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 — 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."
FARGO—The Fargo Force announced Monday, July 11, they traded Austin Pooley to the Youngstown Phantoms for a conditional pick in Phase 2 of the 2017 United States Hockey League Draft. Pooley came to the Force from the Omaha Lancers prior to the 2014-15 season. He played in 117 games with the Force, scoring 12 goals and notching 14 assists. He was the team captain for the 2015-16 season and will be headed to Ohio State University following his junior hockey career.
ROTHSAY, Minn. — For five years, former Rothsay High School football coach and English teacher Andrew Oland would receive his coaching evaluation in mid-November. High school coaches generally get paid after looking at their coaching evaluation. Not one category of the evaluation had "needs improvement" marked. Everything was either marked "exceeds expectations" or "meets expectations" by athletic director Jessica Holland.
FARGO—West Fargo Sheyenne baseball coach Joel Swanson was sitting at his computer Wednesday, July 6, trying to figure out how to submit his budget for the baseball season with Class A baseball moving from wood bats to BBCOR bats.
WHEATON, Minn. — High school coaches around Minnesota called former Wheaton-Herman-Norcross football and baseball coach Tony Thiel and asked if he had put his hands on any of his players. Those are the types of questions a high school coach of two decades receives when his contract is suddenly not renewed.
MOORHEAD—Former Moorhead standout Matt Cullen, who is fresh off a Stanley Cup championship with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is bringing the Stanley Cup to Moorhead. Cullen's day with the Stanley Cup is July 30. Cullen said the only for sure plan he has is bringing the Stanley Cup to the Moorhead Youth Hockey Arena for the kids to see.
There was golf history and firsts for local teams this high school season. Here's a look at the top area moments from the 2015-16 high school sports season in Minnesota in no particular order. 1. Kate Smith, Detroit Lakes and Blake Kahlbaugh win state golf titles
MOORHEAD—Only 82 players have played an NHL game at the age of 40 and older. Former Moorhead standout Matt Cullen wants to be added to that list, as he says he's putting off retirement and wants to return for his 19th NHL season. "I did tell (Pittsburgh Penguins general manager) Jim Rutherford that I'd like to play another season, so he and my agent will be talking today," Cullen said Tuesday, June 28.
FARGO—The Bert Blylevens of the world better prepare themselves. Pitch counts are coming to high school baseball, regardless of how much they moan and groan about those nerds that look at numbers and science. "It's happening," Minnesota State High School League associate director Kevin Merkle said. "Vermont and Colorado already have one and Alabama has something in place for next season."
FARGO—Detroit Lakes senior golfer Kate Smith said no video or picture did her final high school shot justice. Her 6-foot putt stopped dead right at the lip of her final hole at the Minnesota Class 2A state golf meet Wednesday, June 15. It was over. Four straight state titles had come to an end. She was going to miss out on being the first golfer in the history of Minnesota to win five state titles by a stroke.