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.
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One wouldn't think a team that has won 69 games and gone to the last three section title games could sneak up on anyone, but that's what the Alexandria girls' basketball team is trying to do this year. It just so happens that's exactly the way this team wants it to be. "No one anywhere thinks we are anything," junior wing Amanda Christianson said. "That's good for us because all we can do is go up and show them that we're a good team, and we can compete with anyone.
Matt Hoelscher will be leading a young team this season in his first stint as a head coach for the Osakis boys' basketball team. The Silverstreaks graduated their inside-outside threat from last season. Joe Roggenbuck was one of the best big men in the Prairie Conference and is entering his first season with the University of Minnesota-Morris men's team. Mitch Herzog added a strong shooting presence from beyond the three point line. Osakis won't likely rely on just one player to try and replace that production.
Preliminary 2012 firearm deer harvest numbers across Minnesota were about what many expected with the lower number of antlerless deer permits issued as compared to a year ago. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released some early numbers that said 151,400 deer have already been harvested during the firearm season. The late 3B season in southeastern Minnesota was still open at the time and runs through November 25. The overall antlered buck harvest increased 9 percent, while the antlerless harvest decreased by 21 percent compared to 2011.
Alexandria's Logan Doyle made his college choice official last Wednesday as he signed his letter of intent to play for the South Dakota State University men's basketball team in 2013. Now he's ready to prove he deserved that offer by helping his current team bounce back from a losing season. Doyle knew once his recruitment gained steam that SDSU was the place he wanted to call home. He needed just 24 hours after he got the scholarship offer to give head coach Scott Nagy his word. Doyle's signing put the finishing touches on what was a whirlwind past six months for him.
Another dominant season for the Osakis tennis team was wrapped up when head coach Ryan Maddock recognized his players at the fall sports awards banquet on November 12. Senior Lauren Silbernick and junior first singles player Taylor Kraemer shared the honor of the team MVP after helping Osakis to a perfect 18-0 regular season. Those two anchored the top two spots in the singles lineup through most of the season and finished with the most wins on the team.
The Osakis volleyball team got back to the top of the Prairie Conference this fall behind a lineup that featured three all-league players. Becka Sadlemyer, Dani Chisholm and Annalise Savageau were all recognized for that honor at the fall awards banquet on November 12. Tayler Waldvogel and Brooke Sorenson were also honorable mention all-conference for a team that finished 21-8 overall. Sadlemyer led the way offensively and defensively at the net for Osakis. The senior middle hitter had a team-high 211 kills on her way to being named the team's MVP on offense.
The phrase "buck of a lifetime" can get thrown around rather loosely sometimes, but when that buck ends up in the Minnesota record books, it probably really is deserving of that label. That's what is likely to happen when all is said and done for Alexandria's Aaron Gould after he and his brother-in-law, Josiah Hetland of Osakis, took a buck from Todd County that green scored 236 6/8 inches on the first weekend of firearms season. "As soon as he came out of the brush, I could tell it was him," Gould said, "even though it was just a second and a half or so that I had to shoot.
Former Jefferson High School graduate Mike Kalinowski got his hands on the most prestigious trophy in the NHL during a recent 90-day Stanley Cup Tour for Los Angeles Kings players and staff members. The Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup finals over the New Jersey Devils in six games. Hockey fans know all about the magical run they made through the playoffs as an eighth seed in the Western Conference. Now imagine being along for the ride. "This is my 41st year on earth and it might be the best year I've ever lived," Kalinowski said. "I got engaged to my fiancée.
Jon Dingwall and Josh Pikkaraine are like a lot of NFL fans who play fantasy football, meaning those who don't play fantasy football probably think they are crazy. Both Dingwall and Pikkaraine admit they are addicted to the multi-million dollar industry. They both spend hours each day searching the Internet for the latest player information, checking teams' schedules and examining the waiver wire. "I probably spend at least an hour a day looking at that kind of stuff," Pikkaraine said. "It's after work, and then I have the Yahoo Fantasy app on my phone, so I look at that.
By Eric Morken firstname.lastname@example.org Alexandria's Shawn Reilly is still in the process of trying to secure a local owner for the Alexandria Beetles, but felt pretty good about those prospects with a deadline looming. Reilly said last Thursday that he has until the end of November to sell the team before the Northwoods League would take over the franchise. He has also been assured by league president Dick Radatz Jr. that that is not what the league wants to do. "I've had some very nice, candid conversations with him," Reilly said. "He doesn't want to take this over.