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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AATA to host middle school tennis jamboree The Alexandria Area Tennis Association (AATA) is hosting its Middle School Tennis Jamboree on July 21-22 at the Alexandria High School Tennis Complex. Sixth and seventh graders ages 10-13 will compete in the non-elimination event on Thursday, July 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while eighth and ninth graders will hit the courts on July 22. There will be girls and boys singles and doubles play, while the event will be no add scoring with adjusted sets and a 55-minute match limit.
The Alexandria VFW baseball teams hosted the Bernie Classic Tournament this past weekend as the 15s went 2-2 and the 16s almost came away with a tournament title. The older of the two squads played New Ulm in the title game and fell in a 4-3 game to finish in second place. The 16s went 3-1 overall with a 6-0 win over Delano, a 9-1 win over Worthington and a 6-5 victory over Elk River.
The Osakis Legion baseball team will take the number seven seed into the playoffs today, Monday, as they travel to second-seeded Morris in a win-or-go-home situation. Osakis has seen its ups and downs this summer after losing a 16-3 game against Clinton on June 30 and a 7-2 game against Morris on June 27. They did bounce back last Thursday by taking a 2-1 game against West Douglas County Post 188.
Carter Stockert doesn't know how it came to be that both he and his older brother, Blake, grew up to be lefties on the mound. He says there was nothing the family did to try to develop a southpaw. No stories of tying their right hand behind their back or anything like that when they first started playing catch in the backyard. "Nobody else in my family is left handed, so I think it's just meant to be I guess," Stockert says. "Blake being a lefty, I guess it would work out for me being a lefty. I'm happy being a lefty. It's easier looking at the runner at first and stuff."
The Fourth of July weekend featured some good fishing on local waters for the Harker family of Plymouth. Alex Harker caught a 28-inch walleye on Lake Darling while fishing in 22 feet of water on July 2. He was using a Lindy Rig tipped with a shiner minnow when the walleye hit. Allie Harker was a part of bringing home a nice basket of crappies while fishing in 18 feet of water on Lake Carlos on July 3.
The sister duo of Brynn, 6, and Calli, 7, Olson of Alexandria boated quite a crappie while fishing on Lake Ida the morning of July 1. The Olson family was fishing in about eight feet of water with a tube jig when the fish grabbed hold. "When they got it in the boat they all kind of looked at it with their mouths open and said, 'Holy smokes! That is the biggest one I have ever seen!' their mother, Julie Olson, said. "When they came home we went and got all the neighbors and called the grandpas to come and look at it. It was an exciting day."
Collin and Drew Cramlet caught this nice smallmouth bass while fishing on an area lake on July 5.
EAGLES HORSESHOE LEAGUE Monday Night Standings Jerry Zastrow/Judy Carlson — 35 points Jim Syverson/Dale Anderson — 34 Gary Stotesbery/Mike Dunn — 34 Shawn Carlson/Cody Smith — 25 Mary Botten/Jolene Olson — 25 Jerry Nelson/Darren Barten — 22 Jeff Thompson/Dave Olson — 22 Brian Larson/Brad Mattocks — 22 Leonard Cosby/Cassandra Cosby — 20 Tony Slaamot/Bill Thoennes — 10
Every four years, the Olympic Games bring with it emotions on both ends of the spectrum for athletes who devote their lives to make the United States' roster in their sport. Those who have their name called have the chance to experience the pinnacle of athletic achievement. Those who fall just short are left with a whirlwind of emotions. Frustration, sadness, anger — Alexandria's Missy Erickson has experienced them all since realizing her dream of making this summer's games in Rio were not going to happen.
Judging by Twitter on June 23, one would assume that the Timberwolves had traded Karl Anthony Towns for peanuts. Minnesota fans have taken a bad rap for not filling any seats at the Target Center over years of futility, but they can be a lively bunch on social networks. I'm of the belief that this state would gladly support a good NBA basketball product, and we're starting to see that with the great young talent that the Wolves have assembled.