Size is all relative for East Grand Forks Senior High football player Chase Olderback. The senior lineman is 6-foot-4 and weighs 220 pounds. "I'm a pretty big guy,'' Olderback said. "But I'm pretty small compared to some of the guys on our line.'' That line leads a ground game that has sparked the Green Wave to a 3-0 start going into today's 6 p.m. game against visiting Fergus Falls (0-3).
On the opening day of football practice, the Goodridge-Grygla football coaches were in for a surprise when they pulled out their stopwatches. In the high school football team's timed runs, five players ran the 40-yard dash in sub-5 second times, which was above the norm for the 9-man program. "We thought we'd have maybe one or two kids do it,'' G-G coach John Wilebski said. "And we had a few other kids who were close. Speed isn't everything. But it makes a big difference.'' That is showing in the won-loss mark.
Hannah Whitehead, Ali Church, Lexi Ljunggren, the others—Ellie Pulkrabek and Jordyn Danielson know all the names. Now the two junior swimmers are vying to become the next Grand Forks high school swimmer to dominate the 500 freestyle. At the UND Invitational on Saturday, Danielson won the 500 and Pulkrabek placed third in the event. Pulkrabek also was third and Danielson fourth in the 200 freestyle.
This win was a long time coming for Grand Forks Central. The Knights snapped 20 seasons of frustration Friday by handing Grand Forks Red River an 8-1 boys high school tennis setback at Riverside Park. That ended a run of 32 consecutive Central dual losses to the tradition-rich Roughrider program. The last time Central defeated Red River was 3-2 in the 1997 state championship. Current Central coach Max Weisser was a seventh-grader playing at No. 1 doubles in that dual.
With Kirby Krefting's connection to Grand Forks Red River High School, it's no surprise where he'll be sitting at Cushman Field tonight. "I definitely have ties to Red River, so I have to sit on that side,'' said Krefting, the boys basketball coach at Red River. Still, the annual Cushman Classic has Krefting pulling for both the Grand Forks Central and Red River football teams. In addition to his basketball duties at Red River, Krefting is a football coach at Schroeder Middle School.
LARIMORE, N.D.—With two wins this season, Larimore has as many victories as it had reserves on the bench Friday night. Participation numbers have become a struggle for the 9-man high school football program. The Polar Bears started the season with 14 players. One quit and two were sidelined after suffering concussion-like symptoms in the team's previous game. "We had more coaches (five) than subs on the sideline,'' Larimore head coach Kal Triplett said. "Hopefully those two kids will be back for our game this week.
Polk County West may have found a running back hidden on the depth chart of its offensive line. Senior guard-turned-fullback Will White rushed for 152 yards on just 15 carries last Friday in the team's opening 39-6 win against Blackduck. "Will got things done,'' PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. "He's so new to the game. He is a physical, athletic kid. He did more than we probably would have expected for his first game there.'' Because of time commitments to other activities, White didn't start playing football until last season.
The hitting efficiency isn't where Carolyn Olson would like to see it. But Grand Forks Red River's play at the net Tuesday was enough to extend its intracity high school volleyball dominance. The Roughriders had a 40-28 advantage in kills, helping them to a 25-11, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15 win at Grand Forks Central. Kaylee Lancaster had 12 kills, Karlie Robson and Alex Page added eight each and Jada Steen had seven in the balanced Red River attack. The Riders had a .112 hitting percentage.
William Lawson-Body accounted for half of Grand Forks Central's goals last season when he scored 10 times. Lawson-Body is off to a fast start again this high school boys soccer season, scoring six goals in the Knights' first six games. A big difference from a year ago, however, is in the junior's playmaking—Lawson-Body has three assists after not registering any as a sophomore. "I think we're all creating more scoring chances,'' Lawson-Body said. "We're getting more movement without the ball. We're all passing better.
Julian Benson was a bit surprised to get his first start Friday. The junior's numbers showed he earned his spot. Benson rushed for 119 yards and four touchdowns, leading East Grand Forks Senior High to a 49-28 win against visiting Crookston in the high school season opener for the two teams. "I didn't know if I'd even start,'' said Benson, who totaled 169 rushing yards and one TD as a reserve last season. "All the work our line has put in, that was the big thing. We don't get yards without their blocking. There were some runs where I never got touched.''