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 girls hockey team has a lot of reasons for optimism this season after returning 15 letter winners from an 18-win team. The Cardinals finished as last year's Class A consolation champions and have gotten off to a great start to this winter season. They are 5-1 after outscoring teams 26-11. That helped earn them a 11th-place ranking in the November 18 Let's Play Hockey polls. "I think we knew that we could be this good," junior defenseman McKenzie Revering said after beating Moorhead 3-1 on November 17.
The Alexandria boys hockey team knows the challenge at hand is to replace 15 seniors from a 22-win team a year ago. The guys responsible for doing that are eager for their chance. "We got a bunch of young kids coming in this year that I'm not worried about stepping up," senior defenseman Nate Folsom said from practice on November 13. They're real good players. ... It's going to be a great year." That's the attitude the Cardinals took into the season opener at Little Falls this past Tuesday night.
The Brandon-Evansville girls basketball team has four returning starters from a subsection championship team, but the one starter they have to replace left some big shoes to fill. Emma Friedrich was the Chargers' leading scorer and rebounder a year ago. Her absence will be tough to fill, but it's another Brandon-Evansville team that hopes to be competitive in the Little Eight Conference after winning the league title last winter. "We think we can be competitive in both the conference and section races," 37-year head coach Dick Simpson said.
The Alexandria gymnastics team has a couple key figures to replace heading into the winter season, including a state champion in Hannah Wendel. Wendel wrapped up her senior season with the Cardinals last winter by taking home two state titles. She won the floor and vault routines at the Class A meet.
The Brandon-Evansville boys basketball team was defeated 51-42 on a cold shooting night on the road in the season-opener against Swanville on Tuesday. The Chargers opened up the regular season...
It wasn’t the start Alexandria was looking for, but it was the way the Cardinals finished that mattered in the season opener on Tuesday night. The Moorhead boys basketball team...
The Alexandria boys hockey team got the shots it wanted in the season opener at Little Falls on Tuesday night, but the Cardinals didn’t get the final result they were...
BLIZZARD HOCKEY Alexandria vs. Breezy Point, 7:10 p.m.
The Alexandria Blizzard needed a weekend like it got in sweeping Rochester and scoring a combined 13 goals in two games. The Blizzard (6-10-1) had lost seven straight games but wrapped up the sweep by securing a 7-4 win on Saturday after taking care of things in a 6-2 game on Friday. "Our intensity was there, our effort was there," head coach Jeff Crouse said. "That's the thing I've been preaching is when we play with effort and intensity, our skill just kind of takes over. Rochester is a big, strong, tough team. They really like mucking it up and are really hard to play against.
A team based out of Alexandria placed first in a Midwest three-on-three fall basketball tournament in Champlin Park on October 24. The trio of Carter Stockert, Travis Yohnke and Isaac Peterson, self-named Team Phi Swatta Lotta, played in a round-robin qualifier with teams comprised of freshmen and sophomores from Centennial, Cretin-Derham Hall and East Ridge. The local team beat Centennial 33-32 and Cretin-Derham Hall 40-18 before taking care of East Ridge 45-16. They then took care of Centennial again in a championship game by a 38-34 score.