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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PERHAM, Minn. — Bob Wilkowski took a second to try to remember how old he was when asked last week. The former Perham High School football player, coach and administrator turned to his wife, Carol, and asked if he was 72 or 73. The two met in 1967 when Bob was a punter and wide receiver for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She was a freshman and he was on campus early for his fifth season of football. They've been together ever since. Carol reminded Bob he was 73.
PERHAM, Minn. — When University of Minnesota long snapper Payton Jordahl was 3 years old, his daycare would tell his mother, Kim, they were going to have to start charging her extra because he kept bringing his imaginary football team with him.
As he opened his eyes, Concordia sophomore hockey player Brock Montgomery felt no pain. He could see out of his right eye, but there was nothing but darkness out of his left. He felt a ringing in his ears and his right arm had some blood on it. Montgomery doesn't know who shot him. He doesn't want to know. "I don't want to think about that every time I see or talk to them," Montgomery, 21, said. "Everybody that was there I'm still friends with. I don't need that."
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Chris Ellingson has been a high school basketball referee for 15 years and a baseball and softball umpire for 12 years in Minnesota . He’ll never forget coming out of the dressing room, after waving off a basket at the buzzer, to three people holding a video camera yelling at him about the call. He remembers every detail from the experience, but he keeps the school, the teams and the names of the people out of the story.
FARGO — Grand Forks Central tennis player Gary Wu couldn't stop putting his hands on his head and yelling how Thursday was impossible for him to process. He couldn't process Central's boys tennis team winning the East Region championship for the first time since 1987. All the Knights had to do to get there was beat a team in the championship match that had won every East Region title since 1995 in Grand Forks Red River. The Knights did just that, 4-1. "It's unreal," Wu said. "I'm still not processing it. It's been a crazy three weeks."
FARGO — The Fargo Force will unveil a banner for the franchise's first Clark Cup title Friday at Scheels Arena before the home opener. The banner will hang in the southeast corner of the arena. Force coach Cary Eades has seen many hockey banners lifted to the rafters. He won two national championships as a player and one as a coach with the University of North Dakota. He won three Minnesota state championships as the coach at Warroad High School and won the United States Hockey League's Clark Cup with Sioux Falls.
CASSELTON, N.D. — Central Cass senior Jonah Lietz always wanted to be a wide receiver. But since he was one of the smartest kids in his class, he was put into the quarterback position in fourth grade. He loves to study plays and look at the details. His memory of each play in a football game is almost picture perfect.
MINNEAPOLIS — Kale Griffeth's wish for his seventh birthday was to go to a Minnesota Vikings game with his mom and dad at U.S. Bank Stadium. That was supposed to happen Sunday, as West Fargo graduates Katy, 34, and Randall Griffeth, 35, paid more than $900 for flights from their Hawaii home and about $250 each for a ticket to Minnesota's home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
PERHAM, Minn.—Perham senior quarterback Jenson Beachy stood with fellow senior Quenten Schumacher just outside the football field last week. Schumacher had Perham's football field at the top of his wish list for places he'd like to take his senior pictures. Schumacher is not on the football team. He is confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.
FARGO — Fargo Davies hockey standout Cade Stibbe has a list of goals on his door of his bedroom. When the forward was about 8 years old, one goal was to shoot 10,000 pucks in the offseason. It moved to 15,000 as he got older. Currently, it's broken up into different kind of shots. He also has how many hours he wants to spend in the weight room and on the ice. The goal at the bottom is Division I hockey. And it's circled. That goal will remain circled at the bottom of his door despite the fact he committed to play hockey for Arizona State on Thursday.