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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Those who don’t follow the Andover football program might see their run to the state tournament a year ago as a bit of a head scratcher. The Huskies went 2-6 through the regular season. Then they won three straight to secure their spot in the Class AAAAA state tournament. How does that happen? Alexandria head coach Mike Empting says it’s a product of the kind of schedule they played in the regular season.
BOYS SOCCER Alexandria vs. Sauk Rapids-Rice, 7 p.m. Minnewaska @ Rocori, 4 p.m. GIRLS SOCCER Alexandria @ Sauk Rapids-Rice, 5 p.m. GIRLS TENNIS Alexandria vs. Sartell, 4:30 p.m. Osakis vs. Montevideo, 4:30 p.m. Minnewaska @ Benson, 4 p.m.
A young Alexandria swimming and diving team ran into traditional power Melrose on Tuesday in the season opener and fell in a 104-82 final. The Cardinals were paced by two wins from freshman Kenna Horan in the 200 and the 500 freestyles. Carley Ford also won the diving competition. Alexandria will turn its attention to Thursday's home opener now as Sauk Rapids-Rice gets set to come to the Discovery Middle School pool at 6 p.m.
Sholts aces 7 at AGC Alexandria's Cathy Sholts carded a hole-in-one while playing the Alexandria Golf Club on Aug. 23. Sholts was golfing with Judy Johnson, Sandy Paulsen and Mary Owen when she aced the par-three seventh hole. She used a 9-iron from 100 yards away. Lilly wins $500 payday for ace Alexandria's Jim Lilly won a $500 gift certificate to the Lake Miltona Golf Club on Aug. 22 after he got a hole-in-one on the par-three 14th hole.
The Alexandria girls soccer team fell in a 3-0 final against perennial Central Lakes Conference power Sartell-St. Stephen on Tuesday. The Cardinals (0-3) got just three shots on goal, compared to the Sabres' 15. Seventh grader Sophia Vinje made 12 saves for Alexandria, but the Sabres improved to 2-0-1 on the season after tallying three goals. Their other win came in a 2-1 victory over Princeton, while the Sabres tied Blake 1-1 on Aug. 26.
The newly-formed Brandon-Evansville cross country team got the first race under its belt as the Chargers ran five athletes in Morris on Monday. Logan Froemming was sixth (10:08.74) on the 2,000-meter course during the seventh-grade race. Eighth grader Wes Siira (21:25.02) was 62nd in the 5K varsity race, senior Alek Pikkaraine (22:33.84) was 75th and freshman Nolan Bitzan (24:49.21) took 92nd. On the girls side, Kerryn Lund (14:46), a junior, was 22nd in the shorter JV race and sophomore Caitlyn Deschene (28:13.62) ran varsity and finished 62nd.
The Alexandria boys soccer team saw its two-game winning streak to start the season come to an end on Tuesday as the Sartell-St. Stephen Sabres won a 3-1 Central Lakes Conference contest. "The boys came out a little flat with the Sabres out-hustling us and going ahead in the eighth minute to make the score 1-0," Alexandria head coach Cahil Collins said.
The Alexandria tennis team made easy work of Fergus Falls on Tuesday to grab its first win in the Central Lakes Conference. The Cardinals beat the Otters 7-0, winning every match in straight sets. Jamie Lanoue had the tightest battle in the singles lineup. She beat Katie Mach 6-3, 6-4, while Alli Prestby, Brianna Holm and Rachel Bitzan dropped a combined five games only in the second through fourth singles spots.
When announcing the discovery of starry stonewort in Lake Minnewaska last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the invasive algae has never been eradicated from any U.S. lake where it has been found. Minnewaska Lake Association President Mike Stai believes the case on Minnewaska might be able to change that.
The Alexandria volleyball team opened up the season with a lot of new players getting accustomed to the varsity level, so things weren’t going to come easy against Marshall on Tuesday night. The Tigers are one of the dominant outstate programs in Minnesota. They’ve been to 26 state tournaments with six championships to show for it. The Cardinals knew it would be a solid test right off the bat, and it proved to be as Marshall won in three straight sets.