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 swimming and diving team took care of Rocori in the pool on Thursday night as the Cardinals won a 108-78 contest. Alexandria got the job done by winning 11 of the 12 events. Kaylee Meyer paced the Cardinals in diving with a fourth-place finish, and every other event went Alexandria’s way.
The Ashby volleyball team lost a five-setter against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Thursday night to fall to 3-15 on the season. The Arrows won the first two sets by a 25-21 score, but the Comets (4-14-1) bounced back to win 25-19 and 25-22 in the third and fourth. They then won the fifth set, 15-10.
The West Central Area cross country teams challenged themselves at one of the toughest races the Knights will run in during the regular season when they went to Perham on Thursday night. The Perham Invite featured the top-three ranked teams in Class A -- Perham, WCA and Staples-Motley -- on the boys’ side and a host of other talented Class AA programs in the 27-team field. The Knights finished fifth among that group with 148 points behind Moorhead (58), Perham (59), Fargo North (109) and Bemidji (119).
Another day, another win for the Osakis volleyball team. This time it was Swanville that fell in a 3-0 final as the Silverstreaks won their seventh straight match. “This was a great team effort tonight,” Osakis head coach Kirsten Wessel said. “Once again our setter did a great job of distributing the sets to our hitters, and the hitters did a super job of hitting aggressive and smart. The defense, however, was amazing. They read the attacks well and got the ball to the setter quite consistently.”
The West Central Area volleyball team needed five sets, but it got the job done against Ortonville for the Knights’ eighth win of the season on Thursday. West Central Area (8-11, 3-4 Pheasant) won the first set, 26-24, before Ortonville (2-11) won 25-22 and 25-13 sets in the second and third. The Knights rallied from there, winning 25-20 in the fourth and 18-16 in the fifth to put the match away.
The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team’s run of impressive play continued on Thursday night as the Chargers won their eighth straight in a 3-0 sweep of Rothsay. The Tigers (4-14-1, 1-6 Little Eight Conference) didn’t stand much of a chance as the Chargers (12-4, 8-0 LEC) dominated from the get-go, winning 25-9, 25-19 and 25-12.
FOOTBALL Alexandria at Bemidji, 7 p.m. Brandon-Evansville at Underwood, 7 p.m. Osakis vs. Morris Area, 7 p.m. West Central Area-Ashby vs. Staples-Motley, 7 p.m. Minnewaska vs. Sauk Centre, 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie at KMS, 7 p.m. GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING
The Brandon-Evansville football team suffered a disappointing loss to what was a winless Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley team at the time last Friday night. The only thing for the Chargers to do now is to put that loss behind them. Brandon-Evansville doesn't have time to dwell on it with a 4-1 Underwood team awaiting the 2-3 Chargers this Friday night at 7 on the Rockets' home field.
The Alexandria football team pushed unbeaten St. Cloud Tech to the finish last week but couldn't get over the hump. The Cardinals hope a similar script with a different ending plays out this Friday night against another formidable foe in Bemidji. The Lumberjacks are 4-1 after edging Brainerd in a 12-7 win last week during Bemidji's homecoming. It took a final fourth-quarter drive to score the game-winner. The Lumberjacks faced three third downs and a 4th-and-13 on that final 82-yard drive that turned a deficit into a five-point win.
It was 6 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and headlamps were shining across a plowed corn field near rural Osakis. Ducks and geese had been pouring in to feed here the night before. Hours of scouting by Osakis' Colter Fortenberry and some of his buddies had verified that. The hope was that the ducks and honkers would be back in the same field early in the morning. Fortenberry, along with Trenton Axel, Lane Rutten, Josh Beack and Chase Blackbird, spread out the goose decoys and slipped a row deep into the standing corn as first light cracked through the cloud cover.