Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.
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The Minnewaska football team had a tough go in its season-opening matchup with Maple Lake, falling 27-0 on the road Thursday night. The Lakers (0-1) held the Irish (1-0) scoreless after the first quarter, but Maple Lake scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to jump ahead. The first, a 4-yard run for Zach Cargill, made for a 6-0 game following an incomplete 2-point conversion.
The West Central Area volleyball team flipped a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win at Ashby-Destiny Academy on Thursday, opening the new season on the right foot. “We got off to a really slow start, but with a few adjustments, we eventually found our rhythm in set three,” WCA head coach Amy Linn said. “I am very proud of the heart the girls showed (Thursday). They didn’t give up when their backs were against the wall.”
The Alexandria boys cross country team will have to recover from graduation losses following an 11th-place finish at the Class AA state meet last year. “With losing the leadership, it will be a great year to rebuild and find our new leaders,” head coach Travis Hochhalter said.
The Alexandria girls cross country team is looking to build off a 12th-place finish at state from a year ago. Junior Bethany Miller will lead the bunch alongside her sister, freshman Aleah Miller. Both are returning All-Central Lakes Conference runners. Juniors Heavyn Bordak and Caitlin Bright, and seniors Stormy Hegg and Rachel Kumorowicz also bring back experience.
The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team wants to build off last season’s successes as it dives into action this year. “We look forward to countless personal bests, achievement of team and personal goals and better team cohesiveness,” head coach Kathy Walker said. “Our team will be able to celebrate successes in and out of the pool.”
For the past two seasons, Greta Reichmann had a consistent doubles partner on the Minnewaska girls tennis team. But this year, the Laker junior has teamed up with freshman Alissa Thorfinnson at the top doubles slot. So far, so good. Reichmann and Thorfinnson defeated Shea Olson and Camryn Hoffarth of Osakis 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday, which continued the duo’s perfect season and proved to be the difference in Minnewaska’s 4-3 victory in Osakis.
Justin Haak grew up watching his father farm. He's gotten away from the farming life as an adult, but he still has an eye for a good crop. That's exactly what he's seen this year. "To me, it seems like a particularly good year. The corn seems a lot taller and a lot healthier than I've seen it before," said Haak. "About the time of the state fair, it normally starts to dent (at the crown of each kernel). From what I've grabbed, and according to the height of the corn in the early growing stage, it's ahead of a normal schedule."
The West Central Area boys and girls cross country teams each picked up second-place finishes at the Lac qui Parle Valley Invitational on Tuesday. For the boys, Jacob Bright finished in 16 minutes, 49 seconds to claim first place. Jack Van Kempen followed in third, while Kade Runge (sixth) and Kyle Schill (11th) also picked up top-15 finishes. It wasn’t enough to hold off LQPV, however, as the Eagles took the team title by a 13-point margin.
Due to pool problems at Discovery Middle School, the Alexandria girls swimming and diving team hasn’t been able to practice for days. But that didn’t stop them from tying Melrose in Tuesday’s dual at DMS.
The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team couldn't quite muster enough in a 3-0 loss at Henning on Tuesday after getting a season-opening sweep itself the night before. "We struggled to find consistency all night in most facets of the game," head coach Kelly Olson said. "We didn't lose our composure, but we didn't really ever have control either. Henning did a great job tonight being more consistent and efficient than we were."