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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It was still snowing in Alexandria when I got in the car to head to North Dakota on April 15 for a trip that I had been planning ever since last year's hunting season ended. My intentions were to go the first weekend in April, but frigid temperatures put a halt on those plans. I thought about using the snow as an excuse not to go again, but it was time to sink or swim.
The NorthStar Christian Academy in Alexandria was approved to have a boys hockey team join a new prep league under the umbrella of the North American Hockey League for the 2018-19 season. What that means for the Alexandria Area High School hockey team is yet to be seen.
Despite not yet having a team assembled, NorthStar Christian Academy in Alexandria has been accepted into the inaugural season of the North American Hockey League’s Prep League. In February, NorthStar received news that it was awarded an affiliate agreement through Minnesota Hockey, the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in the state.
The annual University of Minnesota Gophers Road Trip Tour is making a stop in Alexandria, with the list of coaches scheduled to be there including men's basketball coach Richard Pitino, football coach P.J. Fleck and new men's hockey coach Bob Motzko.
BASEBALL Alexandria vs. Sartell, 5 p.m. PPD Brandon-Evansville vs. OTC, 4:30 p.m. WCA vs. Hancock, 4 p.m. PPD TO MAY 1 Minnewaska vs. Sauk Centre (Double header), 4 p.m. PPD Osakis vs. LPGE, 5 p.m. PPD SOFTBALL
Dave and Alice Anderson live just north of Alexandria down a narrow driveway that cuts through a forest filled with maple trees. Ten acres. Their own little sanctuary. In the fall, the leaves burst with bright yellows, oranges and reds before winter grabs hold and they drop to the forest floor. A couple months pass as the Andersons wait, knowing that the rebirth of the forest is not far away.
The West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling program has established itself as a recognizable name in the Class A field over the last handful of years, and the Knights honored their latest group of athletes who helped them get there on April 14. The program, from its 78 elementary wrestlers through its varsity, gathered for the annual season-ending awards banquet on Saturday with plenty to honor. On the varsity side, 17 athletes earned letters and five earned team-award honors.
The weather outside made it feel like the winter season should still be going on in the area, so boys and girls basketball players from the Pheasant and Little Eight Conferences decided to get together one last time this year. The two conferences played a boys and girls all-star game on April 8 at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy High School in Fergus Falls for senior athletes.
Brandon-Evansville became the first softball team to take the field this season, and it took finding a dome to do it. The Chargers went to St. John's University to play in the Skalicky Dome against Browerville in two five-inning games on Friday evening. Both teams pitched well, but Browerville came away with a sweep by scores of 2-1 in the nightcap after taking the opener 3-0.
Spring sports teams in Minnesota have reached the point where they are looking for any way to compete, and the Osakis, Minnewaska and Ashby-Brandon-Evansville track and field teams got that chance by going to an indoor meet at Bemidji State University on April 12. They were part of 32 programs who took advantage of this opportunity. That led to a long day with so many athletes taking part. The meet started at 11 a.m. and Osakis left at 6:45 p.m. with the 3,200-meter run and the 4x400-meter relay still to be ran.