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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FARGO—Lisbon senior Jordan Urbach almost didn't wrestle. When he was in eighth grade his older brother Dylan, who wrestles at North Dakota State, convinced him to try it, even though Jordan wanted to play basketball. Five years and five trips to the North Dakota Class B wrestling tournament later, Jordan was capping one of the most dominant seasons possible with a state title at 220 pounds at the Fargodome on Saturday.
FARGO—South Border co-head coach Josh Hoffman had a sly smile when he was asked a question he seemingly was waiting someone to ask. His unseeded Mustangs were behind him celebrating a North Dakota Class B dual championship on Friday, Feb. 16. Do seedings mean anything? "Obviously not," Hoffman said. "It's the state tournament. You got to show up, you got to wrestle, and that's what we did. We wrestled hard."
FARGO—Hillsboro-Central Valley was grasping onto a one-point lead over Hettinger-Scranton-Richardton in the North Dakota Class B state wrestling dual quarterfinals on Thursday at the Fargodome. It seemed as though Kaden Pastian was going to let that lead slip away with just a few weights remaining. The freshman trailed 4-1 in the third period at 152 pounds.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—There's a baffling calm to Will Borgen. His eyes do not widen when the moment gets bright. In fact, he doesn't blink. Those closest to the former Moorhead Spuds hockey standout and St. Cloud State defenseman don't know how to explain him. At a young age, Borgen would shrug his shoulders when his dad would try to convince him how cool it was that he just got a phone call from NHLer Matt Cullen telling him when to meet at the rink. He does the same now when his dad asks him if he talks to NHL hall of famer Chris Chelios on the phone a lot.
FARGO—South Dakota State's Mike Daum showed exactly why he was the men's basketball conference player of the year in the Summit League last season and why he's the favorite to repeat again this year. Daum took over midway through the second half to lead SDSU to an 87-80 win over North Dakota State in the conference opener for both teams Wednesday.
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.
FARGO—Marquise Bridges was recruited out of DeLaSalle High School of Minneapolis in 2014 to be a wide receiver for North Dakota State. And for good reason. He had 66 catches for 1,317 yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior season with the Islanders. On Tuesday, in NDSU's 55-13 semifinal win over Sam Houston State, Bridges got the first and second interceptions of his collegiate career. Giving up the wide receiver role last season and moving to cornerback as a freshman was tough for Bridges, but he did it for a shot to play.
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—North Dakota State men's basketball team has won three straight games, after a 94-58 win over Stetson on Saturday, Nov. 25, at the Sanford Health Athletic Center. Tyson Ward has been a difference-maker in all three. After scoring 15 points total in the first two games of the season, both losses for NDSU (3-2), Ward has scored 54 in his last three games. The sophomore had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Missouri State, 17 points and seven rebounds against Florida A&M and scored a career-high 26 against Stetson (4-3).
FARGO—Bismarck Century will defend its Class A volleyball crown. The Patriots used a 20-25, 25-14, 25-7, 25-19 win over Valley City in the state semifinals Friday, Nov. 17, at the Fargodome to set up a matchup with Jamestown for the state title. The only other volleyball team to win three straight state titles is Fargo North, completing the three-peat in 1997. Patriots will go for their third straight Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.