Tyler Julson: Area teams gearing up for season; play starts in under 1 week

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

We are just one week away from the fall high school sports season officially beginning. All of the area teams have started full practices, preparing for the season ahead, and I couldn’t be more excited for it to start.

The start of the fall season also means we’re at in the heart of the Fall Sports Yearbook production. All of the coaches have been fantastic with getting me the information I need to make the yearbook as accurate as possible. The newsroom staff here at the Tribune have also been a huge help in putting the yearbook together. Whether writing stories or taking photos, the yearbook definitely wouldn’t be possible without all of their help.

How about Tiger on Sunday? That was absolutely riveting television. I found myself yelling at the TV, standing, cheering and trying to give Tiger advice from the comfort of my living room. Although he didn’t end up pulling it out, I think the tournament marked the moment that Tiger is for sure back in the swing of things, no pun intended.

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Although my prediction of Spieth winning the career grand slam didn’t come true, my other prediction did. I, along with my teammates Jayson Olson and Trent Midtgaard, took the championship at the Worth Mutual golf tournament in Northwood. We finished 10 strokes under par, beating the second-place team by one stroke. I was pretty proud of our performance, and it’s something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

On another personal note, I’ll be knocking off another baseball park off my list this weekend as I head to Chicago and Wrigley Field. However, I won’t be seeing a ball game while I’m there. Monday night I’ll be seeing the greatest band to ever be formed play on the field: Pearl Jam. I know it’s not sports related, but I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. I’m very excited and I wanted everyone to know. 

In Minnesota sports news, the Twins are done. A lot of us have known that for a while, but I think it’s official now. I loved to see pitcher Ervin Santana taking a shot at the Twin’s front office a few days ago, saying they gave up. It seems like the window that was opened last year with a wild card birth is already closing, and that’s sad to see.

This week’s NFL prediction is going to be the NFC East. I think this division is pretty set as long as the Eagles can stay healthy and the Cowboys continue to be the Cowboys. One wild card in the division is going to be the Giants.

Why are the Giants not good? One of the best wideouts in the league, an above average line, a pretty good defensive secondary and Eli Manning. Granted Eli is not the greatest quarterback in the game, but he’s been around and he does have two Superbowl titles. The addition of Brandon Marshall and the drafting of Saquon Barkley should make this team big-time contenders, but I just can’t bet on them based on previous seasons.

I’m sorry Cowboy fans, but I’m going to say some things you might not like now. I’ve never really been a fan of Dak Prescott. I think his first season was a flash in the pan, and his best is now behind him. I do like Ezekiel Elliott, but with the lack of other weapons around him, it’s going to be tough to get him going in some games. Their defense is going to be very questionable on top of all that. I don’t think it’s going to be a classic Cowboys 8-8 season, but it’s going to be pretty close.

The Eagles have lost almost no one from a team that won the Superbowl last season, and they’re getting their top quarterback back who was in contention for league MVP before an injury ended his season. My prediction is for the Eagles to run away with the division title by no less than three games.

Finally, there’s the Redskins. As a Chiefs fan, I think Alex Smith is a great quarterback, and when he’s surrounded by talented pieces, he’s potentially one of the most useful quarterbacks in the league. However, that’s where the problem lies, there are no weapons on the Redskins roster. Their No. 1 receiver is Josh Doctson, and their No. 1 running back is Samaje Perine. Smith has made magic in the past, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to lead the Redskins anywhere other than last place in the division.

NFC East final predictions

1. Eagles 12-4 (No. 2 seed in NFC)

2. Cowboys 9-7

3. Giants 8-8

4. Redskins 4-12

Tyler Julson is the Tribune sports reporter. Contact him at tyler.julson@albertleatribune.com.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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