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—Everything Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks pitcher Will Solomon had wanted his entire life came when he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 38th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in June. "It was an incredible feeling," Solomon said Monday, Aug. 8, before the RedHawks rolled Wichita 7-2 at Newman Outdoor Field behind eight scoreless innings and 13 strikeouts on the mound from Tyler Alexander. "It's all I've ever wanted to do, to get picked up and start living out the dream I've wanted to do my whole life."
FARGO—In the bullpen of Globe Life Park in Arlington, Tex., former West Fargo baseball standout Matt Strahm sat. There were two pitchers warming up for the Kansas City Royals. Starter Dillon Gee just finished the inning on the mound, so there was no chance Strahm would be pitching the next inning. The phone rang in the bullpen. Strahm assumed it was to tell Brian Flynn or Peter Moylan, both of whom had been warming up the previous inning, the next inning was going to them. "Strahm, you got next inning." "I was like 'Wait, what?'" Strahm said.
HAWLEY, Minn.—Hawley athletic director Brett Schmidt was fishing in Canada last week. Before he left he spent an hour-and-a-half at the house of former Hawley athletic director, superintendent and elementary principal Dale Skallerud. Schmidt thought to himself, as he left Skallerud's house, that he may never see him again. He didn't.
FARGO—Minnesota Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones was teaching the fundamentals of basketball to a lot of little people at the Fargo Basketball Academy on Friday, Aug. 5. It was part of his J-Ones Basketball Camp for boys and girls aged third-eighth grade. The former Apple Valley High School standout knows all about being judged for his size. Listed at 6-foot-1, Jones has heard all the talk about him being too small to play in the NBA.
FARGO—Fargo Force forward, Jack Adams, has committed to play for Union College following his junior hockey career. Adams played in 54 United States Hockey League games with the Force last season, scoring eight goals and notching 16 assists. Last season he decommitted from Princeton.
MOORHEAD—The Stanley Cup is coming to Moorhead on Saturday, July 30. Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen, a former Moorhead standout, has announced his plans with the Stanley Cup. Cullen will have an hour-long private session with Cully's Kids and a three-hour long session with Moorhead youth hockey kids before opening it to the public from 5:30-8 p.m. Cullen will make it available to the public at the north parking lot of the Moorhead Youth Hockey Arena.
HAWLEY, Minn. — As rain trickled down the windows last week, 72-year-old Dale Skallerud sat in his home at 1068 Elizabeth St. in Hawley and discussed a reality no person ever truly wants to wrap their head around. In his 11th year fighting cancer, he talked about his mortality. The ridiculous hope of indestructibility all people grasp was let go. "I'm so damn weak," Skallerud said. "I'm really struggling with my illness right now." He then said something fitting for his situation in his theory on how to teach kids.
FARGO—Sam Grove's luck with the USA Wrestling Junior and Cadet National Championships at the Fargodome is fitting for a Moorhead wrestler. He tore cartilage in his ribs in his second match against eventual champion and soon-to-be University of Nebraska wrestler Beau Breske two years ago. Last year, he couldn't compete at the Fargodome because of skin issues. "It ate at me a little bit every time I got hurt," Grove said. "I think it'll be something filling a hole that has been unfilled for a while."
FARGO—The National Federation of State High School Associations announced Tuesday, July 12, high school baseball rules will now require a pitching restriction based on the number of pitches thrown in a game, rather than amount of innings. Each state's high school association must develop its own pitching restriction policy for the 2017 season, which will put a limit on pitches thrown and how many days of rest are required based on the number of pitches.
FARGO — It finally hit former Fargo Shanley standout Sarah Jacobson when she was lifting weights with the North Dakota State women's basketball team this summer. She was a college basketball player. "It was when we started classes and lifting," Jacobson said. "Lifting is completely different than what I did in high school. It's more structured and detailed. This is a lot different than high school. It hit me. Wow, I'm a college athlete."