Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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Fargo The circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the 1956 North Dakota high school state football championship game in today's world would start a never-ending social media war. If Fargo Central head coach Acey Olson had a Twitter account, he could have gone all-Trump on Jamestown. That was the matchup: the Fargo Central Midgets vs. the Jamestown Blue Jays. It was the middle of a three-year Central title reign that was the greatest in school history with undisputed state titles in 1955 and 1957. Central never lost in those three seasons.
FARGO—The plan was for Andy Young to finish the three-game minor league baseball series with the Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs and then drive to Midland, Mich., for the home run derby in the Midwest League All-Star game. Then he got the call. No home run derby and no All-Star game. He got something better. A promotion. "It was a surprise," Young said.
FARGO—The plan was for utility infielder Andy Young to finish the three-game minor league baseball series with the Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs and then drive to Midland, Mich., for the home run derby in the Midwest League All-Star game. Then he got the call. No home run derby and no All-Star game. He got something better. A promotion. "It was a surprise," Young said.
FARGO—A lot has been made, and justifiably so, in the last few years the effect North Dakota State assistant track and field coach Justin St. Clair has had on the Bison throwers. St. Clair's reach hasn't stopped with college athletes, either. He's also the coach for professional javelin thrower Riley Dolezal and the former Bison standout admits he may have hung it up if he hadn't had a coach like St. Clair. Especially after falling just short of making the U.S. Olympic team last year.
Fargo Rudy Maris died in Gainesville, Fla., this week. The last name should sound familiar, of course, but you're probably wondering about the connection with the Red River Valley. He was the older brother of Roger Maris, by one year, who will be remembered by Kevin Maris, Roger's son, as a great uncle who had a brilliant business mind.
FARGO—The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks had the wind blowing out to perhaps aid its recent hitting slide and it had the guy on the mound it wanted in unbeaten left hander Cesilio Pimentel. Both of those good intentions didn't pan out, however, on Thursday, June 15. It was the Lincoln Saltdogs who took advantage of the south wind at Newman Outdoor Field and sent the Hawks packing for a six-day road trip with an 11-9 victory. Lincoln won three of four games in the series and left the RedHawks 3-8 in their last 11 games.
FARGO—It's been a month since Jennifer Lopez was named the interim head volleyball coach at North Dakota State. It's almost as if she's had the job for years. In a sense, she has. As a former player and assistant coach, there hasn't been much in the line of adjustments since Kari Thompson took the head volleyball position at Southern Illinois in mid-May.
FARGO—It was quite the tour of the middle of the country for Devan Ahart, who upon learning he was traded from the Cleburne Railroaders (Texas) to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, got in his car and started driving north. And north and even farther north. He saw parts of the USA he had never seen before. It was about 2,300 miles in all, he said. He even got to be part of a tornado warning Tuesday night, June 13, at Newman Outdoor Field when fans remaining at the park were told to go to the first floor hallway. No damage was reported near the facility.
FARGO—In an era where facilities are a point of emphasis, Adrian Contreras has all he needs in his apartment garage in south Fargo. It's an old-school attitude for a 16-year-old boxer who has dreams of someday competing in the Olympics. A punching bag hangs from a rafter. A speed bag is bolted to the back wall. And the concrete surface of the garage acts as his ring when he works with his father and trainer Raul Contreras. It's a father-son team that is going all in on the USA Boxing Junior Olympic National Championships in Charleston, W. Va., that starts on June 25.
FARGO—The LPGA career of Amy Anderson officially came to a close last week. This week, the LPGA career of Amy Olson begins, the result of her marriage to former North Dakota State football standout Grant Olson. Olson is in the field for the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich., that starts Thursday. The couple was married last Tuesday in a ceremony that carried the Twitter hashtag #WhoGetsMarriedonaTuesday. "A football coach and a pro golfer," she said.