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UND and North Dakota State have agreed to a four-year, home-and-home men's basketball series beginning this season. UND made the announcement Thursday. The first contest in the eight-game series will be held in Fargo on Dec. 7. The teams will meet again nine days later in Grand Forks.
UND has advanced to postseason play in four of the past five seasons. If the Fighting Hawks make it five of six, they'll have some work to do. UND released its 2016-17 women's basketball schedule on Tuesday, one that has the Hawks playing 10 of their 29 regular-season games against teams that were in postseason play last season. "This schedule showcases a lot of teams that our fans can recognize and have fun with; however, it's a serious challenge for the team," said UND coach Travis Brewster said.
If you're going to go on a hot streak at The Bullring, a good time to do so is late in the season. Austin Pierce won his second straight 25-lap sprint feature at River Cities Speedway on Friday night, making a late charge to the front in front of more than 2,000 wins. Pierce passed Wade Nygaard for the lead on Lap 23. Pierce edged Nygaard by 0.200 seconds at the flagstand, while Jade Hastings finished third, followed by Chris Ranten and Jordan Graham. For much of the race, it was a two-car shootout between Casey Mack and Nygaard.
Ryan Flaten has raced in a handful of classes at River Cities Speedway over the years. And there is one thing that stands out about the Grand Forks driver: He's one of the more consistent racers at The Bullring, regardless of division. Flaten is in second place in the streets points race this season as RCS prepares for tonight's races. Flaten has won two features this season and trails only Travis Robertson in the points race. Robertson has been the dominant streets driver at RCS this season and recently picked up the 40th feature win on his young career.
The Grand Forks Herald announced Wednesday the high school football games that will be played this year at the Alerus Center will be called the Sugar Beet Classic, presented by the Herald and Altru Advanced Orthopedics. The doubleheader will be Oct. 7 and will involve Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River. Central will play West Fargo at 4:30 p.m. in the Classic opener. At 7:30 p.m., Grand Forks Red River will meet Fargo Davies. Both will be Eastern Dakota Conference games.
For 20 laps, No. 9 was looking fine. All that matters, however, is who leads Lap 25 at River Cities Speedway. Austin Pierce capitalized on Mark Dobmeier's misfortune Friday night, winning a five-lap shootout with Casey Mack to win his first sprint feature of the season at The Bullring before nearly 3,000 fans. Dobmeier was going for his ninth-straight win at RCS and was in control of another victory when the right rear rim broke on his No. 13 sprint on Lap 20. The break occurred on Turn 2, bringing out the caution flag.
On Nov. 21, 2015, UND beat Cal Poly 45-21 in San Luis Obispo, a win that capped the regular season and gave the Fighting Hawks a 7-4 record. Seven wins, in preceding years, virtually guaranteed an NCAA FCS playoff berth. In two short years, it appeared, UND coach Bubba Schweigert had turned around the Hawks' football program. No way could the NCAA keep the Hawks out of the playoffs, considering their record, their late-season surge and a win over an FBS program (Wyoming). Wrong.
Wayne Anderson was in failing health the past few months. The River Cities Speedway managing partner, however, still had a goal. "His goal was to be in the infield for the second World of Outlaws show," said Darren Evavold, one of the RCS managing partners. "He didn't make it but he did make one final lap around the track." The WoO second show of the season is scheduled Aug. 28 at The Bullring. However, Anderson, a driving force for racing in Grand Forks for decades, died last week at age 76.
For the second time in the program's Division I era, UND will host a Big Ten program at The Betty. UND announced Wednesday that it will host Iowa Nov. 16 in Grand Forks, the marquee game of the Fighting Hawks' home schedule.
It was quiet Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, where media, surprisingly, are welcome and not required to genuflect nor notify UND athletic department officials 24 hours in advance of their requests. Ah, the perks of not living in the big time. UND football coach Bubba Schweigert, who, surprisingly, was available on five minutes notice, took a few minutes to show media members his program's new helmets—the first real sign that the Fighting Hawks' logo indeed will be around for the long haul. The Memorial Stadium quiet, however, is coming to an end.