Tyler Julson: There are multiple Albert Lea athletes to watch this coming postseason

Published 8:48 pm Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Notes from the Sports Desk by Tyler Julson


Once again, the Tigers football team proved they are so close to turning the corner, losing by just a touchdown on Homecoming to a team that beat the once-ranked Waseca Bluejays. Coach Corey Black has this team headed in the right direction and with a couple of winnable games coming up on the schedule, I see the Tigers ending the season on a high note.

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The rest of the fall sports are just getting into crunch time with the postseason drawing near. The tennis teams have already started their team and individual sections, girls’ soccer sections begin Saturday and the boys’ soccer sections start Monday.

I always enjoy the postseason time of the year. It’s interesting to see how things shake out in the final few weeks of the regular season, and where teams end up in the final standings.

A few teams and individuals in the area have a great shot at making a deep run in the playoffs this year. Not to say that any team can’t make a spectacular run, but there are a few that really stand out to me.

First, in Albert Lea, swimmers Jaeda Koziolek and Emily Taylor are basically a lock to make to the state swim meet (knock on wood). They’ve been dominating their races all year long and are on course to end their season in Minneapolis. Also in Albert Lea, there are a few cross country runners who have stepped up this season. Grant Herfindahl, Aaron Bauers and JV Moreno have consistently made big strides this year, and I look for them to make some noise come conference and section time.

In the other area schools, the Alden-Conger volleyball team is playing spectacular this season, not having lost a single match yet. The section might be a tough one to climb out of, but I think they have the ability to do it. Lake Mills, as usual, also has a great volleyball team. They seem to have a great player at every position on the floor, putting them in fantastic position in the postseason.

United South Central’s football team has been performing well this year, out to a 5-0 start and ranked No. 8 in Class 1A. They have the capability to make a big play anywhere on the field. The combo of Isaac Meyer, Roel Perales, Zach Niebuhr and Colby Klocek is very dangerous.

Northwood-Kensett football has also made a believer out of me, especially after their 18-0 win over the No. 1-ranked team in the state last Friday. Through six games this season, the Vikings have allowed only eight points — eight, in eight-man football, that’s unheard of. This year’s Vikings are the definition of an all-around team. There are no stars, just a band of teammates. Also at Northwood-Kensett is cross country runner Lindsay Davidson, who is on a mission to return to the state meet after taking 29th place there one year ago.

In professional news, it’s finally time for postseason baseball, the time when we remember why we love baseball after 162 regular season games. My pick to win it all is still the Red Sox, but as long as it’s not the Cubs, I’m fine. If I can’t be happy as a Twins fan, my Cubs-fan friends can’t be happy either.

The Twins are replacing Molitor, which isn’t a huge shock, but at least he’s still staying with the team in some capacity. Joe Mauer’s future is still up in the air, which I’m not sure how to feel about. Mauer seems like a really great guy, but that contract was debilitating and I’m not sure if I can forgive that just yet.

As I’m writing this, I’m reading about the Patrick Reed controversies during the Ryder Cup this week — and I love it. Not Patrick Reed — I’ve never been a huge fan of his — but the thought of having a heel in golf is fantastic. Having not only a number of people to root for — like Tiger, Spieth, Rose and Westwood (my personal favorites) — but also having someone to root against. It might not be very golf-like to actively cheer against someone, but that’s an element that makes sports as fun as they are.


Tyler Julson is the Tribune’s 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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