Wednesday. That call never came through the first two days, so Bazzani notified Saberhagen that he would be back with the team and hoped to be in Alexandria by late Friday night.
Every graduating class has students who establish their own identity throughout high school. Some will try to take advantage of everything there is to offer within the academics, arts and athletics. Jefferson High School principal Chad Duwenhoegger said many in the 2012 class at JHS have found what they like within those fields and have excelled at their specific craft. "We have individuals who are very strong in their area," Duwenhoegger said. "It's a group of kids that over time, they have found their strengths and gifts and they are coming out, which is what you want kids to do.
Going 2-3 on a five-game home stand might be disappointing in August for Alexandria Beetles head coach Drew Saberhagen. In the first week of the season, it proved to be no cause for concern. Like a lot of Northwoods League teams, the Beetles know they will look a lot different in a couple of weeks as players get into town after their college seasons come to an end. "I really am looking forward to this summer," Saberhagen said after an 8-3 loss to Duluth on Sunday. "I think it's going to be a special one just like last summer.
Alexandria's Dalton Leuschke has envisioned himself in a Beetles' uniform for as long as he can remember. The former Cardinal standout grew up around this team - his parents hosted players, and he spent countless nights at Knute Nelson Field following them as a young kid. This past Saturday, he found himself back at his home park taking in the game from the best spot in the house - the batter's box. "It feels good to be home playing in front of the people I've been playing with," Leuschke said.
The Alexandria Beetles opened up the 2012 season on Wednesday night with a roster it hopes can duplicate the magic is created last summer once everyone is finally here. The Beetles had 21 players at their first practice on Tuesday night and 17 more who were still playing deep into the postseason for their college teams. First-year head coach Drew Saberhagen feels that is a testament to the talent this team will have once the roster is completely intact. Saberhagen returns for his seventh season with this organization.
The Alexandria baseball team is no stranger to heartbreaking endings to a season. The Cardinals have been one game away from a state tournament berth in two of the last three years only to come up short. On Monday, they suffered a similar gut-wrenching ending with a chance to secure a spot in the Section 8AAA semifinals. Alexandria beat St. Cloud Tech 4-3 in game one on Monday before playing host St. Michael-Albertville for the right to advance to the double-elimination format in St. Cloud.
The Brandon-Evansville baseball team found out firsthand how regular season success really has no bearings on what happens come playoff time. The Chargers were riding high entering Tuesday's opening round game of the 6A South tournament. Their 12-straight wins to end the regular season had earned them a home game and the second seed against a 4-13 Eagle Valley team. The Rebels didn't care about any of that. They jumped on Brandon-Evansville early and never looked back in an 11-5 win that ended the Chargers' season prematurely.