Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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FARGO—South Dakota State's Mike Daum showed exactly why he was the men's basketball conference player of the year in the Summit League last season and why he's the favorite to repeat again this year. Daum took over midway through the second half to lead SDSU to an 87-80 win over North Dakota State in the conference opener for both teams Wednesday.
MOORHEAD—St. Cloud State junior defenseman and former Moorhead hockey standout Will Borgen was driving home from practicing with the Moorhead hockey team a couple weeks ago when he got a call from Huskies coach Bob Motzko. Borgen was home for winter break and Motzko was at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—On the outskirts of Detroit Lakes, the Johnson family made a dirt path through the woods to the nearest home, a quarter of a mile away. Seven-year-old Janaye Johnson and her younger brother, Davis, needed a way to get to the house of the boy who moved in a couple years previous. He was in the same grade as Janaye, which felt like a miracle to her, as she was in the market for someone to play with, and the market was slim in those parts.
FARGO—Marquise Bridges was recruited out of DeLaSalle High School of Minneapolis in 2014 to be a wide receiver for North Dakota State. And for good reason. He had 66 catches for 1,317 yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior season with the Islanders. On Tuesday, in NDSU's 55-13 semifinal win over Sam Houston State, Bridges got the first and second interceptions of his collegiate career. Giving up the wide receiver role last season and moving to cornerback as a freshman was tough for Bridges, but he did it for a shot to play.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Moorhead senior forward Carter Randklev got a University of North Dakota hockey jersey for his ninth birthday. It was around that time people were telling him he was too small to play hockey. The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Randklev committed to play hockey for UND on Wednesday, Dec. 13. "UND has always been a part of my life," Randklev said. "It was only a dream to go there until it became a reality."
MOORHEAD—Many players on the Moorhead boys hockey team have said they have dreamt of winning the program's first state hockey championship. If the dream becomes a reality this season, the Spuds won't need to be pinched. They'll have the reality show to prove it. Moorhead will be featured in a six-week, six-episode reality television series on Fox Sports North focusing on its current season. Presented by StateofHockey.com, "Dream. State." will begin in the middle of February and run through the middle of March.
FARGO—North Dakota State men's basketball team has won three straight games, after a 94-58 win over Stetson on Saturday, Nov. 25, at the Sanford Health Athletic Center. Tyson Ward has been a difference-maker in all three. After scoring 15 points total in the first two games of the season, both losses for NDSU (3-2), Ward has scored 54 in his last three games. The sophomore had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Missouri State, 17 points and seven rebounds against Florida A&M and scored a career-high 26 against Stetson (4-3).
FARGO—Bismarck Century will defend its Class A volleyball crown. The Patriots used a 20-25, 25-14, 25-7, 25-19 win over Valley City in the state semifinals Friday, Nov. 17, at the Fargodome to set up a matchup with Jamestown for the state title. The only other volleyball team to win three straight state titles is Fargo North, completing the three-peat in 1997. Patriots will go for their third straight Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.
FARGO—Central Cass freshman Rylee Goettle has one dig in her varsity volleyball career. That will be the only statistic she ever gets. On Thursday, Nov. 16, at the North Dakota Class B volleyball tournament at the Fargodome, Goettle was led out to the court during introductions by her older sister Dallas. With sunglasses in her hand, an eye patch over her left eye, and some blurry vision in her right eye, Goettle didn't have much depth perception. Her teammates held her hand in line as starters were introduced. She couldn't embrace the bright lights.
FARGO — Thursday, Nov. 16, was the first ever appearance at a state volleyball tournament for Valley City. The Hi-Liners showed no fear, sweeping Bismarck 25-22, 25-17, 25-20 in the North Dakota Class A quarterfinals at the Fargodome. "It's still like a dream right now. Somebody needs to pinch me," Valley City coach Jill Taylor said. "Just to see how the girls are playing it's amazing how they've come together. This has been their long dream for three years. We finally made it to state, and to win in the first round makes it even better."