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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The Alexandria football team went into last night's Section 8AAAAA playoff opener hoping to change a lot of the things that plagued this team in a 42-7 loss against Brainerd to wrap up the regular season last Wednesday. The Cardinals got 130 yards on 16 carries from quarterback John Vogeler against the Warriors. Included in that was a 65-yard touchdown run, but too many big plays for Brainerd allowed the Warriors to run away with things in a 28-point third quarter. Brainerd used a trio of backs to rush for almost 400 yards.
The Osakis football team has been hit hard by injuries down the stretch of this season and it came at the worst possible time. The Silverstreaks knew their toughest three games would be in the final three weeks against Upsala-Swanville Area, Barnesville and Browerville. Those three teams ended the regular season with a combined record of 21-3, with all three earning wins over Osakis after Browerville handed the Silverstreaks a 35-7 loss last Wednesday night. "We have been plagued by injuries at key positions," head coach Bill Infanger said. "The last three weeks have been hard on our team.
The section football playoffs are set and ready to kick off next Tuesday night all over the state of Minnesota. Here is a look at where all the teams in our coverage area will open up. Section 8AAAAA Alexandria will take the fifth seed in the Section 8AAAAA playoffs on the road to battle St. Cloud Tech at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State University. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. These two teams met in the season opener on August 31, where the Tigers came away with a 28-13 win. Both Tech and Alexandria are trying to snap four-game losing streaks in this game.
The anticipation level was the same but the surroundings were a little different as I went into the field for another Minnesota pheasant opener this past Saturday. Instead of corn as far as the eye could see, there was nothing but black dirt and bean stubble surrounding the stretches of CRP we hunted in Lion and Yellow Medicine County.
After almost 100 years of history, the Alexandria Golf Club decided its signature hole was ready for a facelift. A complete renovation to the par-3 seventh hole, most commonly known as the Minnesota hole, was completed recently in a project that took almost six weeks from start to finish. Before this, the hole had been unchanged since the course's inception in 1915. "I think this was an opportunity," head pro Ron Rebrovich said. "We knew there were some areas that we wanted to upgrade.
The Alexandria girls' soccer team knew the trick to slowing down the St. John's Prep offense in the Section 8A tournament opener was slowing down the state's leading scorer for the Johnnies. Senior Clare Culligan came into last Thursday night's game with 56 of her team's 72 goals on the season.
The Alexandria football team lost five fumbles on Friday night as Moorhead took advantage of those miscues to win 25-15 to drop the Cardinals to 1-6 on the season. "It was fumbles and penalties," Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said. "The first half, our defense played lights out. If Moorhead was the fifth-ranked team in Class 5A, our defense did an amazing job in the first half holding them to 16 points." The Cardinals' defense was put in tough situations early and often as three of the fumbles came in the first half to help the Spuds take a 16-0 lead into the break.
The Prairie Valley football team took advantage of an opportunity to make a statement against a previously 5-1 Wheaton-Herman-Norcross team last Friday afternoon. The Nighthawks went onto the Warriors' home field and spoiled their homecoming with a 28-22 win that moved them to 5-1 on the season. Prairie Valley set the tone early with a fumble recovery by Eric Ronning that stopped what looked to be a long scoring drive by WHN on the Prairie Valley four-yard line. Those turnovers would prove to be the biggest difference in the game.
By Eric Morken email@example.com Osakis tennis coach Ryan Maddock has lauded his team's ability to find ways to win important points in pressure moments all season. Last week, the stakes of every match went to another level in the Section 6A tournament. The Silverstreaks responded by playing some of their best tennis of the season on their way to securing their second straight trip to a state tournament by rolling through the rest of the field. "Everyone played so confidently and aggressive right from the beginning," Maddock said.
Seven straight games on the road to open a season would make any team anxious for its home opener. Add that to the fact that this is a new team with a fan base ready to see what a new level of hockey looks like, and it's easy to see why the Alexandria Blizzard is ready to welcome in Granite City on Saturday at 7 p.m. "We just came back from North Iowa with a lot of fans," leading scorer Ian Eckland said. "So we hope to have a lot of fans here on Saturday night...It will be a [great] fight. Granite City is the defending champs and they're a very quick team.