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 foliage on the trees has fallen and the forest floors are blanketed by snow. Fall has given way to winter, which means it's prime time for watching birds and other wildlife. They jump out from their surroundings after the browns and greens that camouflaged them for much of the year have been replaced by white. I am 15 feet up in an oak tree when I notice movement through the snow-covered woods. Deer are my target today with a bow tag still to fill, but no whitetails are on their feet yet. Fortunately, everything else is. Blue jays dive from their perches down to the forest floor.
Elks Hoop Shoot Contest The annual Elks Hoop Shoot Contest hosted by the Alexandria Elks Lodge 1685 will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19 at noon at the Alexandria Area High School. The contest is open to all boys and girls ages 8-13. They are broken up into divisions of 8-9 year-olds, 10-11 year-olds and 12-13 year-olds in male and female divisions. The contestant's age group will be determined by age as of April 1, 2016. Winners from the Dec. 19 competition will advance to the next level of competition. The district hoop shoot will be held in Brainerd on Jan.
In a showdown of Cardinals, Willmar's offense deserted them in the second half and they fell to Alexandria 58-46 on Tuesday night in a Central Lakes Conference game to fall to 0-2 on the season. Noah Slagter scored 19 points with three 3-pointers and three assists for Willmar and Zach Radermacher chipped in three treys and 11 points. Willmar stayed in the game closely early, trailing by just three at the half. Its swarming defense piled up 10 steals to Alexandria's three. But eventually, Alexandria got more out of its possessions.
Alexandria senior Nick Dallum was in the right place at the right time as defenseman Tyler Kari sent a shot on net in the third period on Tuesday night. Kari’s...
The Osakis wrestling team split its two matches in its home triangular on Tuesday night, beating Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 43-33 after falling to Pequot Lakes-Pine River-Backus 45-23. Osakis got off to a quick start against Bertha-Hewitt with wins from Nathan Kulzer (106, 7-4), Andrew Drevlow (113, forfeit) and Seth Johnson (120, tech fall, 18-3) in the first three weight classes. Gage Zieske added a tech fall win (21-5) at 132 pounds, while Brendon Coyer won by fall at 138 in 2:54.
The Ashby boys basketball team couldn't keep up with Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley in a 73-44 loss on Tuesday night. The Arrows (0-3) fell behind 38-17 by the break and couldn't climb back in it in the second half. Miles Wing led Ashby with 16 points. Nathan Cook added 12 points, six rebounds and six steals.
The Parkers Prairie girls basketball team had no problems in its season opener as the Panthers won 57-28 over Bertha-Hewitt on Tuesday night. Megan Benzinger had a nice night with three triples and 18 points to lead the way for Parkers Prairie. Megan Dreger added 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and 13 steals.
The Minnewaska wrestling team ran into a buzz saw in Dawson-Boyd-Lac qui Parle Valley-Montevideo on Tuesday night as the Lakers dropped a 64-6 match. The Lakers' lone wins came at 106 pounds from Mason Blair in a 5-2 decision and in an 11-7 win from Tyler Vanluik at 195 pounds. Minnewaska had to forfeit at 113, 126, 160, 170, 220 and 285 pounds. That made for a wide gap in the final score. MATCH SUMMARY D-B-LQPV-M 64, Minnewaska 6 INDIVIDUAL RESULTS - 106 - Blair def. Trevon Johnson, 5-2; 113 - Layton Witnebel (DB) won by forfeit; 120 - Jordan Long def.
The West Central Area-Ashby-Evansville wrestling team got its season off on the right foot with two wins in its opening triangular on Tuesday. The Knights beat Wadena-Deer Creek 58-9 and took down Breckenridge 46-9. "It felt good to get back into wrestling action," head coach Brandon Gruchow said. "I was excited to see what the boys were going to bring to the table. After two weeks of practice and no competition these boys were chomping at the bit to get on the mat and show what they have improved on over the spring, summer and fall. ...
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria 58, Willmar 46 In a showdown of Cardinals, Willmar’s offense deserted them in the second half and they fell to Alexandria 58-46 on Tuesday night in a...