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 — Fargo Shanley's football team has a little bit of unfinished business before the Deacons move to North Dakota Class 3A next season. They want a Class 2A state title, and they'd prefer it to come against Bismarck St. Mary's. The Deacons fell to St. Mary's in the state championship game last season for the third time in the past four seasons. It was the fourth state title in the last five seasons for the Saints. It was the only loss of the season for Shanley.
FARGO—Melvin Whitney took over as the head football coach of Fargo Oak Grove after a 1-7 season in 2015. The Grovers were 6-20 in their previous three seasons before Whitney. In his first meeting with the team, he told them they weren't going to back down from anybody. The Grovers took their bumps in Whitney's first season, starting 3-1 before losing the final four games of the season. Last season, the Grovers broke through, finishing 6-3 and playing in their first playoff game since 2008.
BOYS Fargo Davies Coach: Ian Costello (fifth season) Last season: 12-3-1, second at state Who's gone: Mason Brekke, Trey Waltz, Hunter Maloy, Sam Haggard, Fabio Miller, Camden Barta, Abu Abdikadir, Parker Stenseth and Mohamed Ahmed.
Perham, Minn. Perham senior quarterback Jenson Beachy stood with fellow senior Quenten Schumacher just outside the football field last week. Schumacher had Perham's football field at the top of his wish list for places he'd like to take his senior pictures. Schumacher is not on the football team. He is confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.
Fargo Davies Coach: Lisa Schwinden (second season) Last season: ninth at state Who's gone: Anna Davison Key returners: Ava Olson, Fr.; Rylee Fitzgerald, Jr.; Payton Asche, Jr.; Kate Osowski, Jr.; Kaytlin Tesch, So.; Liv Karnik, Fr.; Lauren Lamp, Fr.; Kya Benson, Fr.; Quinn Benson, seventh grade.
Fargo Fargo Davies hockey standout Cade Stibbe has a list of goals on his door of his bedroom. When the forward was about 8 years old, one goal was to shoot 10,000 pucks in the offseason. It moved to 15,000 as he got older. Currently, it's broken up into different kind of shots. He also has how many hours he wants to spend in the weight room and on the ice. The goal at the bottom is Division I hockey. And it's circled. That goal will remain circled at the bottom of his door despite the fact he committed to play hockey for Arizona State on Thursday.
Fargo Artificial turf is coming to high schools in the metro area. It's only a matter of time. Fargo Shanley High School is about to begin its 10th year on the turf at Sid Cichy Stadium. Moorhead High School has had its artificial turf at Jim Gotta Stadium since 2014. Thanks to a $1.2 million donation, Fargo South High School will begin construction soon to put in artificial turf with the hope it's ready before this fall season ends.
FARGO—It was around the age of 12 when Fargo-Moorhead first baseman Chris Jacobs noticed there was something different about him. He was hitting baseballs over the fence. His friends were not. "It hit me that I could hit balls consistently hard," Jacobs, 29, said. "I thought maybe I could be good at this." Those were the days when his batting stance was based off of Hall of Famer Frank Thomas with a hint of former MLBer Andruw Jones. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jacobs has come a long way from emulating someone else in the batter's box.
Moorhead Moorhead High School graduate Carter Howell had just gotten out of the shower at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., when he received a text message from his former baseball teammate Griffin Swenson. It was September and Howell was in his first semester of college. That text message is how Howell found out his former Moorhead Spuds and Moorhead Blues teammate Eli Johnson had died by suicide at the age of 19. Howell sat down in his chair and didn't move. He couldn't move. He sat there the rest of the night.
Moorhead This time last year Moorhead graduate Carter Randklev was verbally committed to play hockey for Arizona State. The Sun Devils, just coming off their first season with a Division I schedule, were his only full-scholarship offer.