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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With the first practice of the college football season, most of the UND coaching staff hit the Memorial Stadium field Thursday for their fourth season in Grand Forks. For some UND players, it was also their fourth or fifth fall camp. UND head coach Bubba Schweigert is entering his fourth season as head coach and after inserting young players into the lineup early in his tenure, those key pieces of the program are now veteran leaders.
Quinton Hooker, one of UND's all-time best basketball players, has taken the first step in his professional career. Hooker announced Wednesday he's signed with GTK Gliwice in the Polish National Basketball League. Hooker, a native of Brooklyn Park, Minn., will travel to Gliwice, a town in the southern portion of Poland, on Aug. 15. The team's season begins in September with preseason games starting in late August. Hooker said the decision felt similar to choosing a college.
With one attempt left at the USA Track & Field Hershey National Junior Olympic Championships, Grand Forks 15-year-old Shelby Frank knew she needed her best discus throw. "I was thinking I had to throw it farther than I ever had before in order to win," Frank said. "I didn't think. I just threw. I was surprised." Frank's final throw—a personal-best throw by 6 feet of 161 feet, 2.75 inches—won the national meet at the Girls 15-16 championship last weekend in Lawrence, Kan. The throw was a meet record.
UND safety Cole Reyes arrived back in Grand Forks late July 18 from the Big Sky Conference media event in Park City, Utah. He woke up the next day to missed phone calls and text messages asking if he had heard about cornerback Deion Harris. Reyes called quarterback Keaton Studsrud and heard the news that Harris, a potential NFL draft pick and key piece of UND's defense, had injured his Achilles' tendon and would miss the entire season. "I was heartbroken," Reyes said.
With expectations at an all-time high in the Division I era, the UND football team will report to fall camp Tuesday. Fighting Hawks coach Bubba Schweigert will conduct his first practice of fall camp on Thursday morning at Memorial Stadium. As the 2017 season gets underway, here's a look at the top five storylines to watch as fall camp begins: 1. How will UND's offense use All-American John Santiago? After two standout seasons in Grand Forks, John Santiago enters his junior season as a key weapon in UND offensive coordinator Paul Rudolph's offense.
Park River's Adam Swanson will enroll at UND in less than a month and start school for Pre-Med. Before he even starts on campus, though, he made some pretty good memories in Grand Forks on Sunday. Swanson threw six solid innings to lead Park River to a 9-3 win over the Bismarck Reps in the championship game of the North Dakota state Class A American Legion baseball tournament at Kraft Field.
When teammate after teammate walked into the Southgate Bar in Grand Forks on Saturday afternoon, some who hadn't seen each other since high school, Gary Olufson looked around and stated the obvious. "We got older," Olufson said with some fake confusion. Fifty years older to be exact. Fifty years ago, Grand Forks' American Legion baseball team went on a whirlwind trip from North Dakota to Nebraska to Memphis—a three-week swing that captivated the city and culminated in North Dakota's first appearance at the World Series since Legion ball started in 1928.
When Park River scored six times in the third inning, the Bismarck Reps were reeling. "We were hanging our heads," Bismarck's Treyton Mattern said. "We knew, though, if we wanted to stay we had to compete. The philosophy was to win every winning." The philosophy paid off. Bismarck chipped away at a seven-run deficit and pulled off a 10-9 win over Park River on Saturday in the North Dakota state Class A tournament at Kraft Field.
Park River's Adam Zavalney noticed a pitching change for Kindred, and he thought he would grab a heavier bat. Instead of the usual 33-ounce bat, he picked up a 34-ounce one. The extra weight was a good choice. Zavalney slugged a two-run home run over the right-field fence to spark a four-run fourth and give the Pirates some cushion in a 7-2 victory over Kindred in winners' bracket play at the North Dakota state Class A American Legion baseball tournament at Kraft Field on Friday. "I ended up getting under it and hit it out," Zavalney said.
Growing up in Grand Forks in the 1970s, Tom Montgomery would get to the ballpark early in the morning. He'd ask around to see what teams needed an extra guy. It usually resulted in playing all day. Tom learned baseball from his older brothers and his dad Robert, who played a little with the Grand Forks Chiefs minor league baseball team. Tom still comes to Kraft Field quite a bit now, but this time he's not asking into other games. He's watching a third generation of Montgomerys play ball in Grand Forks.