Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO—The life of a true freshman football player at North Dakota State changed on Wednesday. A new stipulation passed by the NCAA this week will allow those players to play up to four games in a season without losing a year of eligibility. The motion was approved by the Division I Council, a move that NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen expected to go through. But just not this quick. It applies to both the FBS and NDSU's FCS.
FARGO—It had been awhile since Jason Ray had been in front of multiple media cameras and microphones. That changed when he was named assistant football coach at North Dakota State University on Tuesday, June 5. The hire by head coach Chris Klieman puts NDSU back at full strength after Atif Austin took a position with the New England Patriots. Ray, who will coach the receivers, was at Missouri State the past two years and Northern Iowa in 2015. So he's familiar with the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
HANKINSON, N.D.—There's not much to do for kids at Dakota Magic Casino, according to Emily St. Aubin, so she grabbed her putter and a few golf balls and headed to the practice putting green on Tuesday night, May 29. It was just her and the prairie that surrounded Dakota Winds Golf Course. Just under 24 hours later, St. Aubin made history in the North Dakota Class B state girls golf tournament. She not only became the first player to win three straight individual championships, but she's on pace to obliterate the record book.
FARGO—Another three-class proposal for North Dakota high school basketball and volleyball will return to the talking table next month. The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors will have on its plate a draft put forth by the administrators at Wahpeton and Fairmount High Schools. Mike McCall, the Wahpeton athletic director, said the landscape has changed so much in the state in recent years that it's time to revisit the idea.
FARGO—Chris Klieman has visited several Power Five conference football schools during his tenure as the head football coach for North Dakota State University, and in almost every instance, one amenity stood out: indoor practice facilities. These facilities are starting to filter down to the Division I FCS level. And after the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education gave its unanimous authorization for NDSU to begin fundraising for the $37.2 million project on Wednesday at its meeting in Bismarck, the school is on track to getting one of its own.
FARGO — North Dakota State is in the market for an assistant football coach after wide receivers coach Atif Austin accepted an assistant position with the New England Patriots. One of the probable requirements for the job: The ability to recruit the state of Florida. New England head coach Bill Belichick called Austin on Friday to offer him the position of assistant running backs coach. Belichick also called Bison head coach Chris Klieman, who said Monday he couldn't be happier for Austin.
FARGO—The high point of entries for the Sanford Fargo Marathon came in 2012 when 25,700 signed up for the races that comprise the weekend event. It was about that time when races around the region became more frequent, meaning Fargo has some competition to deal with. The numbers reflected it. Entries hovered between 21,000 and 23,000 for the next four years and dropped to 18,073 last year. At some point, Fargo Marathon executive director Mark Knutson expects a few of the smaller races to fade away, meaning Fargo could be in line for another growth spurt.
FARGO—Cold and windy. But at least rain is out of the forecast for the Sanford Fargo Marathon on Saturday, May 19. It's a forecast that is going to require some planning for most of the pack running either the 13.1-mile half marathon or the 26.2-mile full marathon. Race time temperatures around 7 a.m. are expected to be in the mid-40s, said WDAY chief meteorologist John Wheeler.
FARGO—The Sanford Fargo Marathon begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Fargodome. But in reality, if you're looking for any sort of peak performance, it can start now. Putting the right and appropriate amount of fuel in your body is highly recommended beginning 36 to 48 hours before a race, if not longer. That's the advice of Kelsey Herrick, a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics at Sanford Power in Fargo.
FARGO—North Dakota State is taking the first step toward upping its game in the arms race of Division I football facilities. The budget and finance committee of the State Board of Education on Tuesday, May 15, approved a request to build a $37.2 million indoor practice facility. It would be located on the westernmost practice field south of Sanford Health Athletic Complex and would be more than just a field with a roof. A proposal NDSU submitted to the State Board includes a separate weight room, locker rooms, sports medicine space, meeting locations and recruiting area.