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 15s VFW baseball team saw its season come to an end this past weekend after going 2-2 in the district tournament in Alexandria. The 15s opened up the playoffs with a 16-7 win over Willmar II on July 26, which set them up against their counterparts from Alexandria in the 16s last Friday night. The 16s won that game 14-4. That dropped the 15s to the loser's bracket, where they stayed alive with a win over Ortonville before falling to Starbuck on Sunday in an elimination game.
Minnesota deer hunters who were hoping to have more opportunity in the whitetail woods this fall will get that chance around Alexandria after the 2016 hunting and trapping regulations came out last week. The regulations, which announce the deer hunting permit areas each season, saw a change from last season with area 213 around Alexandria and north toward Parkers Prairie being changed from a hunter's choice zone to a management zone. That means a hunter can now take up to two deer with the purchase of a bonus permit in addition to their regular deer license.
The Resorters Golf Tournament brings in talented players from across the country each summer that give fans a chance to watch some of the best golf that will be played in the area all year. The week-long match-play event starts July 31 with the annual Pro-Am and wraps up on Aug. 6 where seven champions will be crowned. Many of the 2015 champs return this summer, including Oklahoma State golfer Nick Heinen in the men's division.
Reid Herd and Cody Rieland used to get dropped off at the lakes around Alexandria by their parents so they could fish together before they could even drive themselves to the water. Herd says they've fished tournaments together since they were 15 years old, so they've developed a pretty good cohesion in the boat over the years.
Six-year-old Jack Lawrence from Glenview, Illinois was fishing in eight feet of water on Lake Cowdry on the Fourth of July when he put on a show for others on the lake by battling a 4.7 pound smallmouth bass. "Jack's bobber went under exactly when the Fourth of July lake boat parade was passing by," Jack's father, Marc Lawrence, said. "He fought the fish for over five minutes before he landed his first smallmouth bass. He received a round of applause from the passing boats."
Alexandria's Cameron Hochsprung's first Grandma's Marathon experience came before he was ever even born. His mother, Susan Anderson, had decided she was going to run the marathon in 2002. Then she and her husband, Tim Hochsprung, got pregnant with their first child. Susan ultimately decided against running her first marathon that year, but she and Tim made the trip to Duluth anyway.
The Millerville Millers baseball team took a step this summer to become a competitive team in the Resorters League in its third year back in the West Division. The Millers gave themselves a chance in both playoff games this past weekend. It was an 8-7 game after seven innings against second-seeded Osakis before the Hawks put four on the board in the eighth to secure a 12-7 lead.
The Alexandria VFW baseball teams will serve as the host of its 2016 district tournament this weekend at Knute Nelson Ballpark where a winner will punch its ticket to VFW state next Monday. The Alexandria 16s head into this weekend playing their best baseball of the summer. They started the season 3-10 after missing a few guys due to injuries. They got healthy and have gone 10-3 since to finish the regular season at 13-13.
The Alexandria Legion baseball team's run at a fifth straight Legion state tournament came up just short after two losses to Bemidji in the Sub-state 14 playoffs in Thief River Falls this past weekend. Alexandria lost to Bemidji 10-6 in the second game of the tournament after taking care of East Grand Forks in a 13-8 game in the opener. That meant that Post 87 had to win two games in Sunday's championship against Bemidji after climbing their way through the loser's bracket. It didn't happen as Bemidji took home the district title with an 18-8 win.
The Resorters baseball playoff picture is getting clearer after one weekend of play is in the books. Urbank-Parkers Prairie lived up to its top seed in the West by winning a 10-0 game against Ashby on Saturday and a 2-0 game against Osakis on Sunday. That puts the Bombers into the West title game this Sunday at 2 p.m. against the winner of Ashby and Osakis, which will be played on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Osakis. All three of these teams have already secured a spot in the Region 16C Tournament that runs August 5-13.