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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Bismarck was trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh of last week Thursday in the North Dakota Class A state softball quarterfinals at Mickelson Park. The Demons had loaded the bases with one out on West Fargo Sheyenne. Sheyenne was trying to win its first ever softball game at the state tournament against the top seed out of the West Region and a team that played in the state championship last season.
FARGO—Dickinson senior Kayla Friske could feel off the bat her hit in the bottom of the fourth of Friday's North Dakota Class A state semifinal against West Fargo Sheyenne was a good one. She hadn't hit a home run all season, so she didn't think it had a chance of being one. She was wrong. It flew over the left-center fence at Mickelson Park to put Dickinson up one run on Sheyenne. Dickinson senior Amber Sickler took it from there in the pitcher's circle, holding off Sheyenne for a 3-2 victory.
FARGO—West Fargo will not be state softball champions. Two decades straight of championships disappeared Thursday into the clear blue sky above Mickelson Park, as Century's Maddy Zander pierced it with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
FARGO—Bismarck was trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh of Thursday's North Dakota Class A state softball quarterfinal at Mickelson Park. The Demons had loaded the bases with one out on West Fargo Sheyenne. Sheyenne was trying to win its first ever softball game at the state tournament against the top seed out of the West Region and a team that played in the state championship last season.
FARGO—Fargo Shanley had no answer for Mandan's big men in Thursday's North Dakota Class A boys basketball quarterfinal matchup at North Dakota State's Scheels Center. Behind 6-foot-6 Camren Steckler, his 6-4 twin brother, Trae Steckler, and 6-6 Elijah Klein, Mandan topped Shanley 68-53. Mandan coach Brandon Schafer had a puzzled look on his face when asked what game plan he would come up with if he faced the Steckler twins and Klein. He was happy he didn't have to answer that question.
FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne boys basketball coach Tom Kirchoffner calls Mustangs big man Kemal Hajric the heart and soul of the team. It was only fitting, with the game already well in hand, the senior captain sprinted for a steal and saved the ball from going out bounds on the final possession for Fargo Davies. For the final 20 seconds, Hajric jumped around with pure joy before letting out one final scream, as the Mustangs handed the No. 1-ranked Eagles their first loss of the season 97-82.
Detroit Lakes, Minn. On the outskirts of Detroit Lakes, the Johnson family made a dirt path through the woods to the nearest home, a quarter of a mile away. Seven-year-old Janaye Johnson and her younger brother, Davis, needed a way to get to the house of the boy who moved in a couple years previous. He was in the same grade as Janaye, which felt like a miracle to her, as she was in the market for someone to play with, and the market was slim in those parts.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Moorhead senior forward Carter Randklev got a University of North Dakota hockey jersey for his ninth birthday. It was around that time people were telling him he was too small to play hockey. The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Randklev committed to play hockey for UND on Wednesday, Dec. 13. "UND has always been a part of my life," Randklev said. "It was only a dream to go there until it became a reality."
FARGO — When Jamestown saw West Fargo, the top team from the East Region, get upset by West Region's four seed Mandan in the opening match of the North Dakota Class A state volleyball tournament, the Blue Jays weren't heartbroken. "I think we were a lot more excited because the West is our territory," Jamestown senior McKayla Kurtz said. "We've played (the West) all season, so I think we're excited we'll get to see them tomorrow."
FARGO — It was an all too familiar sight for Fargo Shanley's football team on Friday, Nov. 10, at the Fargodome. The Deacons stood on the field watching as another team celebrated a North Dakota Class 2A state championship. For the third time in the last four seasons, the Deacons lost in the state championship game, falling to Bismarck St. Mary's 31-12.