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 cross country teams have been reborn entering into the fall. “Cross country was just added back to Minnewaska Schools this fall after several years of not having the program,” head coach Jennifer Johnsrud said. “We look to foster the development of a new program, improve each athlete’s performance/skill level and hope to have some individuals earn all-conference honors.”
After limping into the third set with a 2-0 lead and falling flat into the fourth, the Alexandria volleyball team found its solution. “We just started to play with a little bit more composure and not panic in situations, and we started to trust each other,” new head coach Mary Byrne said. “I thought that was a big win for us, not only with the score, but just how we can persevere. We just have to keep trusting our teammates and moving in that direction.”
The Alexandria girls soccer team had to balance the excitement of a new season with the disappointment of a late, 3-2 loss to East Grand Forks at AAHS on Thursday. “I told the girls that the season is a work in progress. It’s not one snapshot, one game,” head coach Tom Roos said. “We saw things that we like, we saw things that we can improve on. Now we are in the growth mindset: Can we continue to improve, continue to get better and develop as the season goes on?”
In 1976, Dave Harris took over the role of Region 8AA Secretary for the Minnesota State High School League. It’s a job the Alexandria native embraced for 42 years.
The Alexandria girls tennis team kicked off its season in Bemidji on Wednesday with a triangular split against Bemidji and Thief River Falls. The Cardinals opened the year with a tight 4-3 win over the Lumberjacks, while the encore saw the Prowlers take a 5-2 decision over AAHS.
The Parkers Prairie football team has high hopes for this season. “Expectations are high with experience and size returning in the offensive and defensive line,” head coach John Sieling said. “Players worked hard over the summer to gain speed and strength.”
The Brandon-Evansville football program has taken a step forward in each of the past three seasons. The goal isn’t changing this year. “Every year we’ve gone, we want to take another step better,” head coach Tim Pattrin said. “That’s worked for us the last three, four years to get better and better. It’s getting to be some pretty lofty goals for these guys. The expectation is that we get to where we were last year and take that next step.”
The West Central Area-Ashby football team doesn’t envision the transition to a new head coach slowing them down. “I don’t feel it’s a ton different from what we’ve been doing,” said Nate Wood, who’s in his fourth season with the program but his first as head coach. “We’ve been a staff here together since I’ve been here these four years. We’re a team. We work together and everyone has a role. This is just a little different role for me.”
The Cardinals feel good heading into camp with a new leader at the helm. Mary Byrne is taking the reins of the Alexandria volleyball program this year, and it hasn’t taken long for her players to buy in to what she’s building.
Perhaps the only thing more active than the scoreboard during a slow-pitch softball game are the antics that run rampant throughout it. Between a dog fetching home run balls, quips on both sides and beer to go around -- with a softball game mixed in, too -- the Nelson Softball League had it all during a men’s league championship on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Nelson Softball Fields.