Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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When you think of star power in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, men's basketball fans start with the traditional powers in Aberdeen, St. Cloud and Mankato. In the giant NCAA Division II 16-team league, which was born out of the defunct and once-powerful North Central Conference, one of the last places on your mind—at least for many years—was Minnesota Crookston. Harrison Cleary is changing that.
With the UND football program signing a majority of the 2018 recruiting class during the early period in December, coach Bubba Schweigert took the opportunity Wednesday to highlight the walk-on portion of his signees. In total, UND added eight players—including three walk-ons—to the 2018 class during the late signing period. "We think they're really important to our program," Schweigert said of walk-ons. "We want to give local guys an opportunity to play here. Those guys are special. They work hard to prove they can play at that level."
UND softball coach Jordan Stevens was asked what will be different about his 2018 team compared to last season's squad. Turns out, not much. And that's a good thing, Stevens said. "My hope is that you'll see more experience and that we can get rid of some of those rookie mistakes," he said. "You'll see a lot of familiar people. It won't change a lot in terms of personnel." UND opens the season Thursday against Charleston Southern during the Wingate by Wyndham Invite in Charleston, S.C.
With the UND football program signing a majority of the 2018 recruiting class during the early period in December, coach Bubba Schweigert took the opportunity Wednesday to highlight the walk-on portion of his signees. In total, UND added eight players -- including four walk-ons -- to the 2018 class during the late signing period.
Grand Forks Central's Zack Murphy is one of the city's best prep baseball, hockey and football players. But the decision on which sport to pick to play at the college level was an easy one. "Most of my life, football has come a little easier," Murphy said. "Hockey and baseball have always been harder for me to stand out. Football always came the most naturally." On Wednesday, Murphy will make his college decision official when he joins the UND football signing class. At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Murphy expects to start his time at UND playing outside linebacker.
Grand Forks Red River doesn't typically play a non-conference opponent like Warroad this late in the boys hockey regular season. But Roughriders' coach Bill Chase likes the challenge. "I'd take it every year," Chase said. "I like it, especially with a tough team like that. You know they're going to come hard and physical and be well-coached." The Roughriders passed their final non-conference test with flying colors Monday night in a 5-1 win over the Warriors at Purpur Arena. Red River improved to 16-2-2, while Warroad dropped to 12-10-1.
The UND men's basketball team was the class of the Big Sky Conference in 2017. The Fighting Hawks went to the Big Dance behind star Quinton Hooker and a strong supporting cast led by Geno Crandall, Corey Baldwin, Conner Avants and Drick Bernstine. The 2018 version of the Fighting Hawks, minus Hooker, Baldwin and Bernstine, has been a difficult roller-coaster ride. The season series against Montana is a perfect example. In Missoula, UND lost by 30 and gave up 109 points.
The UND volleyball team's hopes of three-peating as Big Sky Conference tournament champions received a boost on Thursday. UND coach Mark Pryor has announced the addition of transfer Kayla Williams to the 2018 roster. Williams spent two seasons at UConn, where she led the Huskies in kills in her freshman and sophomore seasons. She will have two seasons of eligibility at UND.
Former UND quarterback and Grand Forks native Jake Landry is changing jobs as offensive coordinator at the NCAA Division III level in Wisconsin. Landry has been hired as Wisconsin-Whitewater offensive coordinator, the La Crosse Tribune reports. Landry was previously the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin-La Crosse. Whitewater's previous OC, Craig Smith, didn't have his contract renewed after three seasons, according to FootballScoop.
Grand Forks Red River forward Mason Thingvold played on the top line Tuesday night against Fargo Davies for the first time this year. "It was a lot faster than what I'm used to," Thingvold said. "I just tried to give it my all." The sophomore caught up to speed quickly. Behind two goals from Thingvold and four assists from linemate Mason Salquist, Red River beat Fargo Davies 5-0 at Purpur Arena to solidify second place in the East Region standings. Red River improved to 14-2-2 overall and 11-2-1 in the EDC. Davies dropped to 13-2-2 and 10-2-2 in the EDC.