Eric Morken is the sports editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
- Member for
- 1 year 1 week
John House thought he could live in peace after one of the proudest accomplishments of his career in January of 2007. The Melby area artist had worked tirelessly to become the first Minnesotan to win all four Department of Natural Resources stamp contests. House accomplished that feat when his turkey entry of two toms in full strut with a hen between them became the 2008 turkey stamp. Shortly after that, the DNR threw another challenge his way when they created the walleye stamp contest in 2008.
The Alexandria Beetles will hand over the reins of their organization to a familiar face for the 2012 summer season. Drew Saberhagen was recently named the head coach for the Beetles after spending four seasons with the organization as a player and two as an assistant coach. He was a part of the Beetles' coaching staff that helped Alexandria set a franchise record 44 wins this past summer. Saberhagen has become both a fan favorite and a respected coach in his six years with the Beetles. "It's how well liked he is," owner Shawn Reilly said.
The Alexandria Blizzard is trying to find a way to capitalize on more scoring chances after splitting two close games against Aberdeen this past weekend. Alexandria outshot the Wings 74-45 over the two games but had just four goals to show for that. Some missed opportunities hurt the Blizzard on Saturday as Aberdeen held on for a 3-2 win. Alexandria dominated the pace of play a night earlier. The Blizzard outshot the Wings 39-19 and 17-3 in the second period.
The Alexandria Blizzard's Jameson Shortreed was recently named to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's Players to Watch list for 2012 draft-eligible players. Shortreed was one of 11 players from the North American Hockey League (NAHL) named on the list. The first-year goaltender for the Blizzard has all the intangibles that teams are looking for in net. "You're talking about a 17-18-year-old kid who's 6'4" and has junior [hockey] experience," Alexandria head coach Doc DelCastillo said. "He's a very good goaltender right now. I think his potential is pretty much unlimited.
Alexandria's Jeff and Bonnie Brand were hanging on every pitch last week as one of the best World Series in baseball history unfolded. The Brands hosted eight Alexandria Beetles players during the course of five summers and never expected to be following one on the game's biggest stage some day. But that is exactly what transpired this fall as Allen Craig became a postseason hero to St. Louis Cardinals fans. Craig was with the Brands for two summers in Alexandria. A back injury plagued him on the field in 2003 before he returned healthy in 2005.
The Cardinal football team showed off the same resolve that helped it turn around its season in the final three weeks but could not overcome a talented Rocori team in a 25-20 loss in the section semifinals on Saturday. The Spartans came in rested and ready to go after earning a bye in the opening round. Running back Sam Moriarty got Rocori off to a fast start with a seven-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The Spartans went on to take a 19-0 lead into the fourth quarter. "That was tough," Alexandria head coach Mike Empting said.
Watching the Alexandria football team on Tuesday night, one would be hard pressed to see much resemblance to the group that started the season 1-5. The Cardinals struggled to do much of anything offensively on their way to a 0-3 start. At that point, the coaching staff stopped fighting a philosophy that didn't fit their personnel. They moved out of the shotgun and switched to a more downhill approach, lining up quarterback Logan Serum under center and allowing the offensive line and a powerful group of backs to play to their strengths.
The Cardinal football team's season has taken a positive turn since the last time Alexandria met Rocori in week six. The Spartans got the win that Saturday afternoon in a 21-12 game that dropped the Cardinals to 1-5. Alexandria's seniors led an emotional huddle in the north end zone after the game. They had just battled the eventual top seed in their section to the brink, but senior Steffen Morical implored his team to stop being content with almost getting it done. It was time to get over the hump. The Cardinals have responded by winning three straight since.
The Eagle Valley football team doesn't need any help from the opposition but that's exactly what Parkers Prairie gave the Rebels in a 62-10 game that ended the Panthers' 2011 season last Wednesday night. Parkers lost four fumbles and threw an interception to help a dominant Eagle Valley team move to 8-0 on the season. The Panthers dropped to 1-7 and did not make the Section 4 9-man playoffs. "You can not commit five turnovers and expect to contain a dominant team like Eagle Valley," head coach Dan Johnson said.
The Alexandria football team looked like a much different team on Tuesday night than the one that started the season 1-5. The Cardinals dominated up front against Sauk Rapids-Rice as they went up early and pulled away late in a 42-16 win in the Section 8AAAA opener. The win sets up a rematch with top-seeded Rocori on Saturday. Steffen Morical continues to put up huge numbers in the second half of the season. He scored four touchdowns through the first three quarters tonight. That gave his eight touchdowns in the last two games. "It's all the line," he said. "It's all the backs.