Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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The North Dakota high school boys hockey season hasn't started yet, but Grand Forks Red River junior Braden Costello is already receiving some lofty praise. Costello was named a 2016-17 USA Today Prep All-American, the publication released on Thursday. Costello, an uncommitted 6-foot-1 forward, was the leading scorer (27 goals, 25 assists) for Red River, which completed a perfect 27-0 season with a state championship. The Roughriders were the first team in North Dakota to complete an unbeaten season in 49 years.
Mayville State has decided not to renew the contract of head football John Haines, according to Mayville State athletic director Mike Moore. "Mayville State has decided to go in a different direction with its football program," Moore said in an email. "We thank John for his service to Mayville State and wish him well." Moore said a search for a new football coach will begin immediately. Haines was hired in July of 2014. The Comets went 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the North Star Athletic Conference in 2016.
When the UND men's basketball team opens the season against lower competition in Crown College and Mayville State, it makes it difficult to assess the results. So, too, is it difficult to pinpoint the UND women's basketball team when it starts the year against Drake, Texas Tech and Iowa in a six-day span. In Iowa's 75-60 win over the Fighting Hawks on Wednesday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, though, we were able to piece together a few early trends.
The UND football team rose in the FCS playoff committee's Top 10 rankings, but the Fighting Hawks are still sitting outside ideal positioning. UND was ranked No. 9 in the committee's rankings, announced late Tuesday night on ESPNU. The top eight seeds receive first-round byes. The official bracket will be released Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on ESPNU.
This year, the UND football team isn't on the bubble for inclusion in the 24-team FCS playoff field. But the Fighting Hawks, who were left out of the playoffs in 2015, are on a different kind of bubble this season. UND, 9-2 overall and 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference, has an argument for a first-round bye. UND coach Bubba Schweigert thinks his team is deserving of a Top 8 seed. The top eight seeds in the FCS playoffs all receive a bye.
The UND football team is a Top 10 team for the first time in the program's Division I history. The Fighting Hawks are now ranked No. 10 in the STATS FCS media poll, which was released Monday afternoon. UND, which was ranked No. 12 in last week's poll, scored 28 unanswered points to beat Northern Arizona 38-31 last Saturday at the Alerus Center. With the win, UND is now on a nine-game winning streak and clinched a share of the Big Sky Conference championship. UND is 9-2 overall and 8-0 in the Big Sky.
UND quarterback Keaton Studsrud was a game-time decision to start Saturday during UND's 38-31 win over Northern Arizona at the Alerus Center. Studsrud, who hadn't played in two weeks, had to leave the game a few times as his right arm seemed to dangle. At one point in the fourth quarter, Studsrud was hit as he threw an incomplete pass in the red zone. UND trainers had to come out on the field to look at his shoulder.
UND safety Cole Reyes asked quarterback Keaton Studsrud to grab ahold of the Gatorade cooler. After wandering around midfield, the junior captains finally found and soaked head coach Bubba Schweigert...
If a majority of UND's athletic programs made a move from the Big Sky Conference to the Summit League and the Missouri Valley Football Conference, there would be savings on travel costs but perhaps not as much as some believe, according to NCAA athletic department finance numbers obtained by the Herald. The Herald reported last Saturday that UND athletic director Brian Faison was in negotiations with the Summit and MVFC, according to text-message exchanges with league commissioners.
The UND men's basketball game Friday afternoon ended the way a season opener should for a Division I program against a Division III opponent: With fans begging the home team to reach 100 points. The Fighting Hawks didn't quite get there but displayed some youth and depth in an easy 98-48 win over Crown College in front of 2,207 fans at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. "It was fun especially when we got up and let some of the other guys get in and have some fun," UND forward Drick Bernstine said. "The young guys got a chance to get some jitters out."