Area teams stand out toward season’s endPublished 11:02am Thursday, September 26, 2013
As the area sports teams enter the final half of the fall season, several are in position to make runs in the section tournament. A few could even find themselves reaching the state tournament as well.
With the evening air turning crisp, fall finally feels like it’s here. With fans packing the stands, teams giving a little extra in practice and in games and school homecomings already here or just around the corner, it’s one of the best times to get out and enjoy the area sports scene.
As the sports team here at The Journal, we’ve put together a list of our top five teams to watch in the second half of the season.
Obviously, as fans and members of the community, we encourage everyone to get out and see a game or two during the week. But these teams have built momentum heading into the seasons end, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them competing well into November.
So, here it is, in no particular order, our top area teams at the end of the Fall 2013 season:
• Hillcrest Lutheran Academy/Pelican Rapids boys soccer
With a 9-0-1 record, the Comets have been nothing short of dominant this season. It has scored in double-digits in four games and, perhaps most impressive, has not allowed a goal all season. It is averaging 8.3 goals a game with 83 goals scored on the year.
The biggest test of the season came last weekend against St. Cloud Cathedral, a team they have trouble with every year. The Comets made easy work of the Crusaders, however, with a 4-0 shutout.
Entering the last few weeks of the season, its final five games come against teams it’s already beaten. With solid victories against its section foes, the Comets are in place to make a solid run in the Section 8A tournament.
• Fergus Falls Otter volleyball
Despite dropping two games recently against Alexandria and Rocori, the Otter volleyball team is still chalked full of talent. It has almost all of the same players from solid Section 8AAA tournament showings the past few years and seem to be able to control games when they want to. Staying focused and avoiding complacency will be important if the Otters want to improve on their 7-4 record and reach the state tournament, which is the ultimate goal of the team’s group of talented seniors.
• M State boys golf
The Spartans finished the season winning six out of its seven regular season tournaments. A Spartan walked away with medalist honors in each of those seven tournaments and the team has shot solid scores across the board in the last weeks of the season.
Focused on taking its third straight MCAC/Region XIII title and berth in the national tournament, the Spartans will have the advantage of playing on their home course for the regional tournament. With a number of golfers continuing what has become a winning tradition in the Spartan golf program, the sky remains clear and “Big Blue” for M State at the end of this season.
• Perham boys and girls cross country
It would take much too long to list all the achievements for the Perham cross country program in the last decade. Numerous national, state and conference championships have filled the Yellowjacket trophy case and this year has shown no signs of being different. The boys cross country team continues to impress as it took second in the Milaca Mega Meet against last season’s Class AA state champion Stillwater last weekend.
• Otter Tail Central football
The Otter Tail Central Bulldogs have not given up a touchdown after losing big to a talented Barnesville team to start the season. Its latest victory came against Browerville, Prairie Conference South champions for the past two years. The dominant victories for the Bulldogs lead to their biggest challenge this year as they face #9 (A) Royalton on Friday. Fighting through injury and adversity, the Bulldogs could prove for real with a victory over the Royals. Even with a loss, however, the Bulldogs finish with three opponents that have losing records and look to build momentum heading into the section tournament.