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Berwald, Jepsen big fans of the Bison

MINNEAPOLIS - Lance Berwald and Les Jepsen are two men with North Dakota ties who stand between 6-11 and 7-feet tall. They both had a front row seat Thursday during North Dakota State's 40-minute practice at the Metrodome.

MINNEAPOLIS - Lance Berwald and Les Jepsen are two men with North Dakota ties who stand between 6-11 and 7-feet tall. They both had a front row seat Thursday during North Dakota State's 40-minute practice at the Metrodome.

Everything is big about the Bison these days.

A big tournament in the NCAA. Big dreams with a first-year-eligible Division I team. And a big crowd expected for Friday's first round game against Kansas. All stuff worthy of a standing ovation, especially from one of its former great players and Hall of Fame member in Berwald.

He still holds the school career and single-game field goal percentage records. But he saw his single game record of 53 points fall this year when guard Ben Woodside put up 60 against Stephen F. Austin (Texas).

"It's just awesome to see them here," Berwald said. "Being able to come out and support what these guys have accomplished this year - it's great being a Bison or former Bison right now."

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The tournament is something Jepsen only saw on TV while growing up in Bowbells, N.D.

"Now you see NDSU on TV and the kids think to themselves: why not me," Jepsen said. "That's the whole gist of watching it on TV; why not me."

For more, see tomorrow's Forum.

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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