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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Players rushed from the classroom to the ice at the brand-new sports complex at the NorthStar Christian Academy in Alexandria where they went through puck-handling drills with skills director Gary Steffes late Tuesday morning.
Travis Saurer has been here, there and pretty much everywhere to race in his 20 years on the track, and he's about to get rewarded with quite a milestone. Saurer is only nine wins away from capturing the 500th feature win of his standout career behind the wheel. That's after winning two more during Saturday night's Viking Speedway races in Alexandria. "It's crazy," Saurer said. "When I started, every week I'd just pray for one feature. Here I am looking for 500. It's almost like a dream, really."
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 final buzzer had just sounded on the Class A state championship game on Saturday afternoon, and Alexandria players dropped to their knees as Orono celebrated its first-ever title with a 2-1 victory.
Alexandria’s Jack Westlund won’t forget this last week anytime soon. It was his game-winner in the Section 6A championship that sent the Cardinals to the state tournament with a double-overtime win against fourth-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral. During Wednesday’s state quarterfinals, the junior forward was at it again. This time it was a second-period goal from Westlund that propelled the Cardinals into the Class A semifinals on Friday after Alexandria beat Thief River Falls 1-0 at the Xcel Energy Center.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. —- Jim Dresch was ice fishing with his good friend, Roger Van Surksum, a couple years ago when Van Surksum latched into a nice crappie. He worked the fish up to the hole before his chair went flying. Crappies are known for their paper-thin mouths, and this one did not quite make it out of the hole. Van Surksum, 70, shot to his knees in an attempt to grab it in the water before it could get away. No luck. "I looked at Roger and said, 'That one sounded like it hurt,' " Dresch said.
Wendy Kohler coached the Alexandria girls basketball team in the season opener against Big Lake like she coaches every game - with plenty of emotion. She shouted direction to her players. Dropped to her knee to dissect the situation as plays unfolded and let our her patented whistle a few times that gets all her girls’ attention. Rarely is there a moment to sit as she works the sidelines.
A hole-in-one is supposed to be celebrated on the tee box as a player watches the flight of the ball before it falls into the cup. That's not how things played out for Forada's Steve "Beaver" Hlinsky. Not at all.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Alexandria conservation officer Mitch Lawler will drop his boat into the water for the Minnesota fishing opener Saturday morning, May and head out for one of the busiest weekends of his year. Lawler didn't know exactly which lakes he would hit Saturday, May 13, but he'll visit as many of the area's most popular fisheries as possible. Even so, he figures that will be anywhere between four and seven lakes — and that's if his phone doesn't take him elsewhere.
The Fergus Falls boys basketball team waited for the biggest of three games against Alexandria this winter to play their best game against the Cardinals. The Otters (25-4) had lost twice during the regular season to Alexandria (21-8) but came out ready to go in the Section 8-AAA title game at St. Cloud State University.