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 Blizzard kicked off the 2017-18 NA3HL season this past weekend as the local team went 1-1 on the road. The Blizzard beat Breezy Point 5-3 in the season opener last Friday before losing 3-1 to Granite City on Saturday. The perennially-tough Lumberjacks got the early edge in the season series by striking early with two goals from Owen Sikich and Logan Neu in the first period on Saturday. That made it 2-0 before the Blizzard's Brett Meister scored off a Jack Mellstrom assist at 8:03 in the third period.
The Osakis cross country teams went to Pierz on Monday night and competed in a big field as the boys finished 12th overall among the 18 programs and the girls were 11th out of 14 squads.
VOLLEYBALL Alexandria @ Rocori, 7 p.m. Osakis vs. Upsala, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie @ Hillcrest, 7;15 p.m. West Central Area vs. Frazee, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska @ Melrose BOYS SOCCER Alexandria @ St. Cloud Apollo, 7 p.m.
The Alexandria girls soccer team got its third win of the season last Thursday night after an 8-0 victory over Rocori. It's the second straight win for the Cardinals after they took care of Fergus Falls in a 3-2 game earlier in the week. Camille Hegstad led the way for Alexandria against Rocori (3-4) as she finished with three goals. Sidney Drew had two goals and one assist. Hailey Eggebraaten added two goals, while Laura Pujadas added another. Josie Minnerath, Olivia Burns, Shea Issendorf, McKenna Lamb and Kaia Illies all had assists, as well.
The Lakes Area Snowmen football team was well represented on the Midwest Premier Football League all-star rosters after winning the league championship this past season. This year's all-star game was played in Brainerd on Sept. 16. A youth football camp will preceded that with all-stars from the league helping out at the free camp before those players did a skills and drills competition.
The young Alexandria swimming and diving team had a meet against Sartell on Sept. 12 that ended with the Sabres swimming away with a 107-74 win. Sartell-St. Stephen is a top-tier program in the state and showed that with a bunch of wins throughout the lineup. That started with a 1-2 finish in the 200-medley relay as Alexandria's Kenna Horan, Ashtyn Molesworth, Savannah Overland and Jadeya Peterson finished third.
The Osakis tennis team completely shut out Prairie Conference member Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in Osakis last Thursday night. The players won straight sets, only surrendering individual points in the first singles and the first doubles. None of the matches had to move on to three sets.
Belinda Wink had what she thought was a cut-and-dried case when it came to prosecuting a young man who was trespassing on her family's hunting land. Belinda and her husband, Glenn, and 7-year-old son, Kyle, were shed antler hunting on the nearly 300 acres they own not far from Alexandria when they noticed someone coming through the woods. He didn't see them until the Winks confronted him for being on their land. "We called (Douglas County conservation officer) Mitch Lawler, and we spoke with him," Belinda said. "He talked to the guy, and he admitted to trespassing."
Sartell-St. Stephen seemed to want to keep the ball out of Alexandria's hands by keeping the ball on the ground Friday night. The Sabres ran 23 times in the first half alone. It worked at times. Cardinals' head coach Mike Empting said they had to fix a few things at halftime in their run defense, and they did. Alexandria held the Sabres to less than 40 yards after the break and less than 200 total yards in the game on the way to a 32-0 win.
Alexandria 32, Sartell 0 BOLD 39, Osakis 14 Brandon-Evansville 50, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 0 Minnewaska 14, ACGC 8 Royalton 32, Parkers Prairie 0