Sports Forum: Thermo attempts entry into HOF

Not everybody who performed for the defunct Fargo-Moorhead Fever of the CBA is retired. The man who turned Thermo, the Fever mascot, into a crowd-pleasing entertainment act is trying to get into the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Not everybody who performed for the defunct Fargo-Moorhead Fever of the CBA is retired. The man who turned Thermo, the Fever mascot, into a crowd-pleasing entertainment act is trying to get into the Mascot Hall of Fame.

John Absey, a native of East Grand Forks, Minn., has made a career out of the trade with the Utah Jazz. Th Jazz Bear is one of six mascots up for the Hall of Fame.

Absey was working for American Gold Gymnastics in Fargo when the Fever, who played two seasons in the early 1990s, showed up looking for a mascot.

"Twenty-five bucks a night; I was a poor college student," he said.

The Fever eventually fired him when his toboggan slide down the Fargodome steps was considered a liability threat. So Absey took his act to Winnipeg, Sioux Falls, S.D., and eventually the Jazz.


Fans determine who gets into the Mascot Hall of Fame. To vote, log on to .

"It's a matter of who gets the most clicks," Absey said.

More participation in the Fargo Marathon turned into more money for the event's charities.

The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm and the MeritCare Children's Hospital each received $15,000.

That represents an increase of $10,000 from last year.

"From Day 1, we have wanted the Fargo Marathon to play an active role in benefiting the children of our communities," said Marathon executive director Mark Knutson.

The May event attracted more than 6,000 participants in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5K and youth run.

North Dakota State was ranked No. 11 in the Street & Smith NCAA I-AA preseason top 25 in the publication's college football preview magazine. The Bison were one of three Great West Conference teams along with No. 6 Cal Poly and No. 15 UC Davis.


NDSU, which was picked to finished second in the league, was not ranked in the magazine's preseason rankings last season.

North Dakota State completed the 2005 season with a 7-4 record. The Bison were ranked in the I-AA Top 25 for 10 out of 12 weeks during the season.

The Bison open the 2006 season against Concordia-St. Paul on August 31.

A team of girls basketball players from West Fargo recently took first place at the Elite Sports International King Kamehameha Summer Classic basketball tournament in Oahu, Hawaii.

Led by coach Lynette Mund, West Fargo went 4-0 in the tournament, beating teams from Montana, Mississippi and Hawaii.

Team members included: Ali Edwards, Tiffany Gjestvang, Nadine Dissette, Johanna Haerter, Emily Johnson, Jill Kussatz, Sara Dell and Andrea Hummel.

A team consisting of players from eight area North Dakota Class B schools earned the consolation title at that tournament. Mark Wisnewski of Lidgerwood coached the team.

Team members included: Amanda Dimmer and Kristen Killoran of Maple Valley; Jennifer and Jessica Maro of North Sargent; Brooke Rysavy of Milnor; Natasha Nenow of Central Prairie; Kristen Cuypers of Litchville-Marion-Montpelier; and Teresa Hoistad of Lisbon.


Former wrestling coach Ron Gadberry and former boys basketball coach Ed Beyer have been inducted into the Hillsboro Public School Hall of Fame. Gadberry, who spent 24 years at Hillsboro, posted a record of 492-151 in duals. Beyer, who spent 37 years at the school, won 688 games and led the Burros to four North Dakota Class B state championships. ... Concordia College seniors Natalie Hanson of Rogers, Minn., and Angie Pfeiffer of Colman, S.D., were awarded NCAA postgraduate scholarships for the spring season. ... North Dakota State football players Justin Buckwalter and Shamen Washington are on The Sports Network's list of top returning NCAA Division I-AA athletes. Buckwalter is No. 8 on the top returning offensive guard list, and Washington is second on the list of return specialists. ... Team North Dakota went 4-4 and finished 11th out of 26 teams at the Junior Dual Wrestling Championships last week in Oklahoma City.

- Jeff Kolpack Forum staff reports

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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