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. 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 to 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.
Lisbon, N.D. Lisbon senior Jordan Urbach didn't want to wrestle. He wanted to play basketball. In eighth grade, his dad and older brother convinced him to try wrestling. They told him if worse came to worse he could always quit, but just try to see if he made the Lisbon team. So Urbach gave it a try. "I tried it when I was real little and didn't like it," Urbach said. "My first year (on varsity) I qualified for state and I was hooked then. I liked how it was all me and more of an individual sport."
MOORHEAD—Moorhead senior right winger Jack Stetz paused for a second and smiled. He knew the question was leading. He knew something he said could end up posted in the locker room of any Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 opponent. He didn't bite when asked if any team in the section scares the Moorhead boys hockey team. "That's a hard question," Stetz said. "I'd say some teams got to feel intimidated, but there's also some teams that are ready to play against us. We've always had a target on our back, coming off of last year. We're going to get everyone's best effort."
KINDRED, N.D.—Kindred eighth-grader Carter Schmitz learned something last season when he lost in the North Dakota Class B semifinals at 106 pounds at the state tournament. He eventually finished third, despite having a flu for the entire tournament. "I learned that even though when you're little, you might only weigh 100 pounds, you can still fight," Schmitz said. "I just wish I would've got to the finals. (The flu) took away all my wind. It was hard to think in a straight line and couldn't wrap my moves together."
Moorhead 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.
BARNESVILLE, Minn. — The wedding ring had "burned a hole" in the pants pocket of Barnesville assistant boys basketball coach Jon Hodge. He had all these elaborate plans for how he was going to ask four-time Olympic luger Erin Hamlin to marry him, but they went out the window.
FARGO—Minutes into Tuesday's Eastern Dakota Conference boys basketball matchup, No. 4-ranked West Fargo Sheyenne and Fargo Shanley made it known the game was going to be a battle. It took less than three minutes for Shanley's Jake Kava to swat away a shot from Sheyenne's Zach Westphal. Kava made it known to Westphal that nothing was coming easy, as the two went nose-to-nose with some words and a smile. Westphal went right at Kava the very next play after getting blocked and hit a layup, and was sure to let Kava know about it.
Wahpeton, N.D. The Jan. 12 basketball game against Devils Lake was supposed to be the breakout game for Wahpeton's 6-foot-3 sophomore Jacob Petermann. He scored 19 points in a junior varsity game against Breckenridge (Minn.) four days previous, working the post, driving the lane and hitting shots from 15 feet out. He was the best player on both sides of the court.